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April Newsletter 2013

Once again another month has passed us by, and once again it’s time for another Gillhams Fishing Resorts newsletter compiled by Sean, Geoff, Jut and Joel on the fishing in Thailand. We have had another busy month here fishing in Krabi with many returning clients plus some new faces. We are also having a big move around with the website, as we have joined up with a new web company. Anybody that would like their own place on our website we will be starting an anglers’ blog section where customers can write about their angling experience at Gillhams, you will also be able to add your own photos. We will keep you posted on the many new plans and changes we are making. We also have growing social network sites with our Facebook page Gillhamsfishingresorts getting daily updates on news and catches, plus we are now on Twitter @Gillhamsfishingresorts.

We have received an email from Terry ‘Poppa’ Eustace this month about the previous newsletter stating that he still has been unlucky not to catch Siamese carp to 100lb. This was a mistake made by me, as I wasn’t here on his visit and didn’t even think about the two previous 100lb Siamese carp. When I added him to the newsletter I didn’t even have the 110lb Siamese carp written down. I wrote he was unlucky not to land his big Siamese carp when in actual fact he landed one of 110lb that had been weighed. This is my public apology to Terry Eustace as he has been getting emails from people claiming he is a liar and has never caught a Siamese of 100lb. He had actually caught Siamese carp estimated at 100lb on previous trips but on his last he caught a known and weighed Siamese carp of 110lb.

We have also said goodbye to two of our guides this month. Mr. Ree has gone back to England to spend time with his dad and the rest of his family while his dad Jamie has an operation. All of us here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts wish Jamie all the best and a quick recovery. Geoff Akroyd aka Sir Sleepalot has also returned to the UK following up on a job offer with the Manchester Fire department training Arab fire fighters – hopefully he can stay awake long enough for them to learn a few things.

April is Thailand’s new-year festival with the worlds biggest water fight. The whole country has up to a week of water fights celebrating a New Year and marking the start of another rainy season. Once again regular customers joined us for the fun and games as we loaded the pickup with big water containers and took to the streets of Ao-Nang to cause pure mayhem.

Rebecca has made her return from England and getting another all clear from the hospital checkups, and after getting the last two tests back clear she will hopefully be able to start relaxing and getting on with her life. Maybe the eye rolls and deep sighs will even start being less frequent, but let’s take it one step at a time for now.

So, on to the exotic fishing Thailand has to offer here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts: The total catches for people fishing this month are 619 fish of 26 species, made up as follows: 54 arapaima to 380lb, five arawana to 9lb, seven alligator gar to 70lb, 151 Amazon redtail catfish to 87lb, eleven Amazon stingray to 32lb, 91 Asian redtail catfish to 42lb, sixteen black pacu to 40lb, three big head carp to 18lb, four Chao Phraya catfish to 100lb, two gourami to 5lb, one giant stingray of 110lb, three giant featherbacks to 8lb, 16 Julian’s carp to 40lb, 88 Mekong catfish to 210lb, one mrigal of 10lb, five ripsaw catfish to 32lb, one rohu of 11lb, eight spotted featherback to 10lb, one striped catfish of 20lb, 125 Siamese carp to 110lb, two shovel nosed spotted sorubim to 25lb, four shovel nosed tiger catfish to 10lb, three tambaqui to 25lb, nine wallago attu to 34lb, six wallago leeri to 15lb and two zungaro to 18lb.

Dean and Jenni Handley made another return visit to Gillhams. They drew the short straw and had the dubious pleasure of Geoff as their guide, and despite their peace being shattered by Geoff’s snoring they did not complain. So over to the sleeping beauty on this one… Dean runs a tattoo shop and Jenni is a school secretary and this was their second visit to Gillhams in six months, so if you are after a tattoo then I wouldn’t bother with Dean’s shop, as he is obviously charging too much if he can afford two fishing holidays in Thailand! They say opposites attract and that would be Dean and Jenni – Jenni being full of life, up for a laugh and a windup, while Dean would sit back cool as cucumber, watching and taking everything in. On the quiet days fishing, Jenni would be having jive and waltz lessons off me (badly, I hasten to add) and she would be teaching me how to talk like they do ‘down south’. She even taught me the lingo of the youth today… words like blat blat blat… whatever that means!

