It’s that time of the year when we reflect back on the previous twelve months and start writing up our New Years resolutions.
Here at Bluesails Sportfishing, our New Years Resolutions are pretty much the same every year (ie: “Catch record breaking Sailfish”) so moving on to our reflections for 2015....and since it’s not only Thanksgiving Day but also Thursday, we think it's a perfect day for throwbacks.
Getting with Social Media
While the rest of the world has been on Facebook for a decade and Instagram since 2010, Captain Mike is....well, shall we say resistant to new technology, reserving all his innovating for fishing and related techniques. As a result, he found the world of social media challenging and surprising, but also rewarding....surprisingly.
It was challenging learning about hashtags (what they are and how to use them), surprising that many avid anglers out there also happen to be girls in bikinis who enjoy posing with their catch of the day (usually while planting a glossy kiss on the fishes snout), and rewarding re-establishing contact with customers going as far back as 2003.
Taking action shots of Sails to feed our newly created Bluesails Sportfishing Social Media Machine while skippering the boat at the same time was a challenge for Captain Mike, but he admits that he also found it rewarding capturing images of magnificent Sails leaping on the line or about to be released boatside.
Bluesails Sportfishing was founded back in 2003 on the strength of business from local expats desperate to stretch their legs (and their car engines) on the weekend and indulge their passion for big-game fishing, and while we still have our faithful regulars (and have literally watched their kids grow up and get into fishing themselves), we have noticed an increase in dedicated fishing tourists over the years, mainly from Australia but also from a mixed bag of countries as far away as Italy and Norway. This year we were happy to host a typically fun Italian group wearing um, rather...well, obscene T-shirts, introduced by fishing agent Stefano. Thanks for a great day, guys!
Stepping on Two Boats
Using Pulau Tioman as a base proved an instant success with our fishing guests. Tioman is not only a great venue for targeting Sails and Marlin with plenty of shots at Mahi-Mahi (both in Rompin and Tioman waters) but its also blessed with white sand beaches, mountainous rainforest peaks and great snorkelling. You can find laid-back restaurants and bars sitting right on the beach where a party atmosphere– courtesy of back-packing tourists from all over the world and duty-free alcohol– prevades, and where you can literally sit with the sand beneath your feet, a clear starry sky overhead, and cool breezes wafting off the waves, while you re-live the day’s fishing adventures. Tioman provides an all-round experience with 3 glamour sportfish for the price of one (Marlin, Sails and Mahi-Mahi), and Dolphin pods are sighted on nearly every Tioman trip, providing a pleasing distraction while hunting for Billfish. And Dolphin activity is always a certain prelude to Sail-bites, who are often observed shadowing Dolphin pods as they hunt for the same baitballs.
Unlike the majority of boat captains and charter guides in Rompin who shy away from the weeks just before the start of the NE monsoon, Captain Mike fishes well into November, believing that the Sailfishing actually gets better the closer it gets to the monsoon. And far from having bad weather and rough seas, pictures of Bluesails Sportfishing’s final trip of the season (see below) show calm water and blue sky of incredible clarity.
Hazy Crazy Days of Summer
In South East Asia the haze from forest fires in Indonesia has come to signify the end of summer.
When the sun is merely a soft-focus red disc in a dirty yellow-grey sky and the sting of smoke is making your eyes water, you know that it's nearly pumpkin-harvest time with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner.
Several days in September were so hazy that visibility was less than 1 n.m making the sighting of sea birds & finning Sails on the surface extremely tough. It was as if a dense dirty fog had rolled in off the waves, and the pictures taken of the fishing action during those hazy crazy days have a certain cool, misty quality as if they were taken off the coast of Nova Scotia instead of Peninsular Malaysia.
We decided that fish are really lucky they breathe underwater. Cough, cough.
Exploring New Horizons
Captain Mike has wanted to explore the islands of Dayang and Aur for a while now, and finally made time to launch an expedition in late August just before the start of the peak fishing season in Rompin. These remote and stunning islands have been a scuba-diver’s paradise since the early 1990s, and before Kuala Rompin was made famous with its consistent Sailfishing, Dayang and Aur were known for big Black Marlin. The waters off Pulau Dayang are deep (150 – 190ft) and female Marlin are known to spawn near these isles in October each year. The biggest known record for Marlin caught off Pulau Aur was back in 1989: a 135kg Black Marlin caught 7th August by a Singaporean lady-angler, and reported in the Straits Times.
Over 2 trips in 2015, Captain Mike plotted a series of 7 FADs, with a further 3 potential FADs holding Marlin in Dayang waters. Bluesails Sportfishing will undoubtedly be visiting these FADs again soon, especially for those adventurous fishing guests wanting to target larger female Marlin in 2016. These islands also make stunning backdrops while fishing in deep blue water compared to the shallow depths of Kuala Rompin.
And that concludes our Throwback Thursday reflections for 2015.
As for what we are thankful for, as always it's the safe conclusion of another successful big game fishing season!