Big Game Fishing Tours & Liveaboard Charters in Phuket, Thailand

Tag: Thai 2 On

Happy New Year 2019

Thai 2 On at night-time

Season’s greetings to all you salty ole seadogs.

The early part of the month saw Thai 2 On back in the water after getting her bum cleaned and a sizeable refit which included a Christmas present to the boat, a brand new 6ooW underwater “green” LED lighting system. This is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen and knocks daytime “bottom” fishing for six. This revolutionary new lighting, way beyond conventional systems, when lowered 10M beneath the boat illuminates a 30 meter circle of unbelievably clear visibility which in turn attracts the squid and draws the fish in. A delight to witness even if you’re not fishing, and has to be seen to be believed.

To this end Thai 2 On is now offering two “new” night-fishing packages so everyone can partake in this amazing experience.  Offer 1. - A  6 pm to 3 am  trip - and - Offer 2. -  A single “day” deal 7.30 am / 3 am.

Thai 2 On is also bookable Feb / Mar. for an unforgettable trip to the “Burma Banks” which although inaccessible to commercial trawling, has only in the past few years become accessible to Sports Fishing Boats and for this reason potentially one of the TOP bill fishing venues on the planet, so vast at 500 sq/km there are many unexplored areas where no one has ever fished.  See:- http://fishinginphuket.com/superior-liveaboard-fishing-charter/

The antennary for “The Banks”, is available by emailing us at info@fishinginphuket.com

Concluding the year, “High Season” – Thursday the 24th ushered in Christmas with a massive thunder storm and two phone calls. “For a boat for tomorrow.”

So that’s me analized another year, so it’s goodnight from me and - Awe the hairy breast to awe ma M8’s for 19   -  Slainte Mhath – Hupthefuck and a Merry Christmas to all those who find it offensive.

Tight lines, for the New Year.

Loneliness of a Big Game Fisherman

Splendid isle-ation

Ahoy me hearties,

Once again it’s a foul weather report:- in fact neither my friends nor I remember such an atrocious start to the ”low” season, but while most of the companies were busy returning deposits, PST’s web site advised us that Thai 2 On managed to sneaked out between storms, mid-month, and bagged 7 Sailfish, so the boys with the bills are back. That will make for a few Jolly Jack Tars - Brilliant!!!

This month the organizers of PST (Phuket Sport-fishing Tournament) also announced the dates of the next PST competition which will be the 21st to the 24th November 2018, and assuming they will be offering an “early bird” entry as usual, I will keep you advised.

And for all you lucky, rich, old pirates, at the pinnacle of our celebrated sport, both Thai 2 On and the 60ft sport-fisher Deja Blue have advised me they are now taking bookings for the coming high season. (Mid-February to Mid-April) Thai 2 On will be returning to the Burma Banks for 5 to 8 day trips while Deja Blue with her large fuel capacity and water maker will once again be visiting India’s Andaman Islands, (January to the beginning of May) Both boats can accommodate five, at a push, but like the “day” boats we recommend a maximum of four. These are undoubtedly the two best fishing areas here in the East and the nearest thing you will get to a “guarantee” while Big Game Fishing. Please e-mail me, via the web site, for further information on either of these truly amazing fishing adventures.

This month’s humor relates to a Russian boat owner who took some Ballyhoo on board his boat. (Bait fish, for the uninitiated) He asked his new Thai decky. “Do you know how to tie these?” -  And given an affirmative.  The next morning you will never guess what he had fried for his breakfast. Yum-Yum.

Considering we have had weather warnings, for small boats, more or less continuously for the past couple of months, isn’t it about time we changed our mental attitude? Isn’t it strange how everyone seems to accept the weather as being “it’s just the weather”? With half the world on fire and the other half flooded is it not about time something was done about it before the planet spins completely out of control and demand that the world’s political ostriches, remove their heads from the sand where they have been firmly buried for far too long. While plastic and all the other toxic waste we pump into our oceans should not be ignored, warming is already burning, drowning and burying us by the 1,000’s.

