Big Game Fishing Tours & Liveaboard Charters in Phuket, Thailand

Tag: Fish Eagle

PST Fishing Tournament 2019 Review

Greetings me fellow fisheroos.

The beginning of the high season, if you can still call it that, brought about the annual PST fishing tournament which reported record amounts of Sailfish are continuing to frequent our waters, making for another “great” tournament.

Fewer boats than previous years and like many of the other boats “Mena 1” went out without a full complement, which I assume is just another negative symptom of the “strong” Baht, which is a pity as the fishing could not be better.

On the first two days “Hooker” on a fishing cat (not to be confused with “The Oilfield Hookers”) and the Fish Eagle teams continued to steam into a potential two seahorse race. Day 3 brought the competition to an end with No 1 “Hookers”  from the US of A, No 2 Team Fish Eagle and No 3 The oilfield Hookers who had a sprint finish due to my old pal George, another guest for the day, piling on the points with the only Marlin of the event.

As this is possibly my last chance before that irritating X Mass period I thought I would be the first to wish you all a Fishing Holiday when it’s all over and a happy New Year.

As usual tight lines to all


Header pic: My pal Warren on board “Mena 1” with one of the many Sailfish caught on PST 19.

Fishing xmas

October Squalls & Doldrums

That's a nice sailfish!

Salutation and felicitations me fishy friends.

Once again October brought the usual thunderstorms and squalls but apparently not enough rain to sustain us through our “High & Dry” season, while Thai logic still allows water-guzzling hotels to continue to be built compounding the problem. There are stories about a contract to pipe water down to Phuket from up north, so fingers crossed everybody, let’s hope the job does not go to the same company that built the Chalong underpass.

Also as usual fishing between squalls fishing has been excellent for the exceptionally few charters that went out due to the tourist figures which continue to decline in the wake of an ever-strengthening Baht and a load of bureaucratic nonsense coming out of the immigration dept.

It also appears to have had quite an effect on Thai Airways, our national carrier, which when I arrived some 20 years ago was, without a doubt, No.1 and is now in deep in the doldrums.

Check out the flags on Fish Eagle >>

Check out the flags on Fish Eagle

On a lighter note, I thought I would relate the story of Craig, who some may remember from the Mai Pang Bar, Mr. India Soy, Chalong. Craig along with his pal “Sang Som” in his pocket, decided to join the Gypsies and myself on a fishing trip on one of their long-tail boats.

On the way out we were trolling a line which foul hooked a sea (Krate) snake, the most poisonous thing in the sea whose venom would put land snakes to shame, under normal conditions, I would have just cut the line, but Gypsies being Gypsies, Kung wanted his hook back and gingerly laid out the snake in order to retrieve it. Whereupon Grail to the horror of all who witnessed it, grabbed the snake by its head and tail and bit it near in half, stating “I’ll bite it before it bites me” . The look of horror on the Gypsies faces was unmistakable and the story does not even end there.

As we arrived in the area where we intended “bottom” fishing we were all given hand lines and being the guest Craig got his line first and a short time later as I was about to drop mine Craig decided to light a cigarette and wrapped the line around his hand. I said “ Hey man that’s not clever” to which he replied "I’m Australian, I know all about fishinnnnnnnggggg" as he  was unceremoniously ejaculated from the boat, quickly followed by two of the Thai crew who had to swim in the wake of the departing Craig.

After extricating our hapless fish fumbler from the line, which we assume had a Giant Grouper on the other end, our intrepid angler was brought back coughing and spluttering and when he finally caught his breath long enough said, “WTF are you all laughing about, I nearly drowned.” To which I replied “I know all about fishinnnnnnggggg” at which the whole boat, including Craig, burst into peals of laughter, a day never to be forgotten with Craig, The Gypsies, “Sang Som” and myself.

