The Jelawat / Sultan Fish is a strong fish inhabiting the middle reaches of big rivers like the Pahang and Perak. They may also be found in lakes like the Cini and Bera. Favourite baits are river prawns and grubs, although pond-bred fish have been known to take little spoons and spinners.
For many years, Jelawat has been cultivated as a food fish. As such it can be found in many ponds throughout the country.
True wild Jelawat is now rare. The only reliable river stretches now are Sg. Lipis, Sg. Jelai and Sg Pahang. As such, very few anglers target this species.
Scientific name: Leptobarbus hoevenii
Common name: Sultan Fish, Mad Barb
Malay name: Jelawat, Ikan Sultan
Salient Features: The body is long with a long, flattened head. The dorsal area is greenish grey whilst the abdomen is white. Fins are light red in colour.
Preferred habitat: Middle reaches of deep, large rivers.
Distribution: Mainly in the Pahang river system (Sg Lipis, Sg Jelai, Sg Tembeling, Sg Pahang). The odd fish can also be found in Sg Perak. Jelawat has also been extensively cultivated, and can now be found in various mining lakes and ponds.
Sumatra, Borneo, Indochina.
Record size: 10 kg.: Terusan Besar, Bukit Merah Lake, Perak
Angling record: 10 kg. (unofficial) Bukit Merah Lake, Perak
Conservation status: Wild Jelawat are now rare. Release all river specimens.
Diet: Worms, grubs, insects, small fishes.
Common baits: Bamboo grubs.
Popular lures & flies: Small silver spoons.