Big Game Fishing Tours & Liveaboard Charters in Phuket, Thailand

Tag: fishing boat

September Fishing Banter

Duyfken Phuket Fishing

This month’s yarn starts with a trip back in time, back to 1606 when Williem Janszoon (Australia’s Columbus) was the first European to discover Australia on a little “privateer” called DUYFKEN, “Dutch for Little Dove” making this cute little ship the Aussie equivalent of the Mayflower, Santa Maria or  Mary Rose.

Now you may ask, “What’s Jimmy prattling on about Australian history for, especially in a fishing column based out of Phuket?

Well me Jolly Jack Tars, for any of you who know Brian “Mad” Mohally, you were actually witnessing history, through his experiences of another famous boat of the same name “Duyfken”, a boat that if it wasn’t for her famous predecessor, would be up there with Hemmingway’s Pilar and Joan’s Ark. Why? Because this boat has caught more IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) world records and Ghanaian (Africa) records than any other sports fisher.

As I write and having sold Duyfken, Brian is on his way to the Philippines to oversee a 280,000 USD refit of this custom built sports fisher. Designed by F. W. Woodnutt,  this 40” Riviera has a plane-ing hull similar to that of the torpedo boats of WW2 and can turn on a piece of eight using her two powerful engines for steerage. Brian can’t remember how many records he has as many have been subsequently broken but between Brian and the many professionals who have owned and chartered the boat over the years, including the IGFA “Hall of Fame” angler Peter B Wright, Duyfken has more records than any craft afloat.

Image - Duyfken sports fishing boat

Duyfken
Brian's wall of fame

A visit to Mad Mohally’s Bar (Irish Bar) in Rawai, Phuket is a must for all Big Game afishinados as the walls are covered in photographs, and trophies of record catches and fishing experiences that most devotees can only aspire to in their wildest dreams, many of which were taken from Duyfken.

After her refit it is planned Duyfken will spend 4 months on the Australian Great Barrier Reef, 4 in Sai Pan, (Marianas Trench) and 2 in the Philippines with Brian retaining a few weeks every year to work on this already considerable reputation as a fisherman AND storyteller, the latter being an occupational hazard for us old salties.
Image - Brian's wall of fame

And this week’s humor since I am writing about boat’s names, here’s a few crackers:-

Campbell’s Sloop, Sea-Nile, Titan Uranus, Ship-for-Brains, Wasted Seamen, A-Salt Weapon, Settlement & In Solvent Sea.

Image - Duyfken with her mother ship weighing in a 1000lb + Marlin (picture Australian Fishing Museum)

Duyfken with her mother ship weighing in a 1000lb + Marlin (picture Australian Fishing Museum)

Club News :- The Thailand Sports Fishing Club, (TSFC) the “new” club that now runs the Thailand’s premier “Classic” Fishing Competition,  (1st /3rd March) sponsored by the Phuket News has now confirmed it has a five man “tournament committee” team and a growing 50 plus membership all raring to go. Enquiries for the competition should be directed to Warren Crowe at thailandsportsfishingclub.com.

Finally it’s nice to see the Phuket Game Fishing Club (PGFC) has not lost its sense of humor either. After rescinding my life membership (for services rendered) because of my recent article (Kraken – July 16) that amusingly high-lighted the gross mismanagement of the club, which at the time of my resignation from the committee had resulted in a paid-up membership you could count on your fingers, “no thumbs” the PGFC committee now wants me to pay 2,000 Baht to renew my membership. Hysterical!!!

As usual, tight lines to all,

Jimmy   

February Fishing in Phuket, 2016

Mena 3 at Racha Noi

Hi once again my fellow fisheroos

And blistering barnacles what a month February was, more wind than a fishing club committee meeting, but that said, between gusts the fishing continued to be the best in years with most of the boats reporting Sails in abundance.

Staying on the subject of boats, I thought this month I would share the sign, which has pride of place in Jimmy’s Drift Inn, Rawai, which reads:-

We offer three kinds of service

GOOD – CHEAP – FAST 

YOU CAN PICK ANY TWO.

Good service Cheap won’t be Fast.

Good service Fast won’t be Cheap.

Fast service Cheap won’t be Good.

This sign summarizes the fishing boat business/industry perfectly, as basically there are three types of fishing charter boat here in Phuket.

Firstly there is Good & Cheap, the single engine “day” boat or “budget” boat capable of not much more than ten knots, which has its lines in the water the moment it’s out of National Park (Chalong Bay) waters. These boats are ideal for day trips for armature and enthusiast alike and here in Thailand offer probably the cheapest big game fishing on the planet. Trolling 6 lines these boats compete favourably with anything afloat and make sports fishing, one of the most expensive participant sports,  affordable to just about everyone, about half the price to the next step up.

Next is the twin engine “overnight” boat, which are also regularly used for “day” fishing by those who want a bit more space and comfort, but are specifically designed for “overnighting” for 5/6 passengers. These boats would also come under the Good & Cheap category as like the “day” boats they are not fast but having two engines (safety reasons) can take you to places the single engine boats only go in groups for competitions etc. the Similan Islands and Kho Ha / Koh Roc, Hin Dang. These boats are around twice the price of “day boats” but still great value for money and often cheaper than some hotels. These boats are regularly less than half or a third of the price of the “Gin Palace” Hi speed sports boats.