Always up to make me blush, she had a vicious take on one of her rods one day and a customer watching remarked, “That’s a nice snatch” to which Jenni replied, while wearing her bikini and a big grin on her face, “Why, thank you very much.” Probably Jenni’s best fish was when she managed to land one of the lake’s specimen giant stingray estimated by Stuart to be 110lb. Being a petite lady, to catch one of these awesome creatures is some feat as anglers lose eight in every ten fish hooked when the stingray cuts the line by thrashing it with its tail. Fortunately for customers (and the guides) these fish have their stings removed, as a sting from them is extremely painful, something which I’m sure Stuart can vouch for after being stung by one in the past when Sean forgot to remove the sting. You can imagine the rollocking Sean got that day, can’t you?

Not to be outdone, five minutes after releasing the stingray, Dean hooked up with an arapaima around 175lb. On his last day he managed to bag two Julian’s golden carp to 18lb, which, in Dean’s words, made his holiday complete. Dean and Jenni also added Mekong catfish to 165lb and Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb in their haul. Dean and Jenni are a pleasure to be around, and Jenni even gave me a new nickname, GG, which stands for ‘Gentleman Geoff’ or ‘Grumpy Geoff’ depending on the time of the day! She always had the chocolate Hobnobs available at 4pm for a cup of tea and biccies. So please note if you are coming to Gillhams, chocolate Hobnobs are the future, as Peter Kay would say!

They have already booked a return for October 2013, making three visits this year, as if that is not proof enough of their love of Gillhams, Dean showed the ultimate support for us by having the Gillhams logo tattooed on his foot. This show of support for the best fishery in the world gained them a discount, so any one following this will qualify for a discount, but for a free holiday we expect one on your forehead!

Chris and Roz Hinton visited us for few days on the way back from China. Chris is a minister and also makes leather horse saddles. You would think being a minister the big man upstairs would look after him, but on his first day he suffered a blank. The second day looked like going the same way as Chris never had a touch until nearly 8pm, but his prayers and ours were answered when he bagged a 60lb Siamese carp in the final minutes of his day. Chris told me the story of how he was recovering from an operation for skin cancer. This is a man who was as white as a sheet and never goes in the sun and yet still contracted the disease. From that day ‘Lucky Chris ‘ as he was affectionately known moved up the lake to a new swim, plus he hired a third rod. He did a few Hail Marys to his boss… that’s God, not Roz… and he settled into his new swim and waited for the fish. Chris hooked into a huge arapaima, and after a long struggle I would like to say his luck turned and Chris was cradling his dream fish in the net…but sorry folks… the hook pulled! Trying not to be despondent, Chris cast his rods back out and went to the toilet leaving Roz to watch his rods. You can guess what happened, can’t you? Chris returned from his visit to the boy’s room to see Roz, her face beaming, cradling her first arapaima. Honest folks, Chris was not a bit jealous!

This month we had a visit from German angler Renee Winter who lives in Indonesia and runs live aboard fishing tours out of Sumba. Renee was here to celebrate his birthday along with his wife, and maybe even catch an arapaima or two. As Renee only had a couple of days there wasn’t any time wasted on arrival and he was fishing within 30 minutes. On the first day Renee caught a few Amazon redtail catfish plus an arapaima on his last cast of the day at 180lb. Renee’s second day started off well with a small arapaima of 55lb. It’s nice to see these smaller arapaima showing up, as all arapaima under 150lb are fish that have been born naturally in the lake. His luck continued with more Amazon redtail catfish up to 52lb plus an Asian redtail catfish. Later in the afternoon Renee caught his birthday arapaima of 360lb. The following morning Renee and his wife had an early start and had to leave the resort at 6:30am to catch his flight home to Bali. We already have the ball rolling to make a trip out to Indonesia later next year for a ten-day live aboard. If anybody is travelling out that way please check out Renee’s website

