back to top

Fishing In Thailand Newsletter January 2017

Hello and welcome to another month of fishing here in paradise. We’ve had a great start to 2017 with lots of big fish of many different species caught.

The Siamese carp have certainly been spoiling our anglers this month with a total of 28 weighing in over the magical 100lb mark, with only nine being repeat captures. We even had two day ticket anglers lucky enough to land 100lb Siamese carp: Richard Harvey caught his 122lb’er and Andrew Packman had a 109lb Siamese carp, unfortunately Andrew was unable to send his pictures in. In stead I’ve added a picture of Lucy Britten who was lucky enough to land this 120lb’er while her other half Adam was back in the bungalow collecting some end tackle.


We mentioned last month that we would have an update on the Gillhams Fishing Resorts spa and cooking school. After having the opening date pushed back a month due to our builders working on Thai time, the finishing touches are finally being added, and our March 1st opening date is looking likely. The spa will host four massage beds, steam room, Jacuzzi room and another swimming pool where our guests using the spa can relax while soaking up some sun. We also have a cooking school where our Thai chefs can teach our guests how to cook their favorite dishes. Outside the spa around the veranda we also have two salas overlooking the lake where you can book private romantic evening meals. We also have two large ponds housing arapaima, redtails, siamese carp etc for our customers to watch and feed while visiting the spa. Once the spa is fully completed we will be adding a page to our website with all prices and services the spa will offer.


Gillhams Fishing Resorts are underway on our 2017 show season, and Brentwood Carp Show and Carp Zwolle, Holland have already been and gone. We would like to thank everybody who came to see us and showed their support at these shows. Also we would like to thank everybody who took part in the Gillhams raffle and booked their dream holiday here in paradise. Come and visit us on us at our next shows for your chance to win a holiday in paradise. We are also offering discounts for cash payments on bookings taken on the day at the show. The next shows we are attending are:

• Carp Reims, France, February 25-26
• Northern Angling Show, Manchester, April 1-2
• The Big One, Farnborough, April 8-9


Due to the shows and not being at the resort these next couple of newsletters will be shorter than usual, but we will get as much in as possible, and anybody fishing the resort through February and March if you could please email us your photos when you return. That’s enough of what’s been going on, let’s get back to the lake and see who’s been over and what’s been out this month.


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 677 fish caught of 23 species, made up as follows: 47 arapaima to 380lb, five arawana to 11lb, two alligator gar to 55lb, 155 Amazon redtail catfish to 85lb, one Amazon stingray of 30lb, 79 Asian redtail catfish to 40lb, 14 black pacu to 38lb, one Chao Phraya catfish to 70lb, six giant gourami to 4lb, four giant gourami to 4lb, five giant snakehead to 7lb, two giant featherback to 20lb, 18 Julian golden carp to 30lb, 49 Mekong catfish to 250lb, three Nile perch to 6lb, two rohu to 15lb, four ripsaw catfish to 22lb, 23 red bellied pacu to 16, two spotted sorubim of 25lb, six spotted featherback to 13lb, 247 Siamese carp to 135lb, one tambaqui of 30lb, one yellowtail catfish to 25lb.


First up this month was long time family friend Johnny Swann who came over for a few weeks after pike fishing in England with Stuart had come to an end. During the trip the rest of the family joined him with his daughter Charlotte and son Dan with his other half Sam. Both Johnny and Dan caught some cracking fish, but obviously with Johnny out for longer, he caught the most fish and also beat Dan with the biggest Siamese carp, landing two over 100lb with the biggest at 148lb. Johnny finished with a total of 36 fish of five species. Dan also had some good catches but fell short again on his quest for Siamese carp over 100lb with his biggest at 90lb. Dan did however manage 22 fish of seven species including a massive tilapia of 8lb, which he was unable to photograph due to Dave Cooper lifting the net to take a look, allowing it to jump over the top while Dan was getting his camera ready. Dan had also bought with him the new Flamingo Stalker fishing tube, but was soon left dry when guide Lee removed him from the water on orders from the big dog himself (Stuart Gillham) before realizing it was all a joke between Dan and Sean.


Next were Dave and Sandy Bartlett who have been regulars at Gillhams now for a few years. Dave and Sandy arrived towards the end of December for a ten-day fishing trip. Even though Dave has caught many of the species in the lake, there are still some he hasn’t, so new species were available, one of which was the Rita sacerdotum (salaween Rita), but as there are only a handful in the lake, we don’t see them often, luckily for Dave he was about to see one when he landed one for the first time, weighing in at 40lb. Dave went on to land some great fish including Julian’s carp to 40lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 65lb, Mekong catfish 140lb and Siamese carp around 90lb. In total Dave caught 22 fish of seven species.


Darren Hunt, also another regular, was over with his wife and daughter for a two-week trip. While here Darren got as much fishing as possible in while also spending time with his family. Although Darren felt he struggled on some days, he also managed to land fish every day and managed to catch some great species, which included arapaima to 170lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb Siamese carp and even a big head carp weighed at 36½lb. While Darren was fishing, his wife spent time with their daughter Rio around the pool with Rio getting lots of attention from all the other guest and staff around the resort. When the trip was over, Darren had caught a total of 26 fish of eight species.


