Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wahoo Fishing Tournament 19th to 21st Feb

I was very fortunate to be re-invited along for this year's Rawai Fishing Club's Wahoo Game Fishing Tournament 2013 as 'Weigh Master', a post I volunteered for during last year's competition. As a full time charter angling skipper, I am not that bothered about actually fishing myself. I just love to be at sea and my pleasure in angling comes from trying to find you chaps some fish and then delight in your catches. With this in mind, it seems a bit silly for me to take part as an angler (plus Game Fishing ain't cheap) so being able to take on a role within the event means I get to go to sea, hopefully do a bit to contribute to the contest, meet some new and very interesting people and get to see a few nice fish!!
There's also the massive bonus that the 'Mother Ship', the MV Phoenix, is a Dive Liveaboard vessel and as such is equipped with scuba tanks etc. The Captain, Khun Po, is a diving maestro and the Thai Dive Master onboard, Dada, is an absolute delight to dive with...brilliant...just like Ai Futaki for those who recall her.
 
 Anyhow...first the fishing. Look at the crystal clear waters of the Similan Islands. It is just unbelievable. Here we are buoyed up off Island Number 4 in Kings Beach Lat 008.34.475 and Long 097.38.234 and waiting for the first fish to be radioed in. My job was to monitor the radio, receive any catch updates and broadcast up to date catch reports. It's a bit like when we do the Conger Festival in Weymouth so that competitors can avoid bringing in fish that are smaller than those already recorded.
 I know you don't know any of these guys...but they are all part of our great angling brotherhood and out to have a great time at sea enjoying the sport we all love. This happy angler is Kenzler Joachin from Germany who was fishing aboard 'Thai One On'. Kenzler took first place in the King Mackerel category (7.85kg) and top spot in the Barracuda section with 3.70kg. He was also in the lead in the Wahoo section for the first two days. 5 sailfish were recorded during this year's event with two sailfish coming aboard 'Thai One On' to give them a win in the 'Most Sailfish' category. These results earned the anglers onboard  a cool 550,000 Baht. With the current collapse of the value of our £1 against many currencies, we now get just 43 Baht to the £1....so 555,000 Baht = £12,790! Not a bad cash prize, eh?
 I met a couple of great lads from London who were working in the oil business in Dubai and who had never fished before. Here's Andrew Stratton with his first 9.49kg wahoo (left side of photo) and a small barracuda. Andrew then caught an 11.21kg Wahoo to win the category and earn himself  50,000 Baht (just over £1k) so he and his friend decided to extend their holiday in Phuket by a further week and do everything they could to spend their winnings!! Excellent..I have a feeling they may well have the time of their lives. I did ask if I could trail along and take photo's etc...!!
 And this was Andrew's better Wahoo to take him into first place on 11.21kg in the Wahoo category.
Tim Arrowsmith from 'Reel Blue' presents the best dorado at 8.17kg which won 40,000 Baht. Very generous cash prizes from the many sponsors....we could do with a few UK Companies and local businesses throwing in £1k cash prizes for you lads ....but everyone's skint back home!!!

Best Tuna was 3.72 caught by Monody Alderson; winner of the 'non-pelagic category was Vladislav Puharel with a 10.5kg grouper with Frank Reitsema coming first in the Giant Trevelly category with a fine 7.85kg specimen.

Apart from the 5 sailfish, 3 marlin were also recorded with Henry Duncan from '4 Reel' winning the Marlin section worth a handy £5k with a 1.58 metre blue marlin.

Last night we all gathered at the Gang Eng restaurant on the waterfront at Chalong which many of you who have now stayed here with me for your winter holiday have now been to.

Hard to believe we've already enjoyed five 'English Winters' here!!

So, many thanks to the organisers for inviting me along...and who knows, maybe next year I will get lucky and be able to take part again.

5 comments:

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