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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter January 2014

Welcome to the Gillhams fishing Resorts January Newsletter where fortunately, or unfortunately depending how you look at it, you have me, Geoff, writing the newsletter for the next two months. Many of you will know that Stuart and Sean are away in the UK doing the shows, and they have left the resort in some very capable hands.

First all Joel is in charge of all things fishing and running around making sure the customers are getting the fish of their dreams and also giving all the guides a hard time… Not really – we are having a whale of a time because the gaffer is away! Noi, Sean’s partner, is in charge of the kitchen, ensuring the excellent food she has always prepared is still to the same high standard that Gillhams has become renowned for, and then there is Becca…As soon as her dad left she was whipping us into shape, not that we listened to her mind; we never do! Seriously, she has a lot on her plate; she doesn’t want to let her dad down and puts the hours in to make sure things run smoothly. It must be hard for her with all of us lot winding her up, but we can’t help it Stuart… honest! She keeps smiling though, but come to think of it, it’s only when you are paying your bill.

And then there is Benz, the real boss, sitting in the same chair in the restaurant, coffee and mobile phone close by, smoking her menthol cigarettes, watching things going on and not saying much but taking it all in… I reckon she’s the real spy in the camp for Stuart. I have been given extra responsibility too; I’ve been put in charge of emptying the ashtrays around the fishery. I love how Stuart goes out of his way to empower people!

So what’s new out here in Thailand? Well sadly we have to say goodbye to some of our guides this month. Jut Cole came in February last year after deciding to quit the rat race back home. Jut has decided that it’s about time he got back to the real world and earn some money, so he’s off travelling around Thailand for a month and then back to the UK in February. Any of our customers who were guided by Jut will say what an accomplished angler and fantastic fishing guide he was for Gillhams whilst he was here. He’s an intelligent bloke, and if we ever had any German anglers, he was the man, able to speak the language and with his blonde locks could easily pass off as a German; he was just missing the bum bag! But like they say, every cloud has a silver lining so if anyone out there would like the chance to buy a pristine, hardly used… sorry, never used… Daihatsu Charade Turbo GTI complete with ashtray and tape player, sealed bids will gladly be accepted!

Also Nathan Brotherton has had to leave us but hopefully just for a short while. Newsletter readers will remember that Nathan got hit with the tail from an Amazon stingray, which punctured his arm (thankfully this is a rare occurrence). Unfortunately his wound became infected and so he has returned to the UK for treatment on the good old NHS, which might not be better but a bloody lot cheaper than paying for the treatment here. We will miss Nathan’s greetings to everyone, whoever they were, with “Eh up, how’s it going?” A great lad with a can-do attitude and a cracking little angler catching all sorts of species on his days off, he will always have a career in fishing wherever he ends up in the world. Obviously Declan was devastated, as their friendship had blossomed into something special; in fact Declan has asked me to send a short message to Nathan, and it was taken from the lyrics to the Adele classic: “Never mind, I will find someone like you; I wish nothing but the best for you,” which we all thought was rather sweet of him.

Last but not least, Declan, he of the boy band looks and cheeky grin that has had many a lady falling at his feet… NOT. Dec has just done a stint of seven months here and is on his travels spreading his love all around Thailand. Dec must have been good at maths at his private school, as he loves to play the numbers game. Watching him in the town approaching many girls and getting a custard pie in his face every time until eventually some poor soul succumbs is the rest of the fishing guides’ favourite pastime. It’s fair to say that Dec came to us as a boy and he is leaving us… a boy! I for one will miss having to set up the swims on my own in the morning as Dec got an extra 30 minutes’ sleep, because you need your sleep when you’re 22 years old, don’t you?

