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Going Fishing with Roger

By Roger

Hi folks, Scott guys aboard Captain Deang’s boat have had a good couple of trips with an unusual mixed bag of fish being caught. It looks like the drought is over, maybe the fish came with the rainy season and I am not joking.

The fishing over the Hin Pra Nang reef, 2 kilometres south of Koh Krok has been good, a lot of Russel Snappers, Striped Snapper and Four File fish. I used to call them Trigger fish but the internet says they are File fish and Frank’s biggest 4lb was half of the world record for a Scrawl File fish. These are rare visitors to the reef as in six years of fishing here they are the first.

Out at the Koh Hoo Chang (elephant ear island) Frank and I have been getting into the Big Snipe (bpla grating). The usual size is 29 inches and a kilo in weight with the chance of a much bigger fish of high thirty inche, because of this we use 8lb and 10lb fluorocarbon leaders which will take more abuse than the 6lb stuff. The downside of this is when we saw a shoal of Horse mackerel (bpla thoo) on the surface we headed straight for them trolling thin strip of squid and did not get a hit. It’s amazing how much difference 2lb makes when you are hunting Horse mackerel.

Now and again at Koh Hoo Chang we get bigger fish trolling. It was the first time I have been scared of touching the reel handle as it span round furiously. Normally I slow it down by using my finger against the bail arm this can hurt but if you get the fish it does not matter. This time the run ended and the fish got off, later this happened again. I have caught 3lb Horse mackerel and this run was much faster. Frank got a hit and he back cranked his reel as well as the drag was letting line go. I knew it was a bigger fish, I moved the boat now and again to keep the fish broadside to the boat. It took a huge amount of line, and started heading for shore just like a snipe but it had not jumped. Then it swam around the boat some 100 metres out. Thirty minutes into the fight Frank said that the fish was in control and he was just now able to turn his head. A powerful fish, as when it got within 5 metres of the boat it would turn and power away. Finally after forty minutes I netted a 4lb rainbow runner, and I could not believe it was only 4lb after all that action. Frank apologized for the time taken, I said I’d had enjoyed the action almost the same as he had. Great to see a class fish taken on light gear and no weight, made the day! This is the fourth rainbow runner from here in six visits, in the last eight years of surface trolling around Koh Larn we had caught only three and of a smaller size.

Fishing here has been great on a dropping tide and when the tide starts to rise zip. I have then gone to the south end of Koh Pia less than 2 kilometres north and trolled there only to be very disappointed in the results. Maybe because the last time I was there it was a small (about two foot) drop in tide but the usual area east in the shallows did not produce anything. As Frank pointed out we had gone a long way and we should stay and troll around the island. Sure enough, the west side gave more bites and fish than the east side. Moreover the south end towards the last of the drop gave us six of our biggest snipe of the day. Never live and die with that worked in the past, try different techniques but beware of the fishing gods. When you try something new it seems to work straight away, but when you repeat it, ah those fishing gods love to muck you about.

Have fun, Roger