Phuket fishing guide
Here you will find tips, the best fishing spots and top fish in Phuket. If you are looking for a fishing charter or skipper to go fishing, please visit our list of fishing charters in Phuket or search a fishing trip using the box below:
When you think of Phuket you can’t help but picture a paradise. White sandy beaches, sun, diving, and maybe even the vibrant nightlife. And ping-pong. But! Phuket is also one of the most extraordinary places you’ll ever go fishing in your life! At about the same size as Singapore, Phuket is one of Thailand’s most dynamic tourist destinations, and a very popular one at that. If you’re torn between a great fishing trip or a nice beach holiday, look no further… Phuket can offer you both, and more!
In the past, Phuket was one of the major trading routes between India and China, and is connected to mainland Thailand by only two bridges. Comfortably nestled off the southwest coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, come for the fishing and stay for the fun I say… Phuket has lots to see and explore for the lazy beach person, and for the eager visitor who likes to cruise through the city and check out all the restaurants, bars, and local shops. Patong beach is Phuket’s most developed beach and has something for everyone, and has breathtaking sunsets from April to September.
Phuket is characterized by a tropical climate (surprise) and usually enjoys great weather and pleasant conditions at sea. The dry season begins in November and ends in April while the wet season runs from May to October. The temperature in Phuket remains relatively stable year-round, and usually sits between 24-30 DegC.
Fishing in Phuket
Besides being popular for its beaches and resorts, Phuket offers world-class game fishing for avid anglers, as well as beautiful landscapes to enjoy additional activities such as snorkeling and diving.
Late summer to Mid Fall tends to be one of the best times to fish here (which incidentally is the Monsoon season), but the fishing here is really very decent all year-round.
There are quite a good number of experienced skippers that offer some great fishing charters in Phuket, covering a wide range of fishing spots and fishing trips. Whether you want to enjoy a budget fishing charter to spend a few hours on the water or arrange for a luxury charter to enjoy a multi-day trip with your family, there are always great choices in Phuket.
Top fishing spots in Phuket (one day trip)
There are two main islands in this area: Ko Racha Yai (the larger of the two), which is 14 miles from Chalong Bay, and Ko Racha Noi (the smaller one), which is 23 miles from Chalong Bay. Between Racha Yai and Chalong Bay, you can find great action for Sailfish that often show in the afternoon, letting anglers warm up in the morning fishing for Wahoo and Dorado.
The Drop Off
25 miles west of Phuket, there is a steep change in water depth from 40 meters to approximately 300 meters, and reaching 1000 meters after 40 miles. This is no doubt the best fishing spot for Black Marlin. Wahoo and Dorado can also be found here in abundance. The fishing technique used in this area is trolling with large lures and live bait.
Top fishing spots in Phuket (multi-day trip)
Koh Ha Yai and Koh Rok
Koh Ha, which translates to “Five Island”, is a group of small limestone outcrops 40 miles from Chalong Bay, and it is between Koh Phi Phi and Koh Rok Nok.
Koh Rok Noi and Koh Rok Yai are beautiful islands located 20 miles from Koh Ha (and 60 miles south east from Chalong Bay).
Besides being one of the preferred places in the area for divers, this area is also probably the top location to catch Sailfish in the afternoon, resulting in multiple hook-ups. A record of a couple of dozen releases in one day has been reported in the past. The best fishing technique to use here is trolling with tuna strips or live bait.
These nine islands are 60 miles northwest of Phuket, and are surrounded by one of the healthiest marine landscapes in Thailand with diverse reefs. To preserve the habitat, fishing is not permitted around the islands (within 4 miles), and it is permanently patrolled to ensure that the coast and its species are not at risk of becoming endangered. Off the coast, you can find deep waters and a great scenario for big game fishing using trolling: Black Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Cobia, etc.
Recommended to all saltwater anglers and defined as a lifetime dream fishing experience, the Andaman Islands lie on a privileged location between India and Thailand, to the east of the Bay of Bengal (450 miles from Phuket).
You can find a great variety of big game species applying almost any kind of fishing technique: deep trolling for Black Marlin and Blue Marlin, popper fishing for Giant Trevally, fly fishing for Sailfish and Tunas, and night bottom fishing to catch Grouper.
The best season extends from March to May, free of monsoons, and take note that you will need a tourist visa for India.
Top 5 fish
We always say that the Yellowfin will make you work (and this is true), but the mighty Sailfish is not to be outdone! Sailfish are abundant in huge numbers in Phuket and are a big draw for any big game fisherman. To catch one you’ll need a skilled boat captain and plenty of will. Sailfish bite hard and will often breach the water when snapping up your bait, and are experts at shaking free of your line.
When to fish for Sailfish in Phuket?
The best time to fish for Sailfish is pretty much all year-round in Phuket, except for April and May, as well as September and October when the fishing for these guys is only slightly relented. Fun fact: Phuket is often referred to as the “Sailfish capital of Asia”.
Where to fish for Sailfish in Phuket?
