Happy new year to all our readers from all of us here at Gillhams. Well January has got off to a good start with 174 fish landed by 34 fishermen and fisherladys. Or were they all fishermen? How about this for some tactics by well known celebrities, First out of the bag is our dear friend world travelled angler Joe Taylor on his second visit in 4 months. All the anglers on the lake had ordered breakfast at the house for 9 am when at 10 to 9 good old Joe decides to be greedy as he has already had 4 Siamese carp this morning thinks he has time for one last cast with his maze rig before breakfast just so he can boast at the breakfast gathering how many carp he has subdued on the new free spirit 6 lb tc cat tamer rods, at 2 minutes to 9 his alarm screamed out Joe struck and proceeded to play a fish for the next 2 hours every one on the lake stayed to see this huge leviathan be banked by big fish man Joe.
Bets were being placed on either our biggest Siamese carp (150 lbs) or our Mekong catfish (260 lbs) making an appearance Sean and I started to prepare for the long awaited weighing of one of these two monsters with the big steel framed weighing station in place and the new 300 kg Salter weigh scales zeroed to the monster weigh sling all was ready for Joe to land the beast. Some 12 fishermen waited patiently while there breakfast went cold, plus all works stopped on the construction of the resort as all the builders waited to see the monster, Sean and I were up to our necks in water with the king-size landing net between us, listening to super fish hunter Taylor telling us this was the biggest fish in the lake and did we have bigger scales also to be ready as this fish would not fit in the net.
After two hours the fish was now close everyone waited with anticipation when a Mekong tail broke the surface Sean and I looked at each other the tail did not look big and by the angle of the line the length was not that of a 200 lb plus Mekong, Joe was still convinced this was the beast when silence fell amongst the crowd, instead of the normal gasps and shouts of yessss everyone just turned and walked away amongst much muttering about a once legend getting too old to handle big fish.The offending Mekong was hooked fair and squire in the mouth but despite being a nice fish he only tipped the scales at 85 lbs.
You can put this into perspective when you consider a 12 year old lad has just landed in 45 minutes this week a 132 lb Mekong on the same tackle! Poor old sod Joe took the rest of the day off to relax by the pool and try to drink our red wine stocks dry! He did end the week with The one Mekong catfish plus 1x Arapaima of 130 lbs, also 7 Siamese carp to 35 lbs a 15 lb Alligator gar plus a long awaited target fish a Thai red tail catfish of 16 lbs, Joes other target fish the Julian’s golden price and Feather back continued to elude him despite his concentrated efforts, only to be expected I suppose for an old has been! Joes best mate Nick in between sleeping and guzzling wine did manage to fit in a few hours fishing for his first then second Arapaima of 195 lbs and 150 lbs plus a small Red tail catfish. Then we had the return of Adrian Hancock on his second visit in 4 weeks who along with Joe and Nick joined the Krabi wine tasting club while his girlfriend showed him how to catch fish she took 2 personal best Arapaima of 180 lbs each, plus Rahoo of 15 pounds.
Next in line to embarrass his self was a guy with a name similar to gobbybitch who advised us that his group of 3 fishermen did not need any help as he was an experienced fishing guide from Russia. His first run was struck with the intent of ripping the offending fishes head off only leaving the small problem that he forgot to engage the baitrunner resulting in a huge bird nest and hand lining a 30 lb Pacu to the net, the Russians certainly won the drinking contest and would have won arm wrestling as well if anyone had been fool enough to take on 3 gorillas’, after Sean diplomatically explained to them using Gollock as his bodyguard how to fish they went on to catch 2x Arapaima to 140 lbs 3 x Pacu to 30 lbs plus 2 Julian’s golden price carp to 28 lbs.
We had an interesting couple arrive this month Will and the delightful Betty, sent up to us by our dear friend Francois Helios of Fishing Adventures Thailand they were on a extended trip in Thailand then off to India to take delivery of their motorbike. From India they are driving back to Holland on a 5 month journey fishing all the way back, what an adventure that will be, here’s wishing them well and hopefully they will keep us updated. Will was of much interest to Joe Taylor as he is a very travelled and experienced angler who has fished round the world in many locations that Joe has, but they had never met before.
Will had been fishing the week before Joe last year in the new hotspot on the big fish scene Surinam, were he had landed some huge fish .Joe tried leading Will astray with the wine but Will did not let drink be his downfall and left old Joe to get sozzled alone, he kept his secrets till the end then told Joe anyway. Will and Betty came for 5 days but stayed nearly 3 weeks whether it was because Will was a bit slow getting started on our fish or as they said, Gillhams is one of the most beautiful locations they have visited we don’t know but after a slow start Will landed his target fish 2 fine Arapaima of 190 lb and 150 lb, also 5 Red tail catfish to 30 lbs, 1x elusive Thai red tail of 15 lb.
Also in Wills tally were Rahoo carp, Julian’s golden price carp, Alligator Gar and Black Pacu. Next to make an appearance this month was Catmaster tours guide the back packing tight John Deacon (Alias orange John) His target species being Red tail catfish followed by Arapaima, being the experienced all round good fisherman he is he duly achieved both targets 9 Red tails to 45 lbs, 2x Arapaima 180 and 170 lbs, He also had Black Pacu, Soribim and Alligator gar on plugs.
