BootsnAll Travel Network

Fishing Narithiwat.

There are quite a few places to fish around and in Narithiwat as the town is on a river and runs right next to the ocean. The places I targeted were Ao Manoa Beach, which I didn’t actually fish, but if you are looking for crystal clear water and some rocky outcroppings this is your spot. Some friends saw a guy who caught a few squid off the shore around the outcroppings using a sort of billfish plastic lure. The water was so clear that I think the only chance of catching anything decent would be at night time as it would be too hot for game fish during the day.

By the bridge crossing the river. It looked like a good place but as it is right next to a military outpost fishing with some very suspicious soldiers over your shoulder probably wouldn’t work. There was a sand bag pill box housing a soldier with a big gun who didn’t look pleased when I drove up to look at the area.

The public beach area is flat sand. They built these rock walls parallel to the beach to I guess keep the sand from filling in the channel, but I tried it a couple of times and there was nothing. The guy at the fishing shop said there is nothing there except small fish living in the rocks.

The entry to the channel looks fishy as hell but again nothing. The guy at the shop said a few months back they were catching some fish out of there kind of like small barracudas. I interpret that as being Mackeral spawning or migrating. There are quite of torn down shaded platforms that look like fishing shelters which again are probable only used during the migration time. I would like to try throwing out some live shrimp and live bait to see what would happen. I tried squid and dead shrimp but that only ended up with the same small rock fish (grouper/grunts/etc.)

Narathiwat Hotel is the place.

In my prior posts there are pictures and general information but here is some more specific info. Fishing upstairs or downstairs? Downstairs is better for catching bait under the balcony as you have less line out which means better reactions to the little bait stealers. Also if you catch something big, you don’t have to hand line it up to the second floor. The negatives are that you can’t see as well as from the bottom floor nor can you cast as well. The ladies downstairs would find it amusing to watch you fish, but being examined by all the male visitors would become a nuisance. The girls or outside people are not allowed to the top floor so it is much more quiet and relaxing. I can leave all my stuff out as well as lines in the water without worrying about someone messing with them. You can see down into the water and when it is clear you can spot fish. Casting from the side allows you full motion. The negatives are having to haul a bigger fish up two stories or leaving the fish dangling on the pole while you run downstairs to pull it in. Also, catching bait is a bitch with all that extra line floating around.

Layout. The hotel and balcony extend out about fifteen feet right into at least ten feet of water. From there it just gets deeper as the main channel starts not more than thirty feet farther out. To the left is the drainage pipe leading from the main market. You get all the run off from the fish market and food stalls so plenty of chum comes out of those pipes especially when it is raining. Definitely a fish magnet area. There are rock piles that extend out from where the pipe drains out so fish hang out there. Under the hotel is more rock and pilings. During the day that’s where the fish hide out. Straight out and to the right is all pretty much sand and grass with a few rocks thrown in. The channel is cut with a slight drop off and that is where the bigger fish cruise around from place to place. At night is when everything is open and the fish roam around feeding.

Bait. I used dead shrimp, squid, and live/dead bait (grunts, perch). Shrimp is like fish candy and everything will eat it with the tiny bait stealers stripping your hook before anything else has a chance. You can catch the decent perch and snappers if you are willing to keep re-baiting and casting trying to wade through all the bait stealers. Early mornings the bigger snappers and perch are more aggressive. During the day no chance as the waters are filled with the little ones. Squid did a much better job as they couldn’t pick it clean right away. It solved my bait catching problem as the small ones couldn’t pick it clean and one would eventually get too greedy and bite the hook. It also was my solution for evening and morning catfish (pan sized) when I wanted to feed the ladies. In the evening time just before sunset I tried to catch a good sized grunt or pinfish 4-6” and then quickly throw that out on my bigger rig with wire leader. The smaller rod that I caught the bait with I would do the same if I could catch another or I would save the ones I caught throughout the day in my iced bait bucket and use them whole as bait. I was also buying a couple dozen pilchard/sardine (4-5”) and tossing those out well. I got some good results with those. A days supply of bait would generally run you about 20 baht or 60cents.