My last Giant Trevally

As I don’t have a picture of the Giant Grouper but here’s a pic of my last Giant Trevally and also a fantastic run of Sailfish (top) from “Fish Eagle” (above) obviously getting in some practice, in order to defend her PST Competition crown next month. Proving once again Phuket, at this time of year, is up there among the best on the planet for Sailfish.

Tight lines to all, especially to all the combatants in the PST competition (21/24 Nov.) hope to see lots of you there.

June Fishing News

June Fishing in Phuket

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

Melanie the Mermaid

(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


Phuket Fishing Nov 2018

Welcome aboard me fellow fishing fumblers.

The beginning of the month saw the usual nightly thunderstorms a few of which were quite hefty. It reminded me of driving up to the Big Buddha, a few years ago, for one of the most spectacular views of nature’s fireworks in action, a truly awe-inspiring experience.

November also saw the start of our “high” season which was once again was ushered in with the sound of ambulance sirens, as the usual horde of “socks & sandal” tourists leave their brains at the airport and rent motorbikes. This year the dangers of driving in Phuket are compounded by the now infamous “Chalong Circle” where you can easily be stuck in traffic for half an hour, which can’t be fun if you’re on your way to the ICU. So, my friends please be warned.

Fishing has been excellent, with “Fish Eagle” breaking her own record by catching and releasing 16 sailfish in one day. (photo) It’s just a pity there are so few fisher-folks about to enjoy our sport at its best, but it’s a very good sign for the up and coming PST competition, which starts on the 21st.

As we steam inexorably closer to the Christmas Period I feel that once again I should share my favourite seasonal story. Some years ago one of my staff approached me and asked: “What are you getting me for Xmas?” To which I replied. “You’re Buddhist; do you even know what Xmas is?” Yes, it’s Jesus Christ’s birthday”. Was the unexpected reply, to which I was more than surprised – until the classic follow-up statement:- “You know, Santa Clause’s son.”

It was just before Christmas and the magistrate was in a happy mood. He asked the prisoner who was in the dock, ‘What are you charged with?’ The prisoner replied, ‘Doing my Christmas shopping too early.’ ‘That’s no crime’, said the magistrate. ‘Just how early were you doing this shopping?’ ‘Before the shop opened’, answered the prisoner.
As usual, tight lines to all.

Great Fishing on the Burma Banks

Monster catch

The beginning of the month saw the return of M V Thai 2 On from her annual trip up north to the world renowned Burma Banks where once again they saw plenty of action, with our old shipmate Ian “Tubsy” Tubbs admitting with a “red face” that he just missed the Grand Slam record, (A Black Marlin, a Blue Marlin and a Sailfish in one day’s fishing.) by failing to land the “easy” one, the Sail, but the overall count was still impressive with Ian’s catch report for his two back to back trips reading as follows :-

9 Marlin raised - 5 strikes – 3 caught with the biggest being a 560lb Blue. GTs up to 50lb – Dog Tooth Tuna and snapper.

Fish Eagle also submitted a catch report stating the bottom fishing around Racha Noi, mid-month, was excellent as they pulled in some nice Grouper and Snapper.

The Burma Banks

An easy, but full day’s cruise from Phuket, fishing most of the way, Phuket boats arrive at the Thai / Myanmar border, which for the first and last bookings of the season is a “free day” to T2On’s lucky passengers. During the rest of the season normal procedure is for the crews to pick up their passengers on the Thai side of the border “Ranong” for the short trip across to Myanmar (Burma) “Victoria” to welcome aboard their compulsory Myanmar guide and pay the 100 USD entry fee which then allows her access to very possibly the best Bill Fish fishing anywhere.

For those unacquainted with the Burma Banks this is a huge plateau covering some 1,500 square kilometers. The waters surrounding the banks are 300/350 meters deep rising in an easy gradient to around 15 meters from the surface, making this vast area inaccessible to the commercial trawlers who in the past few years have severely impacted our sports trolling elsewhere in the region. (Notice the difference in spelling - the difference between net and line – sports and commercial fishing.)

