If you thought that fishing was either boring or hard work, a day out in a boat here will change your mind. For a start, there is no question of casting your line and waiting for hours to see some action. The Andaman Sea and Krabi’s rivers are bountiful and it really is easy to catch something – even with a simple, unbaited hook and hand-held line.
Fishing will give a purpose to your island-hopping day and brings a deeper satisfaction. Believe us, spearing a barracuda will bring out hunter-gatherer instincts you may even knew you had! And what other activity allows you to visit the islands, top up your tan, learn about nature and local tradition as well as take care of lunch and dinner?
Two type of organised fishing trips are available: small group tours to the islands on a specially equipped large boat (max 6 pax), or traditional longtail boat (max 4 pax); or private excursions on the same type of boat. The number of companies that offer tours are – perhaps surprisingly given Krabi’s location – very small and change frequently, so check with your hotel or tour agent on arrival.
Most of the tours use guides with expert knowledge of the local seas, which means the fish should almost be jumping out of the water. You can expect to catch anything from small, tasty mackerel to larger trevally, king fish or even barracuda. You are free to take home whatever you hook yourself – many beachfront restaurants will be happy to serve you your own personal ‘catch of the day’. You could also try asking down at the beach – many of the longtail boatmen fish in their spare time and would be able to take you out (with basic equipment) for a minimal charge.
For those who prefer to stay put while they fish, there is one professional standard fishing park in the Krabi area. Gillham’s Fishing Resort, near Ao Thalane, is run by a famous English angler and designed (and priced!) for serious amateurs and pros, with a well-stocked lake of rare species and some real monster fish. Further afield in Phang Nga, a similar enterprise, Exotic Fishing offers freshwater fishing, with round trip transfers from Krabi.
Note: it is has been brought to our attention that some fishing tour operators are catching endangered species such as blacktip reef and leopard sharks, presumably in a bid to impress their guests. If this happens on your boat, we strongly encourage you not only to report it, but to make sure that the crew throw the fish back into the water alive.