November Fishing News
Well shipmates, it seems to be unanimous, this has been the wettest “low” season anyone can remember and mid-month we had a “Super Moon”, the closest the moon has come to Earth in 70 years. While a full moon is often good for trolling, the early part of the month was very disappointing as regard catches. While divers reported lots of fish about, we fishermen apart from a few nice Sailfish, found pelagic fish few and far between and my personal theory was that the fresh water from all the rain we have been having was lying on the surface of the sea forcing the pelagic predators into the depths, as very few fish species can handle too much fresh water.
November also saw the grand opening of Chalong Fishing Park which while not being as “exotic” as some of the parks on the mainland, it has the big advantages of convenience and much more realistic prices for those of us who like to have rod in hand on a regular basis. The lake is surrounded by about a dozen Salas and the infrastructure includes an office, bar and swimming pool which makes the place very child friendly, I especially liked the “rope swing” chairs and hammocks which added to the chill-out atmosphere of the place.
The groundwork as regard plants, trees etc. will take some time to get established but it should not be too long before the remainder of the construction work is grassed over, which would be my only criticism of what will obviously become a first class venue worthy of recommendation.
While I was there, along with quite a few well-known local “worm wigglers” I was lucky enough to snap one of them landed a Mekong Cat which I estimated to be around 25k, a nice fish in anybody’s language. (Photo enc.)
And finally November is time for the annual P.I.S.T. Competition (Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament) and not surprisingly; after taking the wind out of the opposition’s sails with staggering 9 Sailfish tally on the first day “Fish Eagle”- Capt. Andrew – and the “Fighting Irish” team went on to dominate the proceedings. From reports it looks like the fishing was extremely frustrating, with sailfish jumping everywhere and not biting, while the Wahoo and/or King Macs were regularly accused of slicing through steel trace. So it’s well done the boys from Cork. The Russian team “Ardent Anglers” came in with a good overall second place score, and our pals on “Thai 2 On” get a day ticket, for the whole team, to fish the “new” Chalong Fishing Park “as mentioned above” for landing the largest Wahoo, having caught the only two of the competition, a nice sponsorship gesture from “Jez” Wilson the owner/manager of the park. Full details of the competition are listed separately in the Phuket News.
So me hearties, that’s it for another month, tight lines to all.
The Thailand Classic 2017
Once again me Hearties the weather kept the boats mainly in port and the fishing was as fickle as a catching a good internet connection.
I have it on good authority that next years “Classic 17” Fishing Competition is altering its venue from the Similan Islands, (outside the exclusion zone), to an area outside Chalong Bay encompassing “all” the local hotspots Green Island, The Rachas, The Drop-off and for anyone wishing to “overnight” Koh Ha / Roc and Hin Dang.
The organizers advise me this was done to allow a bigger choice of boats, including “open” and single engine craft and therefore more flexible pricing for Thailand’s premier Big Game competition. So it’s everything from Gin Palace luxury to bare boards “roughing it” on a ‘budget” boat although I am waiting on information regarding a mother-ship, and landings information.
It is expected that the “live-aboards” will stay at sea for the duration of this three day event which will get underway at 8am on the 1st of March 2017 from Chalong Pier, while the smaller boats are welcome to bribe and corrupt their crews to stay out as long as they like in order not to miss the dusk Sailfish runs, or even sleep rough off one of the islands, which would be my preference on a Mena “budget” boat.
All the sponsors for the previous 8 years are once again on board including the Phuket News and the Kan Eang Pier Restaurant who will once again be offering their sensational seafood buffet at the prize giving on the 4th of March which will, as usual, be all inclusive including wine and beer.
With seven months to go there are already 12 confirmed teams.
Although not finalized, hopefully the registration will once again be held at Mad Mohally’s, “famous fishing bar” in Rawai on February the 28th.