Am I the only voice in the wilderness shouting - ENOUGH! Sometimes I wonder, am I completely alone on this planet? While I have experienced this/that incredible feeling of isolation combined with a sort of happily womb-like security that all “sea” fishermen can relate to, this is definitely not the case when returning to dry land, where every damned thing seems to want to take a bite out of you, one way or another.

No one owns the water. No one owns the lands. No one owns the oceans. No one owns the sands. These are given by our Mother. The planet provides for free. Only by the hands of the greedy does the Earth require a fee.  Anon.

As usual, tight lines all round.

Ramblings of a fisherman

Great Fishing on the Burma Banks

Monster catch

The beginning of the month saw the return of M V Thai 2 On from her annual trip up north to the world renowned Burma Banks where once again they saw plenty of action, with our old shipmate Ian “Tubsy” Tubbs admitting with a “red face” that he just missed the Grand Slam record, (A Black Marlin, a Blue Marlin and a Sailfish in one day’s fishing.) by failing to land the “easy” one, the Sail, but the overall count was still impressive with Ian’s catch report for his two back to back trips reading as follows :-

9 Marlin raised - 5 strikes – 3 caught with the biggest being a 560lb Blue. GTs up to 50lb – Dog Tooth Tuna and snapper.

Fish Eagle also submitted a catch report stating the bottom fishing around Racha Noi, mid-month, was excellent as they pulled in some nice Grouper and Snapper.

The Burma Banks

An easy, but full day’s cruise from Phuket, fishing most of the way, Phuket boats arrive at the Thai / Myanmar border, which for the first and last bookings of the season is a “free day” to T2On’s lucky passengers. During the rest of the season normal procedure is for the crews to pick up their passengers on the Thai side of the border “Ranong” for the short trip across to Myanmar (Burma) “Victoria” to welcome aboard their compulsory Myanmar guide and pay the 100 USD entry fee which then allows her access to very possibly the best Bill Fish fishing anywhere.

For those unacquainted with the Burma Banks this is a huge plateau covering some 1,500 square kilometers. The waters surrounding the banks are 300/350 meters deep rising in an easy gradient to around 15 meters from the surface, making this vast area inaccessible to the commercial trawlers who in the past few years have severely impacted our sports trolling elsewhere in the region. (Notice the difference in spelling - the difference between net and line – sports and commercial fishing.)

Situated 180km North West of the Similan Islands and 90 to 180 Km due west of Ranong (Thailand) and Kawthaung, Myanmar (Burma) Nearly half way to the Andaman Islands (India) although in international waters the economic rights are claimed by the Myanmar Government hence the entry fee and compulsory guide who so far has always acted as a useful and welcome member of the crew.

Because of strong currents and no place to “run” for protection from foul weather, the “banks” can only be visited during our “high” season, mid- February to April, for obvious safety reasons.

Understandably there is nothing to see but sea, then again - let’s face it Guys, you’re here for the fishing and this is one of the best fishing areas anywhere, with Marlin and Sailfish in abundance, great “jigging” and bottom fishing.

This month’s humor - although not fishing related - typifies the trials and tribulations of living in Thailand:

A friend who got his Thai driving license five years ago, at the same time as myself, phoned to say we needed to renew, so I got my paperwork together and went to Phuket town only to be told. “Can’t do - Ting tong Farang, you’re a year early.” On meeting my pal we find out, his expires in April 2018 and mine in 2019 even though we received our licenses only minutes apart. TIT.

Comment of the month:

A rather famous boxing pal, John “Boy” Hutchinson, a regular visitor to Phuket, came out fishing with us, his first time on a small boat. He asked me where the toilet was and on his return, much to everybody’s amusement, stated in his broad Irish accent. “Bloody Hell - it’s like trying to pee into a whiskey glass standing on a bouncy castle”. Us old pirates know better – “Never spit into the wind.”

As usual, tight lines to all.

