Stepping on Two Boats
For many years the accepted local lore in Kuala Rompin has been that the fishing is slow during the summer– as if the Sailfish, like everybody else, go on vacation or home leave with the kids from June to August.
The reality is that the Sails are still around during the summer….just enjoying a vacation of sorts closer to Pulau Tioman, Malaysia.
The hot summer months have always been the perfect time for Sailfish families to pack up the kids, and travel the relatively short distance to Pulau Tioman (but with the Sailfish kids no doubt still asking, "Are we there yet?” every five seconds)” to search for relaxation and a change of scenery in deeper waters.
Bluesails Sportfishing Tioman charters start in Rompin, hot on the heels of excited families heading out to popular Sailfish vacation spots around Pulau Tioman, and after cruising around the islands picking up a decent number of adult Sails chilling in the deep waters, sipping mai-tais and periodically rubbing suntan lotion into their exposed fins, Bluesails Sportfishing then chases those Sailfish families ending their vacation early (no doubt because the kids were misbehaving) and heading back to Rompin.
The top-secret information about where the Sails take their summer vacation appears to have been well-known back in the 60’s and 70’s. An article printed, 9th May 1961 in the Straits Times refers to Pulau Tioman as “Big Game Island” and describes how the sea off Pulau Tioman is "rich-ground for marlins, one of the most sought after fish in the world”, and in 1971, an entire article printed on the 16th May is devoted to big-game fishing in Pulau Tioman (see photo below).
(If you're observant, you will have noticed that both these articles were printed in May, and the 1971 article makes specific mention of the fact that the best time to do a little big-game hunting in Tioman waters is May-August.)
Then in the 80's and 90's, this previously well-known fact seems to have been hidden away in a secret vault (perhaps the same vault hiding the information about where the movie South Pacific was really filmed? See blog, "Washing That Island Outta My Hair"), and an entirely false fact was taken out instead: that the waters off Kuala Rompin, like a small village in Northern Europe, magically empty during the hot summer months.
Fortunately, myth-debunking is becoming one of my favourite hobbies (it’s a lot like being a detective really), and just as in the case of the Hollywood musical, South Pacific, I am happy to clear up the mystery of what happens to Sailfish families during the summer months, so that you have the perfect excuse to pack up your kids and book a fishing charter with Bluesails Tioman!