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Krabi newsletter August 2012

Hello once again to all of you following this fishing in Thailand monthly newsletter from Gillhams Fishing Resorts here in Krabi, Thailand. Another month has flown by and already we are counting down to Christmas. Despite erratic weather conditions with one day hot and sunny and the next prolonged rainstorms, the fishing in Krabi has remained exceptional. The early rains have triggered the arapaima to spawn, conditions remained perfect, and the spawning was a success with the happy couples now showing around the lake with their offspring.

If you are thinking of visiting us soon please check availability as many dates are sold out. As Gillhams gains popularity more people trying to book late are disappointed to find their intended dates are already booked. To avoid disappointment please contact us ASAP for a quotation. We have no minimum stay and no set check-in/check-out days. This enables our guests to plan a trip to fit in with other plans and take advantage of cheaper flights on certain days. Although we do not arrange flights our friend and regular client Aaron Hyde can arrange your flights at competitive rates, so contact him at or phone him at Kenwood Travel on 02077499223.

Regular client and friend John Duffy visited again this month. John’s main reason to visit, apart from trying to sample every dish on our restaurant’s menu, was to try out his new fly-fishing equipment and have fly-fishing lessons from Stuart. Well, John certainly fitted the bill with his new kit consisting of Sage 12 and 8wt rods, top of the range reels, lines and a swarm of flies that was larger than you would see on a herd of buffalos! All the gear and no idea sprung to mind, but after a few days we got John casting a reasonable distance. With some practice at home he should be able to chuck far enough in Oz to worry a few barramundi!Between the fly fishing, at which he failed to catch, he bait fished for odd hours and landed a personal best Siamese carp of 90lb along with several other carp and some Amazon red tails.Slim John was ordering his usual bucket of diet full fat ice cream in all flavours when Becky informed him we were out of coconut and we only had chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. His reply was“F—k it that means I can only have three scoops instead of four.” Apparently it isn’t fattening when you mix the flavours!

This month came to an end on a sad note when guide Steve Gething came to the end of his stint with us. It was a shame to lose such a good guide as Steve and we are all going to miss the wee man. Steve reluctantly had to return to the UK as he only came here on a temporary basis for six months and eventually had to come to terms with returning to the UK for work commitments. Steve was an exceptionally good fishing guide, always 100% committed and well liked by all our clients. He was always cheerful and kept all the other guides’ spirits up. Unlike other guides we have had here in the past who bring the team down with their personal depressions and constant whingeing,Steve would brighten up even the miserable days with his commitment and sense of humor. We are all going to miss you wee man, but the bright side is Steve will return next year. Steve mate, from me, the big fella – come back whenever you wish, there is an open job here for you anytime. Good luck fella from us all at Gillhams.

On a brighter note Joel the Joely-headed carp has signed up for a further six months after a one-month fill-in while he waited for job opportunities in the banking world had already turned into a year. This suits us, as he is another cracking asset to our guiding team. The only downside is the man continues to catch every bloody carp in the lake. He has even beaten us to the capture of a 100lb-plus carp.Joel has well and truly sorted out how to target the big Siamese carp, having multiple catches of 80 to 90lb carp every time he fishes.Mind you, for a bright bloke he certainly is lacking in the ‘brightest spark in the box’ category, constantly falling for tricks and piss takes, like this month when actress comedienne Phyllis Dillerpassed away. Joel asked who she was and Stuart replied she invented the vibrator hence its nickname ‘Dillerdo’. Joel fell for it and proceeded to tell everyone that the lady who invented the dildo was dead! Bless him! We also had a golden gourami that was found in trouble with a huge bite on its flank. “How did that happen,” asked dopey Joel? Our reply that a wallago must have got it was met with his reply, “Would it have done that with its mouth?” Der!

