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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter September 2017

Welcome to another month of captures here in paradise at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. We would like to thank all our readers and everybody that follows us on social media – thank you for all your support.

Stuart’s Panama trip was a great success with some amazing fish caught. The group all landed great fish, and although some of the days had some bad weather due to hurricanes in neighboring countries, leading to the odd breakfast and lunch becoming chum which just helped the fishing. Some of the better catches came from Phil Wakeford and Stuart who both landed black marlin estimated at 600lb-plus, 100lb tarpon landed by Andy Cartwright, which means that at some point this fish or other family members would have to travel through the Panama canal to reach these waters. Other fish landed included huge barracuda, rooster fish, jacks, bluefin trevally and huge cubera snappers to 100lb, plus many more species.

I also managed to wet a line again as Noi and Tyler headed to Koh Samui for Noi’s daughter’s birthday. I just wanted to catch different species that don’t come out very often so set myself up slightly different and used some different baits other than boilies and pellets. Using the feeder method with a three-inch hook link, size 6 hook with three small poly balls, I caught two cracking bighead carp, and fishing small pieces of spicy peperami, I managed to land a PB tambaqui estimated at 25lb. The best catch of the session came as guide Chris Pache decided to make a beer run (typical Chris), and as he was in the swim next to me asked if I could keep an eye on his rods. So off he went, and within minutes his line started flying out as the fish picked up his bait and made for the other end of the lake. The speed of the fish narrowed it down to one fish: the Julian’s golden carp, which turned out to be a beast at around 45lb and another PB for me. On Chris’s return with a bag full of beer, there I was in the water having a photo of one of the most beautiful species in the lake. Of course he tried to make out he wasn’t bothered, but seeing how quickly he drank his beers, it obviously hurt. Hahahaha!

It’s that time again, so let’s get on with this month’s fishing and find out what’s been getting caught and which species have been landed. The Siamese carp have really been on the feed this month with a total of 333 being caught with an amazing 71 carp over 100lb, the biggest out being 172lb. The arapaima have exploded this month with a total of 107 landed with the biggest estimated at over 400lb. Its funny, as we keep getting emails from people asking us how much we charge for arapaima fishing. They seem very surprised when they’re told that it’s all the same price no matter the species and that we don’t have swims closed off to anglers unless they pay extra. To be honest, I can’t see how anybody can hold anglers ransom and charge them extra money to catch certain species. The fish are free to swim anywhere in the lake, and all anglers are entitled to fish any swim that’s vacant.

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 743 fish caught of 18 species, made up as follows: 107 arapaima to 450lb, four arawana to 8lb, seven alligator gar to 45lb, 132 Amazon redtail catfish to 80lb, two Amazon stingray to 60lb, two Asian stingray to 145lb, 81 Asian redtail catfish to 48lb, eight barramundi to 4lb, one black shark carp of 24lb, three bighead carp to 25lb, 33 black pacu to 40lb, four giant gourami to 12lb, 16 Julian’s golden carp to 45lb, one rohu of 15lb, two sorubim catfish to 35lb, 333 Siamese carp to 172lb, six tilapia to 6lb and eight tambaqui to 25lb.

First up this month – through a mutual friend we had a visit from Thai celebrity DJ Poom. Accompanying Poom was his cousin Ploy and his own cameraman and also fishing buddy and Thailand’s answer to Jeremy Wade, Oz Chanarat, aka Bangkok Hooker. I must admit a had never heard of Poom, but after I Googled him, it appeared that he was quite a well known celebrity in Thailand, I had however heard of Oz, as he’s a very well known angler with many different snakehead videos on YouTube, and his Bangkok Hooker blog was picked up by Discovery after news of hard work in the fish industry. He now has his own fishing show, Bangkok Hooker, with season 2 in the works.

