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Going Fishing with Roger

By Roger

Hi Folks, Frank and I set off to troll for horse mackerel (bpla thoo) and other surface feeders at the Hin Pra Nang. A reef one mile south of Koh Krok, the actual head of the reef is nine feet below the surface at low water. During a patchy bite my line took off with the reel handle spinning around furiously (I do not rely on the drag setting) then nothing. A big horse mackerel had started a run only for the hook rip out, this happened again, the fishing gods were having fun with me! Frank got a similar run and after ten minutes landed a 13 inch 1 lb fish. With about fifteen fish in the cooler box we headed off to Koh Krok.

Things did not bode well at Koh Krok, it was a dropping tide and at the north end the sea was quite rough, a dive boat anchored close to shore on the N.W. side cramped our style. So we trolled up to the dive boat then back down to the southern end. Normally on a dropping tide we would not fish the southern point, but today we did. The snipe were biting and we got some, lost some and replaced the bitten off hooks. Frank said he had hooked a big one, only to say it did not look that big when it jumped out of the water. I had the net ready and scooped up a modest sized 23 inch snipe. Frank picked the fish up and we both saw that the snipe was not hooked but had the main line wrapped around his bill. I followed the main line over the side of the boat and thought that the hook must have caught the side of the boat, so I reached over and pulled it up. As I did this Frank’s fish cut the main line with its teeth and I pulled up a same sized snipe with the hook in its gill plate. Two fish with razor sharp teeth and every opportunity to use them! Amazing. The bait usually gets pushed up the line and another snipe had hit this and got the line wrapped it’s bill.

One troll over the southern point I latched into another decent fish, it fought like a horse mackerel but with heavier head thumps. Frank said “dusky jack” a rare and much valued fish, I got him over the shallow rocks and then he reefed me, I moved the boat to get directly over the coral but 6lb line can only take so much coral and he was gone. My third lost fish and one that had me cursing and stomping the deck of my boat. Oh those fishing gods!

Scott’s guys on Captain Deang’s boat got two queen fish and two nice sized golden trevally.

My supplies of squid have been running down, so early mornings on a dropping tide I anchor at Naban in about two metres of water close to shore and fish for squid. A long sensitive rod with 4 lb braid and a squid lure tied to swivel with 6 lb 6 inch piece of fluorocarbon is the perfect equipment. On a dropping tide here the current goes northwards. Twenty metres out the current goes south. So I anchor due south of where I want to fish. Bringing the lure against the current is best, it allows me to slow down the retrieval and the squid will be fooled more easily. When you retrieve with the current there’s more chance of snagging a rock and the squid has to decide if the lure is a piece of garbage or a live fish. Garbage does not go against the current. Using braid I can tell the difference between hooking a rock (a sharp unyielding tug) and a squid (a soft tug that gives). Unfortunately snagging a sea urchin feels just like a squid hit! Sometimes I can feel the squid hit the lure mid body and let go as he then feels the spikes. Then I stop reeling in, strike a couple of times, if this does not work I reel in quickly and cast back out about three metres further than where the squid was. When I get a squid I recast in the same spot as there normally be two or three other squid about. When the squid are in it is usual to get three or four in a row, being close in there are Thais on holiday watching and seeing me hauling squid in has them reaching for their rods.

Have fun, Roger