Also still on the team and looking like becoming a permanent fixture here is Lee McLean. Lee came to us with zero knowledge of fish and fishing and in the year with us to date has excelled in becoming a very good and knowledgeable guide. Lee has fitted into the team and is proving very popular with our clients. New guide Chris Pache is another guide who has fitted in well. Already an accomplished angler, Chris has turned into a first class guide plus a constant provider of amusement to all who meet him. When we were planning guides for the next year we asked Chris how long he intended staying. His reply of “Forever”proveshow he loves being here as part of the team.If you visit us and Chris is your guide you will need a translator, as with his thick Brummie accent and habit of talking from the corner of his cakehole Chris has the well-earned nickname of Mumbles! With our ever-faithful number one guide Gollock being a permanent fixture here we have a very good team.

Talking of Gollock, he went home for a month in June to his home in the north of Thailand, as mummy Gollock decided that her son, now 39, should get married and had arranged for him to marry a girl from his village who he had never met. So Gollock returned a married man, bringing with him Mrs. Gollock who is now part of the cleaning team! New guide Geoff Ackroyd starts at the end of September on a six-month endurance test, and after Christmas we have some old faces joining the team for some short-term guiding to help cover for Sean and me while we return to Blighty for the annual fishing shows. Our old mate John Anderson from the Isle of White is leaving his flooring company in his trusted workers’ hands and fulfilling a dream to come guiding for four months. Plus there’s a regular client and friend who is going to take a year out of his highly stressful job to live in paradise and help with the guiding – name withheld as he hasn’t told his bosses yet!

Before moving onto the bit you love or hate depending if you’re in it or not, I just had to add this cracker… Judge sentences a man to ten years and asks, “Anything you wish to say?”The man replies, “F— all.” The judge says to the clerk, “What did he say?” The clerk replies, “F— all my lord.” Judge replies,“I could have sworn I saw his lips move!”

So here it is, Gillham’s Gripe:My Olympics gripe surprised me with the amount of supporting emails I received. It seems like many people are also proud to be British. Congratulations to our entire Olympic team – we are all very proud of you and thank god they called it team GB and not bloody team UK!

Social network sites are great for keeping in touch with friends, clients and potential customers, plus sharing information about fishing experiences, but the downside is gutless twats who hide behind computer screens telling lies and typing bullshit. Then you get the armchair anglers who offer advice and talk crap from the sofa. For those out there who have a pop at us, you won’t get a reaction on these sites; we will never stoop to the level of little girls, justifying allegations and answering liars! My suggestion to sad prats is tell the true story not just your side, and don’t talk about things you know sod all about. Get a life, grow up and move on!The Internet is a great tool, but it’s also used by some even bigger tools with even bigger sad little lives!

For all you legends in your own lunchtimes who believe you are angling superstars, we do not pay flights or appearance fees to fish here. Some of the emails we get make us laugh… Mr. Famous honestly believes that in return for an article in a fishing magazine and saying he visited here we will pay all his expenses and give an all-inclusive free holiday! Sure we do get some well known and respected anglers here, and we do give free fishing and accommodation in return for publicity, but if you are that good we will invite you as you will be known to have a good track record. But flights and appearance money? Dream on!

We also get told by some people that they are going to bring some wonder bait that will tear our lake apart – well, we ain’t seen one yet! Many professional bait companies are run by people who understand fish’s dietary requirements, and known brand name baits are welcome here,as these companies have professional people working out the correct ingredients for fish’s welfare. But homemade crap knocked up in the garden shed with Christ knows what so-called magic potions in them are not allowed.For those who want to put in piles of salt or some sticky wonder sludge,it is never going to happen here. If fish needed luminous slime or salt then nature would have provided it, so please don’t bring it or argue about it – our fish, our choice!Our fish’s environment and nutritional needs are carefully controlled; our water quality is perfect and will remain that way.

If you enjoy my gripes then read my old muckerRon Buss’ rants,love him. Ron is on Facebook and posts a daily gripe. He touches on all subjects – fishing, political and racial rants. I love his ramblings and wish I could write about some of the things he does. Maybe when I get as old and grumpy as he is I will also get away with it!

