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Krabi newsletter March 2012

Hi and welcome to another month at Gillhams Fishing Resorts and Sean’s second monthly write-up. Hope you all enjoyed last month’s and if not don’t worry, as Stuart is now back and will be writing again next month.

Talking of Stuart, he managed to get a few days’ fishing in after arriving back from the UK. Siamese carp were the target species, and fishing to his favourite spot under the big tree where there is a small sandbar the size of a pool table, he baited with 5kg of maize, 2kg of boilies, plus a couple of kilos of small pellets. Then it was just a case of PVA bags cast on the spot every 20 minutes. The first day Stuart landed four Siamese carp with three over 60lb, plus a Julian’s golden carp of 25lb. The second day saw Stuart up his PB by 3lb with a cracking fish weighed at 94lb plus another two over 60lb. Two days plus a couple of hours was all he had time for before catching up on jobs around the resort. The final score was 11 Siamese with seven over 60lb, three Julian’s golden carp, two pacu and a Miguel.

We are now coming into our hottest time of the year but we’re still getting rain most afternoons, which is keeping the temperature of the water down and the fish feeding well. The Mekong catfish have slowed down slightly leaving the other species able to feed so many different fish coming out. The Siamese carp are also coming back on the feed with the water cooling down.

This month for me was the big 29, and the night of my birthday was also Joel, Lee and Becca’s last night before going of on their holidays and visiting family, so things were looking like they would get rather messy. Things didn’t turn out as bad as we thought, or at least not for everybody. I actually behaved myself for once and came home early with Noi, knowing that Becca was off the following day and I might now actually have to do some work. I was also accompanied by Joel and his wife to be, Tor. Joel went home early, knowing that the next day would be hard enough, as he was leaving his heart behind and saying goodbye to his holiday romance, and he couldn’t handle a hangover on top. We left the oldies partying the night away and Stella Steve to disgrace himself more than usual, which was a bit of a blow for the light of his life, Apple.

Head gardener Richard Larkin has shocked everyone this month by walking out for another job with no goodbyes, thanks or any warning; in fact it was done while Stuart and I were out for the day. We are all shocked by Richard’s actions; he has always seemed to be honest, hardworking and the perfect gentleman. There has never been a cross word between any of us, and just a few weeks before, Richard was saying he would never leave Gillhams. All seemed well; his mother had just visited him for a month, and we had just spent a small fortune getting him his work permit after months of paperwork. It just shows, you never really know someone, as obtaining the work permit was obviously all Richard had stayed for.

The good news on the guide front is that Jason has returned to take on the head fishing guide’s job; Joel and Lee are back in May, and then we have Chris Pache coming for a year’s stint. Add to this Stella Steve, Gollock and me, and Gillhams will have a full set of the best guides in the business.

Dad and I have bought a seven-metre boat for trolling and shark fishing, plus trips to the islands, wakeboarding etc, so some fun times are ahead, and guides’ days off are going to be barbeques and general mayhem on the HMS Gillham. Apparently Chubby Jason is a bit of a wakeboarding expert, so we are getting a special board built to take his bulk, and hopefully the boat will be able to tow the fat sod!

The total catch for the month is as follows: 966 fish of 27 species, made up as follows: 40 arapaima to 340lb, six arawana to 10lb, six alligator gar to 35lb, 187 Amazon red tail catfish to 75lb, two Amazon stingray to 25lb, 148 Asian red tail catfish to 30lb, 15 black pacu to 35lb, two big head carp to 20lb, four Chao Phraya catfish to 80lb, 11 Chinese seerfish to 18lb, one giant featherback of 8lb, one giant stingray of 110lb, two giant snakehead to 7lb, three hovens carp to 8lb, 34 Julian’s golden prize carp to 38lb, 189 Mekong catfish to 200lb, five mrigal to 12lb, six rohu carp to 20lb, two Rita sacerdotum to 16lb, three ripsaw catfish to 20lb, 12 spotted featherback to 9lb, 241 Siamese carp to 90lb, 15 shovel nosed spotted sorubim to 30lb, 12 shovel nosed tiger catfish to 20lb, one striped catfish of 18lb, five tambaqui to 30lb, seven wallago attu to 22lb and nine wallago leeri to 20lb.