In Phuket, one of the best places to head to in search of Sailfish is Racha Islands, but you can catch them at any of the other three big spots: on Surin and Similan Islands as well as the famous “Drop Off” which is where the continental shelf drops off about 25 nautical miles from Phuket.
How to fish for Sailfish?
Trolling ballyhoo or other bait fish behind the boat is a good way to catch these guys. You’ll also want to try to set the hook HARD when they hit the bait as they have very thick bills that usually need some extra work to penetrate.
Well well well…. we meet again. What can we say, this fish is popular in almost all places where you can find big game fishing, and has been included in almost all of our other “top 4” lists by destination. That being said, it never disappoints! Still one of the strongest fighters, it’s fast, strong and a lot of fun to catch, but will make you work. Seriously, it will. I recommend 50 push-ups per day beginning at least 2 weeks before your trip departure. Seriously. The se bad boys can grow to a length of more than 2m and weigh more than 200kg, with an average catch weighing-in at around 30-40kg. Yikes!
When to fish for Yellowfin Tuna in Phuket?
The best time to fish for Yellowfin in Phuket is between the months of January and March, inclusive, and from October to December, inclusive.
Where to find Yellowfin Tuna in Phuket?
There are a few good spots in Phuket to fish for Yellowfin, and all of them are a short boat ride from shore. Generally you’ll want to fish for these guys in in one of four famous spots being the Racha, Surin, and Similan Islands, and the “Drop Off”. Don’t expect this to be the only fish you can catch here though. This is just one of many that you can hook in any one of these famous spots.
How to catch a Yellowfin Tuna?
The best way to fish for a tuna is to use live-bait (free-swimming fish) - usually a sardine. Also, trolling is a very common way to catch a tuna using squid-like lures
When it comes to big game fishing, the Marlin has to be THE MOST popular fish in Phuket. It’s big, powerful, and extremely fun to catch. These guys are sometimes considered to be the pinnacle of fishing because of the fight they put on. The female species of this fish is bigger than that of the male, and to give you an idea, a female Marlin can weigh up to and exceeding 1000lbs! Big Mamma!
When to fish for Marlin in Phuket?
The fishing is generally good all year-round, but especially good between October and March when the numbers peak. The only time of the year where the numbers are known to be quite weak are from May to July, inclusive.
Where to fish for Marlin in Phuket?
Trolling the Surin Islands during the late afternoon is a good time to be fishing for Marlin. Another popular spot to catch these guys is at the “Drop-Off”.
How to catch a Marlin?
Marlin are best caught by using artificial lures trolled through the water, and respond well to the light splashing and bubble action as they are dragged through the water. Typical Marlin lures range from about 7-14inches in size for small to large sizes, and while the traditional straight line bubble trail technique is popular, an experienced angler can fine tune their artificial lures to alter the tracking pattern.
The Dorado (also known as Mahi Mahi or Dolphin fish) is a beautiful fish famous for its bright gold, green and yellow colors. Sport fishermen love catching this creature because it’s fast, acrobatic, beautiful and tastes magnificent. The average weight of a Dorado falls within the range of 7kg to 13kg.
When to fish for Dorado in Phuket ?
Mahi Mahi can be found year-round with greater presence in June, July, August and September.
Where to find Dorado in Phuket?
Dorados swim near the surface close to floating objects such as large buoys or floating wood.
How to catch a Dorado?
Trolling is a very common way to catch a Dorado. You can use dead, live or artificial bait. Another way to hunt this fish is by trying to pinpoint a school of Dorado, once spotted you can keep them around the boat by throwing some chums and cut bait, and be sure to keep a live fish hooked at all times. You can also catch the Dorado using fly fishing techniques.
WAHOO! It’s as fun to scream as it is to catch, we promise. Wahoo are famous for their speed and aggressive nature on the first run, and are often found not too far from land, no need to search far and wide. Wahoo also make for good eating, often being held in high regard in gourmet circles and the taste is often compared to that of the Mackerel. These guys are aggressive and sharp-toothed so proceed with caution when hauling it into the boat! Sharp teeth can be hazard to your health.
When to fish for Wahoo in Phuket ?
The best time to fish for Wahoo is between August and January especially. Then, beginning in April there are a few months when they’re not in season and it’s best to set your sights on something else. Things will slowly begin to pick up again in July.
Where to find Wahoo in Phuket?
The Racha and Similan Islands are the best places to fish for Wahoo, along with the ever popular “Drop Off”. Similan Islands are a particularly good spot to do your Wahoo fishing, where it will be you vs. this sharp toothed beauty.
How to catch a Wahoo?
Wahoo are super fast and can tear through the water at up to 100km/h, and naturally they also like to attack fast baits. So, when you’re trolling for these guys don’t be afraid to kick up the throttle a little faster than you would for other fish. Wahoo are also picky with colors. They gravitate towards red/black and purple/black combinations, and if you rig large ballyhoo with these color schemes they should attack freely.
Fish and Fishing Seasons in Phuket