Lastly there are the “Sports Fishers” these boats although trolling the same amount of lines and carrying similar gear are the top end of the business, taking you where you want to go at speeds up to 30 knots or more with all the comforts of home including TV etc. With twin 350 or 500 turbo diesel engines these guys guzzle the juice and are priced accordingly. If you get one of these Cheap it won’t be Good. From a fishing point of view the single engine “budget” boats, in competitions, compete remarkably well at a fraction of the costs, but don’t go looking for steaks, caviar and champers. Really “rich” people tend to carter these boats, but to my mind “you can’t be rich if you have to hurry your fishing”.

This month’s amusing anecdote:-

At the local market I bought a Kilo of good size “bait” squid. I thought the bin was a bit steep at 300 Baht, until I thought “That was 6 Quid for six squid”.

Tight lines all, especially the boys of the PGFC who’s annual competition will be in full swing, around the Similan Islands, as the ink dries on this copy of the Phuket News. One of their generous sponsors.

Hope the wind calms down,

Jimmy

Shots fired as boats are being robbed Fri. 26th April

What an exciting end to April. Following a spate of thefts from boats, when Da Vinci’s silent alarm went off the captain went out to the boat to be greeted by gunfire. Police were alerted and the “late night” boys at the Chalong Beach bars witnessed a gun battle between the authorities and the pirates who had already knifed a Farang who was sleeping on his boat and surprised them as they came on board. All the culprits are now in custody so let’s hope all you guys from the PGFC (Phuket Game Fishing Club) get your gear back now that the water has cooled down after the rain and the fish are jumping again. Lots of GT’s (Giant Trevallies / Kingfish) around Buddha Island, and has anyone else noticed there seems to be many more Long Toms (Garfish / Sea Needles / Crocodile Fish ) than usual?

Even closer to home, for those of you who have been at my place, (Jimmy’s Drift Inn on Sai Yuan, Rawai) you may have notice that two large fish that were in my tropical aquarium are missing. I had mentioned to Bee, my bar manageress, that the two Giant Gouramies were getting a bit too big for the tank and I was going to give them to Buddha. (drop them in the lake) On hearing this one of my maintenance men asked if he could have them. He then proceeded to put them in a plastic bag with no water, when I asked. “What the H*** are you doing”. He replied. “Taking them home to eat”. T.I.T. This is Thailand.

My sincere apologies go out to my fellow fisheroos who missed April’s last Sunday of the month’s fishing trip courtesy of “Wahoo”. There was a serious breakdown in communications for which the RBFC, Wahoo and I can only say sorry and we will get you out ASAP. Commiserations also to Jan Andersen of the R.B.F.C (Rawai Beach Fishing Club) after his motorcycle accident, hope you get well soon and start pulling them in again.

And finally, Our joint birthday party (Martin, Laurence and Jimmy) on “Rosie’s Beach” Bon Island had an unexpected visitor, Melanie the Mermaid. No it wasn’t a mass hallucination brought on by copious amounts of alcohol as the pictures enclosed will confirm. The Sea Gypsies who handled the catering and acted as water taxies for the party, of about 40 revelers, were absolutely flipper-gasted.

Tight lines, Jimmy.

Melanie the Mermaid

Jim and Melanie the Mermaid

Melanie the Mermaid swimming in the water

No Fish

Hi again my fellow ofishinadoes.

March was a very poor fishing month, being in the hottest period of the year. Yes me hearties, fishing’s been as tough as trigonometry, with the high water temperature, (31C surface and 29C at 10 meters – normal 28C) and it was also suggested it was the spawning season for the Tuna as we could see them but rarely did they go for lures but this did not deter two members of the P.G.F.C. (Phuket Game Fishing Club). These intrepid anglers decided to go further afield in search of the “big” one and ended up at Bungsamran near Bangkok where they landed a 109 Kilo Giant Mekong Catfish only 8 Kilos short of the world record of 117 Kilos which was caught closer to home at Gillham’s Resort, Krabi.

Our pal Uwe, also looking for some sizeable beasties, took M.V.Hooker to the Andaman Islands and came back sporting a 100 Kilo Dogtooth Tuna among his other trophies, while M.V. Dorado on the same trip had to return on one engine and more than their fair share of electrical problems, hard luck guys, the Andaman Islands, while being the ultimate in fishing for our local boats, are always an extremely tough trip.

I see the Sea Gypsies are under fire again, for using their traps and catching reef and undersize fish thereby reducing the fish stocks. Who dreams up this nonsense? Obviously not someone who has been at sea, surrounded by commercial trawlers. Please- keep up to date with the plight of the Gypsies and their fight to keep their land in Rawai from falling into the hands of developers. They are part of the Island’s culture. Make your thoughts known as many now have “Save the Sea Gypsies”.

And how about yesterday, (Wed 17th) a quick glimpse as a big fish went screaming by my bar in the back of a pick-up WITH A POLICE ESCORT lights flashing, ME MAW – ME MAW. Consumed with curiosity and on further investigation we are led to believe 3 dolphins were washed up at the shore in Nai Harn. Two were released back to sea and the third had been injured on the rocks and apparently that was the poor beastie we saw screaming down Sai Yuan on the way to the Marine Biology Dept. at the Aquarium. Well done police and best of luck Flipper.

Last but not least:- Heard about the guy who put his boat in for repair? He was told the boat would be ready on Wednesday but unfortunately he was called away on business and when he arrived on the Friday, to pick it up, his boat was on the slipway, completely surrounded by wet cement. They had decided to repair the slipway, all but the part his boat was parked on, right in the middle. I have been advised there is a word in Thai for logic.

Tight lines to all.

Jimmy