Hello again anglers and friends. It is yet another cold and chilly day in the Bangtastic City of Angels. Forecasts predicts that it’s going to be a cold one all the way until the end of Wednesday. With the weather being so weird Thai people are wearing jackets in what is supposed to be the hottest period of the year.
This cold weather has been happening for quite some time. In fact, it’s been like this for about two weeks now with the occasional spell of extremely hot weather. Cold weather and monsoon rains during the country’s “dry season”. Yup, the weather is starting to get a little crazy.
Speaking of crazy weather, my fishing trip this past Saturday in Bang Pakong was definitely not short of it. Invited by my new friend Alex West (whom I had met through this blog), together we went out to the brackish river (that’s when a river has both fresh and salty water) of Bang Pakong in search of some wild barramundi and boeseman croakers. I’ve always wanted to catch a wild barramundi to cook. Unlike the farm raised ones, the wild ones don’t have that earthy flavour that comes from the muddy ponds they use in the farms and their flesh overall is just that much more delicious than their captive counterparts.
As mentioned earlier, being right in the middle of March the expected weather was supposed to be hot, dry and absolutely ruthless. Instead, we were greeted with a grey, chilly day with no direct sunlight. Spooky.
The water in the river that day was extremely murky. It looked a bit like chocolate milk, really salty chocolate milk filled with gritty sediments that is. This seemed like something that drove away the barramundi seeing that not a single one was hooked or sighted all day despite us having eight rods waiting in the water.
The fishing was done in a small long wooden boat that was powered by what looked like a lawnmower motor with propellers attached to a long stem in the water. This is what we call a “long-tail boat” or rua hang yao (เรือหางยาว) and it is a common mode of aquatic transport here in Thailand. For bait, we used small little live prawns, no bigger than a pinky. We’d hook them up on a bottom fishing rig, cast them out into the water to wait for a fish to nibble which is indicated by a wobbling of the rod tip.
To pass the time Alex and I would bust out some jokes and chat about our lives. Turns out we both went to the New International School of Thailand (NIST) at the same time and are quite fond of making Arnold Schwarzenneger jokes to pass the time, “get to the CHOPPAH! HA HA!”
So yeah crazy coincidences aside the fishing that day was slower than a Dragon Ball Z fight. Both Alex and I caught two poisonous toad fishes, ugly little dark things that make weird grunting noises when out of the water. “On a good day I would usually hook about eight before the morning ends,” he said. The alien-like weather conditions and the murky waters were definitely having an effect on the fishing.
However, I did make one decent catch all day: a mature boeseman croaker. As we were chatting away probably taking turns making Arnold impersonations, Alex pointed to my rod which wasn’t just wiggling, it was being pulled to the side. Standing up on the boat, I grabbed hold of the rod, tightened the spool and gave the rod a solid jerk. The fish was on. And after pulling it through the strong current, the fish was mine. Golden in colour and sleek in shape, I was really happy to have finally added a new species to my collection.
Well, that’s it for this week’s fishing trip. Though our catch rate was significantly low I still had a lot of fun sitting out there on the open water among the mangroves underneath the cool grey sky. Stay tuned for more fishing stories and locations in Thailand and see you next time.
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Oh yeah and if you want to check some Bang Pakong fishing for yourself here’s a phone number I got from the http://www.siamfishing.com website.
081-782-7077 and 02-848-8658