Hello again and welcome to another newsletter about the fishing in Thailand at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. Where has this year gone? Christmas is just around the corner, 2014 is nearly upon us, and then it’s show time. This year we are attending 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. 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 a holiday drawn at every show.
September and October are normally our wettest months, which is why we extended the lake at the end of September. The normal October heavy rains would flush the dirty water through the lake, but Sod’s Law played its hand and we had very little rain! This resulted in the lake staying a horrible brown with suspended sediment slowing the fishing down, and as the dry, sunny weather continued we had an outbreak of brown algae. Generally here at Gillhams we let nature take its course, but as the dry weather continued we had to resort to fish friendly chemicals. A complete day was spent carefully introducing chemicals at the correct levels, and we are pleased to say the algae is nearly gone and the lake has returned to a nice green.
At long last we have broken the world record Siamese carp. We have broken this record several times in the last five years, but due to the strict IGFA rules we have always had a reason not to claim, unlike other fisheries where they try to get anglers to claim an unweighed fish, claiming it weighs the same as when it was stocked so there’s no need to weigh it! Keith Williams from Carshalton, Surrey was the lucky angler to land this beast at 62kg. In old money that’s a stonking 134lb 7oz!
It’s strange how premonitions come true… Keith visited Gillhams Fishing Resorts for nine days in October, renting the whole resort with a group of mates. Keith was celebrating his 56th birthday, and joining his mates on this trip was his present to himself. Keith went to bed in the evening of his fourth day but could not sleep. At 4am on the 10th October Keith was sitting on his balcony with his wife Boo overlooking the moonlit lake, he said to Boo that he could feel in his bones that today was going to be his lucky day and he was going to catch a special fish. Fishing at Gillhams starts at 7am, and Keith was sitting in his swim watching the dawn break at 6.30am. As Keith’s mates came past him on their way to fish Keith told them all, “Today is my day! I am going to catch a whacker!”
The swim he was fishing is a known feeding area for the lake’s Siamese carp, and is known as Cobley’s, named after regular visitor Neil Cobley. This swim regularly produces big carp; more carp over 100lb have been landed from this swim than any other on the lake. Keith baited up over a sand bar at 45 yards in 16ft of water, starting off with a couple of kilos of the resort pellets in 10 and 25mm. He baited two rods with double 25mm pellets with a PVA bag of 10mm pellet on each rod, and every 30 minutes Keith recast the same setup to the same spot. Between 7am and 11.30 he had landed three Siamese carp to 60lb, then at 1.30 pm his left hand rod had a very fast take. Striking into the fish the Free Spirit rod went into full fighting curve and a heavy fish headed off towards the centre of the lake. Keith played the fish confidently telling everyone, “This is it the special one.” He had it ready for netting within 25 minutes, and as the fish rolled over the landing net you could hear the gasps from the gathering crowd.
This fish was immense, and Keith’s premonition had certainly come true. Fishing guide Chris immediately called the big fella Stuart to come and check its size. The fish at Gillhams are only weighed if they are exceptionally big. Stuart took one look and called for the A-frame, a large weigh sling and scales. By now all Keith’s mates had gathered around, the scales were zeroed and the fish was slid into the sling. On the scales the fish weighed 61kg, which, translated into anglers’ terms is 134lb 7oz, beating the old record of 114lb 10oz set back in 2004 from a Bung Sam Lan lake in Bangkok.
Keith and all the lads immediately headed off to the restaurant for a celebratory drink, and an hour later Keith returned to his swim in a daze. He caught one more carp, which by the lake’s standards was a tiddler at 30lb, but after his earlier fish he didn’t care, as his day was already complete.
Hanging on the wall in the bar at Gillhams is a big brass bell, and the tradition at the fishery is when you get a PB you ring the bell and buy everyone a drink. (Kerching more money for the Gillhams!). Keith rang the bell three times that night, and announced that tomorrow night we would all head into town for a proper celebration. The piss-ups at Gillhams are legendary and the next night was no exception. We had a large cake made for Keith in the shape of a carp, and the celebration party carried on to a nightclub and finished at 5.30am. Not many fish were caught the next day as most anglers stayed in bed!
