Fishing in Cambodia offers the visitor an incredible array of species and locations to cast their line. There is also the chance of catching a genuine monster as Cambodia is home to two of the biggest freshwater fish species in the world, the Giant Mekong Catfish and the Giant Freshwater Stingray. Because of Cambodia’s many lakes, rivers and waterways, you can fish almost anywhere. Below is some information on where you can go fishing in Cambodia’s 2 main cities, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
The main fishing attractions in Phnom Penh are on the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. A boat will take you a little downstream of the city where you will find an array of species including Mekong Redtail Catfish, Giant Mekong Catfish, Asian Catfish, Mekong Spot Catfish and several others. A little further down the river and you will see the Tonle Sap River splitting into four parts; the Tonle Sap, Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong and the Bassac River.
This confluence of rivers is a great fishing location as many species compete for prey in this ecologically rich water. Some of the giant catfish can take many hours to land. Although these rivers are abundant in stock and species, it is recommended that all fish are caught on barbless hooks and returned to the water as quickly and with as little stress as possible to maintain this diverse ecosystem.
The best fishing around Siem Reap is in Southeast Asia’s biggest freshwater lake, Tonle Sap. Of course, Siem Reap is now world famous for its many incredible temples, attracting visitors from all around the world. Once you have finished exploring the temples, head just south of the city to Tonle Sap lake for some beautiful scenery and some fantastic fishing. The livelihoods of the families who live on the lake depend on fishing as they both sell and eat what they catch. Most families live on floating houses and their livelihoods depend on the 500,000 tons of fish is caught from the Tonle Sap lake every year. Some of the fish species you will catch include Redtail Catfish, Asian Catfish, Mekong Spot Catfish, Croaker, Tinfoil Barb, Slender Carp and Transverse-bar barb. The Mechrey village is a small community 45 minutes away from Siem Reap. Fisherpeople and their families live on the water and their livelihoods all depend on fishing. After passing through the floating village, you will stop to fish in various locations depending on the season.
An experienced angler can spend a lot of time in Cambodia chasing many different species in many different bodies of water. If you want a true challenge, catching them with fly fishing can test even the most experienced fisherman. It doesn’t matter what kind of fish you’re looking to snag. Sihanoukville has places for trout, places for salmon, and even a place where you can catch a shark! The kind of fishing you’re looking to do doesn’t matter either. Because of the diversity of species throughout the country, any angler can find what he or she is looking for. In Sihanoukville there are spots for deep-sea fishing just the same as there are places for fly-fishing along a river or from the reefs off shore of paradise islands like Koh Rong, Koh Rong Sanloem and Koh Ta Kiev. Cambodia’s waters are bursting with fish. The river and sea are still un-spoilt and they await your first cast on your fishing getaway to Sihanoukville. Cambodia sports fishing is exhilarating as well as a fun day out on the water!