Richard Foster made another trip after his mum’s funeral to clear his head and spend some time away gathering his thoughts. It’s always a pleasure having Richard over, as you couldn’t wish to meet or spend time with a kinder person. Richard certainly had a good trip, landing 44 fish of six species including Siamese carp to 90lb, alligator gar to 60lb, Mekong catfish to 140lb and eight arapaima to 240lb. Gollock and I took Richard out on our boat for a day visiting some of the local islands before having to head back for one of his good friends, Andy Hale’s, wedding.

Steve James made his fifth visit over for two weeks of fishing and fun at the New Year water celebration. During his two-week stay there were many messy nights, but he still made it up for fishing every day at around the crack of 1pm. Steve did manage to land some nice fish on his half days of fishing with a total of 41 fish of six species, including six arapaima, with the best three being 200, 300 and 380lb. Steve also had a good hit on the Amazon redtail catfish with his best at 85lb, plus Siamese carp to 90lb and an alligator gar of 40lb. Steve has already booked his next two trips within a couple of weeks getting home – one in October and the other for April 2014.

Andy Cartwright returned again with guide Neil, on yet another fishing tour of Thailand. While here Andy had a few targets – one was a big arapaima, and the other was arawana. Andy caught his arapaima of 280lb while fishing one of the corners baiting with fish and pellet, and had the arawana stalking the main lake. In total Andy caught 13 fish out the main lake with Asian and Amazon redtail catfish, Siamese carp, wallago leeri, pacu and Mekong to 150lb along with more arawana from the lure lake. At the end of his trip Andy was off early going up to Kao Sok National Park in the hope of Thai mahseer, snakeheads, jungle perch and any other species he has yet to catch. After Kho Sok he continued with a tour of some of Thailand’s other good commercial venues, and the finale of his trip was a booze-up with Neil. Now Neil is one of Thailand’s top fishing guides, but he obviously is not the best drinking guide, as Andy returned home with a broken bone in his foot!

Fishing fanatic Nick Peat made another trip this month and this time was after Mekong catfish hoping to break our long-standing world record. Unfortunately no records were broken, but Nick did manage 16 Mekong, with 13 over 100lb and his biggest being 180lb. Other catches included seven arapaima to 180lb and Chao Phraya catfish to 75lb. In total Nick landed 36 fish of seven species.

Jon Neafsy and Lewis Baldwin both write for fishing magazines and kindly let us share their accounts below:

Jon Neafsy.
Regular readers may have read of my exploits on the river Ebro for catfish, having decided to spread my fishing wings a little in recent years. A mate (Nick Peat) told me of his angling exploits at Gillhams in Thailand and I was keen to try my luck. I’d seen adverts for Gillhams in UK magazines, but it is always nice to get firsthand information off someone you know who has visited prior to booking a trip yourself.

After a trip to Norfolk pike fishing, I attended the Brentwood angling show with Nick where proprietor of Gillhams, the legendary Stuart Gillham had a stand. (If you haven’t heard of Stuart in the angling world then I don’t know where you have buried your head). After a good chat with Stuart the trip was duly booked for my 40th birthday. Stuart kindly provided a discount for booking at the show. Disaster almost struck as I got trapped nerves in my arm preventing the movement of my lower right arm and hand for several months, and Stuart kindly permitted me to juggle the dates. In between times I was lucky enough to twist Stuart’s arm into doing a slide show for the region of the PAC I run in South Lancashire whilst he was in the UK on business, which gave a good insight into the lake and its occupants.