The rules will be as the previous 8 years and will be available from Warren Crowe at firstname.lastname@example.org along with any registration or boat enquiries you may have and with a dozen already registered most of the better over-night boats are already booked, so it’s worth an e-mail.
Fingers crossed the weather improves and next month I will be able to once again keep you up to date on what the local fishing is like.
Tight lines to all.
July Phuket Fishing Report
Hi once again me fellow Fisheroos,
Once more, me old shipmates, fishing was curtailed by the weather and on the one trip out, toward the end of the month, we had one hit from a Sail which lasted all of 3 minutes and nothing else. Great to be out again but quite disappointing really, when you consider the conditions to be good, “overcast, calm and after a storm”, especially after the fantastic season we have had.
I apologize for this month’s article being delayed, but I awaited the outcome of the PGFC’s (Phuket Game Fishing Club) committee meeting, where it was rumored that exciting, earth shattering things, were about to happen, like the arrival of the Kraken. The Kraken being a legendary sea monster of huge proportions, sometimes thought to be a giant squid with a psychotic temperament and tentacles everywhere, the scourge of anything maritime.
Well that’s it, as my timbers are well and truly shivered, I have decided to jump ship as I believe she is now well beyond repair and have advised what’s left of the of the PGFC crew of my assessment of the situation. So no more reports on the fishing club from me.
As Thailand’s Premier Sports Fishing Competition, “sponsored by the Phuket News” is now being run independently of the PGFC I will be in a position to keep everyone advised of what’s happening on that front. For further details please contact Warren Crowe at: – thailandclassics2017@gmail.
While on the subject of competitions P.I.S.T. (Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament) another “Phuket News” sponsored event, has just finalized their arrangements for this year’s “rivalry of the reels”. This three day event will be held on the 23rd of November with the “Early Bird” bookings coming in until the end of September.
Check it out on the internet or contact me for details of available boats etc. for either competition.
Fishing News October 2015
Greeting and salutations my fellow fisher-folk, it’s great to be back.
Sad to say, I may not be attending the upcoming Phuket “Classic” Fishing Competition as the “powers that be” in my absence, decided to save money and not have a weigh-in-boat / mother-ship thereby ruling out single engine boats with no sleeping accommodation. Personally I liked the atmosphere and comradery of staying on the mother-ship and I saw it as an intrinsic part and one of the better aspects of this competition. Not everyone wants to “night” fish especially after a hard day at sea and I don’t see jigging etc. as that important as single engine boats have always been in the prize money despite not night fishing.
The end of September and beginning October we were literary overshadowed by a huge polluting smog. It seems every year Indonesia acts in a delinquent manner and farts in the faces of her neighbours. In my case it obscured my visual navigation forcing me to use sat/nav. although I do know “exactly” where I would like to stick that carbon footprint.
Early in October with my pal David, we pulled in 4 Sails out of 6 hits, (2 DOA’s & 2 released) plus 2 Dorado and a King Mackerel for good measure on the way home, best fishing for a long time, despite the smog. (photos enclosed) Exactly a week later in clear weather, same boat / crew, only 6 Tuna 1 Dorado, but that’s fishing.
I was talking to my old pal George the other day who recounted a great fishing tale.
Apparently while out bottom fishing for Cod (England) one of his fellow fisheroos while being seasick, and to the great amusement of his shipmates, lost his false teeth to Davy Jones. A short time later another fisherman pulled in a large Cod and decided to pull a practical joke on his unfortunate companion by placing his false teeth in the Cod’s mouth. “OMG” he shouted “look what the Cod had in its mouth”. At this the first fisherman grabbed the teeth washed them over the side and put them in his mouth, whereupon he declared “they’re not mine” and threw them into the briny, much to the consternation of the now “ Mr. Gumsy” no. 2.
