Big Game Fishing Tours & Liveaboard Charters in Phuket, Thailand

Tag: fish species

Phuket Fishing March 2016

Another sailfish

Ahoy me hearties and welcome to another month of Pirate Jimmy’s ramblings.

A couple of months ago I wrote about the El Nino affect which unfortunately for the PGFC’s (Phuket Game Fishing Club) annual competition was still causing unseasonal weather which seemed to have lured all the billfish down here to Chalong rather than their usual Similan’s habitat, for as we continued on our “Billfish Bonanza” which has now lasted since November, while this very popular annual event, although seeing the beasties caught none. The trials and tribulations of fishing, or: – “It’s better to sit in a boat and think of God, than it is to sit in church and think of fishing.”

As the competitors will have found, wind does not necessarily mean swell but it does create chop, white caps or white horses as they are known as back in my “pirate” homeland, Aarrr, Scotland, where the infamous Blackbeard came from. Ow Aarrr. White caps make trolling much more luck dependant as you need to steam right over the fish for them to see your lures amid the surface commotions caused by the “chop”. Trolling multiple lines also needs a lot of expertise, as the slightest mistake or lack of attention and lead to an abundance of “knitting” (fishing expression for tangled lines) and the inexperienced can spend most of their time untangling line and if they are really raw and using “braid” would spend their time cutting and destroying lots of this much more expensive line, which in my view was not designed for multiple trolls especially, in weather, when no one volunteers for Crow’s Nest duty.

This year’s competition was also adversely affected by the fall in the price of oil, as many of the PGFC’s members are in the industry and had been “laid-off”, which in turn led to a few cancellations. So it’s fingers crossed for next year, best of luck guys.

Another famous “maddie” with a nice Sailfish

I am often asked about the dangers of fishing and forgetting normal boating hazards it’s knowing your fish and knowing how to land them. For example, the Queen Fish, a very innocent looking fish, but this nasty has a set of extremely sharp barbs along its dorsal which sting like the cat-o-nine tails. And there’s also a method for pulling in a bill fish which will help you avoid getting skewered like a kebab  which involves handling the bill from above as opposed to, the more natural way, from underneath. As from above your elbow will break away from your body if the fish decided to kick. Best advice, leave it to the pros.

Basically it’s mostly common sense and really, there is nothing out there as dangerous as a Chinese guy riding a rented motorbike, on the wrong side of the road, taking a “selfie” at Nai Harn view-point.

And this month’s Hot News. Trish is now speaking to me again. I ask you.” What was wrong with “his & hers” spinning rods and reels for Valentine’s Day ?”

Tight lines


Fish we catch in the waters around Phuket

Melanie the mermaid
A good day's catch
A strong grip needed

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.


September Fishing Report

Family fishing tours

Hi again my Offishinado friends,

Well September 2013 was another nondescript month for fishing due to the inclement weather so I have decided to answer the most popular questions that I am regularly asked:-

Q. What can I catch and what are the odds of me catching one?

A. Without a doubt Tuna are the most common fish caught “trolling” in the Andaman Sea. Albacore or Long Fin as they are known locally are good eating and we regularly enjoy making sashimi with them as we travel to more distant fishing grounds.

The other frequently caught Tuna is the Short Fin “Skipjack or Bonito” which we favor for making “Belly Strip” bait, to troll from our outriggers when looking for larger pelagic fish such as Black Marlin, Sail Fish, Wahoo and King “Spanish” Mackerel. On overnight charters to the Similan Islands or Koh Rock / Koh Ha / Hin Daeng one might also encounter some of the larger Tuna such as Big Eye, Dog Tooth or Yellow Fin.

As big game fishing is a sport I often use a golfing analogy when giving the odds of catching something special. For example:- the King of our local fish is undoubtedly the Black Marlin which I compare to a hole-in-one and would give it 10 points on a difficulty rating with Sail Fish and Giant “GTs” Trevally coming a close second with 8 points. Wahoo and King Mackerel would come in around 6 and the smaller, more common, Tuna receiving only 1 point.

Between the 2 and 5 point’s scale, Rainbow Runners, Dorado, Queen Fish and Barracudas are also regularly caught.

In the 10/12 years I have been fishing “local” waters on single day trips to the Racha Islands etc. I have only caught 4 Marlin although your odds are greatly increased of encountering a large “Bill” fish if one were to venture further afield on an overnight voyage especially as dawn and dusk are normally the best fishing times. Unfortunately “day” boats normally like to be back in port around 5/6pm and don’t have the speed necessary to stay in the better fishing grounds beyond 3/4pm.

Tuna like most fish are available all year round with Sails being more prolific around June/July /August. October and April are also good months as that is when our weather “seasons” turns east/west – west /east and the water is not too warm. We have only two seasons here: – Hot and Hot, Wet & Windy, this month being in the latter, regrettably “windy” category, so not much fishing.

This month’s nautical funny – Sorry!

Pirate walks into Jimmy’s Drift Inn, the barman says. “Hi, long time no see, how are you keeping” the Pirate says: “Never felt better, me hearty.”Barman asks: “What about the leg?” Pirate: “Aarrr, shot off by a cannon ball, but they gave me this wooden one, feel great!” Barman: “What about the hand?” Pirate: “Aarrr, Lost that to a cutlass, big fight. But they gave me this hook and I feel great.” OK said the barman, “but I see you have lost an eye.” O Aarrr” Said the Pirate, “A seagull deposited in me eye and they gave me this patch.” A bird’s dropping doesn’t make you go blind” Said the barman. “Aarrr”, said the Pirate “ T’was the day after I got me hook.”

As usual, tight lines to all, (when you can eventually get out and off the hard.)


Picture :- One of our best days “The luck of the Irish” 5 Wahoo,1 King Mac, 1 Dorado and oodles of Tuna.