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Krabi newsletter August 2007

Sorry I have not been in touch for a while only we have been so busy here, what with having Terry and Joe here for 5 days fishing, also 2,500 squire meters of grass to lay and 40 new trees to plant not to mention trying to get the builder to move his self. Our bungalow should have been ready to move into now but as this is tryland it will be another 10 days. We have not had time to fish much our self’s this month only fitting in a couple of short sessions although they have been productive Sean and I had a nice Red Tail each weighing 16 kgs & 18kgs playing both at the same time, yours truly also landed a nice brace of feather backs at 7kgs & 5 kgs, I also sneaked a rod out while working by the lake & winkled out a 19 kg Siamese Carp.

The Mekong Cats are playing hide and seek at the moment but the weather is cool and wet which in our experience is non productive for this species they certainly prefer hot sunny days for prolonged periods so we expect the fishing for them to improve in October. We have had that famous duo from the UK here for 5 days. The one and only Terry Eustace owner of gold label tackle in the UK Terry is the spitting image of the late comedian Benny Hill with the most crazy sense of humour so it has been a laugh a minute even if hard work as poor old Terry isn’t as nimble as he used to be so he plays on it and had us running around like blue bottomed fly’s. Accompanying Terry as usual was another good friend Joe Taylor also a tackle barren owner of specialist anglers shop in the UK, J&K tackle Joe has probably caught more 100lb freshwater fish and of more species than any other angler in the world he had only just returned from a 12 week stint on the river Ebro in Spain where he had somewhere in the region of 160 100lb plus Wells Catfish with a new PB of 203lbs, when 5 days later he was over here, then 7 days after he returns to the UK he is off to Surinam on the mighty river Amazon returning to the UK for 3 weeks his next trip will be to Argentina for 3 weeks then straight on to Florida some where in his hectic schedule he returns back to fish with us for 2 weeks in January and March and they tell us there ain’t no money in the fishing tackle trade! Still all our stocks of essential items and not so essential are at bursting point they even bought us 2 sets of the latest all singing and dancing digital scales that can cope with fish up to 200 kilo’s, so they should be ok for a year or two till our fish grow!

On to the fishing they spent the first 2 days of there trip with our good friend Francois Helias and his excellent team of professionals from fishing adventures Thailand on Francois latest jewel the predator lake where poor old Terry could not break his duck of only catching baby Arapaima’s and juvenile Red Tail’s. We have promised we wont mention who George was in this news letter, but he or she was Terry’s night fishing guide down there all pictures of this part of there trip should be applied for to Francois. Joe did his usual at this lake using his fish magnet to catch numerous fish with a superb 85 kg Arapaima to top off with. The first day they arrived here in Krabi was spent chilling out showing them the lake and swapping bulls what sit over way to much red grape juice plus Terry was missing George. The next day the hungover duo arrived at the crack of 11am with Joe getting of the mark in the first 30 minutes with a nice 40lb Siamese carp followed up with a superb 100lb + Arapaima plus 2 Red Tail Cats and 1 Soribim all around the 25lbs mark. Terry was once again the pest control officer taking a double figure Julian’s golden price carp but it got the insults flying between the two as Joe has never had one of these pretty carp species, also Terry had a 20lb Siamese carp plus some 20 lb plus Red Tails & Soribim, unfortuanatly the Arapaima eluded him once again, although he did lose a good one certainly over 100lbs, so he was the brunt of Joes leg pulls.