Seriously when Dec arrived, by his own admittance he had not done a lot of fishing but picked things up really quickly and soon became an integral part of the team. He will say himself that he has improved his own fishing skills, and you would always find him fishing on his days off, unlike me; I just like sleeping! Well-liked by all the customers, when he did get up in the mornings he would work his socks off and really put a shift in, and I will miss him for that, being a lazy sod myself. No doubt about it, our Dec has been living the dream here, and although I had to give him the occasional bollocking you couldn’t be angry with him for very long because he is such a nice lad, and something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Dec yet! Good luck to all of you from all of the team here at Gillhams. No doubt at all you will be missed, especially now because we can’t get a day off!

Thankfully with some of the guides moving onto pastures new, it’s nice to see some returning faces and no better face than ex DJ/carpet fitter/feature finder John Anderson who is coming back to us until May 2015. Many of you know that John had to leave us unexpectedly last year due to his father passing away, and after helping his mum through a very tough time has sold up and is over here now living the dream. John is a passionate carp angler who has fished all his life and is armed with a wealth of knowledge, which no doubt will be an asset to the guiding team. I’m especially pleased as he is nearly as old as me, so if I run out of Steradant tablets I will always be able to borrow some off John!

Hot off the press is the news that Gollock, the Thai guide of legendary status, who has been at Gillhams since day one is going to be a father for the first time. I sat with Gollock the other day, and many will know his English is not that good, although a lot better than my Thai. I actually think he is cleverer than us all because he understands most things but picks and chooses when to understand, if you know what I mean. Anyway you all know how close he was to that special dog Russell who sadly left us last month… Well, his intention, if the new baby is a boy, is to name him after Russell, so his name will live on. What a fantastic gesture from Gollock. I’m not sure his wife is sold on the idea, but we will see. The baby is due in June so watch this space.

Other good news is the improvements to the fishery. Any customers who have fished the new extension will testify to the lack of shade on that side of the lake. All of the guides hate it when Joel asks us to look after that side because it gets so hot, and many of the customers finish their day’s fishing looking like they have been on a sunbed where the timer was broken and instead of five minutes they had five hours. Stuart recognised this problem and as I write, salas are being erected in all swims, with the first one already in use. It’s Stuart’s intention to also erect the same type of sala on the bungalow side so that eventually every swim will have this facility. You can see from the photos they are solidly built, and you will notice there is only room for two people. Unfortunately this means if you come with a partner one of you will have to sit outside, because as you all know, I always like to sleep in the shade!

Right, onto the fishing… We all thought that the Mekong would have come on the feed this month because the hot weather has arrived and it is quite a few weeks since we last saw rain. These are ideal conditions for this species, but as yet this hasn’t happened with only 15 Mekongs caught this month. However I doubt they would get a look in because the Siamese carp have gone mad with eight different fish over the magical 100lb mark being caught this month and the Julians are showing themselves as well – surprisingly virtually all caught on chicken hearts.

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 723 fish caught of 23 species, made up as follows: 67 arapaima to 480lb, six arawana to 12lb, five alligator gar to 70lb, 182 Amazon redtail catfish to 90lb, one Amazon stingray of 3lb, 84 Asian redtail catfish to 46lb, 21 black pacu to 30lb, two big head carp to 15lb, one Chao Phraya catfish to 121lb, six giant gourami to 4lb, one giant snakehead to 5lb, 11 Julian golden carp to 23lb, 15 Mekong catfish to 185lb, four mrigal to 17lb, two rohu to 34lb, five spotted sorubim to 15lb, ten spotted featherback to 10lb, 282 Siamese carp to 130lb, five shovel nosed tiger catfish to 22lb, two tambaqui to 25lb, four wallago attu to 25lb, five wallago leeri to 32lb and three wallago attu to 15lb.

Regular visitor Ken Weeks from Bournemouth came this month and took time of from his job as a long distance lorry driver. Ken normally sat in sala 6, and liking his solitude shot straight into the new extension in swim 9. Being in that swim you have the full view of the lake, and Ken became a godsend to us. Unfortunately the radios lovingly given to us by Stuart are all away at the repairers. They were great tools to speak to each other around the lake when someone had a fish on. In their absence we are having to rely on the good old fashioned Acme thunder whistle (actually they are cheap ones from a shop in the village). Therein lies the problem with the lake being extended, and to continue to improve the oxygen content in the water we have added extra aerators, and the chances of hearing the whistle and where it comes from can be quite difficult (I know, I know – it’s my age).

