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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter July 2016

Hi and welcome to the July 2016 newsletter, our monthly roundup of news, catch reports, Fishing in Thailand and anything remotely connected to our little slice of paradise out here in Krabi.

This month was a slightly quieter than normal months here. After a large group from the British navy left, we had a couple of quiet weeks, which was a good time to pile into general maintenance around the resort, including upgrading the paths and reinforcing some areas of the bankside. The spa is chugging along, and as I sit here now looking at it, we have the roof in place, pools dug, bricks going up all over the place, and it’s starting to take shape nicely.

This month saw Sean and Noi’s little boy, Tyler, celebrate his first birthday. Shortly before his birthday the three of them had a little trip to Phuket where they enjoyed the dolphins at the Phuket dolphin bay and then a little jaunt to the Phuket bird park. Sean being Sean, however posted (for me) what must have been the best picture on the Internet this year. I have nicked it off his facebook page and added it here, so have a look. It shows how the wardrobe looked in the hotel room after Sean and Noi had unpacked and were ready for a night out – priceless, and typical Sean!

Guide Nick popped over to Singapore to see his girlfriend and do a spot of fishing with Gillhams regular Ian Farr and managed to catch some lovely fish. Sticks also managed a trip to Singapore to his girlfriend and then came back and had chicken breast, chips and gravy every day for his lunch!

I thought I would pluck up courage and attempt the tiger temple with my girlfriend. I have been avoiding it since I have been here, basically because I realise I am so unfit that Steven Hawking could beat me in a 100-metre sprint. Anyway we HAD to go and see the big Buddha, who apparently brings good luck to all couples. I warned her that it was 1260 steps and the likelihood was that she would never make it, as she moans about how far it is whilst walking around the lake here. “It’s no problem; we can do, easy!” she replied. “We’ll see,” I thought to myself.

So, as we arrived she needed feeding (probably the first of seven meals that day, it has to be said!), and we stopped under a tree near the entrance and ate some Thai food that we had bought off a tuk-tuk. At this point a wild dog came up and sat beside her, and she went to give him some food. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “We’ll never get rid of him.” As is the way in Thailand, the ‘farang’ (or white man/foreigner), didn’t know what he was talking about, so my request was ignored. When we finished eating, the dog wouldn’t leave us alone and followed us everywhere. I was about to say, “I told you so” as we were about to embark up the 1260 steps when a pack of three wild dogs ran over to us and attacked the dog she had fed previously. It wasn’t a pleasant sight, and it was really quite scary as these dogs started fighting around our ankles. As we stood there bricking it, an old lady ran out with a wooden stick and started to hit the dogs on their backsides until they had all run off in separate directions. I didn’t say anything, because she looked quite upset about the dogfight.

So we headed up the stairs, and we puffed and panted to step 377, at which point our vertical ascent finished – we were beaten!! As we sat there (with about 900 more steps above our head) a little old Thai lady, slight in frame, came and sat next to us. She told us she was nearly 70 years old, and that this was far enough for her in the heat of the day. We went back down the stairs and drove home, stopping at Macro along the way to get some pork and chicken in for a BBQ that night. I enjoyed the BBQ, and I toasted that little old lady’s fitness with a glass of red wine, because it showed me that at nearly 48 years old, I made the right decision not piling loads of money in a pension scheme, because let’s face it, if my fitness is the same as a 70-year-old Thai granny’s fitness, then I don’t think I am going to get to an age where I am going to claim it – ha ha!

Right that’s all the waffling finished, so best we get on with the whos, the whys and the flipping ‘ecks from this month’s fishing.

The anglers who visited us for the exotic fishing in Thailand had some good fishing in Krabi this month with a total of 426 fish caught of 20 species, made up as follows: 15 arapaima to 250lb, two arawana to 8lb, one alligator gar of 60lb, 86 Amazon redtail catfish to 80lb, 73 Asian redtail catfish to 40lb, seven black pacu to 40lb, two Hoven’s carp to 8lb, one tilapia of 6lbs, one striped catfish of 40lbs, two giant featherback to 13lbs, 23 Julian’s golden prize carp to 53lb, 17 Mekong catfish to 200lb, nine Nile perch to 8lb, four ripsaw catfish to 25lbs, one red bellied pacu of 30lbs, 174 Siamese carp to 138lb, four giant freshwater stingray to 140lbs, three spotted sorubim to 30lbs, one wallago attu of 5lbs and a rita sacerdotum of 41lbs… Slightly fewer than normal, but like I said before, for a couple of weeks we were quiet!