Anyone who breaks the world record Siamese carp here wins a free week’s holiday. We also have a competition running with the biggest carp caught at Gillhams winning a week’s fishing at Bossard Lakes in France, and the biggest carp caught at Bossard wins a week at Gillhams. When we told Keith he had won both holidays, he immediately asked if we could auction the Bossard holiday for Cancer Research. Keith nearly lost his wife Boo to breast cancer two years ago, and has asked us to auction the holiday for breast cancer. I think this shows what a cracking bloke Keith is. It’s so good when a record goes to a really nice bloke.
As with all big fish, the green-eyed monsters appear. Thailand is the worst place I have come across for jealousy and backbiting between fisheries. Soon the jungle drums were beating, with tales that this fish was bought by us eight weeks prior to its capture. Strange that as we have pictures of this fish in November 2012 when it was caught by Dean Macey and weighed at 108lb. We also hear the stories they spread about our fish being undernourished and in poor condition. Apparently all the fish that in our lake go down in size and the big ones caught in the past are all dead. So this was either a ghost that had gained 26lb in 11 months, or we bought its identical twin a couple of months ago!
The Siamese carp here are all piling on the weight in the last two years; most of them have put on 30lb or more, and we now have 31 known Siamese carp over 100lb with at least 50 between 80 to 90lb. The biggest weighed fish in the past was 120lb caught in January 2009, and if that fish has only put on 10lb a year it will open some eyes. The biggest stocked fish was 160lb in 2008. Fish from the rivers are predominantly plankton feeders and our lake has a large amount of zooplankton. We get periods when the plankton levels are low, which occurs when the lake is coloured. During September the lake was extended by three acres, making the lake the most coloured it has ever been. We are hoping that with the lack of plankton, some of the really big carp will switch over to bait.
Our guide Justin (Jut) Cole took time out of the rat race to get away from the stresses and strains of holding down a highly pressured role in information technology.
Of course this kind of job has it perks, and for this Jut enjoyed a handsome salary; the type of salary where he can afford to buy a £90,000 Porsche Cayenne to run around in.
Now you would think that to hold down a job like this he would be involved in negotiating the right deal, having the foresight to see problems before they arise and lastly being a man who would make sound judgments and make the right decision every time.
Jut decided that he had had enough of paying the 500 baht to Mr. New, the local taxi driver to get him into Ao Nang and would once again enter into the car market to source a suitable vehicle. He used the well-known dealer, Martin the Thai handyman, to source him the right vehicle. Ladies and gentlemen, when you think of Martin, you think of integrity, honesty and trustworthy… these are three words Martin can’t even spell!
We all waited with bated breath to see what feast of mechanical engineering would Jut place his hard earned cash into. Then the day we had all been waiting for finally arrived and there she was… a Daihatsu Charade 32 valve, twin turbo, common rail, fuel injected, GTI, MFI, B&Q, DFS, err hatchback… I think! This had the lot… it even had… wait for it, wait for it… a tape player (gasp).
Believe me you would rather be seen getting out of the back end of a sheep than be seen getting out of this car. When Jut arrived in the car park grinning like a Cheshire cat the rest of the resort were in stitches. Never mind, we thought, at least it was only cosmetic and the car would be mechanically sound… that was until after turning the engine off, when it wouldn’t start again. The next trip out the gear linkage came adrift and there was a distinct lack of brake fluid in the reservoir.
Stuart had ordered a huge generator to help with any power cuts while we were working on the lake. One night, unbeknown to all the residents eating their dinner, the generator started up with a hell of a noise that startled everyone in the restaurant. Everyone was wondering what the bloody hell it was, until somebody said ,”Don’t worry, it’s just Jut staring his car.” Cue titters of laughter.
