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Krabi newsletter February 2008

Hi to all our readers I expect you are all looking forward to the arrival of spring. By the time you read this news letter I will have returned back to paradise away from cold miserable England. First of all I would like to thank all of you who have took the time to come and see me at the shows and talks especially those of you who parted with your hard earned wonga to book holidays with us. It has been very hectic travelling up and down the country and Europe. Also it’s been a lot of fun meeting many old and new friends; sorry to all the friends I did not see due to running out of time. Also a big thank you to all our sponsors for replenishing all our tackle and bait stock’s plus the many new goodies we have to field test. Thanks also to Dick Gayner who came to one of my talks then went away and made some fantastic clear plastic discs to stop Arapaima from swallowing baits, These have been an idea of mine for a long time and Dick has certainly taken them to another level, I can’t wait to try them out as well as the many other goodies our sponsors have come up with.
Also thanks to Mark and Sandy for putting me up while I did some shows around Farnbourough also for dragging me out fishing in the freezing cold to catch a 3 inch grayling see picture, much appreciated guys next time you are over you can only fish for live baits as well!

So my friends onto the catch report for February. The amount of visitors has slowed down this month to 18 guests from around the globe but they have managed 123 fish between them consisting of 25 x Arapaima to 320 lbs, 5 x Mekong catfish to 130 lbs, 24 x Siamese carp to 48 lbs, 17 x Julian’s Golden prize carp to 42 lbs, 1 x Black river carp 10 lbs, 15 x Amazon red tail catfish to 58 lbs, 3 x Thai red tail catfish to 25 lbs, 5 x Alligator gar to 33 lbs, 17 x Pacu to 31 lbs, 4 x Chao phraya catfish to 35 lbs, 1 x Feather back 10 lbs, 2 x Barramundi to 24 lbs, 2 x Black wallago to 29 lbs, 1 x Silver wallago 18 lbs, 1 x Snake head 3 lbs. Top baits this month once again are Dead baits and Maize. We have stocked some more specimen fish this month 5 Arapaima with 2 over 350 lbs, 1 Siamese carp of 70 lbs, 1 x Sting ray of 110 lbs, 11 Barramundi to 30 lbs, plus some Pacu, Snake heads, Feather backs and Barramundi, courtesy of our good friends the Chow family who netted one of there many private lakes and once again gave us first choice of fish. Please note all of you who catch a big fish here when we are busy dealing with your catch we often do not get a picture, many of you have the only picture available please forward a copy on to us for our records and for these news letter’s, this month we are extremely short of pictures due to Sean working alone. We need all the publicity we can get so please send a picture of your monsters to the weekly fishing papers for us thanks. On a sad note our female Peacock who was sitting on a clutch of 5 eggs got attacked and killed in the middle of the night by some alien pest probably a Monitor lizard the peril of sleeping on the ground instead of her roost in the tree, another lesson learnt we should have fenced her in.

