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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter December 2013

Best wishes from us all here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. We hope you all had a great Christmas and all your dreams come true in 2014. We certainly had a great time with many regular friends and customers, plus some new faces. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and customers who spent Christmas and New Year with us and for making it so special. The fish also get the day off here on Christmas Day as it’s the only day of the year Gillhams is closed.

Our Christmas venue was Krabi Resort overlooking a private beach in Ao Nang, and a more beautiful setting would be hard to find. The food was very good even if they did forget the roast spuds and stuffing. Luckily Becky did us proud by taking a huge bag of home made Yorkshire puds. All in all we had a great time sat out on the sand, watching Thai shows plus eating the lovely buffet. We were even treated (or tortured) to entertainment from Geoff, when he took the stage to perform Frank Sinatra’s My Way (which Geoff certainly did!), sounding like an old drunk outside the chip shop. Even Chris agreed, and he would know all about an old drunks! To be honest Geoff’s version of My Way bore a striking resemblance to the Sex Pistols – bloody awful!

On New Year’s Eve we had a Thai buffet at the resort. We should have had fireworks and Chinese lanterns but got let down at the last minute by the supplier. All was not lost though, as afterwards we all headed downtown for one or two drinks, and then counted 2014 in on the beach watching the fireworks. We finally got to set off Chinese lanterns, which had to be purchased from the local Thai entrepreneurs, who had bought the lot including our order and proceeded to charge a 500% mark-up! Then it was back to the bars for stupid amounts of alcohol, with the stragglers getting back to the resort at the crack of 8am. Luckily on New Year’s Day we don’t start fishing until 9.30am, but we then fish through to 9.30pm. However, the previous night’s overindulgences only left a couple of diehards on the bank at 9.30pm.

Between Christmas and New Year the celebrations carried on, as Becca had the big 40 on the 29th (oops, sorry, 30 something!). We had a big BBQ at the resort, and then once more it was into town so she could strut her stuff and flutter her eyelids at any passing tourist or customer.

Unfortunately the end of 2013 was also a very sad moment here at Gillhams. Russell our beloved resort dog was run down outside the gates of the resort. Russell was never a dog to go wandering, preferring the company of everyone in the resort, but unfortunately he followed the gardeners who were working on the outside flowerbeds. The poor little sod was sitting at the very edge of the road, when some clown who fortunately for himself did not stop, decided to drive at him, and Russ being Russ stood his ground! Everyone who has been here in the past two and a half years would agree that he really was an exceptional dog; he had so much character. Although only two and a half years old, he really did live a full life, always around the lake with customers and the guides, and even out in the boat with Nathan when checking the oxygen every morning. We would also like to thank everybody who wrote comments about Russell on our Facebook page, and all the pictures that were sent in of him around the lake showed his popularity. He really was an awesome dog who will be dearly missed.
Rest in peace, Rus. To some people you were just a dog, but to us you were one of the family. XX

We would like to thank Ardy Veltkamp for getting us our latest sponsor, Wiley X sunglasses, who have kindly supplied all the guides plus the management with sunglasses. These really are awesome sunglasses, and they are the main eyewear for the United States servicemen and extreme sports enthusiasts. Anybody interested in purchasing a new pair of sunglasses please check out their website at You won’t be disappointed with the quality; they even have videos on YouTube showing how indestructible the lenses are, hitting them with hammers and even shooting them with shotguns without leaving as much as a scratch on the lenses.

Before we get to the fishing in Thailand and the anglers themselves, we thought we would also mention about one of our guides who had a nice family visit over Christmas from Richard and Bev Austin, mum and dad of our guide (loosely put) Dec Austin, alias Lord Fauntleroy the third of Brighton to give him his proper title. Mummy and Daddy had come to see how their little Decky was doing in Thailand, and of course to bring him some extra money. You see what you newsletter readers probably didn’t know is that Dec has been known to tell a few porky pies in his time at Gillhams, such as that he was one of the top ten mechanics in the country for Land Rover, yet couldn’t manage to fix a lawnmower when he got here! Then there were the tales of his kickboxing career that never left so much as a scar or broken nose. He’s been a rally car driver, a motocrosser… he’s pretty much done anything other people have done but normally at a professional level.

