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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter June 2017

Hello and welcome to another month of news and captures from Gillhams Fishing Resorts, Thailand’s premier carp water.

We started the month here with the Korda boys, Ali Hamidi, Neil Spooner and Tom Dove filming season 3 of Monster Carp. This will be the third time Korda have filmed at Gillhams Fishing Resorts and certainly won’t be the last with talks underway of yet another Korda trip in 2019. Obviously, as the name states, the boys were after huge Siamese carp for their 2018 season 3 screening, and fortunately they came to the only place in Thailand with large numbers of Siamese carp over a ton that can be weighed and proven to the audience that they are the sizes we say they are. The first day saw two carp over a ton landed, but unfortunately disaster struck for Ali, and for the first time in his life he was left speechless. However Ali certainly didn’t have any idea just how well this trip was going to end. We obviously can’t go in to great detail about what was caught and their sizes, but this could quite possibly be the best freshwater fishing ever filmed for TV, and will surely show any doubters what Gillhams really have to offer. In just five and half days’ fishing, the lads caught a crazy amount of Siamese carp over a ton with no repeats, and all were filmed from start to finish including the zeroing of the scales and weighing of the fish. In total 63 fish were caught, but you’re going to have to wait till 2018 to see exactly what the boys got up to and exactly what they caught – you certainly aren’t going to want to miss it!

While here filming with Korda, journalist and photographer Gary Newman managed to wet a line hopefully to fulfil his lifelong ambition to land a Siamese carp over a ton, but unfortunately Gary missed his target by 4lbs. After landing several carp, Gary had to end his hunt with a Siamese carp weighing in at 96lb before heading off to Bangkok for a couple of days in search of a Chao Phraya catfish, then heading to Russia to try for another life ambition to catch a taimen. Gary was fortunate enough to land several, with his biggest weighing in at 12kg.

The new pallatrax Stonze system seems to be going well with many different species coming out including a good run of big Julian’s golden carp. The Siamese carp have gone slightly quiet towards the back end of the month but are known to go quiet from time to time, leaving some of the rarer species to get in on customers’ bait and make an appearance.

Stuart and Nick made a trip back over to Croker Island in Darwin Australia to visit our good friend, Rob Hunt. Croker Island isn’t known for its huge 100lb-plus fish unless you start targeting sharks, which Stuart isn’t interested in, and Nick was soon to find out why. Before the trip, sharks were high on Nick’s species hunt until hooking into a monster bull shark estimated at over 500lb. Nick was also a firm believer that he would never hand over a rod, but this soon became a reality when he couldn’t do anymore with Jaws and had neither the power or desire to carry on. The rod was then passed between everybody on the boat including a very unimpressed Stuart, and after two hours of sheer hell, the shark made one last dive for freedom before the braid parted from continuous rubbing on the shark and of course the boat as it dived underneath every time it came close. Stuart and Nick both caught some nice fish including queen fish, dew fish, tuna, mackerel and GTs with Nick landing the biggest weighing in at 55lb. Unfortunately this was going to be the final trip out to Croker due to the local aboriginal people putting an end to the lease on Rob’s land due to somebody greasing their pockets or simply giving them a supply of alcohol.

I got myself a day’s fishing in this month also, as the missus and boy were visiting family in Koh Samui. The target fish were two elusive species in the form of a huge Chao Phraya catfish or wallago leeri. Fishing all day and landing an arapaima and Amazon redtail, I was tidying up, just about to finish, when one of the rods ripped off. The rod had to do some serious work with the drag tightened to the max as a massive 150lb-plus Chao Phraya was in the net within about 20 minutes.
Chao Phraya catfish 150lb plus
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 524 fish caught of 24 species, made up as follows: 41 arapaima to 400lb, four arawana to 9lb, two alligator gar to 30lb, 127 Amazon redtail catfish to 80lb, 61 Asian redtail catfish to 45lb, five bighead carp to 28lb, seven barramundi to 8lb, 22 black pacu to 30lb, two Chao Phraya to 150lb, two giant gourami to 8lb, two giant featherback to 10lb, 26 Julian’s golden carp to 54lb, eight Mekong catfish to 185lb, five Nile perch to 35lb, three rohu of 15lb, two ripsaw catfish to 30lb, 18 red bellied pacu to 25lb, two spotted sorubim to 30lb, two striped catfish of 55lb and 176 Siamese carp to 172lb, two spotted featherback to 8lb, three tambaqui to 40lb, one wallago leeri of 50lb, one wallago attu of 12lb.

First up we had Linebreakerscarp’s Nick Parkinson make another trip out. After fishing Gillhams for a few years now, Nick was still on the hunt for a ton-plus carp. Nick has come close a few times including landing three Siamese carp around 95lb at the beginning of this trip. Nick fished hard most days unless he overslept, which happened on a couple of occasions. He went on to land 21 fish of five species. Nick only had a couple of days left and had watched others turn up for the first time and land Siamese carp over 100lb including the Korda boys. This time though it was Nick’s time, and landed his first 100lb’er with one weighing in at 105lb. Nick was ecstatic, and after all the hard work, he finally landed his dream capture. Like most things, once you’ve hit your target, it gets beaten very quickly, and the very next day Nick landed his second Siamese carp over a ton with a cracker weighing in at 122lb. While here Nick also caught Amazon and Asian redtail catfish to 45lb, arapaima and Julian’s golden carp to 38lb.

