Fishing in Thailand: Salt or Freshwater… Does it EXIST?

Back in Florida I fished quite a bit. I had a kayak and I’d launch it off the dock in the back of the apartment complex I was in and get lost in Tampa Bay for a whole day. I’d packed enough to eat and had some water and I’d just paddle around and fish for 10 hours at a time. There were some cool little islands to stop off at and I usually met some great guys (and girls) while out on the water.

When I came to Thailand I brought 2 of my PENN reels thinking that there MUST be some decent fishing here. After all, Thailand has a couple thousand kilometers of coast, doesn’t it? As I asked myself that question I remembered trying to fish in Hawaii – long days spent catching only reef fish and barracuda – both of which were infected with this strange bacteria – ciguaterra, that poisoned the fish and made it inedible. In fact, it had a very odd side-effect…

If you ate some infected fish, you may get this feeling that you are VERY HOT but, it is very cold where you are. Or the reverse. If you are in 100 degree F weather you may feel VERY cold – like you’re going to die. If someone gives you blankets because you say you are cold… it will just serve to make you FEEL MORE COLD and not resolve the problem at all.

Strange eh?

So, Hawaii coast fishing was only good for Ulua – monster Jack Crevalles that lurked in the 30 foot plus range and that were typically over 100 lbs in weight. They were fish that you might catch once in 2 weeks, at night in the middle of the morning 2-3am the cowbells on your rod would start going off…

No fun for me. I like to be banging fish left and right – bang, a trout. Bang, a redfish. Bang, a flounder. Bang, a snook. Bang, “damn catfish!”. Bang, “damn puffer-fish!”. Bang, a small shark. Bang, a snapper. Bang, a Kingfish. Bang, a permit. Bang, “damn these stupid catfish and puffers!”.

After being here a while the only fish I heard that seemed like a worthwhile catch was this 600 lb plus catfish that someone pulled out of the Mekong river… or Moon River in Isaan – can’t remember which one.

I have watched hundreds of fishers and seen NO catchers here. I don’t count a “catch” as someone pulling in a fish under 1 lb. I have seen Thais’ catch baitfish… that’s not all that interesting to me. I don’t want fish for my aquarium. I want a fish that is going to FIGHT me and resist coming in. Not just take up some slack in my line and force me to reel in, pull him off, re-bait and throw out again. I’d rather catch 3 lb catfish as at least it’s exciting until I feel the typical fight on the other end that tells me “cat”.

Does ANYBODY catch anything over here worth talking about – from the shore? I would love to hear about it…