How about how he left home at 16 to fend for himself but omitted to tell us it was into a three-bedroom semi paid for by Mum and Dad! Dec told us he liked his independence, but forgot to tell us how his mum goes round three times a week and cleans, washes and irons his clothes for him. Meanwhile Dad, Richard, or ATM as Dec fondly calls him, ensures that Dec doesn’t go without anything… I love my independence… my arse!

We couldn’t wait to find out from his parents how Dec was when he was younger, and Bev had us in stitches as she retold tales of his days at boarding school wearing a chocolate brown blazer and matching cap with his own personally engraved briefcase. Or the time when little Dec enrolled at the local girls’ riding school… “Giddy up horsey, giddy up,” little Dec would scream with delight as he cantered around the paddock!

Seriously we all know how much Dec was looking forward to seeing his mum and dad and his slightly better looking brother Giles, so it was a pleasure to have them here. Richard and Bev whiled away the hours by the pool sunbathing and drinking their favorite tipple, gin and tonic. They also managed to snatch a few days away to Phuket and Kuala Lumpur with their sons, as well as trying their hand at fishing where luckily their guide Dec got them into some fish.

Richard asked me what his son was like, and I told him he was a really hard worker when he could manage to get out of bed, and, like any other 22-year-old, cocky and full of himself. Richard agreed and replied with a sentence all parents at some time feel about their sons and daughters: “Sometimes I hate him, but I will always love him.” How true is that?

I have to say, Richard, Bev and Giles that your son shed a little tear when you left, but cried his eyes out when Nathan left, and Nathan has never ever sent him any money… Kids, eh? You can never figure them out!

The anglers who visited us for the exotic fishing Thailand has to offer had some good fishing in Krabi this month with a total of 631 fish caught of 26 species, made up as follows: 52 arapaima to 430lb, three arawana to 12lb, four alligator gar to 70lb, 174 Amazon redtail catfish to 84lb, one Amazon stingray of 35lb, 67 Asian redtail catfish to 46lb, one black shark carp at 13lb, 41 black pacu to 30lb, seven big head carp to 15lb, two Chao Phraya catfish to 100lb, six giant gourami to 4lb, one Hoven’s carp at 10lb, six Julian’s golden carp to 23lb, 12 Mekong catfish to 200lb, two mrigal to 13lb, four rohu to 16lb, three ripsaw catfish to 15lb, five spotted sorubim to 24lb, 12 spotted featherback to 10lb, 204 Siamese carp to 130lb, four shovel nosed tiger catfish to 22lb, four tambaqui to 25lb, five wallago attu to 25lb, nine wallago leeri to 32lb, one yellow tail catfish at 5lb, one zungaro at 35lb.

Father and son Toni and Matteus Deigner joined us from Germany this month. Son Matteus works as a hacker for the good side if you know what I mean, as he designs programs to provide Internet security for companies. His Father Toni couldn’t be further from that line of business, as he has a ‘flock’ if that is the right word (well, it wouldn’t be a herd, would it Geoff?) of racing pigeons. In fact Toni is the current world champion at racing pigeons; he has over 500 of our feathered friends to look after, with his best bird worth an astonishing €100,000!
I did offer to buy it from him for 100 baht so that I could have it served on a bed of mash accompanied with spring onions and mushy peas, but not surprisingly he refused! Toni and Matteus’ total for their holiday was 19 fish of seven species including Siamese carp to 90lb, arapaima to 240lb and a nice wallago attu of 18lb to name a few.

Mike Morrison came to Gillhams last year with his son Clive, but this year went one better when his lovely wife Ronda accompanied him. Mike, a fishery owner in Kent, had convinced Ronda to return here on their way to meet friends in Bali, and the one thing he wanted was to get bigger fish than his son Clive did last year.

Ronda meanwhile was learning to play the clarinet and asked Stuart if it would be ok to practice, to which the obvious answer was a resounding, “Yes!” I mean what other fishery in Thailand can you hear the soothing sounds of a clarinet when you’re fishing? (Couldn’t hear a thing from my office, Geoff!)

The highlight of Mike’s trip this year was when he hooked into a Mekong. Mike, 71 years young and as fit as a butcher’s dog, was determined not to wear a butt pad, and because of this the rod was held in some peculiar positions when his groin need a rest. Finally he gave in and on went the butt pad and he soon had the fish in the net. Mikes total was seven fish of three species with Siamese carp to 50lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 35lb and his biggest fish of the trip was the Mekong catfish at 140lb.

