Hi everyone from sunny Thailand, yes the rain season is over the last 2 weeks has been rain free with temperatures in the 90’s perfect weather to get the Mekong cats on the munch. November started out with few anglers on the lake and the last of the rains coming through we had some of the most horrendous rain storms I have ever seen here in Thailand which plummeted the temperatures along with colouring up the lake, Sean and I managed a few short sessions mainly trying to catch a big Siamese carp for a picture to use on our brochure’s we only fished maize, pop up’s and boilies, we caught 7 carp in short sessions but the big girls were not playing our best being only 35lb. Hannah my niece from Australia fished for 2 hours 1 evening to take a small 15 lb Red Tail cat.
Ex pat regular’s John and Phil had 2 short 3 hour evening sessions Phil fly fishing had 2 small Alligator gar around 15 lbs plus a Soribim aprox 25 lb and was dragged around the lake by a big Chapraya for 1 hour on the 2nd evening only for his leader to part at the knot, John sat bait fishing under a small float in the margins to take 5 Soribim 1 red tail all around the 20 to 25 lb mark plus a small Alligator and numerous pests in the shape of silver barbs (Thai skimmer bream !) plus numerous Tilapia up to 3 lbs (nice fried in garlic and pepper) The 15 November two English guy’s were booked in for 5 days Oxford anglers Kevin and Sean, both had there hearts set on an Arapaima as do most of our guests Sean got the ball rolling taking there first Arapaima around 80 kgs the next day he rubbed salt into the wound by taking his second at around the same size he also took 3 x Mekong cats up to 105 lbs, 1 of the elusive Thai red tail, 1x Amazon red tail, 3 x Soribim, 1 x Alligator gar all between 15 to 25 lbs. Kevin was slower off the mark, and decided to stay on alone for an additional 5 days which turned out to be a wise move as his second 5 days was to see him catch 5 Arapaima from 65lbs up to 180 lbs all on dead baits, also 2 x Amazon red tail of 40 and 54 lbs, 1 x Siamese carp on maize at 49 lbs, 1x Mekong cat of 65 lbs, 1 x 35lb Chapraya, 5 x Alligator gar to 25 lbs, 2x 20lb Soribim.
November 18 to 20 saw Hong Kong fisherman Paul arrive with 2x friends from Phuket the Phuket boys put in minimum effort and caught the minimum (as in nothing) they did enjoy the beer though and lost 3 or 4 fish. Paul was very keen to try his first experience at fly fishing and actually surprised me for a novice he took to the task of learning like a duck to water (keep at it Paul) he lost 3 or 4 Red tails one due to the leader parting at the knot (please lads stop buying shop made leaders they are tied up by some poor sod in a sweat shop who knows and cares nothing about fishing and your fish of a lifetime) along with numerous takes but the Red tails were not taking properly just plucking at the fly’s. The second day we had a horrendous rain storm that put the fish down and colour the lake but Paul did well to tempt 1 x Mekong around 70 lbs, 1x Red tail aprox 30 lbs, 1x Alligator gar around 20 lbs, plus the ever faithful Soribim, The next visitors were our regular Phuket old boys club Rodney and Peter, these fella’s love to come over around midday stay the night and head home the following afternoon between trying to make beer extinct. Peter managed his first Arapaima aprox 180 lbs plus 2 small Siamese carp, Rodney used float fished maize to take 4 x small Siamese carp from our small lake around the 15 lb mark, great sport on light float rods which is Rodney forte (wait till next month’s report for what Rodder’s had on the float on his latest trip !) Four of my old mate Mr Maylin’s friends came for a day and as is usual when you want the lake to fish it switched off completely and only one Alligator plus a missed run where recorded so the poor fella’s packed up early to go and drown there sorrows at some nightspot, while Sean I and my old mate Steve (ex Broad lands lake owner) who lives 2 hours from me carried on with there rods to catch 1 x more Alligator around 30 lbs then the last big storm of the rain season came through and washed us of to the pub.
Our other regular visitor who has been here most days this month and never blanks is a free loader in the shape of a stunning fish Eagle he dives from 100 feet into the lake and always manages a Tilapia we stocked 300 in February for a food source for the predators and they have exploded to several million so the fish Eagle is most welcome to help himself all our guests love to see him along with all the other wild life now appearing in this man made sanctuary it is now like sitting in on our own wild life park with new bird species appearing every day. The 17 November we had a delivery of 6 new Arapaima 4 x 180lbs 2 x 220lbs plus 20 black Pacu (vegetarian Piranha) around the 20 lb mark. We use an agent to buy our fish his job is to source big fish for us then to drive and check them if they are what we require he purchases them for us and delivers them to Krabi sometimes the poor chap drives 500 miles to look at a 100 lb fish only to find it is actually only 20 lb (bit like some guys I have met over the years who say fish are bigger than they are, banana fingers in photos etc ) Sorry lost the plot a bit. Well our agent left us from delivering the Arapaima to drive some 700 miles to buy 2 x 400 lb plus Arapaima after driving all day and night the poor sod netted the pond the fish were in only for one of these monsters to jump up and smash him in the face he was lucky as his fast reaction and experience the fish did not kill him he spent a week in hospital with his head the size of a football only to be released and return to buy the 2 fish to find another agent had bought the fish whilst he was in hospital the other agent is frightened to net these huge fish our man is braver and still wants to get in with them to bring them for us so it is 50-50 whether we will get them.
This incident only proves just how dangerous these big Arapaima are we tell fishermen all the time not to put there face over the cage when they capture one also to stand in the middle of the fish for a photo then get out of the water from behind the fish never in front, all this is for the anglers safety some fisherman don’t believe us one day there will be an accident so if you are coming here or elsewhere please take extra care when you are near big Arapaima as they are very dangerous fish A 200 lb head butt is not nice believe me, if you follow our or other experienced guides instructions you will be perfectly safe. At long last we have completed 4 more bungalows the pool is full and a few days off being complete. Also when we were getting ready for landscaping yours truly noticed an area were instead of garden we could dig another pond so as I write this the new baby Arapaima pond is filling up with water. Also we were visiting our fish supplier’s farm in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago when we were presented with a lovely pair of Peacocks which I thought would look lovely roaming around our 7 acres of tropical gardens.
I did think my fish supplier was a friend but after getting the things home I now realize he must hate me ! I only wish someone had warned me the bloody noise they make still Christmas is coming and they are the same size as turkey does anyone out there know a good Peacock recipe ? He also gave us a pair of golden Pheasants now they are nice and peaceful but all our workers are licking there lips ! That’s about it for this month next month has got off to a good start with some superb fish coming out, we have anglers fishing every day this month as we are getting quite busy now the word is spreading, its not a fish a chuck here but we do have some of the biggest fish in the world here, most people who stay 5 days or more go home with at least one personal best so look out for some good fish in the next news letters for those of you in the UK and Europe I will see you at the fishing shows for our Thailand visitors please phone first as we only allow a certain amount of fishermen per day also we are shut for Christmas day to eat the Peacock’s! Sorry this news letter is short but we have been so busy completing the latest bungalows plus the deadline for Christmas with BC magazine but next months will be a biggie folks as lots of guests here and the fish are coming out bumper pics and waffle to look forward to. Best wishes have a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year and treat your selves to the best fishing holiday of your lives with us here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts in Krabi Thailand. From Stuart Benz Sean and Noi.