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best lures and baits to catch toman in Malaysia

How To Fish Toman In Malaysia

A comprehensive guide to fishing toman in Malaysia

We know why you are here in the first place. You want to know what lure work best for toman in Malaysia. We are updating lots of informations about what lures, rigs and techniques we use to catch the toman in this page. Details on lures in photos below.

Habitat: fresh water and some brackish water. 
Size: up to 1 meter and weighing ~15kg.
Diet: carnivore feeding with sharp teeth.
Respiratory: air breather and can stay completely outside of water for quite some time .
Spawning: all year round with the mating pair will guard their fry ball together until reaching juveniles stage (3 to 4 inches size) and ready to leave the group.


Toman is air breather fish which breathe air through gills. They need to come out to the surface and breathe air every few minutes depending on factors like stress level and oxygen level in the water. The bigger specimen will be able to stay underwater for longer period of time. This is the main weakness of toman as top fresh water predator and very much manipulated by anglers in search of the trophy toman. Anglers will wait patiently and quietly, for toman to rise to the surface to breathe air.

In calm mood and under no stress, you can see their shadow coming up slowly like a submarine, heads looking up and mouth pointing upwards ready to gulp air. A quick gulp, and toman will show their whole body gliding like a snake before swimming back underwater. When toman are stressed, they will rise up and down quickly like a rocket, often making big splash.

Experience anglers will recognize the sound toman makes when they gulp air, and also the location where the sound comes from to quickly locate where the toman is.
Under both circumstances, often they will leave a little trail of small bubbles near the surface before they went back to deeper water. Eagle eyed anglers can spot these bubbles to aid them in guessing which way toman went after they disappear from the surface.

Anglers only have few seconds of opportunities when the toman rise to the surface and before it disappears back into deep water. In these few seconds, anglers must cast their lures around the strike zone where the toman rise and tempt it to strike the lures. Most of the times the strike zone will be just about 10 feet radius from where the toman rise.

Sight fishing for toman require anglers to be quick and to be accurate with their casting. Ability to make long cast is an advantage as the bigger specimen will often rise further away from where anglers are waiting.


Toman will spawn during rainy seasons. A change to the water conditions, water temperature, water level, access to shallow spawning ground, and some other factors will trigger toman to spawn. But the basic is rainy season will often be the time you will see lots of new toman fry balls.

Fresh fry ball with be black in color, and local anglers will often refer them as 'coffee powder'. They are describing the fry ball like you drop a spoon of coffee powders into water. It is very small and will require experience and eagle eye to found them. Few days after, the fry ball will turn bright red. Quite easy to spot even from a distance in calm water.

Both male and female toman will guard this fry ball up to three months when its about 3 to 4 inches length, orange colored and have distinguished horizontal lines. Toman fry ball need to go to the surface to breathe air, just like adult toman. It will be more frequent and when the fry ball rise to the surface, the water looks like it is boiling, hence local anglers refer it as 'toman boiling'.

During this time, toman will be aggressive, attacking anything that comes within the safety radius of their fry ball. Anglers will take advantage of this period, chasing this fry ball and throwing all kind of lures to make the fry guarders angry and turn aggressive. Some days it will be easy to tempt them with just a few cast, while some days it will take hours to turn them aggressive and attack lures.

The key to successfully making fry guarders attacking our lures is to keep presenting the lures right into the fry ball. Experience anglers will be able to guess where the fry guarders are in the water based on the movement of the fry ball. Choosing the right lures and sending it within the strike zone when the fry ball are running away from anglers is also a skill anglers need to develop for this technique.

Here are some videos of toman fry ball to help
you for your next toman trip.

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