This is where Ken came in because as soon as a whistle was blown up popped Ken and his arm would be raised left or right to direct the guides to the angler, like the conductor of an orchestra. So customers please note, if you sit in that swim you may be placed with this responsibility for which you will receive no pay or discount, so be warned! Ken fished well all week catching Amazon redtails and a new species that he always wanted – a Black Pacu of 35lb… Ken, from all the guides, we definitely missed your help when you left, so please come back soon.

We have had some funny characters this month, and first up is Paul Nichols from London. Paul’s fishing didn’t start too well, but he kept himself amused with cans of Magner’s cider. On his second day without a fish I saw him on the way to the restaurant where he told me he had moved on from cider and was going to drown his sorrows with screwdrivers! It all came good for him when he moved swims and got into the Siamese carp catching five to 80lbs. It was while fighting one of these fish that Joel advised him to make sure his line didn’t go slack, to which Paul replied, “The only thing that is slack is what’s in my shorts.”

It was lovely to see Rob Olive and Amanda Hulse back here again; two diehard MCFC fans, but I tried not to hold it against them. Obviously with Man City riding high they were full of beans, and it is a shame to think if City won the championship every year for the next twenty years Rob will be in his seventies… I wonder how many managers they will go through in that time!

Anyway back to their holiday… Little Jack took to Amanda and wouldn’t leave her alone, bless him… He followed her everywhere, and one morning at around 7am wanted to knock them up out of their beds. Now everyone knows that Rob and Amanda don’t start fishing until after 11am! Amanda, I think when you ask Stuart for a discount on your next holiday you should throw in a “babysitting will come free” clause and see what he says!

Having said that, it doesn’t matter what time you start fishing, it’s what you put on the bank. In the first few days Rob murdered the carp on swim 2 when everyone on the lake were struggling and looking over to him jealously. Between him and Amanda they had 31 carp to 95lb. When Joel asked where everyone on the bungalow side wanted to fish the following day, I told him all ten customers want to fish in swim 2!!

It didn’t end there, as when he moved down the lake, he landed arapaima to 280lb Amazon redtails to 65lb, arawana to 8lb and a lovely wallago leeri of 15lb.

All this was in between nights out in their newly found drinking hole, The Irish Rover pub in Ao-Nang, recommended on Trip Advisor by Chris our guide. You see, the guides are always prepared to go the extra mile to keep our customers happy, and one evening in particular Chris didn’t let them down! They are a lovely couple these two even if they do support the smaller club in Manchester… Oops, there I go again!

Stuart always says that match anglers always do well at Gillhams because they are always trying to do something different to work the swim. That was the case for Dan Hull from Leicester who came along with his mum and dad, Aidy and Dawn. Aidy and Dan work together as electricians and also fish the matches together, and you can see that there is a friendly rivalry between them. The family did emigrate to Australia but missed their fishing so much they moved back to the UK.

Going back to Dan who has had trials to fish for England, he was content to fish conventional methods for the first few days and then switched to method feeder and then waggler and caught a total of eleven species with arapaima to 270lb, Siamese carp to 70lb Julian’s golden carp to 10lb, mrigal carp to 11lb, tambaqui to 35lb and pacu to 12lb, but perhaps Dan’s best fish was a whopping 34lb 4oz rohu, which smashed the current world record of 27lb 7oz.

All recordings of this fish have now been sent to the IGFA for ratification and to claim yet another record for Gillhams Fishing Resort. Dad Aidy didn’t do too badly, managing to catch four arapaima in one day to 280lb and continued to catch throughout his holiday. This family were in competition throughout the week, and it was left to mum Dawn for the final say. Some people say that women are the weaker sex, but Dawn put both her husband and son in their place when she landed a whacker of an arapaima at 480lb, possibly the largest freshwater fish caught by a female angler.

