Fishing in Hot Water
Welcome once again my fellow fish fondlers.
Maybe it’s just me, but I swear towards the end of the month I heard more ambulance sirens than on the supposed “week of death” and judging by the news “death week” sounds like a sound bite for:- Please behave this week as it’s a “Farrang” holiday period. T.I.T.
As usual, as the tourist season comes to its height, the water heats up and the fishing deteriorates as the fish go deeper although a few Dorado have been caught which is unusual, but nothing surprises me anymore as global warming continues to disrupt our fishing calendar. That said, we have been the Sailfish capital of the world for quite a while now for what looks like the same reason, as different species adapt to the changing environment, which we humans continue to refuse to acknowledge. So, once again, please don’t ask me what you can expect at any specific time of year.
Locally, I see the lake “fresh water” boys have been stocking up and I could not believe my eyes when I saw how big the Arapaima at Chalong Fishing Park have grown, since their introduction.
From all reports the boats have been relatively busy but as the European Market declines we seem to be left with “tourist” type Russians, who DEMAND a big fish, not forgetting the Chinese who have to be told you can’t breathe underwater, a sad reflection on their education. It also reflects on T.A.T.s (Thailand’s Tourism Authority) policy of “cheap” tourism as they continue to target quantity rather than quality, and then wonder where their recent problems arise from.
This week’s joke :- you can now be fined 3,000 USD – 100,000 Baht for smoking on the beach, as cigarette butts pollute the ocean (true) yet, over many years now no one seems to bother about the clongs spewing raw sewage and lots of other crap, straight into the sea, as seen “annually” in Patong Bay when the green slime is not flushed away as the seasonal tides change. Now that’s a load of sh1t. 555.
I warned everybody about an impending marine disaster prior to the Phoenix tragedy, now, how about the health hazard issues in our most popular tourist destination. I often wonder – can anything save the tourism industry from Thai logic?
September Fishing Report
Mid-month we were surprised on how many boats went out considering the weather which was only fit for oilskins and sou-westers, this plus the severe lack of tourists not counting the Chinese hoards whose buses in conjunction with the traffic management system exasperates the massive traffic problems at the Chalong Circle construction site, which is the only “bus” access to the pier and parking.
It’s great to be able to advise everyone that all the boats who did get out and “report in“ described excellent fishing with Tuna, Dorado and King Mac’s being the most prevalent catch with jigging pulling in a few GT’s off Racha Noi and the Sails are still out there boys, moving north-east from Racha.
At the end of last month just after I had submitted my previous article, Ian Tubby of “Thai 2 On” fame sent me a report from “Malinda” and a picture (right =>) of one of the biggest King Macs seen locally for a long time 20kgs caught by his pal Uli off “Green Island” Raya, one of three caught that day.
Not to be outdone Mena 1 reported, 2 - Sails, 1 – very large Rainbow, 6 - Dorado and over a dozen good sized Tuna, as Paul Long single-handedly filled the ice box. (right =>)
While nature continues to empty Davy Jones’s locker over Phuket, this is NOTHING compared to the other numerous and uncommon disasters world-wide. All this while America continues to remain in the throes of a nasty bout of the DT’s as their C.I.C. continues to believe global warming is a Chinese hoax. Is he waiting for the water to be up to the mark on the Washington Monument before he reconsiders his stand on fossil fuels? At least he now knows that NATO is not an operation on the foot.
Eric Smulders and his mate David Caduhal took out Eric’s young grandson (boat not named) and pulled in a King Mac just under the 20kg mark, a dangerous beastie at 1.47m with a mouth and teeth to match (<= left). Proving once again, big game fishing is all about adrenalin. Bet that had yer pump working overtime guys, time for a beer.
Staying with America, did you know that you can get a certificate from M.I.T. - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - one of the top educational institutions in the U S of A who will certify you as a Pirate? – Seriously - No Joke - check it out - Certificate enclosed with the name changed, ”to protect the innocent” and it’s not from Khao San Road either. From what I can gather, following torturous enquiries is that: - if you can sail, fence, fire a pistol and shoot an arrow to their standards, according to MIT’s literature you are certifiable. Sounds like the Press Gang just ran out of boats looking for pressed labour and found a nice new earner.
To all me fishin buddies, a pirate question:- “If you could marry a super model, or go fishing every day, what would you choose:- salt water or fresh?” This is an excellent example of “pirate philosophy” which is “The phine art oph philling the brain with phact-phree conjecture.” Which reminds me, I’ll have to get my teeph phixed? Bet you didn’t know pirates once had wooden wallies “false teeth” to eat with, made by the ship’s carpenter and if the prices here keep going up I might be looking for a wee bit of mahogany which unlike monogamy is relatively common here.