Rigs. For hooks I went small to smaller to tiny. Because I was using shrimp solely for bait I was getting stripped clean and frustrated. Normally it doesn’t bother you so much when the little bastards are ripping you off, or you end up catching the little guys, but its when you need to catch them and you can’t that is when it gets frustrating. I kept moving to a smaller hook with no avail. Finally out of sheer frustration I made my own micro hook out of a staple from a magazine they had lying around. I mean it was so small that it was about a third of a staple and I used sandpaper to sharpen one point and then cutting the staple to about a third and then bending the unsharpened end into a small eye for the line. It worked sort of but they were still ripping off the bait and when I did catch one it would be too small. I also tried snagging them by clipping all my hooks together and jigging it but it worked infrequently. I went and bought a squid lure which is basically snagging hooks, but I had to spend too much time threading a whole piece of shrimp to the lure to attract the fish to the center post in order to snag them. Again it worked a couple of times but then it seemed they put out a warning and they were quick to get out of the way. Finally, the end solution was to hand make a sabiki rig with the smallest store bought hooks and using a small tip of squid. It was primarily a time saver having four hooks out at one time and not having to reel up after each hook. The squid was probably the biggest help as they were not able to strip it off the hook without taking a decent bite in which case I would have them. I probably could have solved it also by just fishing from the bottom floor and having two feet of line out rather than twelve but oh well.

For standard fishing I probably used about twenty five different rigs. Slider rigs, chicken rigs, sabiki style rigs, no weight, small weight, big weight, multi hook, wire leader, floats, foam for keeping the bait up, different hook sizes, etc. For the dinner catfish I used (starting from the bottom) a bell style sinker attached to leader, a three way swivel with a leader and hook the same length as from the swivel to the sinker, leader again to a second three way swivel and hook set up, followed by leader to swivel and then to mainline. Since I knew that catfish was what I was targeting and that I could use a chunk of squid larger than the blowfish could get its chompers on I didn’t run wire leaders. During the day fishing for snappers and such I used a standard slip sinker rig (starting from the bottom) hook, leader, swivel, bead, slip sinker weight dependent on current, bead, on the main line. I used this rig also when using live bait over night. Sometimes I would attach a small piece of foam to the leader to keep the bait off the river bottom (didn’t have much luck with that set up though). When I was bait heavy I would use the chicken rig and heave out two baits. All of these rigs I varied hook sizes, leader lengths, weights, and knots. I spent a lot of time and money getting sorted out but I think I got it down as good as it could get.

Fishing supplies. I only found two fishing stores in the whole town. As you leave the hotel turn right and go down about a block to the first light. On the same side of the street as the hotel right at the light is a jewelry store then to the right of that is the little fishing shop. Next to that is a office/school supply shop. He is only open sporadically but has a decent selection organized very well. He only speaks minimal English. If you keep going further the same direction just before you get to the new market, you will see the only two story building on the right side. The lower floor is a kind of boat supply shop with a corner of it fishing supplies. They have fishing poles out front but they are wrapped in plastic so sometimes it is hard to spot. The husband and wife both speak good English but the mother is kind of grumpy. She always kind of pushed me off to one of the other two. For bait one of the three markets will be open as they alternate times. The main market across the street from the hotel is good till about noon. From there the people either go to the new market or the market by the hospital for the evening time. You can also buy straight from the boats at the park. You will see the people gathering throughout the day right where the road curves so that it is along side the river.

As I wrote earlier, I was fishing throughout the day as my room was basically overlooking the river. Timing was pretty easy as as early morning and evening were best for catching table fare while nights were when the big fish roamed. For a while I was fishing these market bought whole sardines which were about 4-5”. It worked on and off and during the day I got some heavy bites and runs which included two line runs that almost emptied my reel before breaking off. I also had a couple that I just couldn’t stop. Since I wasn’t constantly overseeing the poles, I would loosen the drag so the fish would not feel any resistance and I could use the drag and bell as a warning system. It worked pretty well but at night I am sure I missed a few because I was in deep sleep.

And that is fishing Narithiwat.

There are tons of fishing boats also so if you are inclined and able to arrange it, the whole ocean beckons. I saw a couple of boats that return in the evening with standard poles being used rather than the normal nets. I am sure if you could track them down they would take you out.


One response to “Fishing Narithiwat.”

  1. Big deek says:

    Hi im in songkhla now and will go stay in the Narithiwat hotel in a few days for 1 week. I have fishing gear with me but wanted to ask your opinion for what things i should get in hat yai before going. Im good for rods, line, floats etc, more interested in hook sizes,

    i will be reporting on my own blog how i got on. I just started and the blog is not great as i am no good with computers but i hope it will improve over time.



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