January Fishing in Phuket

It’s Sods Law – fishing was great right up to the start of the “High” season when the spawning tuna flooded the sea with bait-fish and easy food which makes life that much more interesting for us sports fishermen/folks. This is a great example of the exception to the rule:- “There ain’t  no such thing as a free lunch.” Tell that to our local pelagic predators, as they run the gauntlet in a bid to evade the commercial “trawlers” not to be confused with us good guys, the sports “trollers”.

With the fickle weather continuing to discumbuggerate  January, many tourists decided to visit the local fishing parks, who, unlike the boats found the start of the season better than expected with people preferring to stay ashore rather than risk a wee bit-o-weather blowing up their Khyber, while the sea stayed amazingly calm throughout. Unseasonal Mid-January thunder storms cooled the sea and left a film of fresher water on the surface of the salt, this plus the spawning were all blamed for the sudden reduction in what had been great fishing for well over a year.

While we were chasing our tails here, Ian of “M.V. Thai 2 On” reported great fishing up in the Similan Islands which is just as well as he has quite a few booking for these idyllic islands before he pulls the hook and goes one better, setting sail for the Burma Banks. (pic enc.)

What a mess at Chalong Circle with what looks like a permanent traffic jam for the foreseeable future and the pier at peak times in chaos as the buses struggle to get through the traffic in order to disgorge their zombie like  passengers who follow their flag flying tour guide with no consideration for anyone around them. What happened to etiquette and respect? The same road works have also made a huge difference to the visitors to the south of the island and its related effect on the local businesses which rely on this seasonal tourism. I even have a shipmate who visits very regularly and who now says he is not returning until the circle is finished. And while on the subject: – If it takes me an hour to get through the circle at peak times, what are the Para-medics saying about the situation as they sit in their ambulances 3 or 4 times a day sirens blazing and going nowhere?  A Gypsy friend once explained snakes to me, explaining: – “The Krait (Sea Snake) is the 2 minute snake, while on land; the Cobra is the 20 minute snake. But don’t worry the hospital is only 15 minutes away – Not any more, I wonder have there been any fatalities due to this monumental cock-up?

I see the Sea Gypsies are in bother again for allegedly fishing in a National Park, waters that their great, great, grandparents fished, long before the Thais arrived on the scene. Is it not about time the Indians got a reservation, honestly, I don’t see them building a casino.

Lastly, I see via the” Phuket News” that Albania is about to lose its national bird due to Raptors. Please, my Albanian friends don’t be too concerned F22’s are the reason America’s national bird is bald. 555.

Tight lines to all.

Phuket Fishing in October

Well Maties, that’s it official this “low” season has been the worst on record, while amazingly T.I.T. the fishing, when we could get out, was up there with the best. So now we can look forward to Loy Katong and the start of the high season, which to the fishing fraternity means, the “Phuket News” sponsored “PSD Fishing Competition”. So guys this could be your last chance to register and book a boat.

Now, after last season’s very successful venture up into the “Burma Banks”  I have been advised “M.V. Thai 2 On” is once again undertaking this amazing fishing opportunity for their clients, starting around the middle of February  any parties interested in fishing this world renowned Bill Fishing area should get in contact as soon as possible in order for Ian, the owner, to work out his schedule and the logistics of once again taking the boat  from Phuket into Myanmar’s  “Burma Banks” and its world class fishing.

Any interested parties looking for information on Thai 2 On and the “Burma Banks” are welcome to contact me and I will be happy to forward previously published information on the “Banks”. Not for the lily livered, serious fishing!

Keelhaul the swab!

I must apologise to the members of the Phuket Fishing & Boating Assn. The PF&BA’s Facebook page did not allow free access which was the whole point of the exercise, so everyone could check into who wants to share, rent, buy or sell boats, the issue “I think”, has been resolved. I obviously was having one of my “senior” moments. I think? Maybe? Where was I? By way of saying sorry I have added Knottty bits – Enjoy. Keep a weather eye open, might be good news in the works.

Catfish have stingers located on their whiskers. 555 - What a load o’crab!

There is a myth among these “fresh” water fishermen that catfish “sting”, so this old “salty” will tell ya the facts. The dorsal and pectoral fins actually carry a mild venom which can feel like a sting, especially in smaller, younger fish where the leading edge of the fins are sharper and more likely to scratch/break the skin. So if you do ever get “cat nipped” try this old remedy, rub the infected area of your hand on the fish’s belly and you will be amazed how quickly the discomfort goes away.

