A huge ikan tapah caught by a villager recently

BY JAY WATSON

KUCHING: Batang Oya in Mukah is now becoming popular among locals, especially anglers as it is said to be home to ‘giant’ ikan tapah (freshwater catfish).

According George Collin Jennis, a resident from Kampung Narub, Mukah, the largest ikan tapah ever caught was as heavy as 70kg.

A local villager showing his ‘giant’ ikan tapah

“We have also been informed by someone that there was an ikan tapah as big as an angler’s boat.

“However, no one dared to catch it,” said the 21-year-old angler, adding huge ikan tapah are mostly located upstream.

George said he started fishing in Batang Oya around 2016.

“Since then, my family and I have always enjoyed fishing, and it can be said that every week we caught big ikan tapah using small shrimp, catfish, puyu or tilapia baits.

“In my opinion, the ikan tapah population is increasing in Batang Oya as the people are no longer allowed to catch fish and prawns using electric pulse or poisonous roots (tuba) in the river.

“If anyone is caught using these methods, the village head will report them to the authorities,” explained George, while hoping the government would allow anglers to enjoy their fishing activities during the present conditional movement control order (CMCO) period.