Sally Sandcraft wanted to treat her husband for his 40th birthday, and what better way than to come to Gillhams? Paul said at the start of his holiday that his personal best fish was a 34lb mirror carp I replied, “If you don’t triple that weight while you are here on a single fish, I will personally run round the lake naked.” Not a pretty sight I know, but that’s how confident I am that everyone can catch the fish of their dreams at this angling paradise.

The first two days didn’t start too well, and then Paul started connecting with the Siamese carp, catching steadily and culminating in his best day with six Siamese carp to 85lb and two Amazon Redtail catfish to 45lb. Perhaps the highlight of his holiday was the capture of a 330lb arapaima, and furthermore that was when Jut and I, with our years of training in conflict management, came to the fore when we witnessed our first ‘domestic’ involving a customer. Paul had caught the fish of his dreams, and Sally had videoed the whole thing… or that’s what we thought! On the second attempt to roll the fish for a photo, the fish just went for it and jumped the cage and was gone. Paul turned to Sally and said, “You got some photos, didn’t you?” Every face tells a story, and Sally’s face said it all and more… Cries from Paul of “You are f***king joking me” and “I don’t f***king believe it!” rang around the lake, until Jut and I managed to intervene or there definitely would be cause for concern where Sally would have to be put into a women’s refuge until Paul calmed down! It all came good for Paul in the end when his impressive total was 20 fish of five species. Paul and Sally then left us to charter a boat for some more fishing, but there is no doubt that they will be back.

We are all rightly proud of the service given to this country by our armed forces, and we do in fact give all serving members of the British armed forces a 20% discount from our website prices. So we were pleased to welcome to Gillhams Chris and Nicky Oates, both captains in the British Army. Chris was a physical training instructor, and you could tell by the muscles he had on top of his muscles! I reckoned I could take him though… I just never got round to telling him! Soldier or not, this man could fish, normally pike fishing on the Fens. He had been waiting to come here for a long time, and it showed all over his face. The most memorable moment for Chris was when he managed to land an arapaima after suffering two losses due to a crack-off and a hook pull. We thought it wasn’t going to be his day, but right at the death he managed to land a lovely specimen arapaima of 280lbs no doubt due to his crab movements right and left across the swim to ensure he didn’t slack-line the fish! Chris was ecstatic, and after all he had seen in his career, that fish of a lifetime didn’t stop him from being just a little emotional.

Nicky just wanted to be there to see her husband enjoy himself… that and keep up her strict fitness regime. We always wanted to know the actual distance around the lake and we do now. Around the main lake is 0.6, miles and if you include the lure lake it amounts to 0.75 miles exactly. How do we know this? It’s because Nicky had a mileage counter and used to run around the lake ten times every single day. If you think that’s good then consider this… Nicky ran and completed 17 marathons in 11 days for a total of 434 miles – one mile for every soldier killed in Afghanistan. What an unbelievable achievement, and for that she deserves our utmost respect. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t drive half that distance without stopping off at a Little Chef or having a sleep!

This lovely couple are returning next year, and in June 2015 to bring a group of disabled servicemen, and that truly would be a privilege for all of us at Gillhams. The Gillhams family has donated the complete resort and fishing for two weeks, and we are looking for more sponsors to make the flights and feeding the brave soldiers possible. The response so far has been good with tackle shop Fosters of Birmingham already pledging support. Stuart is fiercely pursuing more sponsors, and will be hounding various companies at the fishing shows. Once the big man says it will happen you can rest assured it will, and if you would like to help sponsor this event please email Stuart who will pass your contact details to Chris.

Stretton Honor has been to Gillhams six times, and if we’d said to him that on this trip he would have personal bests of three different species he would have laughed, but that’s exactly what he did. It’s always a pleasure to see Stretton here; he’s one of life’s true gentlemen and always up for a laugh with the guides. First up was a magnificent arapaima of 380lb. Many customers as soon as they arrive want to get to the top end of the lake, because they believe that’s where all the arapaima live. We tell them time and time again that they are all over the lake, and that was the case with Stretton’s fish, which was caught from one of the middle swims. In his words the fish gave him the fight of his life; he was able see every gulp of air the fish took, and it twisted and turned as it tried its best to shed the hook.