Another visitor who I was most disappointed to miss was angling legend Alistair Nicholson. It is some 30 years since I last met and fished with Alistair but as I was in the UK promoting the resort we missed out on 30 years of gossip maybe next time mate. Now Alistair is a well respected angler but even the greats go astray he forgot to tie up his live bait cage one night. Upon arriving at his pre planned swim the next day the cage was nowhere in site, upon seeing a commotion in the middle of the lake the HMS Gollock was launched only to find a completely trashed empty net which the Arapaima and Red tails he’d smashed to pieces there will be no denying this by Mr Nicholson as we have photographic evidence.
This episode was not the end of poor Alistair’s problems as the lead up to the next tale is somewhat hazy. (We think bribes have been paid) Somehow he fell over and badly sprained or broke still awaiting test results his ankle and finished his trip crawling around doing a bum shuffle what a star though he fished on in pain to finish with 4 Arapaima to 160 lbs, Mekong catfish to 90 lb, Siamese carp to 25 pound Red tail catfish to 25 lb and Alligator gar to 15 lb. Alistair finished his trip with Francois in Bangkok who got took in by his injury’s and found a wheel chair for his journey home.
Sean has been sworn to secrecy about this injury but I have heard Alistair’s drink bill was exceptionally high. Joining Alistair was his friend John a retired policeman who after many years protecting the public failed to do the same with one of our fish but that’s another secret John did manage to arrest his target fish the mighty Arapaima. After trying for many years in various locations John had been told to come to Gillhams for the best chance anywhere in the world for a big Arapaima. His prayers were answered 6 times with Arapaima from 120 lbs to 200 lbs. also landing Red tail catfish to 45 lbs, Black Pacu, Siamese and Julian’s golden price carp, Soribim and Alligator gar.
In fact john was so impressed with Gillhams fishing resorts he returned 3 days later for another holiday, more to spend time sightseeing with his wife but I am told he is fitting in some more fish arrests as I fill in this report. Another note worthy catch was 12 year old Andrew Purton who put his old dad to shame with a fine 130 lb Arapaima, plus Red tail and Soribim. One of the best photo’s this month must be James Bluecroft with his stunning 50 lb Red tail catfish more amazing was the fact that James was just passing through Krabi on his way back to England when he phoned us to say he had 6 hours to kill between flights, did we think he could realistically catch in this short window we answered honestly (yes of course) no but at least our surroundings are a pleasant way to bide your time between flights.
Top marks for courage must go to James who actually landed the Red tail and an Arapaima of 160 lbs in his short 6 hours. There have been many note worthy catches and stories to tell this month, but this is one of perseverance by Simon Wynn. Simon was on holiday with his mates in Phuket when they all planned to go on a party trip to a neighbouring island, the night before departure Simon spotted our poster in a Phuket den of iniquity he promptly dumped his mates and headed over to us for 2 days and nights. On Simon’s first day he witnessed a 200 lb + Arapaima and announced there and then he would not leave Thailand until he managed to catch one.
Sean announced this was great news for us as all we had to do was not put bait on his hooks or rig him up with blunt hooks to keep him there longer and help him spend his hard earned Wonga! Well after the poor sod had lost 5 changed his flight and took another weeks leave from work it was looking as if Sean had done exactly that. Poor young Simon was down to his last night having run out of time money and flight changes when the good old fish Buddha smiled on him and rewarded him with the most well earned 160 lb Arapaima. After the beast was netted the poor old kiddie collapsed in the lake in tears of joy then leaped from the lake cuddling every one and screaming at the top of his voice Arapaima over and over again.
This is for us what creating and running our fishery is all about making dreams come true. Sean got Simon back on track relieving him of the last of his money getting him well and truly hammered. Last but not least Jules of Siam fishing tours returned with more clients and managed for his client 2 Arapaima of 160 and 150 lbs add this to Jules feat last month of 2 x 100 lb plus Siamese carp for another client it just shows this nice fella is on a role and giving his clients what they pay for. Many more tails to tell but time and space are running out Apart from to tell you that 25 more Carp have been stocked this month with 7 between 60 and 90 lbs. Also the lucky Buddha is now sitting on its stand overlooking the lake and hopefully working its lucky spells on every one.
Best fish this month are Arapaima 32 up to 220 lbs. Mekong catfish 7 up to 140 lbs, Siamese carp 30 up to 51 lbs, Red tail catfish 37 up to 56 lbs, Chao phraya catfish 3 up to 54 lbs, Julian’s golden price carp 9 up to 30 lbs, Black Pacu 17 up to 32 lbs, 2 x long awaited silver Walagoo best 19 lbs, 4x Rahoo carp, 10 x Soribim, 14 Alligator gar up to 32 lbs, 5 x Thai red tail catfish, 4 x Indian Cahoor (carp). Well folks that’s about it from paradise thanks to all of you who have re booked, Christmas is now nearly full, plus a big thank you to all who visited and especially to all of you who booked at the shows.
Remember 5 lakes in Essex on the 8-9 March is the big one and your last chance to see me and get a special deal before I cure my homesickness and disappear back to paradise get booking keep me happy and see you all next month for more news gossip and catch reports from Gillhams fishing resort best wishes from Stuart, Benz, Sean, Noi and all the staff.
Ps the web site is now open loads still to do but worth a look on