We flew from Manchester to Dubai onto Bangkok and then Krabi, a total or about 15 hours’ flight time plus transfers, as there are no direct flights from Manchester to Thailand, although there are from London Heathrow. At Krabi we were met by Stuart’s son Sean who drove us to the resort. The resort, the lake and not least the fish were everything I had expected and more. The surrounding scenery has to be seen to be believed and is nothing short of Jurassic Park, as indeed are the fish themselves. The lake and the grounds are all immaculately kept. Fishing wise everything was provided by Gillhams, including very good quality tackle with Free Spirit rods, Shimano Big Baitrunner reels and either whiplash Pro Braid or Eustace mono, bite alarms, rod pods etc. The trips are ‘guided’ and the guides themselves are first class with various angling backgrounds. The guides will do as much or as little for you as you want to suit the individual angler. Due to the size of the fish they need to remain in the water, so the one thing you 100% need a guide for is to land your fish, and a quick sound of the whistle provided easily summons assistance. Fish welfare at Gillhams is first and foremost, which is very good to see.

From arrival on the first afternoon I got the rods in and managed an arapaima and a redtail catfish the first evening, which was a great start to the trip. During the trip I managed to catch seven different big fish species (there are 48 different species in the lake) with six fish species over the 100lb mark, the best being – arapaima over 500lb, Siamese carp to 160lb, wallago leeri to 110lb, stingrays over 150lb, Chao Phraya catfish to 130lb (they hold the IGFA record with a 121lb fish) and lastly Mekong catfish to 300lb-plus (again Gillhams hold the IGFA record with a 260lb fish). In my opinion Mekong catfish are the hardest fighting freshwater species in the world. On average a Mekong would take me about 30-45 minutes to land. One guy took over two hours, and I believe someone once took over seven hours to land one. Once you hook one of these things it’s like a tug of war. Unlike the Ebro and many other single species type destinations, at Gillhams when you get a run you never quite know what it will be. I caught fish as diverse as Siamese carp and pacu (basically a big vegetarian piranha). All the fish caught were in fin perfect immaculate condition.

In the evening, or anytime you want a break from the fishing, the onsite bar has a good range of drinks at reasonable prices, and both the Thai and English food is excellent. We also met some very good fellow anglers on the trip with fishing stories flowing and new contacts made. Due to the change of timing of the trip my younger brother Gary (generally a non-angler) decided to accompany me for a nice relaxing holiday. It was good to spend some time with Gary as we seldom see each other back home, and incidentally Gary enjoyed the holiday as much as I did.

As with any fishing trip, be realistic. Whilst there are monster fish up to 500lbs in the lake, don’t expect to catch them first cast or even first day or all day every day. Everyone I met on the trip had a great time and all caught very big fish, but as with every fishing venue, not everyone will catch big fish all day everyday, as that’s just not fishing. As with any fishing venue, often varying your tactics even slightly can bring results. One day I had seven fish of five different species with two over 100lbs just by a variation in tactics.

Everything at Gillhams was extremely well organized, everyone is helpful and there is a definite ‘can do’ attitude. You certainly get the feeling that you arrive as a customer and leave as a friend. Many people I spoke to had holidayed there several times before. I would most certainly recommend you to experience Gillhams for yourselves, as there is only so much that can be put into words in a short article. I can’t wait to have another trip!
Lewis Baldwin.
Through my annual holidays over the past few years I have been fortunate to have fished in some fantastic places and indeed caught some great fish. My latest trip however surpassed all of my previous experiences… The venue? Gillhams Fishing Resorts in Krabi, Southern Thailand. Opened by well-respected big fish angler Stuart Gillham and his son Sean in 2007, the fishery has quickly established itself and grown a reputation as one of the finest freshwater fisheries in the world. With no less than 48 species to target in the nine-acre lake ranging from fish in the low double figure category to world record breaking specimens of several hundred pounds in weight, it really is a place where dreams can and do come true.

I didn’t have long for my visit – three days to be exact – tagged onto the end of what had been a ten-day stay in a resort with my fiancée Eva. The morning for our visit soon arrived and as arranged with Stuart one of his staff was at our hotel bright and early to collect us. The journey didn’t take long and having seen plenty of pictures of the fishery online beforehand I knew what to expect, or at least I thought I did!