While on the subject of old and decrepit it was Jez’s birthday at the end of last month and many of the worthies from the fishing fraternity turned up at Chalong Fishing Park to celebrate his half century along with a few certified (able) dignitaries such as myself, thanks to all. Jez also hosted the monthly fishing competition, with Walkabout Bar just nicking the No 1. Slot leaving the “Black Spot” for the Blind Pews of “The Islander” which actually caught more fish and the biggest thanks to Tony a first time angler who ran away with the prize for most fish and biggest fish. Weef was the man of the match for the “Walkabout” who accumulated more points due to the variety of fish caught which were “recorded” on a points system. The next competition is scheduled for the 6th of October, so come see me at “Jimmy’s Drift Inn” or Jez at the fishing park to register.
Once again me hearties, tight lines and keep yer powder dry.
*Header image - Blackbeard the Pirate - image in the public domain
July Phuket Fishing News
Ahoy once again Shipmates
Prior to the big mid-month storm, excellent fishing reports came in from Neill C. on Fish Eagle with a good sized Sailfish, Fish Eagle also released a young Black Marlin, while Ali a pal from Qatar landed a nice King and Queen with Mena 1. and all the boats seemed to be impressed with the variety of species caught, Barras, big Long Toms, Rainbows, Dorado and of course lots of Tuna which all came in at around 2kgs. In fact the only thing not here at present seems to be Wahoo.
Following last month’s article about Jez at Chalong Fishing Park, I was reminded by Mike of EFT (Exotic Fishing Thailand) that I have not mentioned him since he added first class, lakeside, mountain-view, bungalows to his already magnificent and most scenic facilities, even if he did neglect to mention his latest Thai Cooking lessons for the wife / GF that doesn’t fish.
Although both venues are considered “fresh water fishing parks”, that’s where the similarity ends, with neither being at all comparable; it’s a bit like comparing the Cutty Sark to a canal barge (Sorry Jez – “quality” Thames barge.) While EFT should be on every keen, fresh water angler’s bucket list, for every conceivable reason including potential records, Jez’s place (Chalong Fishing Park) is “an affordable”, chill out, drop in and get your rod wet sort of watering hole with 20 / 40kg sized fish, relatively easy and plentiful sporting fish, nothing compared to EFT’s monster cats and Arapaima, but: – “O’ Arrr, but ye gets what ye pays for”. Details on Fresh Water Fishing.
Between bells, speaking to an old Greek shipmate, he posed me the question.” Do you know we are all idiots?” “You mean, judging by the people we vote for and allow govern us?” I retorted. “Yea, your half right”. He replied. “It’s from an old Greek word, which basically means, everyone who is NOT a politician.” I looked it up – IT’S TRUE – and you wonder why there are pirates who like to run a finger up the mast from time to time.
September 19th – “Talk like a pirate day” – Admit it, it slipped your mind. — TRUE – newsflash from America
Since the demise of the Phuket Fishing Club and its associated “Phuket Classic” fishing competition, I was even more saddened to read Uwe was winding up our only other major competition P.I.S.T. after 12 years at the wheel, but fear not me hearties I have been advised by Walter, the latest captain and CEO, a new and simplified P.I.S.T with a new name P.S.T. (Phuket Sports-fishing Tournament) is now on the stocks and ready to launch. There will be a few cosmetic changes such as “all bill-fish to be released” – “increased points for all other species, except Tuna” and junior anglers can enter free and in unlimited numbers, (when accompanied by an adult I would presume,) are among the few rule changes. Registration will be from 3 -7pm on the 22nd November with fishing commencing on the 23rd for this 3 day event. The venue will be the same as before and further information, such as “early bird” etc. can be found at Phuket Sportsfishing Tournament on Facebook or e-mail Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staying with competitions, the “Islander – Rawai” and the “Walkabout – Karron” are having the second of their monthly “mini-comps” at Chalong Fishing Park later this month and any PB&FA (Phuket Fishing & Boating Assn.) Members wishing to join the fun can register at the park or either of the bars but please be quick, as there is a limited number of seats available at the lake.
This month’s side splitter:-
One day while driving home from his fishing trip with the Monsoon rains coming in horizontally, a local fisherman (Fred – name change to protect the innocent) got a flat on his bike just outside of a monastery. A sympathetic monk seeing his predicament came out and invited Old Fred inside to have dinner and to spend the night. Fred stranded and knackered after a day’s fishing gladly accepted the monk’s kind offer.
That evening overwhelmed by the most magnificent dinner of fish and chips he had ever tasted, he decided to compliment the chef. Entering the kitchen, he asked the cook, “Are you the “fish friar?” “No,” the chef replied, “I’m only the chip monk.”O Arr!”
The wife’s not here, so I’m off to box the compass. (how many “old salts” remember that?)