The holiday bungalows are all now complete as well as the landscaping around them. The restaurant is 3 weeks off completion so by the 1 st of April every thing will be complete then it’s down to all our readers to help us get our money back and book there holiday of a lifetime! Sean has written the following catch report stories. His first attempt at writing but it looks like he has the old mans flair for mickey taking and sarcasm. I will be back on the quill pen next month with news on the filming by National geographic channel in March. Plus what has the team England match man Dave Roper just caught trust me folks its mahoosive. Over to my trusted son and fishery manager Sean.
Hi folks when the old chap told me I had to write this month’s general lies and bullshit about our poor guests I must admit I cacked myself thank god for the spell checker. The old git tells me that before the war in his day they never had such things as spell checkers bloody liar cos I call her Gran. First out of the bag this month is the return of Keith Purton and his 11 year old son Andrew. After arriving at the lake about 3.00pm Keith and Andrew grabbed a chance of a few hours fishing before dinner. They had said they would not fish on the first day choosing an early night ready for a full days fishing the following day. But Keith being the tight sod he is wanted to get there money’s worth. Setting the rods up outside their bungalow all was quiet for 2 hours until 6.00pm when Andrews’s buzzer screamed off and Andrew jumped into action. Our first thoughts were an Arapaima had munched his dead bait, but when 45 minutes later no sign of an Arapaima taking a breath, and with the fish on its 7 th lap around the lake there was only one thing to be said Mekong! After Joe Taylor’s 1 hour and 50 minutes fight the month before, we new we could be waiting a while to get this power house fish in the net.1 hour 30 minutes later dad Keith was under no illusion that this fish could beat his own personal best Mekong, so he gave Andrew a few tips (take your time and if you cant carry on give the rod to your dad) Andrew refusing any help from dear old dad battled on and after 2hours 15minutes landed his personal best Mekong of 130 lbs. With a tired fish in the net and a even more tired 11 year old flat on his back, it was to be a start to a very good trip for young Andrew, who went on to catch Pacu to 20 lbs, Arapaima to 170 lbs, Red tail catfish to 40 lbs, Julian’s golden prize carp and Siamese carp to 30 lbs +. (How many junior world records in that lot?) Keith’s trip was not so successful but very entertaining. After taking a lure rod off his son to show him how to cast and retrieve a lure properly! (Andrew was doing everything perfect anyway) He managed to hook a new species in the form of a 180 lb Hong Kong school teacher (himself).As well as feeling very stupid with his lure fishing lesson, it was of to the hospital where the nurses found it very funny to see the silly foreign guy with a lure hanging out of his arm ! I just hope the IT lessons he teaches in Hong Kong are more useful to his students and less dangerous to himself!

John Davies also returned but not as a fisherman just a holiday sight seeing tourist, with his long suffering wife Pat for an intended 2 day trip, that soon turned into a 10 day stay after wife Pat fell in love with the surrounding views, along with the peace and quiet plus of course the 5 star Thai cuisine cooked by Dad’s better half Benz. After 9 days of watching people landing our amazing array of specimen fish that first brought John here the month before. Ex police man John Davies broke and started begging Pat to let him fish on their final day of the holiday. A very surprised John was told no problem, you could have fished before but you kept dragging me off on day trips, when all I wanted to do was sit by the swimming pool looking at the views and watching some of the rare and beautiful birds Southern Thailand has to show replied Pat. The last day came and a happy angler stepped out on the lake ready to get going and what a day John had he landed 2 Arapaima of 110 & 140 lbs, a Pacu of 15 lb and a rare black river carp of 10 lb. Retiring back to the bungalow for one last fabulous Thai meal and the best part of a 100 pipers bottle of whiskey. John mate we really hope to see you again in the near future as yours and Pats Company was the nuts.
Jasper a well known Swedish angler arrived at the lake, accompanied by his mate Peter and that dodgy old Phuket ex pat who goes by the name of Rodney (Dave) after arriving 2 hours late due to a car crash on the way from Phuket, where Rodney nearly had a motorcyclist through the windscreen of his rental car. Which lead to a small 3 hour questioning session at the police station (I expect old Rodders is used to that) Plus a written off rental car. On arrival Jasper informed me that he would love to catch an Arapaima. Ok I said but I can’t guarantee one, but we will put both your rods out on fish baits. We arrived at his swim got his first rod out and no sooner did we go to bait his second rod up, when his first rod screamed off. To everyone’s amazement it was the fish he wanted a 160 lb Arapaima he also went on to catching Pacu and Siamese carp in his 24hour session. Peter also caught a nice 150 lb Arapaima plus a Red tail catfish. Poor old Rodders caught sod all but he did manage some stitches and a nice medical bill at Krabi hospital. Then it was off to Krabi town to catch the ferry back to Phuket due to the fact of already wrecking the rental car.

