Well here we are, inexorably drifting towards the end of low season, a period of wild waters with some excellent fishing between squalls and when the boats felt confident enough to brave the white horses of the Andaman Sea. ( High Nov – March, Low April – Oct.)
Like many local fishermen, I believe “low” season fishing is better than the “high” and like all regular Andaman Sea anglers I have my own pet theories on why. There is a common phrase that “Fishing is always better after a good stir-up,” which leads some to believe that poor underwater visibility also means more circulating food for the smaller bait fish. While others contend that it is the cold surface water, from the rain, that brings the larger predators to the surface like Sail Fish, Wahoo and King Mackerels, many of which were caught between the unpredictable weather windows opening and closing.
Personally I am of the view, although the others are valid, is that the foul weather keeps the dozens of large commercial trawlers in port thereby saving the stocks, albeit for a short space of time. Over the last ten years as I have witnessed the size of the commercial grow I have also presided over the slow demise of what used to be an unbelievable sports fishing destination. Most of our boats, especially the ones connected to our two fishing clubs (the RBFC and the PGFC) run a catch and release policy on all Bill Fish, but sometimes I wonder “is it worth it” when you can go to Super-Cheap and buy Sail Fish and young Marlin from a huge pile brought ashore by supposed “Tuna” Trawlers.
Enough of my “high horse” back to the weather. Fishing in the relative comfort of the lee side of Racha Noi with some Irish friends, celebrating a 21st birthday, we caught 5 Wahoo 1 King Mac and over a dozen Tuna and still had time for 2 hours partying at the spectacular and only beach on the island. One of the best days fishing I have had in years – The luck of the Irish, springs to mind. The next day was the monthly RBFC (Last Sunday of the month) “Wahoo” subsidized R.B.F.C. club event when we released a most magnificent Sail Fish. A week or so later, out with an Australian friend in a 3ft x 6 second swell, we were trolling 7 lines 6 of which were set up for the “big one”. We had one 20lb tuna rod trailing a bird with a multiple lure and had great fun pulling in over 30 Tuna, sometimes 3 at a time on this light tackle, unfortunately the big one evaded us, but there again, that’s why it’s called fishing and not catching.
Moving away from the water, August saw the opening of the brand new PGFC”s (Puket Game Fishing Club) club house at Ao Yon Beach, a great night was had by all helped by free Cider from their proud sponsors TNC. Well done PGFC a night to remember.
Upcoming Events. Wahoo Thailand 2013
This event organized by the R.B.F.C. is a 3 day (permanently at sea) international contest with some very serious prizes which draws teams from all over the world to fish three miles offshore from the famous Similan Islands National Park. This is probably my favorite competition as the organizers take the MV Phoenix, a well known dive boat sleeping and feeding 24) out as a “Mother Ship” which acts as a weigh-in station and more importantly as accommodation for the boats with no sleeping facilities, making it a great party boat in the evenings, moored off Elephant Rock in the beautiful Similans.