Stretton came armed with method feeders. This method was an old favourite at Gillhams in the past, but since the pellet revolution is now a seldom used tactic. They worked well for him as he ended up with personal bests of big head carp and tambaqui. Stretton’s favourite species are the Mekong catfish, and although these fish don’t get on the feed until January when the plankton levels drop, he didn’t do too badly catching them at 100, 120, 140, and a beast at 165lb. Stretton also got into the carp, landing seven Siamese carp including two magnificent 90lb fish on his last two days; the last one on probably his final cast into the lake before he had to pack up to leave.

Jamie Rich and Steve Mayo came fishing this month. I use the term ‘fishing’ very loosely as these guys came to party, and most of the time fishing got in the way! I don’t think there was a single day when they got up for the 7am start, usually ambling down for breakfast at around lunchtime and then asking what swims were available. Both lovely guys, Jamie works for the EA and one of the nicest men you will meet, always up for a laugh and a wind-up. Steve is a salesman for the fishing company Maver and an excellent match angler who will soon be adding his match angling experience to the guiding team here at Gillhams in March 2014.

When the two lads did fish they caught some monsters. In the space of two days they hooked ten arapaima and landed seven up to 270lb. Jamie also caught a 120lb Mekong catfish with both of them landing some nice Siamese carp. These two were great fun to have around. We’re just wondering how Steve is going to get on when he starts work in March with the 6am starts… We did see him at 6.30am once but that was when he was on his way home after a night in Ao Nang… Looking forward to it, Mayonnaise!

Regular angler at Gillhams, Mark (Simmo) Simmonds returned this month. We know this because we could hear his dulcet tones from Krabi airport – boy, is this man loud! Simmo the mass producer of butterball carp, affectionately known as wrong’uns, and the infamous worm smuggler, managed to get 7kg of England’s finest worms through Bangkok customs only to open them up at the resort and find them all dead. Without his favorite bait we wondered how Simmo would go on, but he didn’t let us down, and soon he was into the Siamese carp, catching them to 70lb. Simmo is known to like a flutter on almost anything; in fact it was said he would bet on two mouthfuls of spit running down a window. I wonder what odds Simmo would have given us to catch a personal best Siamese carp? His personal best before this trip was 85lb, and his dream was to reach the magical ton. And that’s just what he did, landing a massive 116lb Siamese carp, which made his holiday and ours because Simmo is never shy of ringing the bell and buying everyone in the bar a drink or two.

He followed that fish up with two arapaima of 280lb and 120lb, before for the first time venturing over the opposite side of the lake, which is a long way for a doddering lump of lard. He was determined to catch a stingray, and they seem to have taken a liking to that side of the lake. He hooked a couple before disaster struck… Simmo has always had a soft spot for our youngest guide Nathan; in fact he always blushes a little whenever he sees him. So you can imagine the horror on Simmo’s face when he hooked into one of the Amazon stingrays, and when trying to net it for him poor Nathan got a swipe from its tail and the sting went into his wrist, resulting in a visit to hospital, four stitches in his wrist, antibiotics and a huge tetanus jab in his bum. Simmo meanwhile carried on fishing and managed to land another beauty at 40lb. No picture though, as the battery had run out on his camera.

Rod Jones, a 34-year-old from USA came to visit Gillhams for his second time. Rod has only been out of the state of Florida three times in his life and two of those were to come and visit us. A more polite and well-mannered man you couldn’t wish to meet, Rod was an absolute pleasure to guide. His love for the fish and all animals was there for all to see; one of the few anglers I’ve met who didn’t need a photo with every fish. But every single time he caught a fish, in the water he got, because he wanted to tend to the fish with the iodine spray and watch it swim away. The last time he came he caught a total of 11 fish, but this time he caught that many in his first two days, catching Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb in a total catch of 22 fish of five species. Even though Rod had caught an arapaima on his first trip of 180lb, he desperately wanted another one. We pulled out all the stops, but getting to the end of the day it was 6-0 to the arapaima due to hook pulls, but at the death he managed to catch one of 150lb.

Rodney had never caught a Siamese carp so he moved down the lake, and using two grains of maize he landed a beautiful carp of 90lb. To see the look on this gentleman’s face was priceless and something money can’t buy. We even managed to get him to Ao Nang as he said he had never ever been in a bar, which resulted in Rod coming home at 3am and just managing 30 minutes fishing the next day. Rod doted on his mum Dana, and she is no doubt proud of her son and rightly so. One quote from Rod was that he felt, in his words, “Gillhams really make you feel you belong.” On behalf of everyone here, Rod, you definitely belong here, so come back soon.