Situated 180km North West of the Similan Islands and 90 to 180 Km due west of Ranong (Thailand) and Kawthaung, Myanmar (Burma) Nearly half way to the Andaman Islands (India) although in international waters the economic rights are claimed by the Myanmar Government hence the entry fee and compulsory guide who so far has always acted as a useful and welcome member of the crew.

Because of strong currents and no place to “run” for protection from foul weather, the “banks” can only be visited during our “high” season, mid- February to April, for obvious safety reasons.

Understandably there is nothing to see but sea, then again - let’s face it Guys, you’re here for the fishing and this is one of the best fishing areas anywhere, with Marlin and Sailfish in abundance, great “jigging” and bottom fishing.

This month’s humor - although not fishing related - typifies the trials and tribulations of living in Thailand:

A friend who got his Thai driving license five years ago, at the same time as myself, phoned to say we needed to renew, so I got my paperwork together and went to Phuket town only to be told. “Can’t do - Ting tong Farang, you’re a year early.” On meeting my pal we find out, his expires in April 2018 and mine in 2019 even though we received our licenses only minutes apart. TIT.

Comment of the month:

A rather famous boxing pal, John “Boy” Hutchinson, a regular visitor to Phuket, came out fishing with us, his first time on a small boat. He asked me where the toilet was and on his return, much to everybody’s amusement, stated in his broad Irish accent. “Bloody Hell - it’s like trying to pee into a whiskey glass standing on a bouncy castle”. Us old pirates know better – “Never spit into the wind.”

As usual, tight lines to all.

Phuket Fishing January 2017

Random fishing picture

Ahoy me Hearties,

The main topic of conversation at the beginning of the month remained to be the weather, as the “winter” continued to encroach on what should be “summer” leaving much of the South of Thailand under water and conditions at sea – sure flushed the scuppers.

It’s quite common for the local fishermen to be asked “What’s in season?” Which at one time was quite a reasonable question but now with the massive changes in the weather, whether it be El Niño, global warming or a natural cycle no one has told the fish which quite frankly, are not too bright, in my case, with the odd exception. The one that got away!

For posterity, in case things never change back to normal, “bill fish” Marlin and Sailfish are usually here in the first and last 2/3 months of the year along with most of the other “prise” fish such as Wahoo and King Mackerel who tend to arrive and depart about a month or two behind their pointy nosed pals. While Tuna, long and short fin, (Albacore and Skip Jack) are here intermittently all the year round with their larger cousins, (Yellow Fin. Big Eye and Dog tooth) popping up on occasion, just to confuse the issue.

So my advice, right now, is get out there, for the “weird” weather, in relation to local fishing, has never been better, proving the point that “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.”

PIST fishing tournamentStill with the unusual consequences of climate change, the Fish of the Month prize goes to Ian of Thai 2 On who landed a Yellow Fin Tuna the first that’s been heard of in these waters for as long as I can remember. This makes a change from congratulating Fish Eagle on their long run of Sailfish targeting which didn’t slow down any, after they ran away with the trophies on the P.I.S.T. competition. And while we’re on about the Phuket International Sports-fishing Tournament , (Sponsored by the Phuket News) it has just been announced that the our next chance to compete will be the 22nd to the 25th November, As I assume it will be a 3 day affair as usual I would also assume the 22nd is the registration date. For further information please contact Michael Hochgeladen on 081 719 5766.

I was glad to see an end to 2016 but now I would like to add January 17 to that list as the weather and Thailand’s internal affairs continued to unsettle small businesses, as the “quality” tourist market continues to shrink despite all the “positive” propaganda issued by the relevant authorities. The “powers that be” just can’t hide the fact that their advertising attracted the wrong type of clientele meaning that little or nothing was done for the bread and butter businesses of Phuket while their counterparts in the roads department continued to dig holes in our little corner of paradise.

Tight lines to all.