Our lake certainly fishes best after 4pm probably due to the occupants supplementary food being doshed out around this time but the pull of Ao-Nang got the better of the boys so it was home early and out for a mega sea food feast at my favourite seafood restaurant Whonsi Sea Food washed down with much red grape juice followed by a tour of the local night life this was only because poor old Uncle Terry was missing George! The next day started as did all the days to a late start and much black coffee we fished this day at the deepest end of the lake Joe trying for a Julian’s Golden Price stuck it out with there number one food maze and landed another 100lbs + Arapaima! This is quite a common occurrence at our lake we think the small fish go for the maze and the Harry Palmers then snaffle them (or have we got vegetarian Arapaima?) As Sean and I do not use fish baits but have had several of the Arapaima on the yellow peril including our biggest resident of 150 kgs + who shook his head and parted the hook link while we tried to lead him to the fish cage (What is the fish cage?) Well this bit of kit is an oblong net in a plastic frame 2.5mtr long 1 mtr wide by 1.2 mtr deep which we lead the Arapaima into so they can be unhooked and recover in safety, for those of you who are not aware most big Arapaima 40kgs + die when caught due to 2 factors one if they bend there back the wrong way they snap a blood vessel which due to them breathing air to live is like a long filter along there back bone so folded in a net or holding the poor sods for trophy shots kills them as does factor 2 allowing them to jump during the fight so please as in Tarpon fishing bow to the king when the line starts rising drop the rod tip and ease up the pressure if we are catching them we normally grab the leader and snip the barbless hook of at its closest point we only use the cage for guests controlled photos Joe is fortunate to have caught many huge Arapaima so he declined pictures at our lake to allow the fish every chance of recovery for someone else to catch (Thanks mate) Any way back to the fishing on day 2 the Julian’s avoided Joe as they did for the whole trip but he landed 2 small red tails.

Terry fishing opposite Joe lost 2 Arapaima to continue his luck for his bogey fish but did land 4 Red Tails 2 Soribim and another species that was on his I want list a Chao Phraya of 27lbs. The third fishing day was to be the Terry Eustace fishing show Terry is 65 years young he has spent a lot of time trying for an Arapaima over 100lbs Terry has been one of my good friends for more years than we both care to remember and in one of his recent emails he sent me Terry Eustace’s Christmas fish wish list which included a 100lb Arapaima, 40lb + Red Tail, 30lb + Chao Phraya plus a girl that looks like George! This day was to be the day his dreams came true with all but one of the four wishes granted.

The day started different than usual Joe starting at 9am with Terry coming later at 2pm Joe started on the maze and boilie’s trying for his elusive Golden Price later he switched one rod to fish baits as our lake holds a good head of Feather Backs and Black Wallagoo both would be new species for him but as usual he got him self another 100lb + Arapaima and 30lb Red Tail. At 2pm amid much friendly banter his lordship Uncle Terry waddled along the path he used to be athletic before his fourteenth birthday nowadays he shuffles he says due to 2 replacement knee joints but really the scars are from falling over due to multiple alcohol abuse and tripping over on his way to the cake shop! The old git proceeded to launch 2 fish baits into orbit and within half hour was into part one of the dream a stunning 44 lb Red Tail Catfish which he proudly announced was the same weight as the late Richard Walkers long standing ex British record carp weight and was exactly the size he wanted (oh yawn yeh) Half hour later and the old fella is away again fishing to the shallow plateau in the top bay a huge Arapaima rolled right next to Terry’s orange football the blind old man calls a float, immediately his float disappeared in a plume of spray Arapaima came the shout from Sean and Terry, after a half hour fight which the fish stayed deep with long powerful jerky runs Joe and I where agreeing this could not be an Arapaima my money was on one of our big Mekong’s as our ones are unusual to the average Mekong and like fish, our supplier informs us he feeds them on fish and pellet which improves there growth rate and colouring which all anglers who have seen our Mekong’s agree to them been the best looking Mekong’s they have ever seen also the hardest fighting.

Ten minuets later and a big Chao Phraya rolled in front of us part two of the dream was complete and on the scales at 50lbs 8ozs it was only 2lbs off the world record! This should come to us soon as we have Chao Phraya to 100lbs + in the lake. Terry was now on a roll (not unusual for him as he generally scoffs a dozen a day!) Poor old Joe was getting loads of abuse as his fishing had slowed to stop I was also in for some as for this holiday Sean was Terry’s guide and I was Joe’s. 10 minuets later and off goes the orange football again this time no mistaking the culprit as Mr Harry Palmer took to the sky on a heart stopping tail walking display much shouting at oh fat one to drop his flaming rod top (or similar sounding) Terry obeyed and the fish just melted line off down the lake on his way to Phuket. Bless Terry he listened as I knew he would he is an angling legend and would never intentionally harm a fish (the only abuse he does is his own body) so there was no more leaping Arapaima just another three quarter of an hour of long powerful runs eventually the fish was tiring so the cage was in position on the second attempt he was safely in the cage with an unusually quite old man gazing lovingly at his dream fish of a lifetime the old git even had a tear in his eye but he claimed it was from sweat and sun cream going in his eye during the fight.