However like Jut says, this is a labor of love and a project in the making… a tinker here; a new coat of paint there, and we would be the ones laughing… and that is the reason for this piece in the newsletter. Jut’s car is in need of some TLC and we would like to ask any of our customers past and present if they could help us with this “charity” event. If the next time you visit a car spares shop think of Jut’s car and send in any fluffy dice, nodding dogs, novelty air fresheners, or in fact anything you think would come in handy and we will post what you send in the forthcoming newsletters. C’mon folks, dig deep…. A Daihatsu Charade is for life, not just for Christmas!
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 493 fish caught of 25 species, made up as follows: 63 arapaima to 360lb, four arawana to 11lb, eight alligator gar to 65lb, 82 Amazon redtail catfish to 85lb, one Amazon stingray of 25lb, 68 Asian redtail catfish to 38lb, one barramundi of 6lb, two brycon to 3lb, ten black pacu to 28lb, four big head carp to 17lb, one Chao Phraya catfish of 115lb, one giant stingray of 120lb, three giant gourami to 9lb, three giant snakehead to 6lb, two giant featherback to 8lb, seven Julian’s golden carp to 24lb, 41 Mekong catfish to 195lb, three mrigal to 10lb, six rohu to 22lb, five seerfish to 9lb, eight spotted featherback to 6lb, 162 Siamese carp to 134lb, three shovel nosed tiger catfish to 10lb, one wallago attu of 16lb and two wallago leeri to 25lb.
Regular visitor to Gillhams, Kevin Hudson, brought along 11 of his closest friends and rented the whole lake for eight days. Kevin is a mammoth of a man and a real gentle giant, but a better man you couldn’t wish to meet; he really is one of life’s good guys. All through the week when sorting out swims, Kevin would wait for everyone else to make up their minds and he would take whichever swim was left – all he wanted was his friends to have a good time, and if that happened then big Kev was happy.
With Kevin taking the least favoured swims runs were few and far between. The first run he had happened when one of his three rods signaled a take, the bite alarm was glowing and the rod tip was bouncing up and down like a kangaroo. To the yells of “Middle rod!” what does Kev do? He picks up the bloody wrong rod, and by the time he picks up the right one the fish had gone. Kevin, I have spoke to everyone of your friends in your party and be in no doubt pal, they hold you in the highest regard and love you to bits, and everybody here at Gillhams feels exactly the same way, so please get back here soon.
Neill Sewell, Kevin’s father-in-law, didn’t have a good start to his trip when he injured his toe and picked up an infection. He finally got fishing on his last day with us and landed two Siamese carp to 75lb.
Kevin’s son Scott also came along for the ride with his lovely lady, Helen. To be fair Scott didn’t fish much, as he hadn’t seen his girlfriend for while since she works in Australia. Scott suffered many hook pulls and was staring a blank in the face when with two hours to go on his last day’s fishing he managed to land three Siamese carp to 60lb.
Dan is regarded by Kevin as one of the top five marquee erectors in the world, capable of erecting complex three-tier marquees for events such as Royal Ascot and OBE presentations on behalf of Buckingham Palace. With his reputation his job takes him all over Europe and the Middle East.
Dan’s most memorable moment was stalking a large giant stingray that seems to have taken up residence along the marginal shelf of the new extension, where it lifts half of its body out of water looking for snails that are attached to the water hyacinth. After trying to tempt it with fish, our guide Nathan went snail hunting himself and collected enough to set up a string of snails on a hair rig and hey presto the fish was on.
These are without doubt the hardest fish in the lake to land, and this one was no different. After kiting left and right the fish clamped itself to the bottom and Geoff managed to slide it up the shelf bit by bit until it was under his feet. He then tried to give it a Gillham tickle (ie kick the fish to dislodge it) and with that the fish went on a savage run and the line parted!
Poor old Dan was gutted, but it didn’t stop him chasing the fish for the rest of his holiday. Dan is one of those ethnic minority groups that you see campaigned for in the UK – the poor man had been blighted at birth; he is what is commonly known as a “ginge”. Dan insisted he was strawberry blonde, but his freckles and his pink suntan gave it away, and we were having none of that!! Not that I have anything against persons of a ginger nature (honest, Stu!).
