Captain's Blog # 7
Lately, I've been noticing an encouraging trend for Bluesails Sportfishing Charters of having more families with young kids onboard (even as young as 5yrs); usually Dads introducing Junior to the best hobby in the world: big game sportfishing!
The kids excitement & enthusiasm is always contagious & makes for a memorable experience out on the water, & it's really satisfying helping to facilitate bonding between Dads & Sons as they tag-team to reel in the Sails. I enjoy teaching different fishing techniques like the art of tease & switch & the teamwork it involves, & passing on some of my accumulated knowledge, explaining the importance of catch & release & marine conservation, always with an emphasis on the three R's: Reel, Revive, Release.
And who knows? One of these kids might end up becoming the next generation of Billfishing Charter Captains, making a name for themselves from Kona to Cairns!
But I've realised that something's missing from all the heart-warming photos of Dads & Sons beaming with their arms wrapped around the body of a Billfish: Moms!
Dads often lament that it's difficult to convince the ladies in their lives that big game fishing is not just for the boys. So in this post, I'll be explaining why Pulau Tioman in Malaysia is the perfect fishing destination for the whole family (Mom's included) & I'll be providing all the information Dad needs to hopefully change Mom's mind.
Kuala Rompin & Pulau Tioman have become well established as premier destinations in Asia for big game sportfishing, & Pulau Tioman also happens to be one of Malaysia's top tourist destinations, often voted as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This tropical island floating in the South China Sea offers swimming, snorkelling & exploring for the kids, comfortable hotels & good dining options for Moms, & awesome fishing action for Dads.
But first, the fishing.
After the morning pick-up at the marina, fishing starts at the end of the 2 nautical mile marine conservation zone surrounding Tioman with lures in, trolling for small Tuna, Mahi, Sails & Black Marlin, all within minutes of leaving the jetty. Short runs to the fishing grounds are just one of the reasons why Tioman is the perfect place to introduce young children & lady anglers to the thrill of big game fishing, in particular Sails & small Marlin as they are considered light tackle Billfish.
And while we're talking about travelling times, Tioman is just a few hours drive from both Kuala Lumpur & Singapore (or a short flight from Kuala Lumpur), making it extremely accessible for families based in the region, especially when compared with other big game fishing destinations in the world that require a full day of intensive travelling...& when you have small kids in tow, asking, "Are we there yet?" every five minutes, a nearby destination is a necessity!
Next, fishing & weather conditions.
The fishing grounds in TIoman are all located within the lee of the main island, so the seas are generally calm, averaging only about 120ft in depth. The prime season for Mahi, Marlin & Sails in Tioman waters is from June through August, & the hot summer months usually mean clear skies & sunny weather, perfect for swimming, snorkelling & sun-tanning on the beach.
Bluesails Tioman fishing charters are considered good value for money as you get your own private boat charter for sportfishing, snorkeling & island-hopping, allowing you to explore the many pristine isles at your own pace, away from the usual tourist crowd. We include a picnic lunch on the beach & quality snorkel gear for use on the reefs & islands of your choice.
And Bluesails crew are always on the lookout for dolphin pods that frequent these waters, so if you're lucky, you'll experience your very own exclusive dolphin cruise in the bargain!
Island life often means higher prices since what can't be grown there has to be flown there; but this is not the case for Tioman as it's a duty free island with inexpensive alcoholic beverages, & cheap tasy local food that can even include a bbq on the beach with your catch of the day.
So that takes care of expenses.
But the most important consideration for Dad when Mom is joining the family adventure is the range & quality of the accommodation.
Tioman offers a good range of accommodation from basic to luxury, & you can choose between cozy beach-front accommodation, quaint family-run hotels like Panuba Inn, or luxury resorts like Japamala & Tunamaya.
Lastly, Tioman offers excellent non-fishing activities from swimming in secluded bays, exploring the rainforest, trekking to waterfalls, snorkelling amongst colourful coral reefs, or simply building sandcastles on a white-sand beach; & even during the fishing, sightseeing around the Seribuat Archipelago chain of 64 isles is truly breathtaking.
I believe it's never too soon for kids to wet their lines & get hooked on sportfishing, & Bluesails aims to find new ways of making our charters as kid-friendly as possible (including providing gear tailored to junior anglers) to encourage these future stewards of our marine environment to become responsible anglers.
So if you're looking for family-friendly fishing action, Pulau Tioman in Malaysia is definitely the perfect place for true blue family fun!