Phuket deep sea fishing

How to tell when its swell at sea

Swell fishingFirstly, it is inadvisable to book a charter prior to knowing the weather conditions in advance, and five days should give a reasonably accurate prediction.

Fishing around Phuket often dramatically improves after a good “stir-up” but that doesn’t mean your trip has to be an uncomfortable experience since many Thai boats will go out with little regard to conditions.

When looking at the forecast, a few squalls are probably beneficial to the ardent angler, but what you should be checking are the sea conditions, known as “swell ratings”, which can be found on my web site under “Marine Forecast”.

So what is a “swell”? It is a two-part equation relating to wave strength: the wave height and the time between waves. For example, I would not recommend going out in a 2m swell at eight seconds or less, whereas a half-metre swell every 14 seconds, could rock you to sleep. Therefore the smaller the wave and the longer the time lapse, the better.

Teacher Trish and classIn other news, I was very pleased to hear that marine conservation is now being taught at one of our local schools. Kids in class 3K, at ABC International School in Rawai, are learning all about oceanic pollution. It’s a pity we could not fill the school with “commercial” fishing boat management, who don’t seem to realise they are jeopardising the future of their children. Let’s hope that when the kids at ABC have families of their own, they might know what a fish looks like.

This month’s catch of the month goes to the RBFC’s ‘Last Sunday of the month’s’ fishing team on the boat Wahoo 4, who like myself encountered large schools of GT’s (Giant Trevally or Kingfish) around “Tuna Rock” south of Racha Noi and landed a respectable pair at 13kg and 17kg. Yours truly, who was also on the scene in the Mena boat, pulled in two 10kg + GT’s on a multiple 30lb “Tuna” line, quite a feat.

Unfortunately for the Mena team, Wahoo 4 and its crew of RBFC misfits have to take pride of place, as on their way home they caught and released a sail fish estimated to be around 25kg. Well done Nick, Robin, Bruce, Stephen and John. Commiserations to Patong Peter, his Belgian friends and me!

And finally a warning, as the weather and tides do their annual change most are aware that swimming off the west coast of Phuket can be extremely dangerous due to the rip tides, but for the lighter, faster crafts this change also means there are a considerable amounts of hazards such as large logs floating just beneath the surface – sailors beware.

Tight lines,


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