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Phuket, Thailand’s island paradise, is blessed with pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and incredible angling opportunities. Fishing in Phuket lets you explore everything from tranquil inshore waters to the depths of the Andaman Sea. Drop a line here and you’ll get to go after some of the most sought-after species in the world, ensuring an unforgettable vacation.
In fact, you don’t even need to choose between saltwater and freshwater fishing. One trip to Phuket is enough to try a little bit of everything. Spend a day chasing big game trophies in the bluewater, then head out to one of the local fishing parks the next. Everything is possible.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the wonderful angling opportunities Phuket has to offer. So sit back, relax, and let’s go through the top catches, spots, techniques, best times to visit, and more. Let’s dive into the captivating realm of fishing in Phuket, one catch at a time.
What can I catch while fishing in Phuket?
Saltwater Fishing in Phuket
Anglers can enjoy spectacular deep sea fishing in Phuket. The Andaman Sea is home to big game species admired by fishermen from all corners of the globe, including Sailfish, Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and Giant Trevally. Reef fishing produces great results, as well, with Snapper, Grouper, and other bottom fish biting year-round. A Phuket fishing tour is the perfect way to dabble in these opportunities, whether you come for a single day or an entire week.
Tuna And Giant Trevally
Phuket is particularly renowned for its Yellowfin, Skipjack, Dogtooth, and Longtail Tuna, as well as Giant Trevally populations. The excitement and anticipation that comes with targeting these species are unmatched, making them the main allure for many trolling enthusiasts. GTs bite best between March and November, while the Tuna seasons vary depending on the exact species.
GT, Yellowfin, and Skipjack are common residents of the waters around Racha Noi. Racha Yai, a larger sibling to Racha Noi, is also known for its abundance of Tuna from November to April. Further off, the continental shelf – also referred to as “the drop-off” – attracts good numbers of Skipjack.
Snapper And Grouper
Snapper and Grouper are also some of the most wanted catches in Phuket. These bottom-dwelling fish, including varieties like Mangrove Snapper, Red Snapper, and Leopard Grouper, are prolific around reefs, wrecks, and rock formations, adding to the excitement of exploring these waters.
The Racha Islands and the drop-off are popular spots among local anglers, with productive underwater structures that offer an ideal habitat for these species. These spots get pretty crowded from October to April, as it’s the most promising time to catch a healthy dose of both families of fish.
It goes without saying that deep sea fishing in Phuket is nothing without the renowned Billfish, particularly Black Marlin and Sailfish. These majestic species are found in abundance around Racha Noi and Racha Yai, as well as the drop-off, where anglers are treated with excellent and pretty challenging fights.
However, the ultimate fishing adventure awaits you at the Similan Islands, located 75 miles north of Phuket. Some call it one of the hottest fishing spots in Southeast Asia. Here, you can go trolling for both Black Marlin and Sailfish during the peak Billfish season from November to April.
Lake Fishing in Phuket
Embarking on a freshwater fishing journey in Phuket is a unique experience. The island is dotted with fishing parks, essentially resorts with meticulously crafted lakes that host a myriad of species. Despite their proximity to the lively city hub, these parks radiate a tranquil aura.
A dive into the waters of Phuket’s fishing parks reveals a diverse world teeming with native and imported exotic fish. Giant Mekong Catfish, Arapaima, Siamese Carp, Alligator Gar, Wallago Leeri, and Pacu, a close relative of the Piranha. And that’s not the end of the list, either.
The charm of these fishing parks doesn’t lie just with the larger species. Smaller, yet exciting fish like Snakehead and Spotted Featherback, known for their unusual ability to swim backwards, offer equally memorable experiences. Chances are, whatever you find at the end of your fishing line won’t disappoint you. We suggest pairing up with a local guide that knows the best techniques to land something exotic.
Catfish and Carp
A lot of fishing parks and ponds are home to various Catfish and Carp species, such Mekong Giant Catfish, Siamese Carp, and Common Carp. Freshwater enthusiasts target these monsters with dough balls, pellets, or live bait that are widely available right at the parks.
Perhaps some of the best parks in Phuket to target both Catfish and Carp are Phuket Fishing Park and Chalong Fishing Park. The fish are there year-round, although you need to get ready to put everything you caught back into the water, as the majority of spots are strictly catch-and-release.
Where to Go Fishing in Phuket
In general, there are three significant fishing destinations near Phuket: Racha Yai, Racha Noi, and the continental shelf. You don’t need to travel too far to reach the islands. But the continental shelf (the drop-off) is further out.
To hook into even bigger fish and immerse yourself in an unparalleled fishing experience, you can venture out over 70 miles north of Phuket to explore the gorgeous Similan Islands. But more on that below. Here’s a list of the best places to cast a line in Phuket.
Top Phucket Fishing Spots
- Similan Islands. As we mentioned earlier, the Similan Islands are located over 70 miles northwest of Phuket. It’s an archipelago of nine granite islands that boast some of the best fishing grounds in the region, with abundant marine life, coral reefs, and anything from GT to Billfish.