So, onto the fishing here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts: The total catchesfor people fishing in Krabi this month are as follows: 688 fish of 25 species, made up as follows: 42 arapaima to 400lb, three arawana to 12lb, six alligator gar to 50lb, 204 Amazon redtail catfish to 80lb, one Amazon stingray of 30lb, 117 Asian redtail catfish to 40lb, 16 black pacu to 38lb, one barramundi of 6lb, eleven big head carp to 26lb, one Chao Phraya catfish of 108lb, one giantgourami of 10lb, three giant stingray to 140lb, ten Julian’s golden carp to 37lb, 46 Mekong catfish to 180lb, four mrigal to 10lb, one ripsaw catfish to 36lb, 25 spotted featherback to 9lb, 171 Siamese carp to 105lb, six shovel nosed spotted sorubim to 40lb, five shovel nosed tiger catfish to 12lb, one striped catfish of 30lb, four tambaqui to 40lb, three wallago attu to 12lb, four wallago leeri to 25lb and two Nile perch to 7lb.

First up this month is Russell North withhis wifeand two sons, Jake and Kieran. They came for two weeks, mixingone week’s fishing with days out sightseeing –one day’s fishing followed by one day out kayaking, elephant trekking, island hopping and temples, etc. Throughout their stay they caught a total of 58 fish between them of eleven species. Russell’s best fish were Mekong catfish to 150lb and an alligator gar of 50lb. Jake also had some good fish, which included arapaima to 100lb, Mekong catfish to 160lb and Amazon redtail catfish to 55lb. Top rod of the trip went to Kieran who landed 23 fish of six different species, which included redtail catfish to 80lb, Siamese carp to 90lb, stingrayto 130lb, Mekong catfish to 160lb and the biggest arapaima at 400lb.

Next up is Paul Hardingwith his wifeand son, Mike. Both Mike and Paul had booked five days’ fishing with a few days off in between for days out. Day trips ended up just being Paul and his wife, as Mike couldn’t be dragged off the lake, and apart from sleeping in with a couple of hangovers he fished every day. During the trip Paul landed a total of ten fish of four species with his biggest fish being an arapaima of 130lb. Mike went on to catch nearly three times the amount of fish than his dad,landing 26 fish,also of four species. Mike is a keencarp angler back homeand has an envious position of working for top fishing tackle companyKevin Nash Tackle. His target species was Siamese carp andhis biggest went75lb,but his best catch of the trip was an arapaima of 300lb. Mike was a very good angler and all the family were a pleasure to have as guests. Mike is already planning his return trip and also talking the very nice Mr. Nash into sending some of his new alarms to us to put through their paces!

Lee Spatcher from Australia made a return visit. Suddenly finding himself with a few days off work hedecided to jump on a flight to Thailand and get in a couple of days’ fishing before flying straight back to Oz. Fishing till the last possible minute to make the most of his flying visit, he left his room key in his pocket and had to post it back from Australia. Lots of our guests end up taking keys home,making our keys the most travelled keys in the world!Lee caught a total of six fish offour different species,his two biggestbeing a Siamese carp and an alligator gar of 40lb.

We also had a Thai family from England for two days’ fishing while here on holiday visiting friends and family. Fourteen-year-old James was fishing with his brother in law Bancha while James’ mother and two sisters chilled out around the resort swimming pool and checked out the tourist town of Ao-Nang. The two boys went on to catch12 fish of six species, which included Siamese carp to 70lb, Mekong catfish to 160lb and an arapaima.