Another angler who did well on the float was Steve White, a taxi driver from London. He has been here many times and caught fish to 440lbs in the past. Steve, a match angler at heart came for 14 days and was determined to catch some different species by using lighter tackle, and set his stall out with a groundbait and breadflake approach on the waggler.

Using 10lb line and size 8 hook Steve soon got bites, and lost many fish due to bite offs, but then hit into a fish that took him up and down the lake until a huge mrigal carp surfaced and was safely netted. Joel felt it would beat the current world record held here at Gillhams and decided to weigh the fish, which was exactly 8kg or 17lb 10oz in old money, equalling the world record and extra special for Steve, being caught on the float.

Steve caught nine different species all on the float, from a 2lb Amazon stingray to a massive 70lb Siamese carp, testament to his ability with a float. When he had a rest and went back to the standard tackle he still managed to bag himself a 280lb arapaima. Steve has become a close friend of all the guides here, not least because he always brings a lot of tackle goodies with him! So as always, see you next year, Steve, and don’t forget the goodies.

Alan Oakes, a tyre fitter from Hertfordshire and his wife of 18 years Lisa came this month for their second trip. His lovely wife Lisa must have been scared to death when she came through customs because she had every drug and cold remedy a chemist would be proud of. Got a cold? Out came the Lemsip. Got mouth ulcers? Out came the Bonjela – a real Florence Nightingale! Alan, a match angler back home and standing 5ft in his stocking feet desperately wanted an arapaima, and on the morning in one of the favoured swims he was like a kid on Christmas day.

Two hook pulls later and despondency set in until he hooked into a huge one that took him all down the lake until it was finally caged – 280lb! He was hopping around the swim like a little leprechaun dying to get in and have his picture – it was priceless. He then set his sights on a large Siamese and caught five to 70lb. Alan, it was pleasure to have you here, even if you did wear rather camp, salmon pink fake Ralph Lauren shirts!

Colin Paciitti and his wife Georgina came for the second year running. Colin has fished all over the world and also loves to work with his camera, filming catches as well as all kinds of wildlife shots. He came with a strange request this year that if he caught a fish he didn’t want to be in the photograph but would much rather one of the guides were captured on film holding the fish. I was first up to guide Colin, and he commented how my flawless skin tone enhanced every photograph (I can hear you laughing now). What he actually said was that I could be Brad Pitt’s brother… Cess Pitt.

Next up was Joel, but Colin couldn’t get the white balance just right with the reflection from Joel’s huge forehead so it was left to our pinup boy Declan… Well he has been a professional model before… Jesus, this guy has packed so much into his short life! He’s got the looks; he’s got the body… This lad has the lot… or so Nathan tells us.

His photography shouldn’t take away from Colin’s fishing; he moved around the lake fishing in three swims and caught from every one. Fishing two rods on a standard setup and one waggler rod he caught one Mekong to 130lb, 11 Siamese carp to 92lb, eight Amazon redtails to 50lb, alligator gar to 60lb, arawana to 8lb, rohu to 7lb and what seemed like a daily giant gourami to 3lb. Perhaps Colin’s greatest pleasure was landing a 50lb redtail on the float rod.

These fish are hard enough to get in on a 6lb TC rod, so to control them on a 2.5 TC rod and 10lb line is some achievement. Colin and Georgina were leaving us to do some jungle trekking, so we hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday.

Kev Shore, Terry Knight and Dave Flynn came for the third year in succession, and for Kev, a farmer from Chester and incidentally winner of Cheshire’s strongest man competition 1985, his holiday turned into a quest for a 100lb carp.

I have always advised customers that Gillhams is not a runs water; it wasn’t set up for that, but that wasn’t the case where Kev was concerned. He ended up with 36 Siamese carp, nine Mekong and two Amazon redtails in just five days! And what about his dream? Late one afternoon he hooked into something that was slow and dogged throughout the fight, and when it finally surfaced we all thought his quest for the 100lb’er was over.