This fish was known to us by his orange birthmark we grew him at our fish farm down the road from 80 kgs in January to exactly 100 kgs when he was transferred to the lake 10 weeks ago. Terry been the gent he is refused to let the fish be risked further by weighing him generously accepted a weight of 200 lbs + as he said it was double his wish list weight so part three of the dream was now complete and all in one afternoon. After this capture the poor old fella was cream crackerd so we all packed up and went off to celebrate Terry’s day. Showered and changed Terry had his best football shorts and trainers on completing the outfit was a triple x tent from Billy Smarts circus which Terry calls a shirt, yes sir Mr Pervy was ready to trip the light fantastic in pursuit of part four of the dream surely if he pulled this feat off it would be a miracle or George would be accompanied by a lovely yellow dog with a white and luminous yellow harness! After one or was it ten bottles of old mans drink red grape juice (all three of us have dodgy ticker’s) at my mates pub the Irish Rover Ao-Nang with a huge roast diner with all the trimmings part four was overlooked as we where all waddling like Terry and all went our separate ways giggling like kids at Terry’s antics and dreaming our own private dreams.

The next day dawned but we didn’t we where on the lake by midday back to the swims from the first day as the other side of the lake was been turf ‘ed and trees planted getting it all landscaped ready for our official opening in April 08 Joe was float fishing this day on one rod with small fish pieces after feather backs plus maze for the elusive Julian’s when he hooked up yet another 100lb + Arapaima on the float rod and 12 lb line we clipped the hook link 1 hour later, the maze failed miserably again but the float tactics paid off with 2 Red Tails and a Soribim. Terry at the other end was in paradise and catching a few average Reds and Soribim plus another low 20 Siamese (Carp that is!) The last day of the trip came round as usual to quickly the plan was to fish till 5pm then shower and fly back to Bangkok for Terry and Joe to meet up with our dear friend Francois of Fishing Adventures Thailand for 2 more days at the predator lake while Sean and I would be back to turf laying and moving into our new bungalow overlooking the lake, once we are settled in we can cast from our balcony into Terry’s top bay. The last day saw Joe back on the same tactics as the previous day with similar results on the float tactics yet another 100lbs + Arapaima his 5th of the trip, plus the ever faithful Reds and Soribims he certainly lost a good Feather back plus some other unstoppable monster of the deep, finally Joes maze bait rattled off was this the elusive Julian’s? No but it was a nice 30lb + Siamese Carp while this was going on Terry in the next swim rubbed salt in the wounds by catching his second Julian’s Golden Price in low doubles plus a few Red Tails with fish of 35lb& 30lb, and finally a new PB Red Tail of 51 lbs on a squid bait.

Also on this last day I sneaked a rod out with maze and showed poor old Joe how easy the Julian’s are! As for the resort all the holiday bungalows are within 10 meters of the lake with large shaded balcony’s facing your own private grassed fishing spot, the bungalows will be completed by Christmas the restaurant will be open by end of March we will take bookings now so you can fish while the resort is being built the fish are in. The infinity swimming pool overlooking the lake will be ready by mid October as will 70% of the bungalows so if you fancy a holiday where dreams come true book now or wait till April 08 when the whole resort will be open. Oh did part 4 come true or was it a dream don’t ask me it was not my dream but I do believe Francois can be bribed to email pictures of George was he or wasn’t she? Ask for pictures from Francois or with every confirmed booking from me

Best regards from Stuart Benz and Sean at Gillhams Fishing Resorts.