On arrival, they were keen to get started, and even though they only had a few hours of fishing, they managed to catch a couple of fish before heading to the restaurant and having something to eat followed by a couple of bottles of whiskey. The following morning, or should I say afternoon, Poom and Oz made a move and got fishing just after midday. Once they had eaten, they started fishing just after midday, and some cracking fish were caught this day with arapaima to 200lb, Siamese carp to 55lb )unfortunately this one jumped out his arms as the picture was taken), Amazon redtail to 60lb and a black pacu at 40lb. Oz Chanarat lived up to his name of the Bangkok Hooker, but unfortunately he couldn’t get the landing part, and nearly every fish he hooked came off, apart from a nice arapaima.

The following morning came, and it was only Poom who was up and fishing for a couple of hours before heading off for the lunch time flight back to Bangkok. In total they landed 16 fish of five species, and even Poom’s cousin joined in with a couple of Amazon redtails. They all enjoyed the trip, and Poom’s cameraman has even made a small Krabi movie, which will be uploaded to our Facebook page. Please be aware it’s mostly Thai speaking, but there’s some nice fishing footage, so keep an eye out for that.

Regular UK angler Kev Shore once again made a trip to Gillhams while on holiday in Thiland with his wife. Kev fished for seven days, and as usual targeted the Siamese carp. When Kev arrived, he told us he would like to try and get a new personal best, standing at 137lb, or at least land a couple of carp over 100lb. Kev is a very good angler and spends most of his time fishing, mainly for pike, all over England, Ireland and Scotland, so when ever he comes here he wants the carp, and this trip turned out to be one of his best yet. In seven days, Kev landed 73 fish of six species with 51 of those fish being Siamese carp. He managed to land 19 over a ton and get a new personal best weighing in at 152lb. Kev has now headed back to the UK ready to start chasing pike again while trying to achieve his dream of 30lb pike from England, Ireland and Scotland… With the trip you’ve just had, mate, anything’s possible.

Next up we had day ticket angler Mike Kent from the UK, and after carp fishing all his life, he had a lifelong dream to catch an arapaima. Mike had booked in to Gillhams three years ago, but he had to cancel due to his wife having a bone disorder leaving them very week, and she fell and broke her leg. Mike thought his dream of catching his arapaima was over until he managed to come to Thailand with his wife and get in for a couple of days’ fishing. Mike, at the age of 73 years old, managed to land two arapaima to 280lb and also three Siamese carp to 90lb. Unfortunately Mike couldn’t mange to get in the water to photo all his fish, but we do have a picture of each of the species he landed. Congratulations, Mike! We’re glad you achieved your dream, and it was a pleasure to finally meet you both.

Fishing guide Lee Farnsworth had a family visit from his mum and dad after not seeing them for nearly a year. Lee’s dad Phil first came to Gillhams with his son before he started working here. Phil’s an all-round angler who just enjoys his fishing and certainly came at a good time with the fish feeding well. Phil landed five arapaima on one of the days, amongst other fish, with his biggest at 180, and he landed another two during his trip. Phil caught a total of 42 fish of six species during his seven days of fishing and even managed 25 Siamese carp with five over a ton and the biggest at 150lb. Other species included Amazon and Asian redtail catfish, pacu and a tambaqui at 20lb.

Next up we had brothers Scott and Bryan Callow from Ireland join us for four days’ fishing. One of Scott’s main targets was Amazon redtail catfish as well as Siamese carp and the arapaima. On their arrival, Scott and Brian got settled into the rooms, and then got their fishing spots sorted. Sala nine and ten at the far end of the lake on the opposite side to the bungalows were free and have always been good spots, producing all the species the brothers were interested in. The first day Scott landed several redtail catfish while Bryan landed a few Siamese carp. Scott had certainly picked the right spot for the Amazon redtails and went on to land them to 80lb. Scott’s two other target species also made an appearance, and he landed four arapaima to 130lb and Siamese carp to 120lb. Bryan wasn’t going to be out-fished, and even though he didn’t catch as many fish as his brother, he did land eleven Siamese carp with four over a ton and his biggest at 144lb. In just four days’ fishing, Scott and Bryan landed a total of 49 fish of five different species before heading off for a few nights on the town.