Fishing News October 2015
Greeting and salutations my fellow fisher-folk, it’s great to be back.
Sad to say, I may not be attending the upcoming Phuket “Classic” Fishing Competition as the “powers that be” in my absence, decided to save money and not have a weigh-in-boat / mother-ship thereby ruling out single engine boats with no sleeping accommodation. Personally I liked the atmosphere and comradery of staying on the mother-ship and I saw it as an intrinsic part and one of the better aspects of this competition. Not everyone wants to “night” fish especially after a hard day at sea and I don’t see jigging etc. as that important as single engine boats have always been in the prize money despite not night fishing.
The end of September and beginning October we were literary overshadowed by a huge polluting smog. It seems every year Indonesia acts in a delinquent manner and farts in the faces of her neighbours. In my case it obscured my visual navigation forcing me to use sat/nav. although I do know “exactly” where I would like to stick that carbon footprint.
Early in October with my pal David, we pulled in 4 Sails out of 6 hits, (2 DOA’s & 2 released) plus 2 Dorado and a King Mackerel for good measure on the way home, best fishing for a long time, despite the smog. (photos enclosed) Exactly a week later in clear weather, same boat / crew, only 6 Tuna 1 Dorado, but that’s fishing.
I was talking to my old pal George the other day who recounted a great fishing tale.
Apparently while out bottom fishing for Cod (England) one of his fellow fisheroos while being seasick, and to the great amusement of his shipmates, lost his false teeth to Davy Jones. A short time later another fisherman pulled in a large Cod and decided to pull a practical joke on his unfortunate companion by placing his false teeth in the Cod’s mouth. “OMG” he shouted “look what the Cod had in its mouth”. At this the first fisherman grabbed the teeth washed them over the side and put them in his mouth, whereupon he declared “they’re not mine” and threw them into the briny, much to the consternation of the now “ Mr. Gumsy” no. 2.
At the very end of the month instead of the Smog we were inundated “as usual” by all kinds of rubbish as the tides and winds, continued to do as they please awaiting Mother Nature, who like most women, was having a bloody good dither while deciding the date the Easterlies should change to West for the “natural” start to our summer season. (Remember rubbish = Dorado)
So that’s me back me old shipmates, so once again you can start letting me know of your catches, news or any other “printable” scuttlebutt related to fishing in Phuket and I will be completely discombarnicalized.
Tight lines to all
PS Tight lines to all the entrants in this month’s PIST Competition, registration on the 18th.
October Fishing News in Phuket
Hi once again my fellow Fisheroos.
October arrived with a vengeance, 3 meter plus waves and 60kph westerly’s which once again brought all the debris in from the Indian Ocean and as usual some of the biggest catches were “plastic”. This may sound like bad news but at this time of year, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, for when you see a large amount of flotsam in one place, “usually due east of Chalong, but it could be anywhere depending on the tides and winds”, it is always worth investigating as Dorado are often found lurking under the rubbish, using it as a sun shield and a way of camouflaging themselves from their prey below. Apart from being a great fighting fish Dorado, otherwise known as Mahi- Mahi or Dolphin Fish are my favorite eating. Two fillets from a fair sized fish will make a substantial meal for four and it’s exceptionally easy to do. Using a sharp knife cut your fillets, place them skin down on a frying pan oiled with butter for about 2/3 minutes, squeeze on some lemon/lime juice before turning over, a few “new” potatoes and you have a meal fit for a King. Arrr me hearties – ship’s cooking at its best! For those chartering one of our “Gin Palaces”, boats which carry white wine and cream, a Dorado fillet poached in a wine and cream sauce with a few shallots will also keep the most discerning pallet very happy.
Now, if you thought last month’s pirate joke was bad, how about this contribution from one of our readers: – Q. What do pirates learn at school? A. The three RRRs of course. Please, please, no more.
While talking about school, the fishing club has intimated that it is keen to involve children in our passion and as such would be happy to take out families for a day’s fishing with the emphasis on the children. Kids could learn their knots, drive the boat, fish, sample “fresh” wasabi and even snorkel, seeing the fish in their natural environment. Anyone interested should contact either myself or the Rawai Beach Fishing Club; ask for Warren, as he’s a big kid at heart.
In conclusion I would like to wish all the competitors in this year’s P.I.S.T. competition, to be held on the 20th /22nd November, tight lines all round. Registration is to be held at the Tamarind Bar, Chalong on the 19th from 6pm onwards. For those that don’t know the Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament (P.I.S.T.) is a 3 day event arriving home to port every night for the daily “weigh-in” and more than a few social bevvies, hence the name.
Once again, tight lines to all.
Fish we catch in the waters around Phuket
Hi once again my ofishinado friends.
