Swapping tales with Hong Kong sport fishing captain, Kim Stuart
Words by Hannah Grogan
Hong Kong sport fishing is easy to do. Says the Tail Chasers founder (a Hong Kong sport-fishing charters company) Kim Stuart, who has been fishing since he was 10, has been running sport-fishing trips from Aberdeen for more than 20 years.
You can go sport fishing with this team in places off the coast of Hong Kong.
“When I first arrived in 1983 I was told there were no fish and no sport fishing in Hong Kong. There were the trawlers, but no sport fishing,” he says.
“It started with two guys. There was a collection of anglers who set up the Mandarin Sports Fishing Club to fish international competitions around the world. That was the only realsport fishing in Hong Kong we did until two guys happened to go out on a junk somewhere near Sai Kung. They decided to put out a line and, the next thing they knew, out of the water came this marlin.”
Hong Kong Sport Fishing
With that, Hong Kong Fishings was born. Stuart runs regular sport fishing in Hong Kong weekend trips during the summer monsoon (about April to November) aboard his fishing boat, Kidusi. Departing Aberdeen at about 7.30am, he typically heads south for about an hour to find blue water where the big fish swim. “We’re about 18 miles offshore by the time we start to fish,” he says. “We’ll fish until about
“We’re about 18 miles offshore by the time we start to fish,” he says. “We’ll fish until about 4pm and then head back. Afterward, the deckies on board help to gut and fillet the fish. The best bit for me is when people come out and catch some fish and have a really good day; having them experience something they’ve never done before and teaching them how to go through it. Sport fishing in Hong Kong is a real kick.”
On a typical day, the anglers catch about 20 fish. Some are kept, others released. “There are so many fish out there,” Stuart says. “The policy on the boat is all billfish are released and some are tagged. We’re going to start tagging sharks soon too.” Hong Kong Sports Fishermen see plenty of sharks, mostly whitetips and blacktips, but also bull sharks and even tiger sharks, including an 18 footer.
Now more fish!
“Since trawling was banned we will probably see a recovery in fish stocks. I expect to see more sharks over the coming year. It’ll be an indication of how good the stocks are,” he says.
“During the shark attacks [off Clearwater Bay] in the 90s we were catching tuna very close inshore. Sport fishing in Hong Kong is really picking up. We were seeing a lot of fish quite close in. People will become more aware of sport fishing in Hong Kong. There are more junks and people in the water. With no inshore trawling, fish numbers are rising and you’ll get more sharks out there.”
Live the Hemingway dream by battling a sailfish or barracuda on a bluewater fishing trip from Aberdeen. Haul your catch aboard for the regulation fisherman’s picture – and tall story about its true size. From April to October, Tail Chasers runs one-day sports fishing trips 10 to 40 miles out to sea aboard the Kidusi 46-foot fishing boat in search of wahoo, tuna, black marlin, barracuda and more. Suitable for all levels of experience, the trips are led by Captain Kim Stuart and cost $2,400 a head, or $22,000 for the whole boat and up to 10 anglers. Trips usually depart from Aberdeen Boat Club at 7.30am and include all fishing gear.
Strike a light, the squid are back. Seafood lovers can catch their own on night squid-fishing trips by sampan from Sai Kung harbour; negotiate with the waterfront touts. Alternatively, Saffron Cruises offers catch-and-cook packages in Tseung Kwan O, where the largest numbers of squid are found. Once you’ve hauled in your catch, the captain will help clean and barbecue the squid for an onboard feast. Packages start from $6,000 for up to 30 people from 7pm-11pm. For details, call 2857 1311.