July Fishing Washed Out
Hi once again my fellow fisheroos,
July is a month of squalls as the monsoon season starts to replenish our parched dams which created a water shortage only a few short weeks ago. Every year we have the same problem, while the powers that be allow more and more water guzzling hotels to be built and ignore the inadequate, antiquated, infrastructure.
There were very few fishing reports recently as few boats went out due to the inclement weather and the lack of customers, so this month I thought I would talk about goats.
GOATS, I hear you ask,” What’s that to do with Fishing in Phuket?” Well, some years ago while jigging off the lea shore at Racha Noi, sheltering from our annual monsoon wind we spotted a small herd of goats. I subsequently found out that the goats are an integral part of Phuket’s history. It goes back to the grand old days of the “tall” ships, everyone has heard of gold and silver treasure galleons but here in Phuket we had “Tin” treasure galleons regularly visiting our shores and in so doing left goats on most of the Islands to provide them with fresh meat on their regular visits. The goats thrived and today’s animals are direct descendants of the days when the trade winds dictated when and where you could go at sea.
Chalong circle underpass finally opened just in time for the Baht to strengthen and the tourists started seeking cheaper destinations, and to add insult to injury, the tourism authority says “Massage parlors and easier access to medical marijuana” will bring back the missing hoards, along with the tourist hotels, venues etc. reducing their prices by 10% - what a cop-out. - Don’t worry folks the bubble will burst just as it did in the 90s. If you ignore your history how can you expect to learn from it?
Fishing wise, everybody talks about Marlin, Sails, and King Macs but rarely do we hear anything about Cobia another great game fish regularly found in these waters. A friend once told me Cobia unlike most fish avoid disturbance so when traveling any distance I now like to put out a “shotgun”, a trolling line as far back from the boat as possible. I have caught quite a few of these shark-shaped predators using this method and the only other time I have managed to catch one was jigging around Hin Dang which I would strongly recommend for fishing as the sun sets and after the dive boats have returned to port. Cobia makes good eating and tastes a wee bit nutty but they need to be bled immediately or you get that horrible “sucking a penny” flavor.
Lastly, don’t forget to book early for the P.S.T. Phuket Sports-fishing Tournament (20/23 Nov.) as many of the boats are already spoken for.
As usual, tight lines to all.
Season’s greetings my fellow fisheroos.
As I write this article I was reminded it was nine years ago today they were pulling bodies out of the water after the 2004 tsunami. When I say reminded of that tragic occurrence, this was a happy event, related to me at the Drift Inn as a contender for the “catch of the week”. So this month it goes to a bunch of guys from Australia who pulled a commercial fisherman out of the water in choppy seas two miles west of the gap between Racha Yai and Rach Noi. The poor chap said he had been in the water for five hours after falling off his fishing trawler around 4/5am. The boat’s crew said they were lucky to find him as there was, as usual as this time of the year, a lot of junk in the water and a person treading water looks just like another coconut among dozens especially in conditions where there is a lot of “white horses” white water. Congratulations to all involved, what a Christmas present to give anyone, the gift of life. “CATCH of the WEEK” – FOR SURE!!!
As we approach 2014 and are getting over the Christmas festivities food may be the last thing on your mind but in this month’s article I thought I would expound on preparation when cooking Cobia. Some time ago I had a professional chef on board who caught a fair sized Cobia, he took it back to his restaurant and reported the next day that it tasted terrible. Having tasted Cobia I was inclined to agree, but recently I found out that when you catch a Cobia you must immediately cut just above the tail and break/ cut the spinal column, hang and bleed the fish if you want the best results when cooking. Apparently, not a lot of people know that.
Photo – Something fishy about this guy – guess who – Ho Ho Ho!!!
Wishing all my Ofishinado friends a happy and productive New Year’s fishing.