Mick Dunden and his Thai wife Nam came to spend Christmas with us. Mick, an ex-pat now living in Dubai, by his own admittance had not done a lot of fishing. I promised him he would catch fish that would pull his arms off. The first two days didn’t start too well for Mick, and then the carp showed up in his swim. He caught steadily for the rest of his holiday, but nothing was going to prepare him for the fish he caught on his last day. Mick needed help to land some of the carp, and there is no shame in that. On his last day he hooked into a big carp, and after 15 minutes he handed the rod to Jut who played the fish for a while before handing the rod back to Mick. At this point the fish hadn’t shown itself, and when it finally surfaced, Jut and I immediately recognized it as the world record capture of two months ago. Back then it was officially weighed at 134lb 7oz, but as the fish was played by two anglers it was pointless weighing it, as the record would not count. Although some well-known unscrupulous fisheries would have claimed it, these jokers even try to get anglers to claim a fish on a supposed weight of a few months earlier. I’d better stop or I will be sounding like Grumpy – watch out if I start the gripe section! Mick was so happy he packed up fishing and never wet his line again… what an end to a holiday.

Ex-guide Dave Jones made a welcome appearance to join the Gillhams Christmas bash, and joining him was his beautiful new partner Donna. What a transformation she has made in him! Last time he came he had a side parting in his hair and a 70s style moustache, and looked like something out of Dads Army, dressed in a scruffy t-shirt and shorts straight from Matalan. In the short time he has been with Donna he’s had the complete makeover, lost some weight, hair all slicked back like Magnum P.I., nails all manicured – the lot… He’s even dressed now by George of Asda!

Dave was going to fish hard all week but Donna had other ideas and wanted to go on day trips out. Now we all thought Dave would let her have it like the man he is, but the result was that Dave fished every other day to some constant ribbing by us… I think we have all been there! When he did fish, not surprisingly, knowing the lake, he murdered the carp, catching a total of 27 with the biggest going 85lb. Dave’s a lovable guy and Donna is a cracker; they make a lovely couple. It was nice to see Dave so happy, and we loved having them here.

We also had a return trip from the big man from Holland, Ardy Veltkamp for four weeks. Ardy was meant to be taking the whole resort exclusively for the first ten days of his trip, but was let down by many of his fishing friends. One guy who did not let him down was fellow Dutch angler Richard Langerak and German angler Wolfgang and his wife. Both Richard and Wolfgang were on their first trip to Gillhams and didn’t have any main targets apart from catching a lump of any species. Richard was first up for this target, landing a Siamese carp of 130lb literally minutes after Ardy landed one of 100lb, not to mention Simmo landing one just along from them of 116lb less than 24 hours before.

The funny thing was Richard was only just telling guide Chris minutes before while walking back from Ardy’s photoshoot that he will beat Ardy’s fish on his next cast. Ten minutes later he landed the 130lb carp. Wolfgang wasn’t too far behind Richard, and after a 2½hr battle Wolfgang landed a Mekong catfish of 190lb. With all these big fish coming out Ardy was getting really excited, as he was filming for his new TV show. Ardy has just signed up for a television company in Europe, and even though he was happy for his friends’ big catches he was not going to be outdone on his own fishing show, and was soon on a roll landing many big fish of many species.

Wolfgang went on to catch more big fish including Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb, arapaima to 110lb and Siamese carp to 50lb. In total Wolfgang landed 22 fish of six species before having to head back to Germany. Richard had booked a few more days fishing so stayed on after Wolfgang had left, Richard landed four arapaima with two of 300lb-plus and another of 260lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 75lb and more Siamese carp to 90lb. In total Richard caught 36 fish of five species. Ardy also had a great trip landing arapaima to 350lb, Siamese carp to 100lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 55lb and even two less seen species with a ripsaw catfish of 15lb a wallago leeri to 30lb, plus a black shark carp just shy of the world record at 13lb. Ardy’s total catch was 18 fish of seven species. Ardy was meant to be here for Christmas and New Year but got some very unfortunate news that his auntie lost her battle against cancer and had passed away, so he had to end his trip and get back to arrange funeral plans. Our thoughts are with you big man, and RIP auntie.