Stuart has asked that we start to weigh a few fish to see if our estimations are accurate, so the decision was made to weigh Kevin’s fish. When the scales bottomed out at 99lb exactly it was a real shame for Kev, but he will be here next year to carry on his quest for that magical 100, I’m sure of that.

Dave Flynn, in the three years he has been here has never caught an arapaima, so would his dream come true? At the top of the lake Dave was up with the lark, and with arapaima feeding, out came the bubble float, but the first two casts ended up in the marginal weed. Next cast he had a hook pull, followed by three crack-offs. Ever thought this wasn’t going to be your day? Finally he had an arapaima on, played it like a professional and ended with a 100lb’er. Like Dave said, “That’s his monkey off my back.”

Terry Knight had a day at the top end of the lake and caught arapaima to 80lb losing many more, five Siamese carp to 65lb and three Amazon redtails to 50lb. That was until some German customers decided to fly fish over his feed zone. Terry tells me he is from Chester but he sounds more Scouse to me, and as you can imagine some choice language came out from Terry’s mouth. We all thought World War 3 was going to break out. Fortunately, although our German friends speak excellent English, they struggled to understand Scouse… Good job too!

Karl Sinclair, a dentist from Yorkshire, and his lovely wife Julie (he definitely punched above his weight) came for the first time this month. Karl told us immediately that he did a lot fishing, but on his first cast to the margins he was straight in the weeds. It was then that he told us that he didn’t do a lot of casting; he always used a bait boat. Whatever happened to learning the basics? Then as nightfall came he changed his clothes into a Realtree chiffon blouse that wouldn’t look out of place on Naomi Campbell… Worse was to come because he said he had matching trousers!

His first big fish turned out to be an arapaima of 280lb. He was playing the fish and bobbing up and down as if his knees were shock absorbers, explaining that it relieves the pressure on his back and keeps the angle of the rod the same when he was pumping the fish! I replied as only a northerner can: “Bollocks! Just plant your feet and play the bloody fish!” Karl said to me many times, “I’m here to learn,” and learn he certainly did. Over his stay he caught seven different species, two of which are worthy of a special mention.

First up was a mrigal carp that looked all of 20lb-plus and would have smashed the world record for the species held here at Gillhams, but unfortunately for Karl when the fish was landed it was obviously in distress, so the decision was made not to weigh it, but at least Karl still has the memories.

On the night before he left, having already banked three arapaimas, he hooked into another one that was so heavy that even with a tight clutch the reel was still spooling off. After a long fight a huge 440lb arapaima was caged, and then one of the strangest things in my time at Gillhams happened… Karl had just landed the fish of a lifetime and when I told him to enter the water he replied, “Nah, no thanks… I won’t bother. Photos are no good at night – put her back!”

Fortunately a crowd had gathered and they convinced Karl to get the photo… I mean who wouldn’t want a picture with a specimen like that? To be fair to Karl he was probably overwhelmed at the size of fish he had just caught and was concerned for its welfare. Karl’s impressive total was two Asian redtails to 30lb, tiger shovelnose to 10lb, arawana to 6lb, 11 Siamese to 80lb, 15 Amazon redtails to 70lb, migral carp, to 20lb-plus, two Julian’s golden carp to 30lb and finally four arapaima of 150, 259, 280 and 440lb… Not bad, eh?

Most people would be happy if they caught one Siamese that broke the 100lb barrier, but that’s not the case for Andreas Karlsson and Kim Olson, business partners from Sweden. Kim hooked into a fish that was stirring up the bottom so much that everyone thought it was a stingray, and then out of nowhere came a 117lb Siamese. Unfortunately for Kim it was hooked in the tail, but he needn’t have worried, as less than two hours later he hooked and landed another carp, which was weighed by Joel at 108lb. How good is that? Two carp for 225lb – not a bad day’s fishing, is it?