Next up was none other than Sir Lesley Bamford, and whoever knows Les or follows our newsletters will know some of Lesley’s antics when drunk or even just awake.This time however was a nice change for everybody around the resort, as he came with May,his long-suffering better half!During his stay we only had to ask Les a couple of times to calm down, which is better than our constant reminders and threats of being banned that normally occur during Bamford holiday tours. May kept a tight lead on him, and also let us in on some home truths, such as Les being a very nice man, but with a personal hygiene problem!May’s main cause for concern is that apparently he doesn’t wash for days on end, which must be hell for her, having to put up with the smell of stale beer and fartsplus stale fags and alcohol laced breath!During their stay Les was even taking May out on day trips, going elephant trekking and sea kayaking, plus romantic walks along the beach followed by seafood lunches. Les was pulling out all the stops and wasn’t even farting in public. He even managed more than a couple of hours’ fishing per day, doing well on the Siamese carp front catching 19 in total with the smallest goiing 50lb and breaking his PBseveral times, topped bytwo carp of 90lb. In total Les caught 23 fish of five species and nearly killed himself when hooking into a Mekong catfish of 150lb.At the end of his stay the drink bill was still higher than the cost of most people’s total holiday,but for Lesley it wasanother personal best at a record low. His drinking started at 8am every morning with a couple of beers andhalf a dozen Sambuca chasers, before buying a sack of Tiger beer cans for around the lake. Lunchtime consisted of more Sambuca and a few Jack and Cokes, before going back to his swim to carry on drinking his cans! This was followed each eveningby going back to the restaurantto finish off the bottles of Jack and Sambuca that had beenopened fresh every morning for the guzzling piss-head. Les has now been told that on any future trips he has to be accompanied by May.

Neil Kilshaw made his first trip to Gillham’s this month with wife Suzanne and theirthirteen-year-old son Jake for a week’s fishing before going to Ao-Nang for their second week on abeach holiday. While here Suzanne was chilling out around the pool, reading books and photographing the boys’ many fish. On arrival Jake mentioned he would love to catch an Amazon redtail catfish, so he was set up in a good redtail swim and caught all the redtail catfish he wanted in the first day. In totalhe and Neil had eight on their first afternoon with Jake’s biggestAmazon redtail at 65lb. Over the next few days Neil and Jake went on to catch a total of 42 fish, made up of eight species between them. Neil landed 25 fish with his biggest being an arapaima of 250lb. He also caught Mekong catfish to 135lb and a nice Julian golden carp at 35lb. Jake was also into some good fish with his biggest also being an arapaima at 90lb, and he even managed a small Nile perch to add to his species list.

Also this month we had an American family arrive for two half-days’ fishing with a one-night stay. William andwife Carol, with their two sons, Jake and Josh, fancied a go at some of Gillham’s monsters. The wholefamily experienced the fight when hooking into a Mekong catfish on their first afternoon.The fish took the two boys of eight and ten years old about two hours to land, weighingin at 140lb and beating the boys’ previous bestby 135lb! The following morning they hooked another Mekong, but this time the whole family, including Carol, fought the beast in a fight that went on for over two hours with the fish weighing in at 170lb.

This month has been quieter than usual due to people staying home to follow the Olympics. This gave all the workforce time to have a play on the lake, starting with Becky who only fished one day,raising personal best catches with two Siamese carp around 50lb, one pacu of 20lb and then on the last cast of the day, an arapaima of 260lb. Stuart also fished for three days, catching plenty of Siamese carp with two at90lb-plus, a black pacu of 34lb, Amazon redtail catfish and a tambaqui on his Free Spirit match rod at 25lb.Joel was back on the rods fishing for two days, and he landed14 Siamese carp withone over 100lb and three over 90lb, plus Asian redtails to 22lb and two pacu just shy of 40lb. Wee Steve got in on the action, and after a slow start for the little fella things started falling into place. Hewent on to catch11 fish including Siamese carp to 85lb, bighead carp to 26lb and arapaima to 190lb. Finally Hooter Lee was up for some action; he was after the Julian’s golden carp, which he tells people he specialises in catching. Now even though Lee talks a good game about being the Julian slayer, he hasn’t ever caught one in the year he’s been trying. After one customer caught a few Julian’s,Lee decided to jump in the guy’s swim while he broke for two hours to take his wife elephant trekkingto rest his swim. Lee not only used the guy’s rods and bait, but he also fished on top of the area he was resting for a few hours. Hooter did finally slay a small Julian’s golden carp (top poaching).