John, aka “Blackie two chairs”, is so called because he had to sit on two chairs to give him some height because of his bad knees. Blackie started in A1 swim and had a couple of Amazon redtails. The following day he moved swims and started with four Amazon redtails to 60lb, soon followed by a baby arapaima of 70lb. Then its mother came along and after a long fight Blackie landed a huge arapaima of 340lb. Blackie then went on a tour of the lake and tried virtually every swim, but his luck had changed and he struggled to find the fish. Mind you, like I said to him many times, you have to have your rods in the water to catch a fish, because Blackie liked to visit his mates on the water on more than one occasion, as well as getting up late and finishing early… not that the guides minded… we are all up for an early finish!
Geoff Hudson, the older but thinner brother of Kevin and great friend of Keith, came along with his lovely wife Anita. Geoff was in the swim next to where the record carp was caught, and for two days went without a solitary fish. Keith was moving out of his swim the next day and Geoff asked advice whether or not to move into that swim. The advice he was given was to stay where he was and keep confident that the fish would come onto his bait. Geoff stayed where he was and the next day the carp arrived and he caught fish steadily. By the end of his holiday Geoff had caught seven Siamese carp to 75lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb and Mekong catfish to 150lb.
Another two members of Kevin’s group were Alan Clarke and Andy Muir who both work at the home of English Rugby Union, Twickenham. Alan was here last year and really wanted to target the carp, but they just were not playing for him. He did land three arapaima to 120lb plus a 150lb Mekong catfish that nearly spooled him, his total catch being 16 fish of five species.
Andy was on his first visit to Gillhams, and he was rewarded with a Chao Phraya catfish. Andy fought the fish for ninety minutes and had to follow the fish down the lake. The fish weighed 115lb, just 6lbs off the former world record held here at Gillhams. He followed that up with a Mekong catfish of 110lb, Siamese carp to 70lb and arapaima to 140lb, leaving him with a total of nine fish of six species.
Gillhams regular Barry Flynn, a Scotsman now living in Dubai also visited. There is good and bad news attached to this sorry; the good news is that Barry came to Ao Nang first for a few nights’ drinking before he came to Gillhams, but the bad news is that it coincided with our guide Chris Pache’s days off, and Chris is also well known to like a shandy or two. Barry’s short fishing trip went well with three arapaima to 280lb and a Mekong catfish of 150lb.
Steve Halkett came to Gillhams for the first time this month. Steve decided to get away from his native country, Scotland (who can blame him?) and travel around East Asia and Australia for two years. However, when he got to Australia he liked it so much he stayed there, but without a sponsor his visa finally ran out and he had to leave. He was visiting us prior to going to Vietnam and Cambodia, and by his own admission had not done much fishing except for small trout back in Scotland. He had dabbled in another fishery in Thailand, but only managed to land a 20lb carp. He said if he could get something over 50lb he would be as pleased as Jimmy Savile getting a job as a nanny!
His first few days he was plagued by small pacu, and for his last two days he moved to the top end of the lake. He waited all day without a bite and he was getting more and more despondent, so much so that he was placed on ‘suicide watch’, which is something we do for all anglers who might be struggling! You know what I mean; we remove all sharp objects and take away the rope from the umbrellas just in case! The first sign is they complain of a slight headache, and then when they ask for 300 paracetamol we really get worried!
It all came good with a 110lb arapaima and then followed that up with a bigger one of 250lb. Steve was so excited he was trembling and couldn’t rebait his rods due to his hands shaking. The next day he went slightly better and had a 260lb arapaima.
(Unfortunately no pictures of Steve)
Andy Hazeldean heard about us from Jo Green and decided to try Gillhams for the first time. Joining Andy were Robin Johnson and Alex Mann. Now have you ever had a go at someone and then realised later that it wasn’t their fault? Well, we got up one morning and Sean mentioned he’d seen vomit on the pathway to the restaurant. We said it was probably Helmet the dog, and of course he got a good old telling off from Sean, just short of rubbing his nose in it.
