Jackfish: A fishing trip at Koh Lipe

As announced in my last article, today I will report something off topic about my fishing trip on Koh Lipe. I chartered a longtail boat, with a guide, to spend a day on the water. I wanted to catch a Jackfish, but of course, all other local fish species were welcome. Whether it worked with the Jackfish, you will learn in this article.

Early in the morning I arrived at the beach and greeted the skipper. The equipment looked excellent, and the boat was ready to go. Gorgeous, I was excited like a little boy. In front of us lays the Andaman Sea and we wanted to fish the area around the two neighbor islands Ko Adang and Ko Ra Wi.

Up to the first spot we had to cover a few nautical miles. The guide, named Trang, prepared the trolling equipment and in no time the baits were out. Unfortunately, no predator was interested in it.

At our first stop were fishing for smaller species such as Grouper. The method was simple: a weight at the end of the string and above it a mackerel paternoster. Simple but effective. At a depth of about 15 meters, we let the tackle down to catch the groupers. After a short time, we have had a meal together and fulfilled the duty, not to return without fish. Very nice, because from now we could devote ourselves to the actual target fish.


I had heard a lot of the enormous fighting power of these fish, and gladly I would convince myself once. We changed the spot and stopped in the middle of a small strait between the islands Ko Adang and Ko Ra Wi.

The scenery is just breathtakingly beautiful. The boat rocks gently in the swell of the sea. On the left are huge rocks on the shore of Ko Adang and to the right of us the fog clears over the dense rainforest of Ko Ra Wi. What a great atmosphere in the midst of this loneliness. There is a lot of current at this place, and so the tackle is a bit more powerful. Well, not only because of the current but more also because of the Jackfish the assembly is changing too. With me comes a 120 g of a jig with an additional, extremely stable, single hook used. Trang fished with a popper of about 20 cm in length, near the shore.

I already suspect what awaits me here. Speed jigging will be the choice. At 120 g weight, you can certainly imagine that this will be quite exhausting, in the long run. After more than half an hour the sweat runs down my body, and I need to a break. Right that the skipper anyway just wanted to change the location.
Since there was nothing to be caught in depth, we now drove into the shallower water. The way there we used the trolling rods again. By noon we drove many small bays, rock edges, underwater plateaus, and sandbanks. That itself was wonderful; only the mackerel doesn`t want to bite.

It is time to strengthen because the constant jigging is exhausting. My arms are already burning, and so a break is very welcome. Trang tells me that he has caught at least one mackerel a day in the last few days and he is confident that it will also be the case today. In general, however, the fish stock has been dramatically reduced. In the past, the sea nomads only fished as much as they needed to live. It has changed in recent years, because the commercial fishing, with large trawlers, have destroyed a lot. Unfortunately, commerce does not stop in front of paradise. Still, Trang has a twinkle in his eye as he shares his stories about fishing. He loves it!

After the meal, we continued throwing the baits again diligently towards the shore. All at once I felt a sharp punch in the rod, and then it goes off. The fish develops so much pressure that I`m in trouble hold the rod. He shoots in the direction of the ground, and the brake starts to scream until suddenly the game was over. Such a crap, the fish has dropped out. Annoying but that’s just fishing. The Jackfish emerged victorious from the duel. I can not even say how big the fish was, but I have never experienced such a power. Tran shrugged and said, “It happens sometimes” but to be honest I felt a bit frustrated.

The coming hours didn´t bring more fish, and so Tran decides to leave the shores of the islands to drive to the open sea. He still knows a special place. The wind increases, the waves get more prominent, and I get a bit queasy in the small nutshell. We arrive at the same time with another boat, and just a few minutes later our neighbor hooked a decent fish. A short time then, a stately barracuda comes to the surface which makes the angler smiling all over the face. For us, nothing more happens, and we decided to start our way back to Koh Lipe. Passing by the other islands, they are once again showing us views of the untouched nature that I will not forget.

This time, the Jack Fish defeated me, but I’ll come back and demand revenge. I hope this little excursion into the world of fishing was fun to read before we head over to Kuala Lumpur in the next post.

sunny greetings – Uwe

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