Interview: Mr. Poul Berthelsen – Denmark

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Retired Teacher

Mr. Poul Berthelsen

Poul, first, please tell our readers about yourself. What is your age, your background and can you give us an idea of the kind of jobs you have had so far in your career?

I am fifty-six years old, raised in a small village in Denmark close to river, lake and sea. After graduating, I became a carpenter and have since been educated as a teacher. For many years, I have been working with young people with disabilities and with juvenile delinquents who have been removed from their homes. I have the last few years I’ve worked with people on the edge of society, such as homeless people, drug addicts etc. and found it very rewarding to carry out social work. But it is also very hard and not so often successful. Unfortunately, in Denmark it is also not an area of very high priority and it is very poorly paid. That’s why I chose to change my career.

300lbs Mekong Catfish from BKK
300lbs Mekong Catfish from Bangkok

Have you ever travelled overseas? If so, to which countries?

I have always enjoyed plenty of travel and have visited most countries in Europe, but I’ve also travelled a lot in Asia. I travelled a year in India, visited Nepal and Tibet and have been to China several times. I like the big cities of Asia and enjoyed being in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as well as Shanghai and Beijing.

Sunset at the North Sea
Sunset at the North Sea

What is your great hobby or passion in life? Could you explain to us the way you’re developing it into your main business? I understand that you are now visiting Thailand and Myanmar pursuing this endeavour?

Since I was a little boy and inherited a fishing rod from my uncle, sportfishing has been my very greatest love. I have cultivated fishing as a hobby in all sorts of ways, from small ponds with crusian to heavy sea fishing. I just returned from a trip in Skagerak where we fished for sharks under Norway’s shores. But my love for Asia played a crucial role and has made me now want to share my experiences with others by bringing sportfishing enthusiasts to Asia. That’s why I started Gone Fishing, a travel agency that sells fishing trips to Thailand and Myanmar. I have done a lot of lengthy research in Myanmar and have found that country to be a great place with many great opportunities to develop sportfishing there. In Thailand, there are already a wide range of fishing opportunities, but there aren’t many people from Scandinavia who know about them. I would like to change that, as there are fantastic fishing experiences just outside of Bangkok.

Poul holding fish
Deep sea Redfish from the North Sea

What is it about sportfishing that so attracts you?

There’s an old proverb that reads, “Sportfishing is a gentleman’s best excuse to do nothing.” It can often seem this way, but sportfishing has many facets. I’m a trophy fisherman myself, which means that I am very much interested in catching as many different species of fish as possible, as well as trying catch as big a fish as possible. Catching a big fish really gives you a rush, an adrenaline kick. But not least, it’s the experiences I from being out in nature that give me the greatest joys. When I’m fishing, I feel a calm in myself that can’t be compared to anything else I’ve tried. No matter if I catch something or not, a day’s fishing is never wasted. Also, it provides some culinary experiences, as I love eating the fish I catch.

A fish and a rod
Rainbow Trout from a Danish stream

Is it not sometimes a little tedious waiting for fish to bite?

As far as I’m concerned, fishing is never boring. There are long hours of waiting, but there are so many things you can enjoy. Just simply being in nature is itself a good experience and the long hours are a good way to spend time with yourself or have the peace of quiet conversation with a good fishing companion.

From among all your travels, would you please tell us about:

Your favourite travel experience ever:

My favourite travel experience is a regular one, when I’ll rent a fishing boat and sail out on the North Sea for a week. I do this once a year with good friends. There, we fish almost round the clock and enjoy ourselves with good food and lots of fish stories.

Your worst travel experience ever:

My worst experience was in 1985 when I arrived by train to Mumbai. It was an ugly experience to see so many beggars there, which tore me, and I it took great difficulty to get out of the station.

Catch of the day
400lbs Arapaima from BKK

In case some of our readers are interested in Gone Fishing, or would like to get to know you better and exchange experiences with you, what’s the best way to reach you?

Gone Fishing has offices in Bangkok, Thailand and Denmark. The best ways to contact me are:
+45 4260 4845.