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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter April 2017

Hello and welcome to another month of news, updates and catches from Gillhams Fishing Resorts. We would like to thank all our followers and thank everybody for their support over the years.

So April has been and gone, and with it another crazy Songkran. This huge water festival takes place every year in Thailand and starts from the 13th of April. Here in Krabi it lasts two days, but other places like Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai etc the madness can go on between seven to ten days. It’s always good fun with many of the same faces as the year before joining in for the day. Songkran originated many, many years ago, marking the end of the dry season where locals would throw away stored water and make everything ready for the rains to start so they can refill with fresh water. Over the years it’s turned into one of the biggest, wettest and craziest water fights in the world. This year was no different, as we took to the streets in the truck loaded with two 600-litre water bins filled with water, and of course, lots of ice sacks to really give other revelers a big shock.

The spa here at the resort has taken off well and is certainly going down well with the ladies. We would like to thank everybody who has liked and shared our new Facebook page. If you haven’t done it yet, please take a look at the Facebook page, Benz Spa & Cookery School. Were also giving a complementary 20 minutes Thai massage to ALL our female guests that are staying three days or longer, so please ask for your free massage when checking in.


I also managed to get two weeks off work at the end of April so I could spend some time with my other half, Noi, and my son Tyler. This was great, as I’d been away for two months with the shows, and then being really busy on my return, I hadn’t spent much time with them since January. We had decided to go to a small island just off the Malay border and a small boat ride from Satun in southern Thailand. So after a four-hour trip from hell in an old minibus with no air con, suspension or bolts in the front of the seats, leaving us rocking back and forth every time the driver accelerated or occasionally used the brakes and wedged in with ten other mangy backpackers who clearly hadn’t washed since they arrived in Thailand, we finally arrived at the pier. Once we had made the boat journey and arrived at the hotel, the only question was, why had it taken me eleven years to visit this beautiful island? The water was so clear you could literally watch the fish feeding off the coral from the boat, and the sand was so white it burnt your eyes as the sun reflected back at you. It really was paradise, and to be spending time with the family just made it that much more special. There’s not much to do on the island, but if you enjoy relaxing on beaches, swimming, snorkeling and eating fresh seafood then this is a must visit place while on holiday in Thailand.


Gillhams Fishing Resorts are proud to announce that Pallatrax have kindly offered to sponsor our fishery in Krabi Thailand. We first started discussing our concerns regarding lead weights with Pallatrax a few months ago, over the last 10 years at least three tons of leads have been lost in our lake. Our concerns regarding this are numerous, obviously on an environmental scale this amount of lead in any water is damaging. If you leave a lead in any lake take a look in five, ten or more years time, no life form of any description will have formed on it. What damage does the lead content in our lakes have on our fish and aquatic life the water relies on to be healthy, what about us working in the lake. Surely this amount of exposure to the toxins lead will release into our lake are damaging to us and our customers as well as our fish!!

Take a look at the effect on lead in humans; no organ system is immune to the effects of lead. Health experts worldwide are concerned about the use of lead in various everyday items. Lead toxicity is causing irreversible health issues in humans; even pregnant mothers can pass lead poising through breast milk to their children. Imagine the damage lead is doing to fish, waterfowl and all aquatic life!

Governments in Europe are going to ban all lead fishing weights in the very near future, and quite rightly so. Lead poisoning occurs when you absorb too much lead by breathing or swallowing a substance with lead in it, such as paint, dust, water, or food. Lead can damage almost every organ system. In children, too much lead in the body can cause lasting problems with growth and development. Imagine the affect lead is having on our fish! Gillhams is going lead free over the next few months; we have wanted to do this for many years. Now Pallatrax have made it possible with their excellent Stonze Fishing Weight System, we will only be supplying Stonze on all the rigs used at our fishery. Because some anglers have been brainwashed into thinking you only catch fish using a lead weight, we will be showing them that Stonze will actually catch more fish. Once people realize that they don’t need lead proved via catch rates, Gillhams will have a total lead ban within six months.

Fish are more intelligent than we think; they associate smells and objects with danger. Fish are equipped with chemoreceptors; these are responsible for extraordinary senses of taste and smell, every time fish are hooked their chemoreceptors will pick up the toxins in lead. Fish come across stones in various shapes and forms all the time because they occur naturally and are non-toxic, thus fish will never associate a stone with danger! Put a stone in a lake and look at it in six months it will have life form on it, lose 10 ton plus of stones in a lake the effect on water quality will be zero.

