Deep Sea Fishing in Phuket
Fishing in Phuket gives you access to the best deep sea fishing grounds off of Thailand’s northwest coast. This area is home to superb fishing around the Similan Islands, the Racha Islands, and the Continental Shelf. Some of sport fishermen’s favorite prizes can be found here, many of them biting year-round.
What to Catch and When to Target it
Many anglers enjoy deep sea fishing Phuket during Thailand’s dry season, from mid- October to the middle of May. This is the best time to to target big species such as Sailfish, Mackerel, and Tuna. On the other hand, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi show up in April and stick around until November.
When it comes to bottom fish like Snapper and Grouper, you will have success fishing the reefs near Racha Yai and Racha Noi at any time of year. If you know what you want to catch, the only thing left to decide is which Phuket fishing tour will meet your expectations!
What can I expect on a full day trip?
Many full day Phuket fishing charters will take you to Racha Yai, Racha Noi, and the drop off. It takes one or two hours to travel to the fishing grounds, and you are likely to troll on the way. Once you reach the Racha Islands, you will have the opportunity to bottom fish for Grouper, Jacks, and other reef fish. These trips last eight to nine hours in total.
How much will it cost?
You can enjoy fishing in Phuket without flexing your wallet. A typical Phuket boat charter will bring you aboard a traditional wooden Thai fishing ship. These vessels are stable and can accommodate groups as large as 10-20 people. You will also find plenty of “join-on” trips aboard these boats, which cost $50 and $100 per person, depending on which locations you visit. A private charter for one to six anglers ranges from $347 to $950.
While the price tag sounds almost too good to be true, keep in mind that these “budget charters” may not include the quality gear and other amenities that avid anglers look for in a fishing charter. Trips aboard higher-end boats, such as traditional boats which have been refurbished and equipped with top of the line gear, typically cost $700 to $950 for a group of six anglers. A join-on charter is around $120 per person.
If you’re in the market for a more decadent fishing experience, you can also find speedboats and yachts for hire in Phuket. Most charter operators in the area only offer private trips aboard these boats, for groups no larger than six anglers. An eight hour trip on a speedboat could cost just a little over $500 for a trip to Racha Yai, or around $800 for a trip that will also take you to Racha Noi. A yacht charter in Phuket could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,600, depending on your destination and the quality of the boat itself.
What can I do on a multi-day trip?
Multi-day fishing charters in Phuket are mainly geared towards visiting the Similan Islands, Koh Ha, and Koh Rock. Koh Rock is known for hosting Sailfish in vast numbers, especially between October and April. Local anglers recommend a three to five day trip.
Charters to the Similan Islands are usually available from November to March, when big game species are in their peak season. This is where you will have the best chance of catching a Black Marlin. You can also target Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Giant Trevally, and Sailfish. While it is possible to book a day trip to the Similan Islands (provided the boat is fast enough), a charter of three to five days is preferable so you can get the most out of the experience.
How much does it cost?
Like single day trips, multi-day charters vary in price depending on the vessel and equipment. Hiring a high-end traditional Thai boat costs $1,100 to $1,260 per day. (You can charter a single day trip to the Similan Islands aboard one of these boats for less than $700). If you are planning to book a luxurious Similan Islands liveaboard trip, you will find many yacht charters to choose from. The price tag for these options varies significantly, ranging from $2,500 to $3,600 per day.
How to Fish
Deep sea fishing in Phuket consists of trolling and bottom fishing. Depending on the species, anglers rely on spinning, jigging, popping, drift fishing, and trolling with downriggers. The traditional method of reef fishing involves jigging with handlines.
Trolling is the most popular method of fishing in Phuket. This is an effective way to catch Sailfish, Wahoo, Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, and several types of Tuna. Dead bait such as Ballyhoo or Tuna belly works well, in addition to live bait and lures. Bottom fishing is ideal near the Racha Islands, where you will find various kinds of Snapper and Grouper. When targeting Giant Trevally near Racha Noi, jigging is often effective. Popping for GT works well in June and July.
Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Phuket
- Size 15 to 35lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef