select - Big Game Fishing
Written by Brian Johnston
Big game fishing pits the skills and determination of humans against animals in a primeval battle that has fascinated and thrilled anglers for centuries. Here are some of the top spots to try your luck against the mighty denizens of the deep.
Thailand’s renowned tropical beach destination has so much to offer that its reputation as a big-game fishing destination is overlooked. But the holiday island is on the migration route of several classic big-game fish, and has excellent offshore sport fishing for blue and black marlin, tuna, trevally, queenfish, and swordfish, particularly from September to December. (Fishing novices can tackle juvenile black marlin off the west coast to test their light-tackle skills.) Various types of shark also tempt anglers, and sailfish are common off the neighbouring island of Racha Yai, especially during the July and August monsoon season. Charter boats and fishing trips – whether for the day or live aboard – are widely available in this tourist-oriented island, and keen anglers can also attend the Phuket International Sportfishing Tournament in November.
Beautiful Phuket not only offers big-game fishing but national parks, tropical beaches, and a well-developed tourist infrastructure.
Phuket is an island province of southern Thailand, lying in the Andaman Sea but connected to the mainland by two bridges.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Phuket.
Malaysia’s many varied coastlines offer a wide range of game fishing, yet have only recently opened up as a sport-fishing destination. The easily accessible west coast of Peninsular Malaysia is generally shallow, allowing fishing for snapper, grouper, trevally, and sailfish, while the east coast is also home to black and blue marlin that can reach 150kg. The country’s Borneo coast, particularly around the island of Labuan, has a good reputation for big-game fishing, with sailfish, marlin, yellowfin, and dogtooth tuna all setting a challenge for anglers. But what sets Malaysia apart from other fishing destinations is the additional challenge of its vast rainforest rivers, where various local species such as mahseer and snakehead are renowned for their fighting spirit. With game fishing still in its infancy here, there’s still the opportunity to land ‘the big one’.
One of the world’s newest big-game fishing destinations has many challenges for both amateur and professional anglers.
Peninsular Malaysia lies between Thailand and Singapore, while the states of Sabah and Sarawak occupy part of the island of Borneo to the east.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Kuala Lumpur.
Cape TownThe waters of the Cape, where Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, offer some of the world’s richest fishing for the likes of mako shark, yellowtail, swordfish, various types of tuna (which often reach the 80kg mark), and local species such as Cape snoek and kabeljou. Many can be fished year-round, and anglers can also capture blue marlin during the season, which runs between February and April.
Excellent fishing can be combined with dolphin, seal, and whale watching, and plenty of on-land enjoyment in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Cape Town is superbly sited on the Atlantic coast of Africa’s southwest tip.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways flies from Doha to Cape Town four times a week.