Pallatrax have proved beyond doubt that using their Stonze System that catch rates will improve, this would be a good enough reason on its own for us to use Stonze at Gillhams. Add the health and environmental issues, plus the possibility that lead is affecting our fish’s growth rates, and we are sure everyone will see why we are using Pallatrax Stonze. On a plus side Stonze can be soaked in flavor or used to mold bait around, Pallatrax will be selling flavors and method mixes in our shop.

We are also going over to the excellent Pallatrax Gripz hooks, the design of these hooks is exciting. We are waiting for Pallatrax to supply these hooks in the size and strength required for our fish and we expect to be providing them on all our rigs by October 2017. Gripz hooks are made from high grade Japanese wire, the key improvement has been the introduction of a series of minute horizontal grooves on the inside of the specially designed arrow shaped hook point, where historically the barb would have been. These grooves allow the fishing hook to hold securely in the fish’s mouth when pressure is applied, as the flesh presses into the grooves resulting in a firm hook hold with no slippage. As soon as the pressure is removed the hook returns to a barbless format allowing for easy and safe removal.

” Our shop at the resort will be selling the complete range of Pallatrax products including PVA, take a look at the full range of Pallatrax products on there website Because Pallatrax are committed to the environment with a genuine concern for fish care, you don’t need to check with us if any product on their website is allowed at Gillhams. All Pallatrax products are allowed at Gillhams.

Here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts we are excited and extremely proud to have been chosen by Pallatrax to represent their products, anyone who knows us will know we don’t just take on any product. We only use what we believe in Pallatrax tick all the boxes; fish care, environment, water quality and customer care.

The small lake here at the resort is a great place to spend a few hours or even to take the family for some fun in the middle of the day. We don’t have guides on the small lake you do everything yourself, netting unhooking etc and each sala is equipped with landing nets and unhooking mats so you can remove the fish from the water safely. We  have many different species from carp, catfish, pacu, snakeheads, arawana and many more.


So let’s get on with this month’s fishing and find out what’s been getting caught and what species have been landed. 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 774 fish caught of 22 species, made up as follows: 26 arapaima to 320lb, four arawana to 15lb, eight alligator gar to 35lb, 164 Amazon redtail catfish to 85lb, 125 Asian redtail catfish to 55lb, eight bighead carp to 35lb, three barramundi to 12lb, 32 black pacu to 50lb, four giant gourami to 10lb, one giant featherback of 8lb, one Hoven’s of 15lb, 34 Julian’s golden carp to 55lb, 23 Mekong catfish to 210lb, one mrigal carp to 12lb, four Nile perch to 10lb, one rohu of 18lb, five ripsaw catfish to 25lb, six red bellied pacu to 20lb, two spotted sorubim to 22lb, one striped catfish of 40lb, 317 Siamese carp to 178lb.

As you can see, the carp are certainly on the feed with a total of 317 Siamese carp caught and an impressive 67 Siamese carp over 100lb. We’ve also had a good month on other carp species with Hoven’s carp, rohu, mrigal and 34 Julian’s golden carp to 55lb.

Once again we had Mick Caddy and his better half Jean join us on their yearly visit. Luckily for Jean, this time Mick’s partner in crime, Nick Roberts, wasn’t here to lead him astray. The trip was to celebrate Mick’s birthday and to also chase some monster carp. Mick was on good form this trip with his carp fishing and managed to land four Siamese carp over a ton with the biggest at 135lb for a total of 34 Siamese carp during his stay. While here Mick landed a total of 52 fish of five species including five Julian’s carp to 35lb.

Mark, Frankie and Craig from Birmingham joined us for their first trip out to Gillhams, and finally we had some customers who could understand and make sense of our guide Chris… sort of. The lads were all happy making it a holiday as well as a fishing trip and also managed some day trips. After all, Thailand is a long way to come and see nothing. In total they caught 28 fish of four species including Asian and Amazon redtail catfish to 75lb, giant featherbacks and Siamese carp with Mark and Craig catching four Siamese carp over 100lb with a new personal best of 140lb.


Steve James joined us once again for the Songkran celebrations, and like every trip out here in April, he was more excited about the water fights than he was the fishing. Steve visits us twice a year, with his October trip being more about fishing. This trip all that’s on his mind is water balloons and high-powered super soakers. Steve did however manage some fishing and landed a total of 17 fish, which included Amazon redtail catfish, Asian redtails and Siamese carp to 90lb.