On closer inspection there was the remains of chicken fried rice and a strong smell of alcohol (I think this proves that Geoff is a wrong’un – who else would go around sniffing puke?), and so the investigations for the culprit began. That is where Andy comes in, because the night before, he, along with his friends Alex and Robyn went out to sample the nightlife of Ao Nang and returned home just in time for fishing at around 5.30.
Andy told me he felt sick in the back of the taxi but thought to himself, I will just hold it in until I get to the resort. He then got out of the taxi, fell over a hedge and then deposited the contents (cheers, Andy). So apologies to our other residents, and from this day on Gillhams Fishing Resort will be offering aircraft style brown paper bags in the resort shop, and I strongly advise you to buy yourselves one should you want to wander around Ao Nang to the wee early hours!
Andy, an avid carp angler back home, soon got himself into the Siamese carp and couldn’t get over how fit the fish were, full of muscle and unlike any of the carp he had caught back home. Andy desperately wanted an arapaima and fished for them for nearly two days, hooking an absolute monster, which cut him off on the weed, and he had a hook pull on another. He was told to keep on doing what he was doing and he would have another chance, and at 7.45pm he hooked into a large fish that took 50 minutes to land, and Andy had his prize with a 330lb arapaima in the net and a very satisfied angler. Andy ended his stay with eight Siamese carp to 78lb, one Mekong catfish of 135lb plus the 330lb arapaima.
Robin Johnson thought he would settle into his holiday slowly with a few hours’ fishing, but little did he know he would have four arapaima on the bank for a total of 880lb with the biggest weighing 330lb, and all within four hours of starting to fish. What a start to anyone’s holiday! He followed that up a few days later with a Mekong catfish weighing 155lb.
Robin was a keen bird watcher, and one day he spotted a large eagle gliding on the thermals over the large limestone karst that overlooks the lake. Out came the camera; he managed to get a great close up shot of the bird of prey, and after he showed it to me he said, “I’m just as excited getting that photo as I was catching the big arapaima.” It’s nice to see people enjoying everything about Gillhams rather than just the monster fish. Robin ended his trip with seven fish over 100lb in his four-species tally.
Last member of team Hazeldean was Alex Mann, who caught some good fish including Mekong to 130lb and a massive arapaima of 320lb. Alex also managed to land one of our Amazon stingrays at 25lb, which took a disliking to Chris the guide. While it was in the net it decided to squirt the water out of its blowhole, which hit Chris straight in the mouth. What a picture that would have been!
Those of you that have been to Gillhams will know there is a somewhat southern slant to the place: Stuart, Sean and Becky are from down south and probably 80% of the English customers are from somewhere around London. So you can imagine what a relief it was to have some northerners come to stay, because at least I could understand them, or so I hoped!
John and James Cutting were from Gateshead near Newcastle. John in particular had the broadest Geordie accent imaginable, and even I struggled to understand him; he could have been speaking Thai for all I knew. One day when walking past his swim he shouted to me, “Whor Geoff, canny lad, I’ve put a deebate on the far margin.” I said, “You put what on the far margin?” and he said again, “I’ve put a deebate on the margin.” It took me ages before I realised that deebate was Geordie for dead bait!
James, now living in Dubai, had come to Gillhams to treat his dad as a retirement present. John was so pleased to be here; he never stopped smiling and staff and customers alike really took to him. His first fish was a Chinese seerfish of 12lb, but he desperately wanted an arapaima, and on his fourth day he hooked into one. When I arrived at the swim John was so excited he swapped his rod to his left hand so he could shake hands with me, I said, “Bloody hell John, get the fish in the net first!”
James loved fly fishing, and his first fish was a tiger shovelnose catfish of 9lb, followed by an Amazon redtail catfish. Although he got takes from arapaima, he never managed to land one until he switched to bait fishing. John and James, I think I can say on behalf of everyone here, without a doubt you brightened our week and we really hope we see you again.
When you think of the great duos in history like Ginger and Rogers and Lennon and McCartney perhaps you could think of Keith and Ina O’Connor who can only be likened to that other great duo, ‘The Lady and the Tramp’!