At the very end of the month instead of the Smog we were inundated “as usual” by all kinds of rubbish as the tides and winds, continued to do as they please awaiting Mother Nature, who like most women, was having a bloody good dither while deciding the date the Easterlies should change to West for the “natural” start to our summer season. (Remember rubbish = Dorado)
So that’s me back me old shipmates, so once again you can start letting me know of your catches, news or any other “printable” scuttlebutt related to fishing in Phuket and I will be completely discombarnicalized.
Tight lines to all
PS Tight lines to all the entrants in this month’s PIST Competition, registration on the 18th.
Ahoy me hearties,
November got off to a very unusual start with one charter for a group of bird watchers who took a box full of the smelliest “burly” imaginable out to the “drop off” not for the fish but to view the local sea birds. As it was a fishing boat they trolled a few lines but the main interest was photographing the oceanic bird life with an impressive array of cameras, and lenses you could have hung a line from. Apparently the “twitchers” as bird watchers are known had a great day as they spotted something, very unusual, that hadn’t been seen for many years, while the crew stood idly by, totally bemused, with nothing to do but polish their hooks.
Sad news – For all the many of you who went out on Mena 1, Captain Heem, “The toothless terror of the Andaman Sea” died earlier in the month. R.I.P. my friend, see you in pirate heaven, you were one of the best skippers around.
P.I.S.T. (Phuket International Sports fishing Tournament) got off to a great start and on the first day 4 Sail Fish and 1 juvenile Marlin, caught on a Tuna line, were logged in. The Marlin although small must have added a load of points to someone’s score tally. Meanwhile, Queen Marlin limped home on one engine having “nearly” caught one of the biggest Sails the PGFC (Phuket Game Fishing Club) entrants had ever seen, and to add insult to injury were disqualified for being late for the evening checking in. Yea, fishing’s not always about the fish, hard luck guys, I hear someone brought a banana on board. Keel haul the lubber!!! This year the first prize went to the Triple A Team, unfortunately I was unable to attend the prize giving which I believe was quite fortunate as the weather which had held off for the competition decided to join the party with a vengeance.
The E.F.T. (Exotic Fishing Thailand) Charity competition which I mentioned last month raised 63,000 Baht for the Make a Wish Foundation, the winner being Paul Panabaker from Canada with the biggest fish and the most species. Runner up was Neill Campbell a well-known local celebrity.
The next competition is the “BIG ONE”, The RBFC’s “Classic” 3 day Similan’s competition; the tournament has only a few spaces left on “budget” boats with sleeping accommodation and food provided by the “mother-ship” and the tournament’s control vessel. Enquiries to Warren Crow at the Rawai Beach Fishing Club’s web site, prices around 40 to 45,000 Thai Baht per head, all inclusive, great value.
This month’s humor was provided by a tourist when out fishing, he asked about port and starboard. I explained “Port is Left” and “Starboard is Right” facing the bow (pointy end). While explaining the safety issues arising from navigating at night, “as the port lights are red and the starboard green”, we both looked round for an example and were more than slightly perplexed to find that our local Thai boats had all sorts of fancy colors some even with “fairy” lights and all this as we listened to the various captains using the ship’s radio as a karaoke. T.I.T. Only in Thailand.
The fish of the month prize, caught just after the PIST competition, goes to a Thai boat, which we will not mention because of their attitude toward the “catch and release” principal. Anyway guys, Great Fish.
Tight lines, me fisheroos.
Hi once again my fellow Ofishinadoes
With the continuing inclement weather our trips to sea have been spasmodic to say the least, so in this month’s article I thought I would write about our favorite sports fish, “the wolf of the sea”, the Sailfish.
Apart from the occasional visit by a marauding cousin the Marlin, the Sailfish is the most sought after prize patrolling our local waters and needs all the concentration a fisherman and his crew can muster to catch, as this speedster of the deep can reach 60MPH and turn on a sixpence. Their color is dark to silver gray but watch closely when you land one, as they change color possibly 3 or 4 times as we hold up our prize, before releasing back to the depths. Growing very quickly, birth to nearly full size in only a year, these potentially 3M X 100Kg fish give the angler the best photo opportunity he or she will ever get as the Sailfish when hooked, is a notoriously powerful and acrobatic fighter.
