Thai crew and fishing rods

January Fishing 2016

Well me Hearties, all the best for 16 and hope you’ve all recovered from the festivities.

Last month I wrote about Flying Fish and not to be outdone, this month, Mad Mohally, Barry and the crew of Mena 1 reported numerous sightings of flying Manta Rays, huge rays 4/5 meters across leaping out of the water in what they assumed is part of their mating ritual.

Orca in PhuketMeanwhile further down the coast people were taking photographs of a Killer Whale (Orca) cruising in our waters, and the last time I saw one of them was about 10 years ago, coincidentally another El Nino year. A few days later around the middle of the month (Jan 18) a “very rare” Omura’s Whale was spotted although I don’t believe whoever defined the species as Omuras, as according to the Japanese (who catch them for “scientific” purposes) they only grow to about 11/12 meters and this one was estimated at between 18 and 20 meters, which would mean the lucky people most probably saw it’s cousin a Blue “Pigmy” Whale, found more commonly, although still rare, in the Indian Ocean.

So big game fishing is not always about catching sometimes just experiencing these magnificent sights which can often be much more memorable than a screaming reel.

As all the boats are also reporting superb fishing, much better than the previous few years, I feel it begs the question: – are all these things related and if so, what’s the connection?

No doubt the Thai Fisheries dept. probably the same guys who said they will be looking at ways to protect the Orca, (pause for a chuckle) will claim their long awaited implementation of the illegal / unregulated fishing regulations has worked wonders since it was introduced a few months ago. While this is undoubtedly a factor I seriously doubt if fish stocks can recover so dramatically in such a short space of time. This brings me back to the whale sightings which last occurred at the time of El Nino this was, as I remember, also an excellent fishing season.

So is El Nino and the associated global warming part of the equation?

Well Arrrgh, as any good pirate will tell ya, the El Nino or (El Nino Southern Oscillation) ENSO for short, weakens the South Pacific trade winds and often sends them east causing a fall in air pressure, while creating a rise in surface pressure in Australia the Indian Ocean and here in Phuket. For many El Nino (and Its cooler sister La Nina) periods, at their extremes, often create natural disasters, such as the droughts and famines in Africa and uncontrollable fires in America and Australia, while poor old Europe gets flooded and Northern Asia’s got brass monkeys, so if my theory has any substance: – Here in paradise, for us fishermen, it could prove the old adage; “That it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good,”  For this is the second GREAT fishing month in a row.

El Nino (Spanish) for Child Jesus because it was usually warmest at CHRISTMAS, Not Holiday Season, cause then it would have been called El Piss-up. Politically correct swabs, Arrrgh.

And on to the catch of the month:-

On the 12th January Queen Marlin skippered by Captain Bow, reported plucking a Chinese woman from the sea approximately 6 miles south of Racha Noi. Apparently the unfortunate woman had been in the water for some considerable time after falling, “unnoticed”, from a speed boat out of Racha Yai. A subsequent search of the area by long-tail boats had proved futile as the prevailing winds and tide had taken the ill-fated woman well on her way towards the Indian Ocean and most likely oblivion. Well done Q.M.

And finally this month’s howler:-

A well-known young lady of South African extraction when discussing the Scottish “haggis” in a bar, explained. “It was about this time last year when I was invited by a Masonic friend to a “John Roberts” night, where they actually did a “prayer” to the haggis.”  Priceless!!!

Please keep your comments, reports and tall stories coming in, anything fishy.

Tight lines


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