Ina, 71 years young, is a beautiful lady manicured hands, and every morning looks like a million dollars, and then there was Keith, shorts half way down his body showing his builder’s crack as he played a fish. Keith celebrated his 70th birthday this month; he has been married to Ina for 45 years, and let me tell you here and now that lady deserves a medal! Where he would be without his lady nobody knows. Ina, his ‘crutch’, as I called her, would be there at his beck and call. It would be the same every day; “Ina get me this, Ina get me that, Ina take a photo,” my god, he runs that lady ragged! Thankfully she was there because it took the pressure off the guides!
Seriously, Keith has fished with some of the great names in angling, and he isn’t too bad himself. He is not behind the door when finding out what other people were catching on either. As soon as his neighbour caught a fish he would be round asking what they were catching on and cadging a couple of their baits. Keith caught 11 carp to 80lb with a total of 17 fish of four species. The fish of his holiday was caught on his last day when he landed a nice Amazon redtail catfish of 80lbs. Keith is thinking of booking a holiday early next year, but said it depends on whether his beloved Chelsea get to the Champions League final, but there’s no danger of that so Stuart has booked him in. Keith you are a real character and we’ll no doubt see you again soon… but do us a favor and cut poor Ina some slack!
Regular visitors, and fast becoming part of the furniture here at Gillhams are Dean and Jenni Handley. As always Jenni came fully laden with goodies for the guides and the Gillham family, and little Jack thought Christmas had come early with the amount of neatly wrapped presents for him to open. They also bought Geoff his favorite chocolate Hobnobs, and at 4pm every afternoon it would become Hobnob o’clock and Geoff would be treated to tea and Hobnobs.
Added by Sean: Whistles could be blown and Geoff wouldn’t be seen until the packet was empty, leaving the rest of the guides running around while Geoff just relaxed and ponced all the freebies before disappearing (a bit like down at the bars!!)
As fishing was slow one day, I found Jenni with a needle and thread in her hand altering a skirt, as she said it showed too much thigh (not enough for us, I might add), so realising the obvious talent she had, the next day she was fixing the landing nets for us and was quite happy to do it as well, but that is just the type of lady she is. Dean shouldn’t be left out because he remembered me losing a pair of brand new pliers whilst landing a fish for him earlier in the year, and what did he bring me but another set of pliers to replace them?
They also had some good news while they were here, as their newly pregnant daughter found out the sex of the baby, and they will soon be graced with a second grandson to Rio. Names were mentioned, but they kept saying how the name ‘Geoff’ always brought back happy memories and had a nice ring to it.
Added by Jenni: This was until a night out on the town when while dancing with Jenni she had to ask Geoff to stop grinding his crutch against her leg and becoming the new sex pest of Gillhams.
Fishing wise, Dean wanted to catch a big carp and his dream came true with a nice 90lb carp, plus a PB arapaima of 280lb. Jenni saved the best till last, when on the last night of the holiday she bagged herself her own arapaima of 250lb. Now I don’t know about you, but it looks on the photo like we have just added Jenni’s head in between Joel and Nathan, but we can assure you, her body is underneath… promise!
It was nice to see regulars Gary and Fran Hipple return this month. As soon as they arrived Gary wanted to start fishing, and Fran wanted to do what she does best, and that is shopping. So off Fran went, armed with Gary’s credit card, joining Becky on her imaginary trips on works business. Gary didn’t seem in the least bothered and told me that just before they came on holiday he was mugged and the robber took his credit cards. He told the police he didn’t want to press charges because after a week the robber was spending less than Fran!
Gary takes his fishing seriously, but something he takes more seriously is mosquitoes, so ‘Inspector Gadget’ came armed with all sorts of mosquito deterrents. After dark out came the camo pyjama bottoms, or lounge pants as Gary called them. Then out came a nifty gadget (camo of course), which lit a small butane flame to heat up tablets. On went two cans of mozzie spray per night, finished off with a contraption that gave off a high-pitched whistle. All of this might work, but we will never know because as soon as it went dark and before the mozzies came out, he finished fishing and went to his bungalow!