Arriving back at Gillhams from back packing around Malaysia was the one and only John Deakin (aka Orange John) He came up just to say hello and see how everybody was getting on. Upon asking if we had many bookings I answered we have a few including your boss Colin Bunn and his wife Rose from Cat masters fishing. John informed me that Colin who new John was in Thailand never told him he was coming to Thailand himself, or that he intended fishing in Krabi. Obviously Colin was trying to get away from work and anything to do with Cat masters including fishing guide Orange John! Anyway John asked if he could come back that evening for the BBQ that we had arranged. Also could he surprise Colin and Rose and maybe ponce a few days cut price fishing (or add it to Colin’s bill).On Colin and Rose’s arrival that evening they were surprised (and gutted!) To find John one of Colin’s fishing guides here to greet them both with a smile and cold beer. Well Colin certainly was surprised, but I am not sure if it was a good surprise or a bad one, considering they had just traveled thousands of miles to get away from work only to have it follow them. Any way Orange stayed for 2 days and 3 nights not just for fishing but more for the social, as he said he had caught everything he really wanted the month before. John finished his trip with an Arapaima of 130 lb, a 25 lb Siamese carp plus a Julian’s golden prize carp of 18 lb. Also numerous crates of beer were consumed along with much bullshit. Then it was off to Bangkok for a few nights and home to Spain where he is sure to be punished on Colin’s return for his interference to his holiday! As you already know from the above this month we had Colin Bunn and wife Rose from Cat masters join us for a 2 week fishing and sight seeing holiday. After Colin had met up with Stuart at the fishing shows in Europe and seen what we have to offer here in Krabi, he decided to prize his wallet open and have a go at some real fishing for a change. Upon his arrival he had his first let down after seeing Cat master fishing guide John Deakin greeting him. Poor old Colin then had a slow start for 2 days, missing a lot of fish and landing only a couple. But once John had departed things started to change for the better in more ways than one! Well sort of! After catching his first Arapaima on the lake he wouldn’t take any photos for worry of the fishes well being as the fish was not looking to good insisting we had to unhook and release it immediately, this I think you will agree shows Colin’s dedication to the fishes well being above all else.

I told poor Colin not to worry as the techniec Dad and I have developed for the safe handling of big Arapaima guarantees there safety. Telling him it won’t be the last Arapaima of his trip and the next one we would photo for him. The following morning we were back out on the lake at sunrise. After about one hour of fishing Colin was into another Arapaima after a few mad runs and a couple heart stopping head shakes it was led into one of our specially designed arapaima cages. This one was fine and full of life as we were about to find out. After unhooking it and letting it take a couple of recovery breaths it was time for the photos. Not knowing that Mr. Harry Palmer had plans of his own. Colin entered the water ready to finally have a picture with one of these magnificent creatures, when dear old Harry leapt into the air over the cage and away through the water, leaving Colin with a look on his face of a child that has just dropped his ice cream! With tears in his eye’s and what was looking like the fish he will never be able to photo of. There was only one thing to do get bait on and try again. After informing me that with the two Arapaima here and one at another lake that he was also unable to be photographed with he didn’t think it would ever be possible to get his elusive picture. Later on that evening with yet another Harry on the line could his luck be changing? With our breaths held and our hearts in our mouths as Colin had experienced a couple of hook pulls earlier that day. But no worries the Arapaima went into the cage on the first attempt. With the hook removed and the compulsory two recovery breaths. Harry was up out the water for a well deserved photo and a personal best Arapaima of 190 lb. Now for Colin it was beer time. Colin and Rose both had more fish to follow in the form of for Colin Pacu, featherback, Alligator gar, Julian’s golden prize carp, Siamese carp, Chao phraya catfish and a small snakehead species. With Colin catching a Featherback and a Julian’s golden prize carp he couldn’t wait to tell his old friend Joe Taylor who’s tried everything to catch these two species, just how easy they were. Also to really rub salt in the wound was the fact that Rose who also had two Julian’s one of which was on her first day after just a couple of hours fishing. Rose along with her 2 Julian’s golden prize carp also caught Pacu, Alligator gar, plus 7 Siamese carp. Rose dearly wanted an Arapaima but every time a chance came her way the rod was of course grabbed by Colin as he wanted all the glory. After their two weeks of relaxing fishing and visiting some of the many places Krabi has to offer it was time to leave and return to sunny old England for the five lakes carp show then heading back to Spain for another year on the mighty river Ebro for the great Wells catfish (and of course see there old mate Orange John).