Ian Breslin and John Kendrick also came for the first time this month. John has an impressive portfolio of fish from visiting faraway places all over the world and met Ian whilst on a fishing trip to Spain’s River Ebro. It just didn’t happen for John; people would be catching to the left and the right of him, but John would continue to struggle whichever swim he was in. He fished as hard as he could, and on another day he would have murdered them. In the end his totals were eight Amazon redtails to 50lb and Siamese carp to 65lb.

I think we all do a worthwhile job, but Ian Breslin’s passion for the job he does is there for all to see. He works for Mencap the disability organization, which was founded by Judy Fryd in 1946 when it was called, would you believe, The National Association for Backward Children. How times have moved on! He was also involved in the planning for the opening ceremony for the 2012 Paralympic Games as well has taking people of all ages with disabilities and learning difficulties away on camping weekends. I take my hat off to him for the work he does and the difference he makes to people’s lives.

Add to that he is a lead singer in a punk band, and you can see he is an interesting character, and it was great to share his company. He even left me one of his CDs, which has come in really handy as a coaster to stop me getting stains on my coffee table…

Used to fishing rivers back home, his fishing at Gillhams started slowly, but it certainly didn’t end that way. Ian wanted an arapaima and getting to the end of his holiday he got his wish with a 300lb beauty, which Ian got more than a little emotional at. But the best was yet to come, as on his last night he hooked into what everyone thought it was a Mekong as it plodded up and down the lake, then up pops the recognised fish that broke the world record at 134lb some three months ago… What a great end to the holiday.

Olivier Portrat came to visit us this month and brought a cosmopolitan feel to the resort, as he was accompanied by friends from Germany, Austria and Brazil. Olivier, a world-renowned photographer and fly fisherman came to fish primarily on the fly for arapaima, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, landing eight arapaima to 200lb
and seven Amazon redtails to 70lb.

Perhaps the biggest story was that of Olivier’s friend, Martin Groeger, who’s a tackle dealer from Germany. He was fly fishing at the top end of the lake when he hooked into a monster arapaima. Stuart had placed a restriction on the party wading on the marginal shelf, as this was showing signs of wear and tear from Olivier’s last visit, but such was the size of the fish by the time I had got there all the fly line and backing had disappeared from the reel and Martin was being slowly dragged along the shelf and into the lake. I told Martin I needed him to put on a buoyancy aid. He replied that I shouldn’t worry because he swam 2km every day, to which I replied, “Not holding a fly rod with a 300lb-plus arapaima attached to the other end! Put a bloody buoyancy aid on!” This was all done in my best German accent of course.

The fish virtually dragged Martin and I to swim 9 at which point Joel joined me, and poor Joel, who happens to swim like a brick had to swim out seven times to move the fish because the fly line had snagged or the fish was sat on the bottom sulking. After a titanic fight and with a little bit of “Vorsprung Durch Technik” the fish was in the net, and with Stuart watching an estimated weight of 420lb was given, and on a rod weighing little more than a few ounces! Martin also caught three more arapaima to 270lb, Siamese carp to 60lb and Amazon redtails to 45lb.

Christian Weckesser, a rod builder also from Germany, caught, on the fly, two arapaima to 130lb, three Siamese carp to 66lb, eight Amazon redtails to 55lb and four Asian redtails to 12lb.

Last but not least was Gunter Ganal, a retired manager in insurance, aged 71, from Austria, who couldn’t decide whether to fish or drink Singha beer, and why not? I think at the beginning, due to language difficulties and Gunter not being used to this style of fishing, Gunter was not having the best of times, but as the days passed on he became more relaxed and left us with happy memories. He desperately wanted an arapaima, but they just wouldn’t come for him. That doesn’t mean he didn’t do well because he finished with four Siamese carp to 85lb, seven Amazon redtails to 80lb and a giant snakehead at 3lbs.

And finally, Richard Foster, a great friend of Stuart’s and everybody at Gillhams came to stay for four weeks and enjoyed Christmas and New Year with us. It was great to hear the banter between Stuart and Richard, as Stuart would ride past at about 11:30am and say “Morning, chubs” and Richard would reply, “Morning, ginger nut.” I don’t quite know why he called him ginger nut because Stu says he’s strawberry blonde!