Alan Oakes made a return visit to us, this time with a mate called Steve Tyler. Alan was hoping to get his first Siamese carp over 100lb, which he managed to do on the fifth day with a beauty of 125lb. He also landed another 12 along the way, many of them being over 80lbs. Then came a couple of big Mekong catfish, the biggest of which just slipped over the 200lb mark, along with a “small” one at 110lbs. It was Steve’s first trip to Gillhams, and he started off in Sala 1 hoping for an arapaima or an Amazon red tail catfish. Well, he quickly found out that fishing in Thailand is fun, as on the first day he landed two arapaimas, one small and an average one of 170lb. The second day he landed two Amazon red tail catfish to 40lb. Then he moved into Sala 6, as he wanted to catch a Siamese carp, and he did just that because that first day he caught ten of them to 135lbs! He also landed an Asian red tail catfish and a Julian’s golden carp of 34lb. The Siamese carp continued to come, and he had a further five more the next day, and also the best hit of Julians I have seen in one day, as he landed five of them to 33lb! Things then slowed down a bit, as in the last two days he landed eight more Siamese carp to 85lb. Strewth! What a great first trip!


We also saw the Campbell family from Birkenhead come along for a ten-day session. The family consisted of husband and wife and their two sons, the older one Gary, and the younger one Robbie (who looks like he is 12 but is actually 17!). The family have done a lot of fishing in the past and were obviously quite an experienced bunch. Although not always in the swim at 7am, they caught a lot of fish between them. Notably Gary landed a 100lb and then an 80lb Siamese carp from the Grassy swim in a day where he also landed an arapaima of 170lbs and two Amazon red tail catfish of 50lb and 60lb. Little Robbie had two real moments: one was landing a 180lb Mekong catfish 20 minutes after appearing in the swim at 11am, and the other was a 138lb Siamese carp, again after getting up late and only fishing for 20 minutes! Bernie also did well with fish to over 100lb, but his pick of the bunch was a 70lb Amazon red tail catfish.


Derek Rhodes came for a short trip where he chilled out with friends and enjoyed some good R&R time with them. He caught a few nice fish too including a Mekong catfish of 120lb, a ripsaw catfish of 28lb, a couple of Siamese carp of 70lb and 75lb, and then he landed a 40lb Asian red tail catfish.


Michel Kemp also came to see us for a few days in June. He is a bit of a carper back home, and we knew he was hoping for a big Siamese carp. Well, he got that in style with a 120lb’er and backed it up with a 70lb’er. He also landed two Julians golden carp to 35lbs, a 35lb spotted sorubim, a couple of Asian red tail catfish and three Amazon red tail catfish to 50lb. He told us that he really enjoyed the trip, and he wants to come back and catch an arapaima.



Will Preston came for a few days, and he managed a reasonable little haul including a 175lb Mekong catfish, a couple of Siamese carp to 60lb, a few Asian red tail catfish to 40lbs and a couple of Amazon red tails to 40lb.



Jack Vallis was part of the navy team that came early in the month, and he caught a few good fish, but his highlight was the rarely seen and tricky to catch rita sacerdotum catfish at a lake record of 41lbs!



Lee Gunner made a return visit to see us this year, and this time he brought his son Reece along for the ride. They had a few days with us before going elsewhere into Thailand for a bit of a beach/relax holiday. Lee loves his carp fishing back home and really wanted to break that magical 100lb barrier, which he did on the first day!



We love it when Stuart Duncan and his wife Clare come to see us. It’s not just because they are lovely people and good company, but Stuart is like the oracle when it comes to anything to do with vaping. He knows all about the juices, ohms, power discharge etc etc. As a lot of us here are vapers, we tend to extract as much information as we can from him to make our lives richer and with more flavour!



Tom Glacken and his wife and sons are an “outdoory” family; they love everything to do with nature and the outside world. They came here for a family holiday and had a great time catching fish, enjoying the beautiful scenery and weird and wonderful wildlife, and it has to be said we lost Stuart and Benz’s little boy Jack for a day or two, as the young ones played in the pool and had lots of fun together, which was great to see.



Finally, Josef and Lenka Cinculova had a couple or three days with us and had some nice fish including Amazon red tail catfish, Asian red tail catfish, Siamese carp and a superb alligator gar!



We’ll see you all again next month, with more news of rod-bending MONSTER fish action!

For those of you planning a return or first trip, please send us your enquiry via our enquiries page

Best wishes and tight lines from us all at Gillhams, and we hope your next fish is the one of your dreams (which it probably will be if you come to Gillhams)!