Pulling onto the fishery the views from all sides were breathtaking – mountains with sheer cliff faces adorned with a variety of trees, forest and jungle in every direction, exotic plants, birds and other wildlife not to mention a myriad of huge fish leaping, rolling and bow waving around the lake. It was obvious a lot of care and dedication had taken place to make the fishery and maintain it to the standard that I saw before me. I was eager to check in and get fishing, but first a few formalities such as double checking the rules and going through the methods and equipment to be used so I was familiar with what I was doing.

The best way I can describe it is carp and predator fishing almost as we do here in England but on a much bigger scale, with 6lb T/C rods, 80lb braid or 35lb mono mainline, semi-fixed inline leads and short hook lengths. The emphasis is on keeping things as simple as possible; it’s less complicated for the angler and more importantly safer for the fish. Two elements that were an absolute must though were short hook lengths (as it’s impossible to unhook some of the species if they are deep hooked which this could result in a loss for the fishery) and tubing above the lead to protect the flanks of the fish in the fight. Bait-wise, again nothing complicated with the fishery’s own pellets for hook baits and feed or dead baits supplied by the fishery. Every day of your stay you are supplied with a bucket full of feed pellets, a tub of hook baits and a packet of dead baits. More is available to buy at a very reasonable price should the angler wish. This is one thing I did do, as I wanted to target the Siamese carp so smaller feed pellets and ready prepared maize was the best way to go.

So hopefully by now you have an idea of the challenge that I was faced with, so how did I get on? It took me a few hours to get into my stride a little and work things out, but once I had a picture of the swim in front of me built up, I could get to work with a baiting strategy and try to maximize the water I had available. Fishing two rods I had three swims in my peg to target, which gave me plenty of options species wise – down the near margin to target the huge arapaima, out in front of me on the sandy bottom for the carp and the far cabbage lined margin for the Amazon redtail catfish. All thre areas were regularly baited and fished in rotation so one swim was always being rested. It took a while to get the fish going, and on day one I finished with two Amazon redtails and a rare visitor the bank in the shape of a near-40lb striped catfish. The fishing is from 7am until 8pm, so at finishing time I baited up in preparation for the following day, and what a day it turned out to be.

I could write a whole article based on just the second day’s fishing. In total I hooked 12 fish, landing eight of them. That’s one of the drawbacks with some of the species – they have very bony mouths so hook pulls are sometime inevitable. Still, I wasn’t complaining, as I had Siamese carp to a whopping great 90lbs, Amazon redtails to 30lbs and the majestic and prehistoric looking arapaima to a huge size of 180lbs (these fish actually go to nearer 500lbs and 300lb-plus fish are a regular occurrence in the fishery). It’s safe to say I was worn out come 8pm and by daybreak on day three I was full of aches. Nonetheless I was up with the lark and raring to go.

The fishing was much slower, due in part to a drop in water temperature, but I did however still land two Amazon redtails and a Siamese carp. Heartbreakingly I lost four arapaima, two of which were of monstrous proportions. I can’t even begin to describe the sheer power of these fish, and once they decide to get their heads down and run, it’s all you can do to hang on. Despite the loss of these fish it was a truly fantastic experience and one I hope to repeat one day. With 14 fish landed over the three days and almost the same again lost, the action was at times hectic with double hook-ups occurring twice and fish hitting baits on the drop kept it very entertaining. One thing I will say though is that if you are looking for a runs water, Gillhams isn’t that. If you work hard at your fishing, do all the right things and maximize the water in front of you then the rewards are there to be had but a turn up and chuck it out venue it isn’t. What is it? It’s a fantastic fishery, in wonderful surroundings, with some of the hardest fighting, most immaculate, well looked after fish in the world.

Thanks to Jon and Lewis… Hopefully we will be adding more clients’ accounts of their exotic fishing in Thailand in the future.