Many customers comment on how beautifully kept the gardens are here at Gillhams; I say many customers, but that does not include Fran. On the morning of the 1st November, I have to report ladies and gentleman that there was a willful act of damage and destruction caused to our gardens by Mrs. F. Hipple, who after 15 vodkas in the town that night fell through the manicured bushes on her way back to the bungalow. Her defense consisted of “I didn’t kill the bushes; I only flattened them.” Photographic evidence proves otherwise, Fran!
Gary, like many other anglers, keeps a diary of what he catches, in a rather fetching pink spotted book, I might add, and it was interesting to read that when he first came to Gillhams back in 2010 he had twenty Siamese carp with an average weight of 31lb. Less than three years later on this trip, Gary landed 25 carp with and average weight of 63lb. This just illustrates the amazing growth rate of the fish here at Gillhams to double their weight in such a short time, and in Gary’s words “They fight even harder than they did then.” Gary caught his dream fish, breaking the ton barrier with a Siamese carp of 105lb, plus three 100lb-plus Mekong catfish to 165lb, plus Chinese seerfish, and Amazon and Asian red tail catfish for an impressive 33-fish haul.
Gary is a dream to guide: just give him his swim and away he goes. Obviously he suffers from OCD, because his tackle box is immaculate with everything in place and full of gadgets, but perhaps his best point is he finishes at 6.30pm and packs his own swim up! Ahh… the guide’s perfect customer!
Paul Wright made his second trip out this year with a couple of mates, Rick Lawrence and Jamie Merchant. Luckily the other guests didn’t have to put up with the sight of Paul in his lime green man-kini this trip, even though it was saved for him and put with his rods when set up for fishing. Paul’s target species for the trip was Siamese carp, and he managed to land one of 60lb on his first day after 40 hours of travelling and no sleep and still very shaky due to getting smashed rather than catching up on much needed sleep. Paul went on to land several carp with his best at 75lb and biggest fish of the trip a 145lb Mekong catfish. Rick and Jamie also had a good trip when not suffering from hangovers and late nights. Rick even caught the biggest fish of the trip with an arapaima of 330lb.
Steve James made his second trip of the year, and once again his mind was set on the Siamese carp. Unfortunately for Steve his body was set on partying, but he did manage to get out on the bank by 3pm every afternoon. This was Steve’s eighth trip to Gillhams; he shocked the guides when he announced that his first days fishing he would be out early for the 8am start. Steve couldn’t believe it when all the guides fell around laughing, telling Steve that from his very first time here at Gillhams fishing has always started at 7am! “Bloody hell, well I never even knew you could start that early,” he said (eight trips out and he didn’t even realise – ha ha!).
Steve would continue to piss other anglers off due to waking up around lunch time, having a bite to eat then strolling round to his swim, chucking out and getting straight into fish when others had fished all morning with no luck. One particular day the lake beat poor old Steve as he was suffering from one of the worst hangovers, and a Mekong catfish decided to punish him for his sins. This was one of the hottest afternoons of Steve’s trip, and over an hour later Steve finally landed his Mekong of 140lb. Steve caught a total of eight fish, with his biggest Siamese weighing 80lb and two arapaima at 240lb and 260lb. Not an impressive tally until you add up his hours fished, and realise the total was just over a day!!
After cutting Geoff’s ramblings down from 14,000 words to 4,000, and leaving out the slander and insults, we have once again run out of space. Bless him; since our Geoff stopped sleeping every afternoon, he has taken to writing 4,000 word daily reports about the unfortunate souls in his care.
Thanks to everyone who visited us this month and if you are planning a trip please book in advance. Many people are leaving bookings until the last minute, then being disappointed when told we are fully booked. We hate turning away bookings, but will never over sell Gillhams; the beauty of this place is you always have room to move and never get crammed in for the sake of higher profits! If you are planning a trip for 2014, please check availability and book ASAP, as some weeks are already full with others close to full. Contact Stuart and check dates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0066 (0) 861644554.
Best wishes from all the team here at Gillhams. Without you all we would not be the number one fishing resort in Thailand.