We had Stuart’s good friends Lee and Jayne Jackson come in for a couple of days fishing at the end of their stay in Phuket where they were staying with Jacko’s partner in crime Dave Woods and his wife Sylvie. Even though Lee was here more to see Stuart, he still found time to wet a line and catch some nice fish before heading back to Phuket airport for his flight home. While here Lee caught Siamese carp to 70lb, plus an Asian redtail catfish.

We also had a return trip from Leeda rep Nick Young who came in for nine days’ fishing at short notice due to Ardy being let down. Nick came in on the late flight, so had to wait till the morning until he could get his rods out. Nick’s trip started off slowly but soon picked up, and he caught all his target species plus many others and even a few personal bests along the way. One of the main species for the trip was arapaima, and Nick caught a total of five at 100lb, 170lb, 240lb, 270lb and his biggest at 300lb. The total catch for Nick’s trip was 31 fish of eight species including Mekong catfish to 135lb, Siamese carp to 75lb and a couple of species that have been in hiding – Julian’s golden carp and a 10lb Hoven’s carp only a few pounds shy of the world record.

Steve Bull, on his third visit to Gillhams, fitted in a quick five days’ fishing before Christmas. Steve’s first day was a fishing experience you could only dream of. Due to flight times, Steve could only fish a half day on arrival, but he made up for that with five Siamese carp with a combined weight of 390lb, with his biggest of the day at 85lb. Steve being a match angler back in the UK isn’t a stranger to getting as much weight as possible on the bank in a short period of time, but has never experienced a combined weight like this, especially with it being only five fish. Steve’s trip carried on going well, and he finished with a total of 16 fish of four species with his best Siamese carp at 90lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 70lb and arapaima to 290lb with a few small Asian redtail catfish to 20lb.

Eddie and Lynne Grey made their annual Christmas visit to Gillhams this month. Sadly for Eddie, his mother passed away just shortly before he was due to come here, so I’m sure it was a difficult decision for him to continue with his holiday, but we are all glad he could make it to us for Christmas; it wouldn’t be the same here without Eddie and Lynne. They are as much part of Christmas as Santa Claus. Eddie, the current world record holder for the mrigal carp, is a typical northerner from Chadderton near Manchester, and there are no ‘grey areas’ where Eddie is concerned. He says what he like and likes what he bloody well says! (Buggered if a southern lad like me knows what Geoff means here, but I presume its northern talk!).

Make no mistake he is a serious angler, and Lynne is a serious sunbather, turning from fair skin that all Mancunians have due to our love of rain in that part of the world to a deep mahogany by the end of her holiday. Meanwhile, Eddie ordered his ten Chang and the odd vodka and Diet Coke for Lynne and settled down for the day. Eddie only had one main target species. He has fished here many times and caught most of our species apart from one, a Julian’s golden carp, which he caught this trip at 23lb. After catching this on his third day the rest of the trip was just taking it easy, leaving himself free to enjoy the fishing and of course the Chang beer. Eddie did however manage a new species when he caught a yellow tail catfish weighing in at only 5lb. He was still happy as he’s never caught one before and they’re not a species that grow to a huge size. Eddie’s total catch for his stay this time was 28 fish of six species with his biggest fish being a Siamese carp of 90lb.

Kevin Dixon and his wife Monique came to Gillhams for their first time this month. Both Kevin and his wife were fishing but could only make a couple of days before carrying on with their tour of Thailand. After the guides spent some time with them it was clear that Kevin and Monique had both led interesting lives. Kevin was a yacht racer and had explored all over the world, including yachting around the polar regions in some very extreme and cold weather. Monique on the other hand used to be Reggie star Shabba Ranks’ road manager while he toured. Fishing wise neither Kevin nor Monique had much experience with the biggest fish being 7lb, but still wanted to try something different and both caught some nice fish. Kevin’s biggest fish once he left here is now a 75lb Siamese carp, and Monique landed a Siamese carp of 65lb along with spotted featherbacks and black pacu.

Colin Dodd, an English ex-pat living in Thailand, makes Gillhams Fishing Resorts his holiday home every other weekend when he escapes the madness of Phuket. Every time Colin comes here, even if the fishing is proving to be difficult to other anglers, he always manages to pull a few fish out. He spends all day watching the water, recasting, baiting and watching for fish moving. On Colin’s second trip this month he wanted to fish a quieter area of the lake, but due to the lake being busy he only had one choice on the opposite side to the bungalows in swim nine. His trip went well and he even managed a PB Siamese carp of 80lb along with four others of 60lb-plus with a few Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb and Asian redtail catfish to 30lb. Colin was so chuffed with his new PB he even finished fishing slightly earlier just to relax before starting his two-hour bike ride back to Phuket.