We started to call him “the late Richard Foster” – not that he died or anything, but he just didn’t get up in the morning! Richard kept all the guides entertained by facing away from the lake and doing a backward cast and then still catching a Siamese carp. He spent his days between his swim and the restaurant, sometimes not getting to his swim until 5pm and then still getting two arapaima before the 8pm rods out call. Make no mistake, Richard can play a fish, having fished all over the world, and the arapaimas got given a right beating by him.

If you ever get the chance to meet Richard, straight away you will be laughing and giggling all through the day; he has to be one of the funniest, caring and kind-hearted men you could ever wish to meet. He would spend his days chatting to every customer, joking about being overweight.

Declan who had never met him asked him what he would like for breakfast and Richard replied, full English, seven Mars bars, four Twix and a family size bucket of Kentucky fried chicken… Meanwhile gullible Dec is writing it all down until Richard says, “Are you not surprised at my order, and you are saying to yourself no wonder I’m overweight… Well, fat people can be offended you know.…” while winking at me. Poor Dec didn’t know what to do with himself.

What was Richard’s highlight? Well as usual he arrived at his swim and said to me, “I think I will just put a little dead bait tight into the margins.” The next thing he hooked into a fish that plodded around the swim for the next 30 minutes with everyone including Richard and me thinking it was a Mekong, such was the weight of the fish. When it finally surfaced, up popped a Siamese carp of 130lb! You just never know… Siamese carp on dead bait in the margins – who would have thought it?

All the cameras were ready and ace cameraman Tony Morton, representative for Preston Innovations, best customer of Fosters of Birmingham and good friend of Richard took the pictures. You can imagine my and Richard’s face when we asked to see the pictures on the camera of this fish of a lifetime and all that stared back at us was a black screen! Tony didn’t put the bloody flash on! Obviously Richard understood! Tony had to endure some severe piss-taking for the rest of his stay, but thankfully another customer also took some photos to save Tony’s embarrassment.

Stuart asked me to keep this newsletter short and to cut out my usual waffle, so in order to keep my word that sums up my report for January here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. As Stuart and Sean are away until March I will be bringing you the February newsletter too.

But just before I go, you know those ‘time and motion studies’ some companies do. Take a look at Joels face in the picture below, hes just landed one of the biggest arapaima ever caught on the fly. His face is covered in beads of sweat and has the look of complete horror on his face because he can feel someone is watching his every move.

Its like the Christmas panto “hes behind you” Don’t forget if you would like to see Stuart and Sean they still have shows at Farnborough on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February, also on the stand will be Jo Green and Mike, Steve Mayo and Dan Swann.

They will also be at the Forum International de la Carpe et du Silure, Montluçon, France on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March, and French translators will be on hand to help.

They will be at Coventry on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th March, and Jo Green and Mike plus Dan Swann will also be on the stand. Once again we will be offering discounts when booking a holiday at the shows, and also the famous Gillhams raffle will be taking place with two holidays drawn at Farnborough and Coventry.

Stuart also has two talks left to do. These picture and talk presentations run you through the creation and stocking of Gillhams, plus information on the fish species at Gillhams.

The dates for these are KACC charity evening Monday 24th February, at The Holiday Inn Garden Court, A1 Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 1NA. Tickets in aid of charity are £10 and for bookings phone 01767 683149. Doors open at 6.30pm and talks begin at 7.30pm.

The last talk will be for Birmingham Pike Anglers Club, on Thursday 6th March. Birmingham RA1
RO: Bob Tonks
Mob: 07968 042949.

If you wish to book your dream fishing holiday please check availability and book early. Gillhams does get booked well in advance, so contact Stuart or phone 0066 (0) 861644554.

Stuart’s UK number which is only available until March the 16th 2014 is 07816 126267.

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

From Geoff and all the team here at Gillhams we hope to see you all in the near future.