Koh Chang Ink: Squid fishing with the pros
Have you ever seen those bright green lights on the horizon off the the coast of Thailand? No, you weren’t hallucinating after too many Singhas. Those alien looking things are squid fishing boats, and experiencing a night on one of them is one of the most unique activities you can do on the islands.
Every night these big, colorful, wooden fishing boats head out into the darkness and use giant florescent green lights to attract squid. Have you ever thought about the amount of dried, fresh, stuffed, stir fried, grilled and deep fried squid we consume? It’s a lot. And it’s all being caught here in Thailand.
Squid fishing is one of the biggest industries on Koh Chang and it’s the livelihood of many local people. It’s also developed into an under-the-radar tourist activity. Right now most of the amateur squid fishers are in-the-know Thai tourists from Bangkok. But it’s really easy for anyone to enjoy a night of squid fishing. There are several fishing boat operators that take small groups out for a night of squid fishing and squid feasting.
Photo: Flickr / Pavel Rebrov
When you book a night of squid fishing with friends be prepared to head out to sea at 7pm and stay out on the boat until around midnight. Where you go fishing depends on the tides and the weather, but usually tours head toward the smaller islands south of Koh Chang where the squid is plentiful.
Your expert fisherman guide will show you how to fish with fishing lines attached to different bait and hooks or with fishing poles. Koh Chang fisherman bring in massive catches of squid every day, after all. But this is more about the experience and your fisherman guides will be more than happy to share their experience with you. You’ll get the hang of it quickly, we promise. Basically, just dangle the fishing line in the water and wait for one of the little suckers to latch on.
Soon you’ll collect a bunch of squid and the fishermen will prepare your catch right there on the deck. They’ll show you how to slice and dice the fresh squid, which may or may not squirt ink all over the place. You can even taste some fresh squid sashimi, which is a real delicacy.
Photo: Flickr / Pavel Rebrov
Now, the fun part starts. Get the coals on the barbeque glowing red hot and grill your freshly caught squid. Dip the barbequed squid in spicy seafood sauce made of garlic, chili, lime and fish sauce and wash it all down with some cold beers. Fish, eat, drink and repeat – four steps for a memorable island experience.
A squid fishing trip on Koh Chang usually costs around 600-700 THB per adult and around 300-400 THB for kids and can be booked through any resort or hotel. The price normally includes pickup from your hotel, transport to the boat, all the equipment needed to catch squid, safety insurance, a barbeque and bountiful bowls of seafood dipping sauce, snacks, water, coffee and fruit.
And don’t forget to bring your own beers on board because there’s nothing better than fresh grilled squid and a cold beer under the stars.
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