Current dry spell in Belaga, a blessing in disguise for fisherman Erwin

Erwin showing the big fish he caught.

BELAGA, April 17: Armed with only a fishing rod, fisherman Erwin Let could not believe his luck when he caught a 13-kg fish in the Rajang River in Belaga where the current dry season is a blessing in disguise.

An elated, Erwin, 31, from Uma Badeng, Long Dungan, Belaga said today that it took him more than 15 minutes to haul the big fish into his longboat.

“A fish of this size is very powerful. I have to use a special skill which I learned over the years as a fisherman to haul it into my longboat,” he said.

The fish attracted a lot of attention when he brought it to the Belaga market for sale.

His  price tag? A whopping RM30 per kg.

He took home RM390 for the fish which he sold to a buyer.

A local resident, Lasa Tidom, 49, who spotted Erwin with the fish, took a photo of him holding the fish.

According to Lasa, the current dry season is a blessing in disguise for Belaga residents due to the abundance of fishes in the river at present.

“As the water in the river is quite shallow now it is easier to catch freshwater fishes. Fishermen can either use net or fishing rod only,” he said.

These  fishes included species like Bengalan, Tengadak, Palau, Semah, Baong, Labang, Tapah, Sakam, Lajung, and Buris, he said.

Fishermen in Belaga are selling the Bengalan at between RM20 to RM40 per kg.

The price tags for other catches per kg are Tengadak (RM20-30), Palau (RM15), Semah (RM30-60), Baong (RM20-30), Labang (RM25-40), Tapah (RM30-40), Sakam (RM20-30), Lajung (RM20-35) and Buris (RM20-25). — DayakDaily