Fishing – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Once again “felicitations” to all my fellow friends and fisher folk.
As usual at this time of year (August) unreliable weather curtailed some of the greatest fishing of the year as the fish, also as usual, are here in quantity as everyone who managed to get out between storms will confirm.
So this month starts completely differently as I am looking for someone, an enthusiastic big game fisher-person for a partner and potential successor, preferably with media skills to take over Jimmy’s Drift Inn & Big Game Fishing, as for health reasons I am now physically limited from getting on with the business, which combined my all-time favorite sports of drinking and sea fishing.
I would imagine the ideal candidate would be in his/her 50s, about the age of my son, someone who wants to live in paradise and loves Big Game Fishing. For the “right” person the financial commitment would be nominal as money at my stage in life is of little consequence.
For further details please send a quick résumé of your experience and ambitions to:- email@example.com
And finally to my “friend” who publicly, on my business web site, takes the moral high ground on conservation, I would like to point out the double standards of an oil industry executive who has never commented on plastics, global warming or deforestation BUT: - Bitches about a dead Sailfish killed by an amateur customer on a boat I wasn’t even on, beggars belief.
We are destroying our planet with more than a little help from the oil conglomerates and you are attacking my small business over a fish, which I know you also have killed. What hypocritical BS!!!
On numerous occasions when one of the boats catches a load of Tuna, you disapprovingly call us “Tuna bashers” and declare this is not “Game” Fishing.
And now a boat I wasn’t even on gets your “customary disapproval” for “Game Fishing” and killing a Sailfish. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.
Our “budget day” boats cater to our customers’ requirements and while experienced Game fisher-folks target, say Sails etc. many family groups with their kids want a fun day with plenty of action (tuna) on a boat half the price of your larger “overnight” boat.
Don’t tell us you never killed a billfish. Game fishing is a blood sport any way you look at it and because you ”like” billfish does not mean they are a protected species. As an IGFA member, please explain how you weigh a record fish? Yes, I try to catch and release as much as possible but not being on the boats anymore it is difficult to keep up to your glorified and hypocritical standards.
My advertising however affects my livelihood and your “friendly comments” to my public web site is disparaging, negative and unhelpful to say the least.
Please – if you can’t say anything nice, a sad face will do. 🙁
Tight lines to most of you 🙂
June Fishing News
Now hark to me fable, me beauties.
Early in the month, June, there were Sailfish galore it’s just a pity the same can’t be said for the fishing tourists who, in contradiction to the official tourist figures, are most definitely in short supply. So “Charlie don’t surf” springs to mind.
The fish were that plentiful that Fish Eagle (photo) once again proved her billfish mastery with two triple and one quadruple hook-up, with all the Sails released, great skills - magnificent fishing. It just goes to prove the high season for fishin, ain’t the high season for tourists.
Quick question – When you catch and release do you think the fish go back and tell their pals “I was abducted by aliens?”
(banner pic) Andrew ”Fish Eagle” and the team working on a “triple”. Notice the ideal fishing conditions, overcast with rain in the distance, beautiful.
(pic) Me old Mate Neill celebrating 14 Sails caught and released on Fish Eagle
(pic) Yours-truly having a “mermaid on the Rocks” courtesy of Melanie the Gypsy frightener
Tuna were also here in abundance all roundabout the 1 -2 K mark and here we call them long fin (Albacore) and short fin (Skipjack/Bonito). Longfin Tuna is the best for Sashimi/Sushi as it is a softer meat and less slick than the shortfin which being a tougher more oily meat is best for using as bait especially if you are bottom fishing for Red Snapper or in conjunction with a “skirt” for the bigger pelagic game fish including Sails.
The long-awaited Chalong Tunnel is “now” down and running, very pretty, my trip to the pier is now minutes instead of millennia, just in time for a young, old friend to arrive with a gang of her pals from Glasgow University “Marine Dept.” doing their thesis /thesiss/thesi - whatever. A few years ago Melanie scared the bejeesus out of the local Sea Gypsies in one of her legless moments (Pic enclosed) man, that was a birthday party and a half. I nearly blew ma-heed-af. - How was an old pirate meant to know in Thailand you buy fuses as an extra?
Staying on strange facts, did you know? An octopus actually has two legs and six arms with one of these arms possibly being the male organ. - So it’s not 8 legs. And the blood of an octopus is “blue” because it is copper based as opposed to our iron based “red” blood. Now, that will help you catch a lot more fish.
As usual, tight lines to all
May Phuket Fishing Roundup
Ahoy me hearties.
And with our entry into May, once again it coincided with the Tuna Bashing Season, more small tuna, around 1K, than you can shake yer boson’s mate at.