Locally, feeding mostly on our ever diminishing stocks of squid, to view them in action against a “bait ball” of small fish is something to behold. The “Sails” circle the bait ball, compressing it and forcing it to the surface at which time they take it in turn to attack the swarm with their bills, stunning the little fish then turning 180 degrees, in their own length, at high speed, to pick up the injured remnants of the ball. The water is boiling with jumping Sails, shoals of the bait jumping for their lives and all the time Frigate birds are streaking past you, often at arm’s length, to picking off the jumping fry. It’s like watching orchestrated mayhem and a site to behold. On days like this I realize what fishing’s all about, yes catching is the basic principal but when it comes down to it, seeing sites as I have witnessed, a 500+ strong pods of Dolphins, a Killer Whale and many other magical moments – That’s why we call it fishing and “not” catching.
This month’s pirate joke, and they’re getting worse.
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?
You’d think it’d be the RRR… But they love the C.
And finally, Exotic Fishing Thailand is holding the charity event I told you about last month on November the 25th 8am till 6pm. The entry fee for the event will be 5500 Baht (5000 Baht to charity). Anyone entering the event is invited to fish at EFT the day before at a reduced price of 4000 Baht fishing 8am to 7pm. This will give competitors a good opportunity to work on some strategies for the event or just enjoy EFT at a reduced rate.
Trophies and prizes will be awarded.
There will be a pre-competition meeting at 7.30am before the main event “Nov 25th” and a free BBQ after the competition with prizes awarded at this time.
The tournament will be in support of the Make-A- Wish Foundation and EFT will donate 5000 Baht off the main event entry fee to this worthy cause and guarantee a minimum donation of 60,000 Baht.
If any of our readers are interested in participating in this worthwhile venture please contact Mike at Exotic Fishing Thailand.
Early February brought us the “joke of the month”, once again involving the Chalong Pier’s ongoing cock-up chronicles. In order to alleviate congestion at the end of the pier, some bright spark decided to place a chain across the pier just beyond the “Marina Bump” forcing the buses to reverse, perilously, on their return journey back down to the terminus as there was no place to turn. Dive boats had no alternative but to physically man-handle all their heavy equipment from their pick-up trucks, parked at the chain, further adding to the mayhem. Fortunately on our return from fishing this clever ruse to reduce parking at the end of the pier had been reversed. I have been assured there is a Thai word for logic, but in my considerable time in this country I have witnessed very few examples of anything even closely related to common sense, especially in relation to the marine environment and the pier facilities in particular.
The RBFC’s (Rawai Beach Fishing Club) annual 3 day competition, based out of “M.V.Phoenix” anchored off Island Four on the Similan Islands got underway in near perfect conditions on the 25th, but before it even started, I feel there ought to have been prizes for some of the team’s names, Wasted Seamen and Squid Marks, both Australian entrants, spring to mind.
The competition itself apart from a few minor “granny knots” went exceptionally well due to the diligence of Warren Crow and Andy Bright and the rest of the RBFC committee. The weather was ideal for fishing with not too much wind and slightly overcast even if it was a bit warm in the afternoons, giving us all a good excuse for another cold beer. Entries came from all corners of the seven seas, America, Australia, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Scandinavia, S. Africa, UK and of course Thailand, a real international affair.
The winners were another Aussie team who sneakily claimed a Marlin minutes after leaving the F.A.D. we were just about to depart from and compounded this gross injustice by landing a Sail Fish the next day. Well done “Fishing Darwin” team, 110 points! You put our “Squid Marks” team’s Wahoo, King Mac, GT’s and Cobia in the scuppers, but we have proved conclusively that you don’t need an expensive “fast” boat to get the results. KP Team were joint winners, you will never guess, with the same points. Not a joke, the highly trained, intelligent committee originally miss counted. Tee Hee. Sounds like a brime from SA. What you say Capt. Mono. Despite some poor catches everyone on board the “Mother-ship” Phoenix had a great time and personally I haven’t laughed as much in years, some of the stories were outstanding, yea fishermen and their yarns.
