Fishing 101 & Thailand Must-Dos With Oz Chanarat Of Bangkok Hooker

Brave the weirdest and wildest fishing adventures with this original Discovery Channel series

Photos: Discovery Channel

New to fishing? Discovery Channel has launched an original series you should watch.

In Bangkok Hooker, 31-year-old Sittipon ‘Oz’ Chanarat unveils all the tips and tricks you need to know when it comes to fishing — more specifically, fishing in Thailand.

His fishing journey kick started when he left his job as a creative consultant at Animax TV channel to start a fishing blog called Bangkokhooker, which propelled him to fame.

We chatted with the evanescent fishing adventurer ahead of the show’s channel premiere.

Hi Oz, what have you been up to lately?

I just finished touring the US. When I started my blog in 2009, I met a lot of fishing friends and a lot of them are from the US. And they have either fished with me, or either way, either they fish with me or not, they have extended invitations for me to come fish with them. And I have. So I went over to Tallahassee to fish with this 71-year-old super redneck friend of mine named Doc Green. We also went to Fort Lauderdale to catch some bullseye snakeheads going around people’s backyards apparently, going through the canals, going through golf courses, catching snakeheads. It’s super fun.

Why the name Bangkok Hooker?

The year was 2009, I was sitting in the Bangkok Post Office. I think I was pretty much finished with one article, and then I was spending my spare time thinking of a blog name. I was creating a WordPress blog, and I wanted to make something that was catchy, but I also wanted something that was, accurate to what I do. I wanted to blog about finishing and I am from Bangkok. So what do fishermen do? They hook things, so therefore, fishermen are also hookers. And if I’m from Bangkok, I’m the Bangkok Hooker.

Which is your favourite episode in Bangkok Hooker and why?

I had a lot of fun filming with my friend Alex. Now, Alex is – so that was in the episode we were just experimenting and messing around with baits. I mean, I want the essence of the show to be just a bunch of friends hanging out and doing fun things.

So it was really nice to actually have a day and where I can have some friends come fish with me. So me and Alex, we’ve been fishing together a while. He is another friend who we found each other through my fishing blog, Bangkok Hooker WordPress. But, over time, as we fished together, I realised that we went to the same school. So that’s a nice coincidence. But, otherwise, yeah, it’s stuff like that.

What are some must-dos for any first-timer visitor to Bangkok and why?

First-timers in Bangkok? I would say, get a guide. The language barrier is just too much. You’ll be spending a lot of time trying to understand things and Google translating all the time. I mean, yes, you save some money but at the end, your holiday is short, might as well just get a guide.

But if you really want to go solo, then this is some of the many fishing parks that we have, like Pilot, Bungsamran or Amazon or [inaudible] Monsters or Palm Tree. All of these locations are very fun and accessible within Bangkok because, like I said, it’s not like we game fish department. Wild fishing is not easy. Within Bangkok itself, your best bet is fishing parks.

What should one know before embarking on one’s first fishing trip?

If it’s your first fishing trip, your best friend is Youtube and Google, really. Get all the information you can from the locals, from videos that the locals made like tips and tricks, you know, a mountain of information out there, make your connections, go out and meet people, connect, and that would be my first thing to say. Because in the end, it can only tell you so much, you know, but it would be very specific to where I go. But the more universal thing is do your research, make your friends and, you know, remember to pay it forward when they come and visit you too.

What’s in your fishing bag?

What I usually pack is three cameras, two power banks and box full of SD cards, a couple of clamps and mounts and tripods and then the tackle box, of course. So the tackle box contains two with the lures I would select for the trip followed by a couple of rolls of spare line, shock and leader material. And so those are, and then my clothes. Oh yeah, and then my laptop, of course, to copy all the files. My clothes, my toothbrush, toiletries. Those are my essentials. Oh, and sun protection like sunscreen, face mask, hat and polarised sunglasses.

What’s your dream fishing location?

Oh, I don’t know, man – tough call. The world – I want to fish everywhere. Okay, I’ll just give you a list in no particular order. The Amazon River, Lake Victoria, Home of the Nile perch, all across Europe,  especially in — I think it was in Germany and Spain where you can catch things like the goonch. I even want to go somewhere like England and do something like carp fishing. For me, it’s more like I want to taste all of it, you know. Imagine you go to a buffet, you’re not going to just go to one spot over and over again. For me, it’s more like I want to taste everything that it’s in the buffet. And I feel that the world is very much that, you know. There are so many spots to try out.

Bangkok Hooker premieres on Discovery Channel on 3 Jul at 9pm.

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