Anglers’ paradise

Salalah is one of the best locations in Oman for leisure fishing, which has elements of entertainment and fun and is different from commercial fishing. The catch is generally released into the sea at the end of the game. The beautiful beaches here have shades of warm and cold currents. They are home to different fish species. The fish varieties vary from live drifting to vivid blue fish that glide on fragile transparent wings. Flying fish and other abundant bait school fish are food for predators of various sizes, from Billfish, to Tunas and Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish).

Among the sport fish varieties, Salalah has Kingfish, Barracuda, Torado, Tuna (including Yellow fin Tuna during the season), Black Marlyn and Sailfish. Besides, hundreds of other species are available in Salalah waters.
This sets the ground for leisure fishing that attracts sports fishermen from all over the world, giving the activity the status of game fishing. They come to enjoy Salalah’s coastline and make fishing trips special and memorable. The activity, however, is limited only to some boats.
A catch or two is a must for making the leisure fishing or game fishing complete. Some service providers in the field guarantee satisfaction through a mixture of experience, preparation, concentration and perspiration.
Salalah is one of the best locations for recreational fishing in Oman. “This is fishing for pleasure as well as competition; and it is different from commercial fishing,” said Yousuf Mohammed al Shanfari, of Around the Ocean.
Yousuf, who started the first office of Around the Ocean early in 2012, is excited over the tourists’ response while enjoying fishing sport on two boats that the company owns.
“Our company provides an integrated programme for tourists inside and outside the Sultanate,” he said.
When asked why he chose to operate from Salalah and not from the Sultanate’s capital city Muscat, Yousuf said: “Because I am born in Salalah and love to be in Salalah. I get maximum satisfaction while taking tourists for fishing and assisting them in game fishing.”
Yousuf never gets tired of fishing “because he has been fishing from his childhood and has a special attraction for sea and sea-related activities. He wants to expand his business and take it to a reasonably high level with all possible facilities and value additions.
He, however, keeps his plans close to his chest until something concrete happens. Till then, he wants to focus on fishing activities with the available infrastructure and facilities.
“From the business point of view also, Dhofar holds immense potential as Salalah is the most important tourist destination in the whole of the Sultanate. It has archaeological sites of ancient civilisations as well as the beauty and diversity of nature. Pristine beaches, greenery and colourful mountains naturally attract tourists from all over the world.”
Yousuf, 27, has been a fisherman for most of his life. He started sharing his passion a year and a half ago when he got bigger boats to take tourists out.
Commenting on the common man’s curiosity about what they do with the everyday catch, Yousuf said: “It all depends on what the guests want. If they like to take it home to eat, they are allowed. Many of them want to catch and release them. Sometimes, there are too many fish and we just release them.”
He wants Salalah to emerge as an international sports fishing venue in the years to come. To achieve this, he wants more promotion of this aspect of Salalah and less movement of big ships with fishing nets.

Kaushalendra Singh