2nd place with 110 points “Mistake” 🙂 went to the KP Team with the Rawai Pla Boyz coming in third with 40. Fish Eagle arrived in with 35, with Ardent Anglers and Squid Marks amassing a respectful 30 points. PGFC (Phuket Game Fishing Club) and The Snoodles 20 points and Phuketfishing.ru 10 points.
I award the wooden spoon to Warren with the “RBFC All Stars” ( Less fish than they had fingers and still couldn’t count) who was in the Doldrums on Dorado, too embarrassed to even come onboard the “weigh-in” vessel for free beer, just because he had fewer points than a toothpick. Only kidding me old M8s, it was a very tough competition, with only 50% of the boats getting on the score board.
The prize-giving dinner was, as usual, excellent, the Kan Eang @ Pier restaurant is a superb venue and we thank them for their continued support. Music by Cold Chili was also first class with guest appearances from Elvis and our own; fishing warbler, Dave “Flob” Roberts of the Walkabout Bar, Karon, even managed to have me dancing.
Thanks also to the Phuket News “Class Act Media” for their support and having the courage to print my monthly “maritime” meanderings.
Looking forward to next year’s comp.
Good fishing after the storms
Friday 26th July, saw the storms subside and Nick and a few friends from Singapore ventured out on Mena 1. To prove a good “stir-up” is good for the fishing as we recorded 48 Tuna, 1 x 8.5KG Wahoo a good sized Long Tom and a small Queenie. Sunday 28th brought in 56 Tuna and a 4KG Wahoo with Dan and his pals from Phuket Fit Resort as our motley crew. Non-stop action all the way! Well done the wind and rain Gods, fantastic days out with great company. So for all you Guys and Gals out there, who fancy fishing in the “low season”, firstly check out the local weather on MagicSeaweed. Com and if the swell is 1.5m or less and the time between is 8 seconds or more you could be in for an extraordinary experience, evading our regular annual storms.
Now, some years ago while visiting Jamaica I was told by the Rastas that crushed Dorado heads made great fish soup, an aphrodisiac “which puts Viagra to shame, Man”. A local fishing personality, Brian of Mad Mohally’s, Rawai, a friend with numerous I.G.F.A. (International Game Fishing Association) world records and considerable global experience confirmed that the Rastas were not joking. Unfortunately there has been a dearth of Dorado recently as I am enthusiastically waiting to try out this recipe and notice that the price of fish heads, especially Dorado seems unduly expensive in relation to the rest of the fish. Food for thought Etc. Etc.
While on the subject of international anglers, Neill of the PGFC (Phuket Game Fishing Club) has just returned from another fishing expedition to Vancouver Island, Canada, with some fantastic tails. No heads just tails. Our intrepid Fisheroo won the prize for the largest Salmon and 2nd biggest Halibut but had to give up fishing around mid day as the participants had all reached their legal quota. So following on from my previous article, it just goes to prove that conservancy measures do work, when, unlike here, they are taken seriously and enforced. Neill I hope you have no problems getting through customs with your vacuum packed catch as your last contribution to my fridge was most appreciated. Lip-smacking.
The annual P.I.S.T. (Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament) has an “early bird” registration policy which expires on the 15th of September, a good discount if you book early for the competition on the 14, 15, 16th November. Get on to our pal Uwe at email@example.com and register before the 15th and Save, Save, Save. For those who don’t know the competition, it’s a 3 day event, returning to port each evening to weigh-in and have a few beers. A casual tournament, very professionally run and Phuket’s longest running angling competition.
And finally, for those who are now “desperate” to find out what a Dorado looks like :- (photo enclosed by Jimmy)
As usual, tight lines to all.