Steve Walter made another trip over for Christmas and New Year. Once again Steve wanted to target the Siamese carp and to land one of 100lb. While here Steve fell sick, so for a few days he wasn’t fishing as much as possible and had to make a few dashes to the bathroom. When Steve was better, he managed to land some big Siamese carp and came close to his dream catch several times but only managed carp to 95lb. In total Steve caught 20 fish of three species with four separate Siamese carp to 90lb-plus.


Bill and Angie Philips came over for a couple of weeks accompanied by punk band The Outbursts’ front man, Ian Breslin and his other half Cathy Ball. Ian and Bill fished most days, leaving the girls to relax around the pool. When they could drag the guys away from the lake, they had some days out to the local town and booked day trips like the elephant trekking and shower where you can take the elephants into the river and wash them down once the trekking is over. Both Ian and Bill had some good fish with Ian landing 15 fish of six species including Mekong catfish to 250lb, alligator gar to 70lb, Siamese carp to 90lb and Amazon redtail catfish to 80lb. Bill, who had an extra week after Ian and Cathy Left, went on to land 40 fish of seven species. Bill has always wanted to target the Siamesecarp, and this trip was no exception, resulting in 14 carp in total with two at 110lb to 120lb.


Sean Lowry and his wife Karolin made another trip over, with the trip not being the best due to spending a week in Koh Samui floods, but the fishing was hopefully going to pick the trip back up. Unfortunately the fishing started of slowly for the first couple of days, but luckily Sean was a proper angler and understood that fishing wasn’t always about catching. Keeping in high spirits and enjoying some sun, the fishing took a turn after a change of swims, and Sean was soon into the fish. The Amazon redtails were really giving Sean a good workout and even managed a double hook-up before landing a new species with a 30lb sorubim catfish, finishing his trip with a total of 17 fish.


Cheshire’s strongest man 1955, big Kev Shore, made yet another appearance accompanied by his better half Kath Kev was on holiday in Thailand for three weeks with his wife and came to Gillhams for the middle part of the holiday and to take a break from foot scrubs, facials and sunbathing. On arrival Kevin was looking fresh with a newly shaved set of teeth, ready to hit the Siamese carp and try and up his 100lb carp tally. Kev’s first half day’s fishing was quick to throw some carp out with an 85 and what was possibly his first hundred of the trip went into the sling to come up 2lb short, weighing in at 98lb. Over the course of a week Kev stayed in the same swim, carefully building it up, regularly baiting and recasting once he found his spots. Once he was up and running, he was quick to land his first 100lb carp of the trip, weighing in at 110lb. When the trip was over, Kev had landed 20 Siamese carp with three weighed at over 100lb with his biggest at 120lb. For good measure, Kev also landed Asian redtail catfish to 40lb.


Alan Wade-Smith was another angler who was keen on the Siamese carp and wasn’t disappointed. During his stay, Alan also caught black pacu to 40lb and one wallago attu at 10lb. Although small, this was a very nice catch to see, as we don’t get many caught. By the time Alan’s trip was up, he had also caught twelve Siamese carp including two, weighing in at 101lb and 178lb, leaving one very happy angler.


Ian Ellis came out with his wife and son for a two-week trip, mixing up his fishing with family days out including the elephant trekking, island hoping and trips to the town. Ian’s son Joel became very good friends with Jack within days of arriving, and they spent the whole time joined at the hip, with Jack rushing home from school and playing all over the weekends. The fishing went well for Ian, even though he had a couple of slow days, Ian caught a total of 14 fish with Siamese to 95lb, Asian redtails to 40lb and Amazon redtail catfish to 55lb. When it was time to leave, it was clear Joel and Jack were going to miss each other, with Joel even shedding a few tears, and they even exchanged addresses to keep in touch as pen pals.



We also had Jo and Mike Green over again, but this time they were helping out around the lake as they wanted to leave the UK for a while, but fishing was full. They did however manage to get a few days fishing in between customers checking in and out. Jo fished the most and was very keen on landing a PB Siamese carp, which she did with yet another weighed carp at 135lb. Jo also became one of only a handful of anglers to catch an Indian mahseer from the lake. In total Jo and Mike managed 19 fish of five species.


Last but not least, we had another return from Wayne Shepherd and Rob Bell, making their visit part of a two-part trip taking a break halfway through their 12-day trip, heading to Chang Mai. The first part of the trip Rob struggled but did manage a couple of Siamese carp and finished with a cracking tambaqui/pacu hybrid weighing in at 61lb. Wayne caught several fish on the first part of his trip with Siamese carp to 85lb, Asian redtail to 20lb and bighead carp weighed at 42lb. The second part of their trip certainly fished better for Rob when he caught arawana, Siamese carp, Mekong catfish to 190lb and his biggest fish being an arapaima of 280lb. Wayne also had a good second part to his trip landing more catfish, pacu and a new PB Siamese carp of 100lb, although Wayne’s main target fish was much smaller than his carp, he was grinning from ear to ear when an Amazon spotted stingray was netted. Total tally for both Wayne and Rob stood at 23 fish with three different species over 100lb.

Well that’s it 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 us all 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!