Father and son, Ben and Barry Emptage, came over for ten nights for their first Gillhams experience. Ben and his dad wanted to see some tourist attractions so only booked six days’ fishing, leaving them a few days for trips and to take a look around Ao-Nang. Ben is very keen fisherman and is also an assistant fisheries manager in the UK so was very interested in coming and seeing a freshwater lake with so many exotic species… and of course get a few monsters in the net. Ben and his dad both had some great fish: Ben caught Siamese carp with two over a ton and his biggest at 136lb and also three arapaima to 190lb amongst others. Barry schooled his son and went on to catch more fish and species with Siamese carp at 105lb, 110lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb, arapaima to 120lb, and then other species like rohu, Julian’s carp, alligator gar and more. In total they caught 34 fish between them with ten different species and eight fish over 100lb. On the day that they had day trips, they couldn’t resist trips to the little lake on their return, catching more miniature species with some great sport on light tackle.

Next up we had regular anglers here at Gillhams, Matt Ellis and Wez Thomas who normally come with their other halves, but this was a lads’ trip, celebrating Pete Howells 50th birthday, plus the girls normally out-fish them, so they weren’t invited. Pete Howell and Charles Smith were both making their first trip out to Gillhams and had no idea what to expect apart from what they had been told by Matt and Wez, and as usual, pictures and stories don’t do it justice.

On arrival, everybody was feeling a little worse for wear after having two nights in Bangkok, but everybody was still very keen to get started, so after a quick check-in and chucking the bags in the rooms, everybody was out on the lake fishing. Fishing every day and then trying to go out each night soon took its toll on the group – after all, they’re celebrating their mate’s 50th, not his 21st (bless ‘em). The fishing went well with a total of 108 fish caught between the four of them with 23 fish over 100lb and one of 200lb. Out of the 23 over a ton, ten of them were Siamese carp, with Matt landing the biggest at 136lb. “Golden nuggets” Matt also caught the most fish with a total of 36 fish of six species with three Siamese carp over a ton. Wez was close behind with a total of 32 fish and caught the biggest of the trip with an arapaima of 200lb. Birthday boy Pete landed 22 fish, also of six different species, and Pete had some nice species with alligator gar, tambaqui, arapaima to 120lb and Siamese carp with two over 100lb and the biggest at 120lb. Charles caught the least amount of fish with 18 landed of five species, but he did manage to land four Siamese carp over 100lb and a nice arapaima at 130lb. All in all the lads had a great trip with some good nights out… What a great way to celebrate your 50th birthday.

UK pike angler Gary Wilson made his first trip over this September after hearing all about Gillhams last winter while pike fishing at Chew reservoir with other Gillhams regulars. Gary and his better half Sue booked to fish a few days then have a few days off so they could both visit some of the local attractions and spend some time together away from the lake. Gary hasn’t ever fished for these species before, so every fish was a personal best, including two arapaima to 140lb and two Siamese carp at 110lb and 150lb. Once the fishing was over, Gary had caught 12 fish of four species and will hopefully be booking up his next trip soon so he can get some new PBs, as pike fishing will surely never be the same again.

Last but not least, we had regulars Nigel Walker-Jennings and Wilf Gregory along with the friends and first timers to Gillhams, Dave Bourne and Wez Lawrence. This was Nigel and Wilf’s third trip to Gillhams, and they had managed to talk their friends into joining them. Some great fish were caught by everybody, but the man of the trip has to go to Wez Lawrence, landing four Siamese carp over a ton with a 105lb, 110lb, 126 and biggest of the trip at 172lb, all finished off with an arapaima of 150lb. Dave Bourne also caught some nice fish including both Amazon and Asian redtail catfish, pacu, alligator gar, arapaima to 120lb and Siamese carp to 170lb. Wilf also caught some stunners with Siamese carp, Amazon and Asian redtail catfish, Julian’s golden carp and two arapaima at 100 and 110lb. Nigel caught the most fish of the trip with Amazon redtails, sorubim catfish, Julian’s golden carp and Siamese carp with his two biggest at 105lb and 120lb.

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!