Here’s a fishing moment that couple’s can relate too Martin and his girlfriend Susanna from Sweden joined us at the lake only being able to fit in half a days fishing. Knowing it was not going to be easy due to only having a few hours they set off to their swim with good hope. One hour into fishing and Susanna’s buzzer screamed off and her fight began 20 minutes later a beautiful Red tail catfish broke the surface. After being safely netted Susanna was tired but very happy with what she had just caught, but not for long as her boyfriend Martin was in the water and ready for his photo of the 52 lb Red tail catfish that Susanna caught. Due to the fact he had yet to catch anything and to save the ribbing he would be sure to get from his mates back home, he was having the pictures of the fish with his mug shot instead of the delightful Susanna. After a few more runs but not connecting with any fish, which probably could be put down to Alligator gar, as they are sods to get a hook hold on due to there impressive dentistry. So it was time for the two to finish fishing and head of back to the tourist town of Ao-Nang. For a romantic meal and for Martin to show off his fish pictures! Three days later Martin and Susanna returned at the same time again only for half a days fishing, probably due to a late night of wining and dining. I was straight away told it would only be Martin fishing today as he failed miserably to catch anything last time. Also it came to light that the day before they had gone fishing at Ao-Nang salt water fishing park and once again Martin was out fished by his better half Susanna. What a way to redeem his self, after fishing for just 30 minutes Martin caught an Arapaima of 120 lbs, he then proceeded to make sure his girlfriend understood it was bigger than her 52 lb Red tail. About 1 ? hours later he was in again this time it was a 150 lb Arapaima. Just to get her own back guess who leapt into the lake to get the photo with the fish, yes you guest it Susanna! Now it was coming to the end of their second trip when all of a sudden the same rod was off again, this time it was one of our big Arapaima resident’s here at the lake.

The fight was on, chasing the fish down the bank this monster was on a mission, after about 15 minutes the fish was approaching the cage, this was one was big mother pushing 250 lb in weight. The fish was one we had stocked 6 months ago which we have been dying to see, as she has a double row of big red spots down each flank. When all of a sudden this huge fish leapt into the air shaking her head from side to side just like a Tarpon. Then disaster struck the bloody hook came flying out past our heads, every one fell quite except for a muffled giggling sound coming from Susanna’s direction! I would swear she had the makings of a sly grin of delight on her face! Martin being the good sport he is excepted the fact these thing happen plus the fact he should have lowered his rod quicker when the fish leapt from the water, but he was already well chuffed with his afternoons fishing. So they packed up and headed for our resort’s swimming pool for a relaxing swim.

After both their trips they were very happy with what they had seen and caught, they are both looking forward to coming back next year for a week’s holiday (perhaps Susanna may be allowed to fish every day) It just goes to show it’s not just the fella’s who enjoy our paradise fishing location.Well that’s about it for this month every one is dreading my return as the party is over old grumpy is returning! After all the cold weather I have suffered in Europe I will probably take a week off and get the old rods out to have a go myself for the Siamese carp, as there are several over 100 lbs that are long over due a visit to the bank. Plus I have some secret weapons in my armory in the way of Solar tackles new plastic pop ups ,plus a new supply of the old faithful Ritchworth pop up mix so I can make some 100 mil pop ups ! Thank you for reading our news letter and come on spoil your selves and book that holiday of a life time here with us at Best wishes from us all we hope to see you soon. PS we did the impossible while filming with National Geographic but that will be revealed next month you could get a clue from Gold label tackle on the launch of there fantastic new line.