Hi once again me fellow fisheroos.
Mid December continued to see some quite serious storms despite the tourism chappie’s claims that it’s now “high” season. Probably a better term would be the “Kite Boarders” windy spring.
Ignoring “Christmas” as it is now politically incorrect in my country to mention “Christmas” in case I offend someone, so I decided instead of talking about CHRISTMAS and the fish we catch, this month I thought I would write about “bait fish” the main reason why the Andaman Sea is nicknamed “The Nursery of the Indian Ocean”.
Firstly anyone who has ever swabbed the decks or lay sunbathing on the bow of any boat here off Phuket must have seen the amazing “Flying Fish” which abound in most tropical and sub-tropical waters. I was surprised to learn there are over 40 species of Flying Fish some with 4 “wings” just like a bi-plane. These fish although not eaten here are a main staple with the larger predator fish from Marlin to Dorado and also in many “foreign” restaurants. It is also the national fish/bird of Barbados being on their stamps, coins, coat of arms and eaten in most restaurants. The sad thing is, due to pollution they no longer frequent Barbadian waters and this caused a lot of friction between Trinidad / Tobago and Barbados when their fishing fleet went into Trinidadian waters in search of their favourite delicacy which they had inadvertently chased away. Thailand take note, there should be a lesson there somewhere, as thousands of locals lost their Flying Fish related businesses.
The other main source of food in the Andaman Sea is the Squid and many tourists visiting Phuket wonder what all the lights on the horizon are, when they first arrive. That’s the Squid fishing fleet using powerful lights to attract this other amazing creature. Called “Calamari” on your hotel menu Squid is a favourite food world-wide and the lights you see in the distance are competing with all our large predator fish for their livelihood. There are over 300 different species of Squid and the local Sea Gypsies know exactly which one to put on their hooks to catch specific “bottom” fish such as Snapper Grouper Etc. When I used the word amazing I possibly should have said bizarre, as the Squid has a beak, 8 arms and 2 methods of propulsion one of which is jet power. It is both predator and prey and uses its ability to chance colour to both hide and hunt. When attacked this wierdo of the deep can even squirt “ink” in the face of an aggressor before jetting off, and I have it on good authority that some species also “fly”.
Man goes into Mr. Moo’s shop on Chaofa Rd. East and asks for a rod and reel for his wife. Mr Moo replied. “We give a 15% discount to PGFC club members, but we don’t do trade-ins”.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year, keep yer lines tight and yer rods up. Arr Arr Arr (pirate for Ho Ho Ho)