Another old myth we regularly hear repeated is bananas are bad luck on a boat.  Although many sailors will agree with this statement the truth goes way back to sailing ship days, when they took on provisions, bananas would “spoil” contaminating any other fruits and vegies in their vicinity, as they quickly ripened. This was later compounded by steam ships refusing to carry bananas in their holds as the gasses emitted by the ripening cargoes occasionally led to them blowing their lids with a bang. Although I don’t believe in all this silly superstitious nonsense, please, please, please leave your bananas at home – On land they are great after a day’s fishing, for you rarely notice the isometric exercise you are getting on a boat and nanas are very good for stopping leg cramps which are common after exertion in hot climates such as Phuket.

This week’s photo, while not being local was so good I felt it had to be shared especially as Drones have added a whole new dimension to fishing. Brilliant! 

BUT...

This week’s Phuket News :- Unregistered drones are now banned in Thailand - A tax on the sport of “Aerial Fishing Photography” - and I’m meant to be a pirate?

And finally in the “News this Month”, I see a killer whale is back of the coast. Quickly followed by:- 100,000 Baht fines for smoking on the beaches –and- 2,000B fines for polluting a klong. “Wonder where klongs go?” So it’s obvious where the big predators will be patrolling. Watch out guys. Travel P.O.S.H. and don’t feed the fish.

Tight lines

A Trip to the Burma Banks

April fishing

A vast and belay me hearties, lend me a lug.

This month’s tale goes a bit further afield than usual, to the world renowned fishing-ground “The Burma Banks” where “Thai 2 On” spent the earlier part of the month, with Laust  Bendiksen, Steve Dickson our own marauding mariner, Ian Tubby and his crew who ventured north into Myanmartian waters, if that’s what the sea off Myanmar (Burma) is called.

Could be a sailfish

Firstly this trip means a call into Victoria, Myanmar to pick up the obligatory “guide” before our motley crew were allowed to continue our journey to the “Burma Banks” which has some of the best bill-fish fishing on the planet and is within the comfortable range of most of our “overnight” boats.

The Burma Banks themselves are a series of flat topped underwater mountains covering a huge area of around 1,500 square kilometers. The waters around the “banks” are 300/350 meters deep and gradually rise to 15 meters from the surface, making this vast area inaccessible to commercial trawlers who in the past few years have decimated much of the Andaman Sea and the Similan Islands where we used to have our sadly lamented fishing “club” competitions.

Big fish

Situated 180Km North West of the Similan Islands and 90 to 180 Km due west of Ranong (Thailand) and Kawthaung,  Myanmar  (Burma) Nearly half way to the Andaman Islands (India) the “Banks” are in international waters although economic rights are claimed by the Myanmar Government.

Because of strong currents and no place to “run” for protection from foul weather the “banks” can only be visited, for safety reasons, during our “high” season mid- February to mid-April.

Obviously there is nothing to see, but if you’re here for the fishing this is one of the best “bill” fishing areas anywhere, with Marlin and Sailfish in abundance.

Thai 2 On’s log confirmed hooking into 12 Marlin with 3 Black’s and 1 Blue brought to the boat all estimated at 300lb plus a few (6) broken lines. To this tally they added 1 Sail around 60lb and lots of Sea Bass and Red Snapper all about 20lb.

Later in the month I manager to damaged my right foot and all I needed was an eye patch and a parrot and I could have been “Long John Jimmy”, which brings me to :- Did you hear about the pirate who took up boxing, as he had a killer left hook? Lastly, I’m thinking of a new car, do you think I should go for an Arrrgh-V?

Tight lines to all.

Liveaboard Fishing Charter

Thai2on fishing boat charter

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'Thai 2 On'

Destinations

Racha Islands, Koh Rock, The Pinnacles & the Drop Off, Koh Phi Phi, Similan Islands

How Much?

