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Going Fishing with Roger

By Roger

Hi Folks, the last few trips to Koh Hoo Chang have been disappointing with fewer and fewer big snipe being caught. As this size of snipe are spawning fish maybe their season is over? So after the last disastrous run out Frank and I decided to split the next fishing trip into bottom fishing at the reef Hin Pra Nang on the dropping tide and when the tide starts to rise troll the south end of Koh Krok for small queen fish (bpla sala) and horse mackerel (bpla thoo). When we got to the reef the tide was in full flood which means the fish will be on the feed close to the main head. I planned to keep the engine running, get close to ten metres deep and fish until we got into six metres deep, then motor back and start again. However this time we could not hold bottom for very long, even keeping the engine in gear when fishing did not do any good. I have fished here on many different tides but this time I was perplexed. I told Frank that low water was 12.30 and by 11am we should be fishing straight up and down. 11am came and went, still the boat was going south at 2 knots. Finally at 12.30pm I noticed a current in the deeper water rushing southwards. This was early October and the flood waters were entering the gulf and causing this current. That meant a change in plans, trolling was out of the equation due to the debris on the surface but bottom fishing close to the south end of Koh Krok looked good as the surface current would push us southwards away from the rocks. And so it was, we ended up with over 150 small snappers. Not what we planned, but we adapted to the change that was forced up on us.

I have been going out to Koh Loam, some 11 miles from Naban on Koh Larn for big fish. After a good start last month I had a few blank trips. A long way to come back with no good memories! I went and checked the tides, the time I got fish it was on a day when the tides were getting bigger. And when we got nothing the tides were getting smaller, so I planned a trip on a rising tide day. It was stormy when I got out there, I even put a buoy on the anchor rope in case of a quick getaway. After I put out three rods with floats set at 90ft with a gap of 15 metres between floats and a bottom rod all baited with live fish, I started bottom fishing. I was not hopeful as the bottom bite went right off, then one rod arched over as the clicker screamed. A large queen fish broke the surface right in the middle of the floats. It quickly dove down taking line and I noticed one of the other lines going funny. So I held one rod and tried to reel in the other line. At this point the fish did a beautiful curving jump and threw the hook. Bugger, and to make things worse when I reeled it in the other line was not tangled at all. For the next couple hours nothing was doing, I noticed that a rod tip bent over and stopped so I reeled the float in and the bait was gone. I put another fish on, and let the other two float lines go further out and this new bait would be closest to the boat. That’s when the middle float rod bent over, I stopped and flicked the lever to put the spool in gear and grabbed the rod.

The fish did not fight that hard and came meekly to the boat after ten minutes, the 3.5 kg queen fish had wrapped the fluorocarbon leader around it’s tail and I was able to reach over and grab the fish’s tail and lift him into the boat. The day started to look a lot better. After checking the wire trace, I baited up and let the other two floats go out as I let the new bait go down. Just about the time the stop knot hit the float the rod bent over, I still had the rod in my hand so I flipped the lever. This fish was pure joy, he ran at right angles to the boat away from the other rods. He jumped and dived taking line, jumped again, I got some line back on, jumped and took line. Finally he jumped not 2 metres away, straight up and did that body wiggle then crashed back, and soon he was in the net. A nice 5kg queen and I got to see all his jumps and feel the power of the fish in open water, pure joy. Have fun Roger.