Confused: CMCO Fishing Rules 

By The Angler

This has been a very confusing topic with many an angler. I have had quite a few anglers ask me if fishing is allowed. I have also had some anglers ask me why fifty over anglers got caught fishing when fishing is said to be allowed. There is so much confusion with this ruling that even the king of confusion, the creator of the phrase “if you cannot convince them, confused them;” gave up on the level of confusion when it comes to this topic. I must admit, I was confused to when these anglers got compounded RM1,000 each for fishing at a pond in Hulu Langat.

So, what the heck is going on here? We were indeed told that fishing is allowed. Well, first it was fishing is allowed at beaches and rivers provided that where we decided to go wet our lines is within a 10km radius from where your home is. Also to follow the SOP which means that you can go fishing with friends but keep a distance of at least 1 metre from each of them. You can still talk to each other but backstabbing your other friend fishing there with you now becomes much harder since you can no longer whisper into the ear of the intended listener.

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Then the “fishing is allowed thingy” was further relaxed. We were told that the 10km radius rule has been relaxed. We can drive further than 10 kilometres as long as we do not cross state boundaries. Great news indeed. There was also news that fishing in general is now allowed as long as we follow the SOPs. The message was somewhat vague; perhaps more clarification on the SOPs was needed.

Anyway, payponds or commercial pay to fish ponds took the news as it is and started to draw boxes for anglers to fish within. This is to adhere to the social distancing rule. I am not sure if other SOPs are followed but if the paypond where the fifty over anglers were caught, did not abide fully to the SOP, the one’s answerable would be the owners of the pond and not the anglers. Let’s say that the pond had hand sanitizers in place, had boxes drawn, limited the number of anglers, had a visitor registration log system in place, etc. then what went wrong?

Don’t worry, this was way before the MCO started.

Confused as I was, I got into my “time machine” and went back about a week or so. I believe that all of these confusion started with the vagueness of the “fishing is now allowed” message. So, let’s try to get a clearer picture of what is allowed and what is not allowed.

Yes fishing is allowed but here are some guidelines (I’ve tried my best to lightened the mood for you while you read them):-

  1. Only fishing at rivers and beaches is allowed. This is because rivers and beaches are long and wide. You have got ample space not to be too close to any of your fishing buddies and unknown anglers who have decided to fish the length of beach or river that your friends and you have decided to fish at.
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You can fish from the rocks here (beach) but not from where the photographer took the shot (on a boat). 

  1. Fishing in ponds and small lakes is not allowed according to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. If you fish at fishing ponds and small lakes, you will get caught and fined. This include payponds. Paypond owners; I feel sorry for you.
  1. I am not 100% sure when it comes to fishing in our great lakes such as Temenggor, Kenyir, etc. as the Senior Minister was vague as a build your own wardrobe manual from the al-cheapo furniture store. He did say if that we quietly go to the edge of a lake or paddy field to fish, no one would get caught. What the… So, my guess is that you can but don’t do party, no Battle of the Bands contest, no playing fire crackers (to shoo of wildlife lah), etc. Just go quietly, fish, and go home.
  1. Fishing can be done in any river or beach as long as you do not go interstate. No problem if it’s more than 10 kilometres from your home. Just as long as you do not cross borders you will be ok. Do note this though. You will have to prove where your home is. If the address on your ID or drivers license is of another state and not where you currently live; bring along your electricity or water bill (something to prove where you currently live). Who knows right? Just to be safe.
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No fishing from boats. 

  1. Fishing in boats (which covers other watercrafts as well) is not allowed, unless you are a fisherman and the reason you take your boat out catch fish to sell them in order to make a living. Does the SOP for fishermen cover going out to sea alone or with another person? This I am not sure too. Nothing mentioned in the DIY manual.
  1. Social distancing is to be followed at all times. If you have to share a car, remember that social distancing must be adhered to. Sharing is no longer caring in this case. The big question in most sea going anglers minds… Why is it that we can now share a car but not a boat? In boats we sit further apart. Sitting too close usually means tangled lines. Maybe what we do on boats, and what “they” do on boats are different. I don’t know. I am just saying.
  1. Ensure good hygiene when fishing. Yes, clean your hands often. Use sanitizers. But don’t get them on your bait. Hygiene rules of human beings and fishes are different. They (the fishes) may give your bait a miss. Just be smart about hygiene.
  1. Don’t go around shaking hands, fist bumping, hugging, etc. with your fishing buddies and strangers you see when you are fishing. There are other alternative methods of greeting where touching is not part of it. I mean if we can argue and fight without touching (we use of hand signs or signals), we can greet each other too without touching.

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  1. Wear a mask especially if you are not well. If you are well, it is not necessary according to our Ministry Of Health. But if you are not well, stay at home and chill instead. Perhaps, fish on your mobile phone or game consoles. Go fishing when you are better. Think of it this way; even with social distancing of one metre, with wind around or breeze; germs viruses, bacteria, etc. can still travel from one person to another. It is ok if one is healthy.

But there is another problem. There are people who may be carriers of the virus but do not know that they are positive. They did not fall sick. They are asymptomatic. What if they go fishing, do not wear a mask (well, they don’t know that they are carrying the virus), and they cough right when the breeze is blowing, and you happen to be mask free, sitting one metre away? That would be a problem. So, just wear a mask to be safe. It is better to remove the mask a little when there is no wind or breeze, to take a breather; than to not wear a mask at all. Just my two cents.

I understand our need to pick up our fishing rods and go do some fishing. We are anglers. This is what we do. But, instead of heading to the payponds, ponds, and small lakes; head to the rivers, and beaches. And if you are lucky to have a beach nearby, head on there. All states in Malaysia have beaches. And follow the guidelines put in place because we are all in this together.


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