By Neil Robinson.
August 2004 to Feb 2005:
Hi and welcome to the first news round–up from South Coast Marine
The start of a new business is very often something
you will remember for a very long time.
This is definitely also the case regarding the start of South Coast Marine!!!
First of all our new boat "Gecko", ran into nothing less then three typhoons on the way
from Hong Kong to Phuket, but still arrived safely in the end of August 2004.
After the re–fit, "Gecko" was straight into the fishing action with a "Phuket Grand Slam"
(Black Marlin, Sailfish and Yellowfin Tuna by one angler on the same day)
and a triple hook up of Black Marlin at Thon Mai west of the Similan Islands.
"Gecko" naturally also entered the Phuket International Sportfishing Classic,
and together with its 4 visiting anglers managed to win the trophy
for Biggest Barracuda as well as the trophy for Top Lady Angler.
In the beginning of December 2004 "Gecko" had a few noticeable captures,
such as a 13 lb Bonefish and several 12–15 lb Barracouta´s
while bottom–fishing in over 60 meters of water.
Both species are considered rare in Thai waters, but the will
to explore new areas and techniques once again paid off.
During the middle of December 2004, the action was somewhat slowed
by a tricky wind. Despite that, our visiting anglers still had fun with Sailfish,
Dorado, Wahoo, Tuna, Ruby Snapper, Red Jobfish, Sharks and another Barracouta.
Literally in the middle of all the action, disaster struck!!!
26th of December when the Asian Tsunami hit a long list of countries, including Thailand,
"Gecko" was luckily out fishing on a live–onboard trip along the continental shelf drop off.
Returning to Phuket was naturally a shock to everybody,
and not the celebration the Marlin capture (and release) should have been.
In deep respect of all victims and people affected one way or the other,
we do not wish to bring any further details regarding the disaster.
In mid January 2005, our freshwater fishing really took off on a very promising start!
4 visiting anglers from Sweeden joined us for some action in Bungsam Lan.
Only one of the guys, Ove Ling, had ever tried battling with Giant Mekong Catfish before,
and sure enough 4 new personal records was set that day!
Several fish around the 25 kg mark were caught,
but the best fish of the day was without doubt the 85 kg Giant Mekong Catfish
Krister Lindstrom managed to land during the afternoon.
Congratulations Krister, with a fish that would smash
the current IGFA World Record, should we have applied for it.
No more then a week later we had the honour to fish with an old known face to us,
Jarmo Kuisma, and a group of his close friends.
That day we managed to land Pacu, Striped Catfish and Giant Catfish,
but the 60+ kg Giant Mekong Catfish Jarmo landed,
was without a doubt the best of the day!
Apart from its stunning beauty, Cheow Lan Lake also offered good action
during January 2005. More than 40 Giant Snakeheads, a few Hampala Barbs
and a Nandid Perch was the total on a 3–day trip with three UK anglers.
On another occasion, Danish angler Meik Lykke, managed to land
Giant Snakehead as well as Hampala Barb on fly, while Michael
had the pleasure of catching a 5 lb Hampala Barb on a surface lure.
In February the Sailfish action at Koh Ha and Koh Rok (south east of Phuket)
was very good and "Gecko" also released a 140 lb Black Marlin
on the way back to Phuket.
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