Kieran Hogan made a return trip to Gillhams this month accompanied by his wife, Anne. While Kieran was out fishing, his wife Anne spent her days relaxing around the pool, reading books and making the occasional visit to Kieran’s swim. The holiday wasn’t all one-sided as Anne did manage to drag him away from fishing sometimes to spend time together but found it was more peaceful around the pool or visiting the new spa. During Kieran’s trip he landed some nice fish, which included, Siamese carp to 95lb, Julian’s carp to 45lb, and an arapaima of 160lb.

Adam Griffith from England also made a return visit to Gillhams Fishing Resorts while his wife went to visit family in the Philippines. Due to landing many different species on previous trips, Adam wasn’t too worried what he caught; he simply wanted to wet a line and enjoy his fishing. This laid back, relaxed attitude certainly paid of for Adam. During Adam’s stay he caught an impressive 30 fish of five species including red and black pacu to 45lb, big head carp to 35lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb and Siamese carp with two over a ton at 105lb and 140lb. Not bad for somebody who wasn’t bothered what he caught.

Good friends and regular anglers here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts, Dean and Jenni Handley, made the first of their regular two trips a year. Dean also joined us for the yearly Songkran festival, leaving Jenni to have a day at the spa as she was worried about falling out of the truck as we threw water and had the pleasure of becoming children for the day. Dean actually enjoyed himself so much that on his return to England he’s already started buying high-powered water cannons for next year’s onslaught. Many of you might have met Dean and Jenni here at the lake or seen them mentioned in newsletters before. Several years ago when they first came over, the only one fishing was Dean. On their first trip, Jenni just spent her days with Dean, reading, sunbathing and relaxing, until one afternoon Stuart talked her into having a fish herself. She enjoyed her fishing so much that every trip since, which is two visits a year now, Jenni has fished every time. In fact Jenni has probably caught bigger fish than Dean and tends to show him up. This is why he has now started fishing in South America with Stuart and me, knowing that it’s a bit rough and basic for Jenni, and he can now claim more fish and different species. When there trip was over, they had landed 23 fish of five species with their best fish being Julian’s golden carp to 45lb, Siamese carp to 105lb and Mekong catfish to 240lb.

Marc and Allison Pickering are also regular friends who have visited Gillhams from the early days and make two visits every year. Allison herself doesn’t fish, apart from having some fun on the small lake. The rest of the time she relaxes and spends time with Marc as his official photographer. Marc always targets the Siamese carp but also likes some of the different species that don’t make regular appearances, but he would be happy catching anything as long as its not Mekong catfish. Marc has done extremely well with the Siamese carp over the years and this trip was no different, with him landing 28 Siamese carp during his stay with four over a ton and his biggest of the trip at 140lb. The total number of Siamese carp over 100lb Marc has caught from Gillhams has now reached 25 with his biggest at 183lb. This fish was featured in an earlier newsletter and Facebook along with a video of the weighing just to prove to the Internet trolls and keyboard warriors that seem to plague the fishing venues here in Thailand with their jealousy and envy.

Karen Holder from the UK made her first trip out to Gillhams in April accompanied by her husband Steve. Carp anglers in the UK have probably heard of Karen from Essex, and she’s made quite a name for herself in the English carp scene. Her husband, Steve, in a role reversal, was the one relaxing around the pool and enjoying spa treatments like body scrubs, wraps and a nail polish while Karen tried her luck with the Siamese carp. Steve did however get into his fishing when he had a few hours on the small lake and managed to land some nice fish with Siamese carp, Julian’s carp and a few others. Steve has now been converted and is eagerly awaiting a return trip to test his luck on the main lake next year. Karen’s fishing started off slowly, as in the first part of the trip the lake was fishing hard. Being a keen carp angler and fishing some of the UK’s top waters, she’s no stranger to being patient, watching the water and finding the fish. Once Karen started hitting into a few fish, there was no stopping her, and she managed to land some of the biggest fish she had ever seen, leaving with a massive new personal best carp. Karen went on to catch 15 fish including both Amazon and Asian redtail catfish, arapaima and Siamese carp with six over 100lb and her biggest at 178lb. Congratulations, Karen, we look forward to seeing you and Steve next year at the carp shows and of course back out here in paradise.

Unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for this month. We’ll see you again next month with more captures and stories of what’s going on over here in paradise.


For those of you planning a return or first trip, please send us your enquiry via our enquiries page or email us at


Tight lines from all of us at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. We hope your next fish is the one of your dreams, which it probably will be if you come to Gillhams!