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Adrenaline magazine - Sept 2008

Funny Fishing - How not to Fish

by Rod Bender


I looked on curiously as a stocky chap with beetroot-red skin boarded, unbidden, our boat Reel Blue. Jason explained that my customer Pete had asked him along. Pete squirmed and then shrugged apologetically behind Jason's back, miming the word "sorry.” "Thanks a million" I mouthed at Pete as Jason turned towards me, forcing myself to say "welcome aboard.”

Several hours westwards from Khao Lak and, for Jason, a sonorous snooze later, we reached the Continental Drop-off fishing grounds. By this time the heavy lures were slowly trailing the boat, buoyed up by surface balloons. I asked Jason "maybe you'd like to have the first go?" Jason politely declined, so demonstrating that for all Englishmen, of whatever ilk, it is as impossible to queue-barge as it is to decline a cup of tea in the morning (particularly while still lying in a warm bed).


thailand fishing


We had explained to Jason that the correct technique, when the fish took the bait and the balloon started to move of its own accord, was to wait for a short while before striking. This he could never quite get the hang of and so, by the middle of the afternoon, the average tally of the party was three fish per angler, whilst for Jason it was a big zero, none, nil, an amusingly round figure of nothing. A fish is reputed to hold a baitfish in its mouth for a while before swallowing it - whether this is instinct or because the fish has enough brains to know that a human may be trying to skewer it, is debatable. Either way it was extremely difficult for us to resist pointing out to Jason that his tally, together with the fair few hits he had had, proved that so far that day he had been outsmarted by at least four fish.


fish koh lao liang thailand


Jason bore his lack of fishing fortune so well that it was easy to forgive him a clumsy cast that almost impaled my left buttock cheek. I did, however, think it was rather unnecessary of him, when I jumped aside to avoid the
flying hook, to yell out that I ought to move sharpish as my back-side was a bigger target than a blue whale, never mind a blue marlin.

Also hard to accept was that, whenever any of the party had a strike, Jason would invariably cast in the direction of the strike, ignoring our pleas of the impossibility of catching a marlin
in such a fashion and on one occasion fouling a fellow angler's line.

His luck, however, finally improved when the message about not striking too soon finally penetrated his brain. In response to our cries of "wait, "wait", "wait" - he actually waited. He was then rewarded with a battle royal against a really impressive beast of the deep. Jason
was immediately in his element. The veins
bulged blue on his brawny biceps, further
expanding the bust of the buxom blonde
tattooed there. "Hmmm, cunning tattoo
design", I thought to myself.




fish koh lao liang thailand

fish ao nang thailand

Jason fought a battle of epic proportions with the marlin. It seemed that at any moment his shoulders would pop out of their sockets. After two hours he finally beat his pelagic prize-fighter. Maybe it’s impossible to read a fish's feelings in its face, but to me its huge eyes seemed full of defeat, exhaustion and resignation to its fate. But it was not to be. Just before the fish reached the boat the line parted. The fish slouched and wallowed with
exhaustion in the water, while Jason was sent skidding backwards into the scuppers, too surprised, at first, to curse. Surprisingly, he finished cursing after only a few moments and then just sat there for a moment contemplating what had happened. Ignoring our commiserations he jumped to his feet with a cry of "no way, José", leapt onto the rail and then jumped clean over the side, clearly
aiming to finish the fish with his bare hands.


Well, it’s no surprise that with such stalwart spirits as Jason's on our side we tend to win our wars. But generally when the British go to battle they tend to take weapons with them. Unfortunately in this instance Jason had forgotten to take so much as a boat-hook with him. It’s actually probably just as well that Jason forgot the boat-hook, however, as he thus had two hands to swim with and therefore didn't drown. The marlin, with a languorous sweep of its tail, glided away as we helped Jason back on board. All in all a good day out was had by all, including the fish, who had been a punk in a previous and badly-behaved lifetime (thus his rebirth as a fish) and had fancied getting his nose pierced with a colourful lure. Our day was thoroughly enhanced by having someone along who didn't realise when we were poking merciless fun at him - and he acquired a story which no doubt he'll tell his grandchildren. Thus, whilst Jason's marlin battle didn't end in the desired score of“Jason 1 - Marlin 0", it did at least end in an honourable draw.

If you suspect that this fishing tale is too far-fetched to be feasible then you are partly right, as it is a fusion of several jackass angler stories. It was only possible to splice together the several different tales by using a single jackass. Jason had to fight off stiff competition to win the role, not least from myself.

Adrenaline strongly encourages catch-and release. If you chuck him back, who knows how many more fish-on-paunch pictures he will star in over the coming years and how many inane victory grins he will inspire. Well, if we don't all start catching and releasing soon we'll all be reduced to fishing for minnows - which personally I'd feel a bit ridiculous doing with my 14ft rod and tackle.
So please don't make me look even more of a fool on the high seas than I already manage to do by myself, take your victory pic and then chuck him back where he can be enjoyed by others after you.


thailand fishing


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