Also this month we had the pleasure of the company of Carl Lees and his 13-year-old son Mitch joining us for a week’s fishing. Carl was taking a break from work back home in Coventry, where Carl works as an engineer for Rolls Royce. They booked the trip over a year ago with Stuart at a fishing show, and they combined their fishing with the popular local day trips. Carl and Mitch were a pleasure to be around and guide for; it’s really refreshing to meet young people that are polite and well mannered. Mitch is a real credit to his parents, and I’m sure they’re very proud of how he conducts himself. The guys started fishing on their first afternoon and were unfortunate to lose a nice arapaima on that first day. This however was put to rights by the end of the trip as both father and son managed to catch the elusive arapaima. The most memorable part of their stay for me, and still one of the most memorable captures ever for me as a guide was when young Mitch hooked into and landed a huge arapaima of some 200lbs. As well as being a great scrap and an eventful battle to the net, it was Mitch’s shouts of delight and sheer joy that were really overwhelming for me. It was a genuinely emotional experience, and both Carl and I stood there a little overcome by the moment while Mitch had to do a lap of the lake to make sure everyone could share in his experience! We really hope that we’ll get the chance to see both of them out here again soon.

Shaun Wagner, an engineer from Wrexham, returned to Gillhams for his second visit this month. On his first visit Shaun failed to catch a Mekong catfish, so on his return his number one priority was to land one of the lake’s hardest fighting fish. He started his holiday for the first two days on the far side of the lake, but the fish were not playing ball, so on his third day he moved to the other side of the lake and quickly hooked into a Mekong on the float. All our float rods use 100lb braid and usually you can subdue these fish much quicker, but the braid is less forgiving than monofilament and Shaun’s luck ran out when he suffered a hook pull. He wasn’t going to give up, so out went the float rig again and a second Mekong was on, but this time the hook bent. Shaun was still not going to give up, and on his third attempt he hooked a powerful fish and had to follow it the whole length of the lake! Shaun finally had his Mekong at 130lb and we had one happy Welsh man! The fishing gods started to smile on Shaun when he landed four Siamese carp to 76lb and a spotted featherback of 6lb.

The next day Shaun decided to try his luck further down the lake, and landed two arapaima, one virtually a baby at 90lb and a fine specimen of 250lb. Towards the end of his holiday Shaun landed one of the rarer species in the lake, an Amazon stingray at 30lb, and this is where the fun begins… We often get asked as guides about the stings on the stingrays, and as previously mentioned in a newsletter with the Asian giant stingray, Stuart and Sean generally (but not in some cases, eh Sean?) remove the stings from these fish without causing any harm to the fish. However with the Amazon stingray, in Stuart’s experience, removing their sting generally results in the death of the fish, so all of our Amazon stingrays still have their stings intact. If you have never seen one, even on a fish this size the sting is the size of your little finger.
Now then, as a guide at Gillhams we are told three golden rules:

Rule 1: Don’t speak to Stuart until late morning or midday, and under any circumstances never ever say good morning until he has had his cup of tea… Please note Stuart is NOT… repeat NOT… a morning person!

Rule 2: Never ever go near Helmet the Weimaraner when he is near food (I must have missed the induction talk on that day and just about lived to tell the tale).

Rule 3: Don’t step on the stingrays, and don’t ever be stupid enough to put your fingers anywhere near their mouths.

Anyway back to Shaun and his stingray… Once it was in the net, I carefully wrapped a towel around the tail of the fish looking like the true professional that I am! With the sting wrapped in the towel, I handed the tail to Shaun ready for a photograph, then slipped my hand under the fish to lift it slightly clear of the water. The size of the mouth on these fish is relatively small, so you have to be incredibly unlucky or incredibly stupid for your finger to go anywhere near its mouth (I will let you decide!).