We then had our ex-pat friends Jim and James from Malaysia over for three days, tying in some fishing while having to attend a work related conference in Krabi town. The conference did not go too well due to a heavy night on the town the previous evening, but it only took a couple of hours, leaving them fishing for the rest of their stay. Like most father and son fishermen, Jim and James were straight into competition mode, which saw them both finish on nine fish each.Both of their biggest fish were Siamese carp, and James won the sweepstakes with one at 95lb, beating Jim’s 75lb Siamese carp and winning their 50 ringgit bet (high stakes at £10).

Scott Lundrum and his wife arrived for a seven-day trip, and within 24 hours of being here came the news that their home in Louisiana was in for another hammering by a hurricane. With their family emailingthem with the news that evacuations were being carried out, they decided there was not much they could do about it and decided to carry on with their holiday. Luckily the family were OK as the hurricane didn’t hit as badly as predicted, so Scott was able to relax and concentrate on the huge fish rolling around him. After a slow start and some unlucky hook pulls on arapaima, Scott started to find his feet and soon got used to the style of fishing here at Gillham’s that is alien to most Americans. Scott is actually a naval preacher and his prayers were answered in the end when he finally managed to land an arapaima of 250lb, giving him a new personal best for freshwater species. He then went onto be beat this fish and land a second arapaima of 340lb. While Scott was fishing, his wife enjoyed the peaceful surroundings reading books and relaxing around the pool. They had some nice weather,apart from a couple of days in the middle of their stay when the heavens opened and ithammered down for 48 hours straight. By the end of the stay Scott caught 19 fish of six species including Siamese carp to 80lb and Mekong to 140lb.

Dave Plummer, who started running hosted trips here last year for Angling Direct Holidays, came in for a few days prior to his group’s arrival with his son Neil.Poor old Dave had a hernia operation a week before leaving the UK, and within a day of arrival had to go into hospital as the hernia was swelling up. Luckily the private hospitals here in Thailand are world class, so it was a relief to see Dave out on the same day. The downside for Dave wasnot being allowed to drink for a week, but the plus side for Neil was early nights and plenty of fishing!While here there was lots of rain around, so Neil being as laid back as his dad only fished for three days out the seven, but he still managed to land eleven fish of six species with his biggest being a Siamese carp of 85lb. See how the Angling Direct hosted trips got on in the September newsletter.

Regular Gillhamsvisitor Mick Ward returnedwith his other half Tess for a six-night stay and was keen to get started on arrival. He decided to skip his first day of relaxing with Tess and got straight into the fishing.Mick was straight in on the action, leaving Tess to be wooed by guide Lee making her flowers out of silver foil from cigarette packs, claiming it never fails to have the ladies falling at his feet (who said the art of romance was dead?). Mick landed many good fish and even managed to up his personal best arapaima when he landed a beast at 380lb. Some of Mick’s other catches were Mekong catfish to 180lb, Siamese carp to 90lb, and a new species for Mick was an Amazon stingray at 30lb. In total Mick caught 30 fish of eight species.

Last but not least,Mark Swaby made his first trip out to Gillhams accompanied by his wife for a week’s fishing before heading off on the second part of their holiday to visitthe orangutan sanctuary in Borneo. While here Mark fished hard every day and even managed to be taken away on a couple of afternoons for short day trips before rushing back to wet the lines once again. In the seven days Mark fished he caught a total of 52 fish of 13 species with Mekong catfish, arapaima, Siamese carp to 95lb, ripsaw catfish to 36lb and two Julian golden prize carp to 37lb, which was what led Mr.Ree to poach his swim while on a afternoon elephant trek. Once the fishing was over Mark didn’t want to leave but had to honour the second half of their trip for his wife. Allwas not lost though, as he is already planning a return trip.

Well folks that just about sums up another month in paradise.2012 has very limited spaces available and 2013 is starting to get well booked too. If you are planning a trip here we suggest you contact us sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment, so contact us by emailing gillhamsfishingresorts@gmail.comor phone Stuart on 0066 (0) 861644554. Please remember the time difference of +7 hours GMT or risk old grumpy growling down the phone when you disturb his much needed beauty sleep!

Best wishes from all the team here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts – we hope to see you all in the near future.