This month I thought I would start off with some advice, nothing to do with fishing. ”Don’t ever buy an android “smart” phone, they make you realize how “stupid” you are”.
As the weather has been very unseasonal, with a cool eastern wind persisting all month, the only truly happy folks on the water were the wind surfers, who had a whale of a time. So, with not much news, I had the notion to write about little known facts relating to the fish we catch in local waters, for example:-
Did you know a Marlin can travel around 500 miles in a day? The females can spawn 4 times in a season and drop as many as 4 million eggs at a time. Also known as the fisherman’s elusive “hole-in-one”, it is possibly the most hunted of the “big game” fish, sought after by such famous names as Ernest Hemmingway, Lee Marvin and Myself. J These monsters of the deep follow the warm water currents and regularly appear thousands of miles from their last sighting “tagging” in just a few months.
How about our local Sailfish, the “fastest fish” in the sea, this speedster of the oceans can travel in excess of 100 KPH and it uses its sail to herd bait fish into a “bait ball” prior to attacking with its bill, stunning the fish and eating them as they drop dazed out of the confusion of the ball. Very few people also know sails can change colour in the blink of an eye
The Dorado, Is a short lived but also the “fastest growing” fish in the sea, which can develop from a 1.1/2 lb juvenile to a 40lb adult in just 18 months as part of their 4 year life span. Dorado, Mahi-hahi or Dolphin Fish as they are also known, are magnificent fighters, and as they make great eating are one of the few predators that you don’t mind trolling around garbage at sea for, as these clever chappies shelter under flotsam from the sun’s rays and in so doing stay unseen from their unwitting prey below.
The Queen Fish, which to novice fisher-folks look a bit like a small, thinner tuna is often handled like tuna. This results in extremely sore hands, for on its dorsal there are a series of vey sharp retractable spines. Queenies are also a really good eating fish.
In conclusion, the sad saga of the Chalong Pier continues with yet another boat sunk. Anyway guys and gals on a brighter note, send in your stories, jokes and anecdotes plus any great snaps as we should now be moving into another top fishing month with fingers crossed for the fisheroos on the RBFC Classic Fishing Comp. at the end of Feb. This month’s photo is from Geoff Williams an RBFC member from Durban, reminding us what fishing here used to be like, before commercial over-fishing.
Tight lines to all.
Good fishing after the storms
Friday 26th July, saw the storms subside and Nick and a few friends from Singapore ventured out on Mena 1. To prove a good “stir-up” is good for the fishing as we recorded 48 Tuna, 1 x 8.5KG Wahoo a good sized Long Tom and a small Queenie. Sunday 28th brought in 56 Tuna and a 4KG Wahoo with Dan and his pals from Phuket Fit Resort as our motley crew. Non-stop action all the way! Well done the wind and rain Gods, fantastic days out with great company. So for all you Guys and Gals out there, who fancy fishing in the “low season”, firstly check out the local weather on MagicSeaweed. Com and if the swell is 1.5m or less and the time between is 8 seconds or more you could be in for an extraordinary experience, evading our regular annual storms.
Now, some years ago while visiting Jamaica I was told by the Rastas that crushed Dorado heads made great fish soup, an aphrodisiac “which puts Viagra to shame, Man”. A local fishing personality, Brian of Mad Mohally’s, Rawai, a friend with numerous I.G.F.A. (International Game Fishing Association) world records and considerable global experience confirmed that the Rastas were not joking. Unfortunately there has been a dearth of Dorado recently as I am enthusiastically waiting to try out this recipe and notice that the price of fish heads, especially Dorado seems unduly expensive in relation to the rest of the fish. Food for thought Etc. Etc.
While on the subject of international anglers, Neill of the PGFC (Phuket Game Fishing Club) has just returned from another fishing expedition to Vancouver Island, Canada, with some fantastic tails. No heads just tails. Our intrepid Fisheroo won the prize for the largest Salmon and 2nd biggest Halibut but had to give up fishing around mid day as the participants had all reached their legal quota. So following on from my previous article, it just goes to prove that conservancy measures do work, when, unlike here, they are taken seriously and enforced. Neill I hope you have no problems getting through customs with your vacuum packed catch as your last contribution to my fridge was most appreciated. Lip-smacking.
The annual P.I.S.T. (Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament) has an “early bird” registration policy which expires on the 15th of September, a good discount if you book early for the competition on the 14, 15, 16th November. Get on to our pal Uwe at email@example.com and register before the 15th and Save, Save, Save. For those who don’t know the competition, it’s a 3 day event, returning to port each evening to weigh-in and have a few beers. A casual tournament, very professionally run and Phuket’s longest running angling competition.
And finally, for those who are now “desperate” to find out what a Dorado looks like :- (photo enclosed by Jimmy)
As usual, tight lines to all.