Well you guessed it; the fish sucked up my middle finger into its mouth and I got the shock of my life. When I got my finger back, it intact and in one piece, but the fish’s mouth had gouged a couple of layers of skin off both sides. These fish can crush shells in the their mouths and when I was retelling the tale to Stuart he told me how lucky I was that I didn’t lose the tip of my finger. Thinking he might feel sorry for me and give me the rest of the day off work, I stupidly asked if I needed to put it in the Gillhams accident report book, to which Stuart replied, “Accident report book! Next you will want me to do a fire risk assessment and a bleeding method statement. Get a plaster on it and piss off back to work… and no sleeping!”

Nick Jones and Dave Ball, long time mates and fishing partners over the years, came to Gillhams to catch up and get in some quality fishing time together. Nick moved to Australia seven years ago, while Dave still lives back in the UK. So this was a chance to catch up and resume the rivalry and mickey taking that clearly has been a large part of their fishing over the years! The fishing took a day or two to get going for the boys, and with Dave struggling with severe stomach pains and sickness, it wasn’t looking like the dream trip they’d planned. However after a trip to the local clinic and enough pills to fill a Smarties tube for everyone in Krabi, whatever it was that Dave had brought with him finally got put to bed. The boys then really started to get into their fishing. Nick managed to catch 11 Amazon redtail catfish to 70lb, while Dave was into the Siamese carp landing 14 to 95lb. Between them they caught a good number of fish with Mekong catfish to 150lbs, arapaima to 180lbs and Chao Phraya catfish to 70lb for Dave. Nick had arapaima to 320lb, Siamese carp to 70lb and Mekong catfish to 170lb. In total they had 50 fish of eight different species. It doesn’t sound like it will be long before we see either of them again for more.

It’s always special when a guest decides to celebrate their birthday with a fishing trip to Gillhams, and it’s even more special when that birthday is one of the big ones. Aaron Perry and his wife Wendy came back for another visit, this time to celebrate Aaron’s 50th and to escape the pressures and stresses of back home. I’m pretty sure it’ll be one that will be remembered for some time, as a birthday present in the form of a 250lb arapaima graced Aaron’s rods on the day he celebrated that milestone. We’re pretty sure they will struggle to top that present this time next year, unless of course they’re thinking of booking to come back here again! Aaron also caught Mekong catfish to 140lbs, Siamese carp to 50lb and both Asian and Amazon redtail catfish to 40lb during his time here.

We also had the return of English angler Eddie Jones to the resort. Eddie has been successful with us on his trips in the past, including his last trip when he caught the fish of a lifetime with a 400lb-plus arapaima. Eddie is a very easy guy to look after, always happy in any area of the lake he fishes and content with catching any species that take his bait. On arrival he was again asked if he had any set goals to catch giving the simple answer, “Something new which I haven’t caught before.” The trip started off with some bad luck for him, as he lost fish from hook pulls and hooking into a couple of monster arapaima which either opened his hook or came off running through the hyacinth beds. The bad luck continued with a screaming run at 7.30pm and his rod being dragged across the lake like a water ski. Fortunately this was retrieved a day later minus the hook. Eddie did what he set out to do and caught two new species for his collection, a 16lb wallago leeri and two Julian’s golden carp to 28lb. Adding to these fish, he also caught Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb, arapaima to 210lb, Mekong catfish to 100lb and Asian redtail catfish to 27lb.

Sorry for the late newsletter, but Stuart always checks what we write to remove all the bad language or libel. However due to his father passing away he had to return to the UK, and obviously it has taken a while for him to find the time or heart to check through our ramblings. The big man will be back mid-June and will be writing a tribute to his father, plus a gripe at some unsavory characters who chose to continue some childish abuse while the Gillham family were suffering!

All the staff here at Gillhams would like to offer the Gillham family their sincere condolences; it has been tough on Stuart losing his beloved father, and Becky, Sean and Jack their dear granddad. RIP a great man who was loved and respected by everyone who had the privilege to meet him.


Should you be planning to come fishing in Thailand at Gillhams Fishing Resorts in the next year, please book early to avoid disappointment. Contact Stuart by email at or phone 0066 (0) 861644554.


Best wishes from us all at Gillhams, and we hope to see you fishing in Krabi soon.