- Racha Noi and Racha Yai. These islands are located south of Phuket. Anglers can enjoy both inshore and offshore fishing there, targeting what the islands are famous for – Snappers, Groupers, Tuna, and Billfish.
- Phi Phi Islands. The Phi Phi Islands sit between Phuket and Krabi, offering a mix of inshore and offshore fishing just like Racha Noi and Racha Yai. Here, you can get your hands on King Mackerel, Barracuda, Snappers, and Groupers.
- Phuket Fishing Park. This is a well-stocked freshwater fishing park in Chalong, where you can target a variety of Catfish and Carp species. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and various amenities. This is a great spot to learn the ropes if you’re a beginner.
- Chalong Fishing Park. Another popular freshwater fishing destination, Chalong Fishing Park, provides anglers with the opportunity to target Mekong Giant Catfish, Siamese Carp, and Alligator Gar.
- Koh Rok. Head to Koh Rok if you’re after some quality inshore and nearshore fishing. Queenfish, Barracuda, Mangrove Jack, and Coral Trout are all in the cards. The island, located south of Phuket, is also a good place for diving and snorkeling.
- Kata Beach. A popular tourist and shore fishing spot, Kata Beach is based on the west coast of Phuket. Here, you can fish right from the shore or the nearby rocks. The early morning and late evening hours are best to avoid crowds.
- Patong Beach. As a good alternative to Kata Beach, Patong offers excellent inshore fishing for Mackerel, Barracuda, and Needlefish. In fact, you can fish for them right from the beach.
In some more good news, saltwater fishing with a rod in Phuket requires no license. All necessary permits are usually provided by charter operators. However, regulations exist for certain areas and species. For instance, fishing is off-limits in Marine National Parks, while most Phuket fishing parks adopt a catch-and-release policy, each with its own unique fish handling rules.
How can I go fishing in Phuket?
Now that you know more about what to target and where to go, it’s time to cover the “how” part. To make the most of your fishing adventure, it’s ideal to head out with an experienced guide that knows the area better than any visitor. Depending on what you’d like to target, where, and when, it’s essential to be prepared with the right gear, tackle, and techniques.
If you’re planning to work the inshore waters and get your hands on Snapper and Grouper, get ready to do some bottom fishing. You can bottom fish for Snapper and Grouper on the drop-off near the Racha Islands, too, so it’s not just about inshore fishing. This technique, along with trolling, is the most popular saltwater fishing method. Of course, the exact approach will depend on which species you’re hoping to catch.
For example, offshore big game species, such as Billfish, Tuna, and Wahoo react well to trolling with lures, skirted baits, and live baits. Casting or jigging with artificial lures works well for GT and Barracuda. For deep sea fishing, opt for heavy-duty rods and reels, as well as strong braided lines, sturdy tackle, and fluorocarbon leaders that can handle the fights of powerful fish.
Fishing in park lakes is typically a serene experience. More often than not, you’ll be fishing right from the shore, however, some parks have small huts designed specifically for anglers. There, you’ll be able to try anything from bottom fishing to spinning, with a hand net at your disposal to carefully lift your catch of the water. If you land a large catch, you may wade into the water and ask someone from your group to help you lift the catch.
Then, there’s fly fishing. Species such as Pacu, Arapaima, Tilapia, Giant Gourami, Alligator Gar, Featherback, and Redtail Catfish lend themselves well to this technique. Anglers typically rely on circle hooks, treble hooks, and hair rigs when fishing for Catfish and Carp, along with various bait offerings, such as dough balls, pellets, shrimp, and worms.
Phuket Fishing Seasons
When you’re planning a fishing trip in a tropical climate with year-round warm temperatures, you’re in for a treat. This means that you get amazing angling opportunities practically any time of the year. Just beware, certain species bite best during certain seasons.
The northeast monsoon season, running from November to April, is considered the peak fishing season in Phuket. The seas are usually calmer, making it the perfect time to explore the offshore grounds. Black Marlin and Sailfish are the stars of the show during this period, along with Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna. October to April is an excellent time to fish for various bottom-dwellers.
If you’d rather check the bite inshore, visit between March and November when Giant Trevally are actively biting. As well as that, you can get your hands on Barracuda and Queenfish, especially around the Kata and Patong Beaches.
When the rainy season comes, it can bring occasional storms and rougher sea conditions. However, many fish species, such as Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are more active during this period. That is, if you’re up to brave the elements.
Finally, freshwater fishing in Phuket is year-round, with the rainy season running from May to October. Whenever the water levels are higher, especially in the parks, the fish tend to be much more active.
Fishing in Phuket: A Reel Thai Adventure
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of what to catch, where to fish, when to go, and how to gear up, it’s time to plan your adventure. However, fishing in Phuket is more than simply exotic catches in freshwater fishing parks and big game predators in the deep blue waters. Don’t miss the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in Phuket’s rich fishing culture and its traditions!
Have you ever been fishing in Phuket? Which fishing experience did you go for? What’s your most prized catch? Let us know in the comments below!
Title: Phuket Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/phuket-fishing/
Published Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 10:07:26 +0000