Aaron Hyde stopped booked in for a few days’ fishing while touring Asia for a few weeks. Aaron always enjoys his stay here; he is happy just catching up with everybody, and if he catches a fish then it’s a bonus. This laid back attitude works well, and Aaron always seems to do well. He caught a new personal best Siamese carp with a beautiful 120lb’er. He also caught Asian redtail catfish, black pacu, an arapaima at 110lb and Amazon redtail catfish.

Regular angler, Pete Rothy, made another return trip in June, this time accompanied by his better half, Iris. Pete has talked nonstop about this special place in Thailand where he fishes and told her all about the resort side of the lake with the restaurant, swimming pool, Benz spa and all the other day trips that can be arranged when here. Iris knew she had to come over if only to shut Pete up, and it was great on arrival to watch her face as she realised it was everything Pete had described and more. Iris had never fished before, but as you can imagine, she knew every species, as Pete had showed her his pictures thousands of times. She even had a target species herself, as she loved the look of the Amazon redtail catfish. Iris was happy enough relaxing around the pool and spending time with Pete while he fished, and apart from a couple of evenings out Pete and Iris never left the resort. Once the trip was over, Pete had caught a total of 31 fish of six species with Amazon and Asian catfish, Julian’s golden carp, tambaqui, which unfortunately got away from Pete before a picture was taken, nine Siamese carp with three over a ton and biggest at 110lb and a new personal best arapaima estimated at 400lb.

Once they left here, it was time to relax on Phi Phi Island where Pete had tried to make it a special romantic occasion before arriving. They soon realised Phi Phi isn’t the quiet, relaxed place it once was; it’s now a party island full of dirty backpackers and drunk teenagers puking on the beach after drinking cheap Thai whiskey buckets. The hotel Pete booked also wasn’t what it seemed on the Internet, but at least the romantic candlelit dinner went to plan.

Another returning angler, Michael Nunn and his dad, Steve, came in for a week’s fishing. Originally Michael was booked in to fish on his honeymoon, but unfortunately the wedding never happened, so he kept the trip for himself and brought his dad along for his first trip out to Gillhams. The first couple of days, Michael struggled slightly and only picked up a couple of smaller fish while his dad managed a few better with Siamese carp and Amazon redtail catfish. Like most things he who laughs last catches the bigger fish… After about four days of fishing it was Michael’s day to shine, and he landed and absolute beast of a carp weighing in at 172lb. Michael also caught the biggest redtail catfish of the trip with one of 65lb. Steve did manage to outfish his son on the arapaima with his biggest at 150lb and also a cracking striped catfish at 55lb.

The striped catfish have grown on well from when they first went into the lake by accident. We had got them at 1lb/2lb for a friend in Ao-Nang and was holding them in an arapaima cage, but when they arrived to pick them up, one of our Thai workers tipped the cage when taking them out and a few got loose in the lake. Several years later, they’ve turned out as cracking looking fish over 50lb. In total Michael and Steve landed 21 fish of six species, and due to Michael not getting married, he will have the money for a return trip a lot quicker as a single man.

Mark Fry booked a week stay for his first visit to Gillhams after hearing about the resort by many different anglers back in the UK. Mark was coming to Thailand with his wife Sarah and decided to make his first stop at Gillhams before heading off to Phi Phi and finishing his holiday in Koh Samui. Mark is a big carp angler back in the UK and fishes some of England’s toughest waters so was no stranger to working hard and sitting it out for a big fish. Mark’s trip however was a real red-letter trip, as on his first day Mark landed four fish including three Siamese carp weighing in at 60lb, 110lb and a massive 152lb, which was also live streamed on our Facebook site. The following days also went extremely well for Mark, and although he was catching some great fish, he worked his arse off and listened to the guides and was rewarded for his hard work. His fishing trip was a total of six days, and Mark caught 27 fish of five species including Siamese carp, Amazon and Asian redtail catfish to 50lb, arapaima to 120lb and a beautiful ripsaw catfish at 25lb. Even Sarah jumped in on the action landing her very first Siamese carp.

Last but not least we had a family from Australia who were crazy about fishing, so much so that dad Paul Worsteling has made his carrier from the sport we all love. Paul’s love of fishing started in the fishing department of Kmart before working alongside Rex Hunt before starting his own fishing show, Ifish. Paul has fished all over the world and had some great stories of monster fish. This trip however was purely family time with wife Christy and son Jet who are all as mad about fishing as Paul. During their stay, everybody had fun switching between the main lake and our smaller any method lake. Paul’s son Jet is sure to be a new rising star in the fishing world and played some of the big fish better than many of our older anglers. Jet caught some great fish including arapaima, Siamese carp, Amazon redtail catfish and ripsaw. The end result was 21 fish landed with seven different species with one of the biggest fish being Siamese carp over 100lb.

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, as always we apologise to anybody that we missed out of the newsletter, as we can only write about so many. 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!