Poor Colin did not have the luck all his own way this trip. First off he was abused, or as Stuart put it, bullied by Geoff. Now Geoff comes across as a nice, caring fatherly sort of figure, but this is actually a front that hides another side of Geoff, which is that of a bully. Basically he’s a typical Manchester United supporter – alright when on top, but toys out of the pram when things don’t go their way! Colin has fished a lot here at Gillhams; he always arrives in a clean but very well used stained T-shirt. He attributes his luck with fishing and never having had a motorbike accident to wearing his lucky shirt, he has caught personal best minnows to marlin wearing his lucky shirt. Now Geoff reckons Colin is tight, which is a statement from a bloke known to peel an orange in his pocket! In fact Colin is far from tight; it’s just a fisherman thing wearing lucky clothes and being superstitious, and the shirt had bought him luck for years. Geoff was a bit grumpy when Colin arrived, probably due to a drubbing from lowly Newcastle and United’s league position. As Colin stood talking with the other guides, bully-boy Geoff appeared and ripped the lucky shirt off Colin’s back. On the way home that weekend Colin had his first motorbike accident, smashing his beloved 1950s Triumph to pieces, but fortunately sustaining just a few cuts and bruises. On Colin’s next trip he blanked and the motorbike broke down. Oh yes Geoff, I bet you are proud of yourself. Being the gentleman Colin is he had the shirt stitched together and gave it to Geoff as Christmas present. Let’s hope the shirt gods show Geoff some shit, and as for Colin he now boasts a lucky Gillhams shirt.

Nathan Evans from South Wales came for his first trip to Gillhams with his fiancée Beth. Nathan is a good angler and has fished for the Welsh sea fishing team, and all through his trip he caught consistently. His best day came on his third day when he caught two Siamese carp of 85lb and a new PB Siamese carp of 110lb. He finished his day with a couple of Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb. In total Nathan landed 16 fish, including ten Siamese carp with all of them 60lb-plus apart from one at 35lb.

Terry Gower, a “white van driver” from Brighton joined us for Christmas. Terry is a pleasure to look after. Whenever you asked him where he wanted to fish, his reply would always be, “Fit me in anywhere, I don’t care.” That was OK until he was in a swim that needed a cast to the far bank, because Terry is to casting what Douglas Bader is to sprinting. He lost so many leads in the vegetation I thought he was attempting to fish the lure lake from the main lake! We had to send Sean out again to the local mosque to nick some more lead off the roof so we could replenish supplies. Terry took a break from fishing one day to go rock climbing, with former world champion mountaineer/fishing guide Dec. Now you would think Dec as an ex-mechanic would have tough fingers rooting about in engine compartments wouldn’t you? Wrong… Dec had to give up halfway through as his little pinkies were hurting and he needed some plasters… soft southern Jessie!

Many customers leave stuff behind for the guides, and unfortunately Terry left his headtorch behind, a monstrosity of a torch that wouldn’t look out of place on the head of a miner carrying a cage with a canary! Thankfully it has come in useful as a spare part for Jut’s car. When Terry did fish he caught some cracking fish, but this holiday for Terry was more about relaxing.

Well that just about sums up another month at probably the world’s best fishing resort. If you wish to book your dream fishing holiday please check availability and book early. The word is well and truly out and Gillhams is booked well in advance. Contact Stuart by email or phone 0066 (0) 861644554.

Alternatively go and see Stuart and Sean at one of the following fishing shows: Brentwood 25th/26th January, Zwolle, Holland 8th/9th February, Farnborough 22/23rd February, Forum International de la Carpe et du Silure, Montluçon France 1st/2nd March or Coventry 8th/9th March. Once again we will be offering discounts when booking a holiday at the show, and also the famous Gillhams raffle will be taking place with two holidays drawn at every show.

Don’t forget before you leave this website to register your email address. This will automatically enter you in the April draw for a week’s fishing and accommodation with flights included to Gillhams Fishing Resorts in Krabi.

Best wishes for 2014 and may all your dreams come true, which they probably will if you come to Gillhams.

From all the team here at Gillhams, thanks for supporting us.