35,000 THB
(boat / day)

How Many?
6 persons live-aboard
12/14 for Party Boat Hire

Thai 2 On is predominantly a multi day vessel with 3 double bedrooms, the ideal boat for visiting the world famous fishing grounds around the Similan Islands.

Thai 2 On is a 56 ft twin engine luxury motor yacht furnished & equipped to the highest standard.

 

Thai 2 On Liveaboard fishing charter

Fishing equipment includes Shimano Tiagra reels 16,30,50, GPS , fish finder, outriggers, downrigger, fighting chair and harness.

Thai 2 On has a spacious saloon and fly bridge, 3 large air conditioned, double bedroom making it the perfect choice for multi day trips.

Thai 2 On has an English skipper/owner, Iain who is one of the most experienced skippers out of Chalong and really enjoys sharing his fishing skills, catering for the beginner or experienced angler alike. His cooking isn't too bad either.

Included

Food and soft drinks

Included

Hotel pick-up & return service

Included

Fishing tackle & live bait

Not Included
TIPPING - there are normally two Thai crew per boat and it is customary to leave a tip
Please note

All our trips require a 50% payment in advance, the balance to be paid on the day

Exotic Destinations on board 'Thai 2 On'

The Burma Banks

Continuing north into Myanmartian waters, if that’s what the sea off Myanmar (Burma) is called, we have to call in at Victoria to pick up an obligatory “guide” before we are allowed to continue our journey to the “Burma Banks” which has some of the best bill-fish fishing within the comfortable range of most of our “overnight” boats.

The Burma Banks are a series of flat topped underwater mountains covering a huge area of around 1,500 square kilometers. The waters around the “banks” are 300/350 meters deep and gradually rise to 15 meters from the surface, making this vast area inaccessible to commercial trawlers who in the past few years have decimated much of the Andaman Sea.

Situated 180Km North West of the Similan Islands and 90 to 180 Km due west of Ranong (Thailand) and Kawthaung, Myanmar (Burma) Nearly half way to the Andaman Islands (India) in international waters although economic rights are claimed by the Myanmar Government.

Because of strong currents and no place to “run” for protection from foul weather the “banks” can only be visited, for safety reasons, during our “high” season mid- February to mid-April.

Obviously there is nothing to see, but you’re here for the fishing and this is one of the best “bill” fishing areas anywhere, with Marlin and Sailfish in abundance.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands

And on to the ultimate in Big Game Adventure Fishing completely awesome fishing in even more awesome surroundings.

Approximately 600 Km north-west of Phuket lies one of the last pristine fishing grounds left on earth, the celebrated Andaman Islands. In fact it was in the early 1990s that the first friendly contact was made with the Sentinelese, one of the few remaining indigenous tribes, which prior to this greeted newcomers with spears, bows and arrows. The Indian government still strictly prohibits visitation to North Sentinel Island due to the hostility of the natives and the dangers involved in navigating the coral reefs surrounding the island where stories about a sunken Portuguese galleon loaded with gold abound.

In the Andaman and Nicobar group there are approximately 570 islands of which only around 40 are permanently populated. Situated closer to Thailand in the Bay of Bengal this tropical Indian outpost is one of the last unspoiled fishing destinations on earth, a place where your wildest fishing ambitions are liable to come true.

Around Little Andaman Island keep your eyes peeled for the infamous Andaman Saltwater Crocs which could steal your catch and all your tackle. Growing to 8 or 9 meters long this is a serious predator that laughs at 100lb line.

While fishing off Barren Island, around 130km from Port Blair our visitors often take a photo opportunity, away from their fishing, of a smoking volcano which stated smoldering in the late 1990’s and still occasionally covered our boats with ash.

Sorry to relate, that at present, due to Indian bureaucracy and the time/costs involved in getting permits etc. these islands are now too expensive to visit, hopefully this is only temporary setback. As this is the ultimate in Big Game / Adventure Fishing.

While we wish to resume trips to the Andamans and are at present seeking assistance from the Indian authorities, we are still led to believe there is still an embargo, of sorts, on boats from Phuket.