Monday, January 14, 2013

Wild Time in the Similan Islands


 We've just returned from our latest fishing trip to the Similan Islands area...about 50 miles to the west of Koa Lak to the North of Phuket. Onboard the 3 day Liveaboard trip were Jez Wilson, self-employed builder from London, Software Developer Heath Barnard from Poole, Dorset, Self-employed plumber Mike Howcroft; Tackle Entrepeneur and Fishing Guide, Mr Moo from Phuket and me, Whittall of Weymouth. It will be noted that several of the party are members of the recently formed Offshore Rabble S.A.C. which came out of that lose array of chums gleefully co-ordinated by Mr Colin Gill.

Conditions were hot (30 degrees+); sunny and reasonably calm but with a welcome breeze blowing throughout the day.
 We were fishing a whole range of methods....trolling, which produced small tuna, dorado and mackerel; baitfishing for livebait; popping, jigging and fishign at anchor in depths from 35 metres to 240 metres! It was the fishing in the deep water...on the drift and at anchor...that produced the bulk of the fish. Here's Jez with a 50lb grouper.....battled up from 240 metres.
 Mr Moo, who supplied all the gear....7 sets each of top quality tackle....bends into another backbreaking grouper that weighed in at 40lb.
 Star of the show...Mr Heath Barnard....caught a good run of grouper and red snapper..
 ...here's one of the rock groupers....
 ...and here's Mike with a very nice yellow snapper..........
 Just take a look at these fabulous red snapper.........Heath caught these two on a three hook paternoster rig fished at 220 metres.
 And another fine snapper....the snapper were all caught just as dusk fell. As is often the case in this part of the world, the best fishing took place at dusk.
 Saying that...we still caught some fantastic fish during the day. Here's another grouper caught this time on the drift and again weighing in at about 50lb for Heath.
 And the best one..........quite a handful to lift and plenty of razor sharp teeth if you are silly enough to stick your fingers in a grouper's mouth (Heath tested this...the blood supply to his fingers is good!)
 There's was even time for one of the lads to take a photo of me with a fish....another nice grouper. Not up to Heath's standard but a great fish to catch all the same.
 Mr Moo did us proud...........top level tackle.......Shimano Baitrunners for the jigging and popping with Penn rods and reels for the trolling.
 A very substantial array of gear......7 different sets each to cater for the different styles we tried out over the 3 days. And three days means 3 days....we fished until midnight and started again at 0500...with at least one of us always fishing.
 Yeah....the camera went out of focus...but you can get an idea of what we caught......
And today.our Jai was doing what she does best...............filleting all the fish.......she's always got a smile on her face when she's working. What a diamond she is...and tonight we shall start to sample some of the many fish which are now in the fridge and freezer.

Hard work..............and hot...........but superb. Well Done to Mr Moo for his enthusiasm and to the Thai crew and skipper for finding us so many fish. Well Done to the lads for keeping at it and not flinching in the face of 240 metre depths....I don't EVER want to hear any of you grizzling about our Duckpond of an English Channel after this...even the Hurd Deep wrecks are only 127 metres!!

2013 should be the year when you anglers get down that gym...get yourseves fit and in sleek shape like our ersthwile team on this latest trip...and RELISH the challenge of deep water fishing!!!!

1 comment:

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