Freshwater fishermen are renowned for keeping their favorite fishing hole/spot a closely guarded secret, often becoming extremely annoyed if anyone else happens along by chance. This for obvious reasons rarely happens at sea with all the modern technology, GPS Etc. but following on from my “Burma Banks” article last month, I just was advised of an exceptional find “marked” by Thai 2 On, which for the third year running has come up a winner with one or two large billfish caught on every occasion. Skipper “Ian” has nicknamed this hot-spot “The Big Drop Off” as it goes off the scale on his depth sounder at 350 meters which means you can’t hang about overnight unless you have a sea anchor or a skyhook. Found by accident due to a foul-up at the Myanmar Immigration which changed the boat’s customary course when heading to the Banks, this “Holy Grail” of fishing is now it’s “A Must” for T2On en route to and from the Banks.
Congratulations to Daniel Johannson who has just caught the biggest Halibut ever, “tagged and released”, a monster at 462lbs not bad with the world record standing at 515lbs. Wait till you catch it next time Danny Boy. For those “warm-water” fishermen who don’t know what a Halibut looks like, here’s one we prepared earlier. Picture courtesy of “Big” Bo Neff our longtime resident “cold-water” pro.
Not to be outdone I went out mid-month with a couple of my pals on Mena 2 and pulled in a huge, by local standards, GT (Giant Trevally) estimated at 30/35kgs, a personal best, which will feed me and most of my neighbors for the next week or so. Caught on a steel line and my mate’s Rapala, I had a 40-minute fight on a 50lb leader. Photo above for all those septics who demand photographic evidence, another one for the anals.
Overheard in a restaurant: - Customer “What’s wrong with this fish?” Waiter “Long time no sea, sir.”
Finally, if you are wondering about why I included a catch report from the other side of the world – “I only did it, for the HALIBUT.” Ouch!
As usual, keep yer rods bent yer lines tight and send in any decent catch reports, as I can’t guarantee my luck every month.
From Greenpeace to “G” spots
Hi again my fellow Fisheroos,
The end of June was definitely not for the fair-weather fishermen among us, with 3 meter seas, rain and high winds making our sporting adventures uncomfortable if not downright dangerous.
The high winds and waves also took their toll on the “new” Chalong Marina where bad design and poor workmanship has left the walkways in an extremely treacherous condition, with large holes and loose flooring being the latest hazard to be negotiated when going to sea from this jinxed project.
Following closely on the “buoys” fiasco which led to the sinking of the Russian “Booze Cruise” boat, it seems to me the powers that be seem only too happy to spend money without supervising the efforts of their landlubbing contractors, who should not be trusted to build Lego blocks. The sea, any sea, deserves “respect”; a word many Thai people, especially after the Tsunami, don’t seem to realize is earned and not demanded. This is possibly the crux of the problem, where deference to a clueless superior often overrides good old common sense.
It may be just me, but at this time of year everything seems to drift into a negative vein, which has now been “topped off” with the latest Greenpeace report on Thai fishing stocks, and I quote directly :-
“Thailand’s seas are rapidly approaching a danger zone” – Hundreds of commercial vessels were operating daily in the Gulf and destroying all marine life in their wake. “If this continues, Thai oceans will become barren and lifeless,” – “In the next five or ten years if we do not try to fix the situation and protect resources, fish stocks or fish populations will reach below numbers that will no longer be productive,”
Sad to say I can only concur, for as any sports fisherman who has been in these waters for a number of years will tell you. “Every year the fish are getting fewer and smaller” Some of us can remember when a Sailfish or even a Marlin was a weekly if not daily occurrence. Now I wonder why we bother working a catch and release policy for billfish, as we just seem to be leaving more for the commercial boats who don’t give a toss for our conservation efforts. OK you can say we Europeans did the same to the North Sea, but “two wrongs don’t make a right”. So everyone PLEASE, PLEASE support the Greenpeace initiative, try to back their sustainable fishing policy in the waters many of us have grown to know and love. IT’S IN EVERYBODY’S INTEREST, as the war between conservationists and commercial boats cannot be won. The capitalists may get a short term financial gain but in the long term, as in most wars, everyone loses. You would hope that Thai culture would see the necessity for a bit of Yin and Yang
To end on a lighter note, I have often stated that fishing always improves after a good “stir-up” and on one of the few days we could get out our boat landed 2 x 4k Rainbow Runners the largest I have seen locally. The next day 14 year old Anthony from New Zealand on MV Hooker out with the PGFC caught “and released” his first sailfish, from all accounts he handled himself like a real pro. Well done Anthony.
Photograph courtesy of “PGFC” Phuket Game Fishing Club
This month’s fishy humor – For those ladies who don’t know how to keep a fisherman satisfied. The “G” spot is located at the end of the word fishing.