2014 Wahoo Thailand Sport Fishing Tournament
In February 2013, the RBFC (Rawai Beach Sport Fishing Club) Phuket. Held their 3rd Wahoo Thailand Sport Fishing Tournament. It was, once again, such a huge success that 2014 is now in the planning for an even bigger and better event. With a “new name”.
RBFC Thailand 2014 “Classic” Sport Fishing Tournament.
Fishing will be held between the 25th-27th February 2014 “offshore” from the beautiful Similan Islands. Renowned as Thailand’s ‘premium sport fishing area’ some 70 miles N/West of Chalong Bay, Phuket.
As always the Prize monies offered are the largest in Asia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Already there are some 20 enquiries. Including teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa, Germany, Dubai, Oman, USA, Hong Kong,the UK and Singapore, even before advertising has begun.
The boats normally cruise up the day before. Making for a very enjoyable 4 days in one of Thailand’s (Asia’s) most sought after destinations.
A number of sponsors are also confirmed. Including Wahoo Charters, Phuket News, IRE and PPI. Further major sponsors are now being sought.
There is still a number of game fishing boats available, so any team enquiries should be forwarded to:
Warren Crowe at… firstname.lastname@example.org
Before they all go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities should also please contact Warren.
Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament: the secret of (El) Dorado
Hi once again my fellow Ofishinadoes.
P.I.S.T. The Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament
Well P.I.S.T. 2012 got off with its usual bang from the starters firework although many of the boats on the first day reported fishing was a bit of a damp squib. I was even said to me by a friend who knows I write for the P.N. “It will take a cunning linguist to make this sound exciting.” And initially I was a bit worried.
For the past few weeks following the annual beach “clean-up” the waters around Phuket have had an inordinate amount of flotsam including trees, one of which I managed to hit, plastic galore and flip-flips (flip- flops for the one legged), which most boats blamed for their poor performance, but as any experienced Big Game fisheroo will tell you flotsam is good for catching Dorado as they like to assemble around what many would consider rubbish. The RBFC team, after a poor start, took advantage of this knowledge and landed 24 Dorado in 2.1/2 hours.
Bull Dorado being the most aggressive normally are the first to strike but it’s always worth hanging around as Mahi- Mahi or Dolphin Fish, as this world traveler is often called, mostly travel in pairs and the females can be almost suicidal when the male has disappeared, unlike my Missus, who would be off to the insurance people, toot sweet.
On the competition, Thai2On released 3 Sail Fish and the biggest thing landed was an impressive 15k Wahoo, a local prize winner if I ever saw one, not like the miniscule Rainbow Runner brought in by “The Rawai Pla Boyz” on the hope of no one else bringing one in. This was even smaller than our “PGFC team’s” embarrassingly small Queen Fish brought in for exactly the same reason.
Once the boats had adapted to the conditions catches improved quite dramatically and Peter Pauli and the Captain Hook Team won the biggest overall catch. Well done guys.
The trophies this year were, by far, the most impressive yet and the fishing competition with the world’s best name P.I.S.T. came to a very successful conclusion thanks to Uwe Schittek and his organizational team, and while on the subject of names, the ladies from Texas “The Deadliest Snatch” on their annual fishing pilgrimage also steamed in with a reasonable tally.
For those not in the know regarding Andaman Sea fishing, the rules are:-
- Know your “hot-spots”.
- Watch for fish jumping, which is a bit of an art, as the Andaman Sea with its weird tided loves to imitate this phenomenon.
- Look out for Frigate / Pirate Birds. These bent- winged, V tailed, toe-rags of the air, when congregating and diving are a great sign of fish. – This week’s quiz :- What do you call a flock of Frigates – a flotilla?
- Last but not least, when the water conditions are scummy, look for the biggest concentration of flotsam because under it is liable to be Dorado by the bushel, the tastiest and fastest growing fish around.
First posted in the Phuket News