This month our old friend John Duffy returned with his mate Craig from Australia for a few days’ fishing. While here, John was interested in the Siamese and wanted anything for his mate that would destroy his back and detach his arms, so Mekong cats were on the cards for Craig. The first afternoon was slow for John but Craig managed an Amazon redtail catfish, which built him up slowly due to not having much fishing experience. The following day Craig wasn’t so lucky – he ended up having the fight of his life as he battled a Mekong for nearly 2½ hours, finally weighing it in at 170lb, and also landing other fish along the way. Craig only had three days fishing but caught some nice fish including an arapaima of 220lb before having to head home, leaving John to fish for another few days. John went on to catch Siamese carp to 55lb plus some other species including an arawana out of the lure lake before heading back to Jakarta.

We also had friends from Malaysia come for a few days, father and son team Jim and James Hedger with their wives and kids. Now Jim likes a bit of fishing but had to spend time with his two young boys and his wife so didn’t fish as much as James, but both went on to land some nice fish and even had a double hookup on Mekong. Jim had to show his boy how it was done by landing the biggest fish of the trip with a Mekong of 130lb, but James went on to catch the most with his biggest being 90lb, including a Siamese carp of 80lb.

We also had Richard Garner come for a week with his wife. He had some great fish with arapaima, Mekong catfish, Siamese carp and Chao Phraya catfish plus other species. Richard was very keen to try some soft plastic lures on the main lake and managed three arapaima and Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb all on the lure. Richard fished his wife just relaxed around the resort reading books in between photographing Richard’s fish. At the end of their stay it was off for another week to one of Krabi’s beach resorts.

Terry ‘Poppa’ Eustace from Gold Label Tackle came for a week’s fishing with friend John Moral also making a return trip. Terry, as usual, was after different species and John was interested in redtail catfish. Terry caught a total of eight species, including ripsaw catfish to 17lb, giant stingray to 110lb and wallago attu. On the carp front, Terry had a total of eight Siamese carp to 90lb and also managed nine Julian’s golden prize carp to 38lb. While here we took Terry and a few others down the town, as Terry wanted to see a certain waitress that he knows. While in the restaurant Terry’s waitress turned up with a small child. It was funny, as during the day when Terry landed his stingray in ten minutes shouting out, “Who’s the daddy now?” we were thinking the same in the restaurant, even though there were no signs like big, droopy red eyes or a slow Brummie accent. John did manage his redtail catfish with six to 40lb, and in total he landed 25 fish of nine species including arapaima, Julian’s, rohu and even an Amazon spotted stingray. One fish John wasn’t worried about catching was the Mekong catfish, but he did get two with the longest fight being just over an hour, leaving John battered and bruised and needing a quick power nap for about four hours.

We had a visit from grandfather and grandson Yuri and Vladimir Pain from Russia this month, and what a nice pair. Yuri passion is being the greatest grandfather, and he takes his grandson Vladimir on four holidays every year to places like Africa, Antarctica and many other places around the world. They came fishing for six days, and by the end of the holiday they had landed 32 fish of nine species including Mekong catfish to 140lb, arapaima to 230lb and Siamese carp to 60 amongst their haul of fish.

We also had Peter Lyons from Phuket return for a couple of days’ fishing. Peter was one of our first customers here after we opened, and believe it or not in all the trips he has done here since has never landed an Amazon redtail catfish, so these were at the top of his list. This was soon to be taken care of and Peter was going to have his far share of redtails. When the trip was over Peter had caught 19 Amazon redtail catfish to 60lb, and also managed Mekong catfish and wallago leeri plus some Asian redtail catfish.

Jut Cole made his first trip of the year and planned to hammer the carp, but ended up sidetracked and got pissed every night, not starting to fish until after lunch. Trying a couple of different swims, Jut did somehow get onto fish, and by the time his trip was over he had gone on to catch 29 fish of nine species including 17 Siamese carp to 55lb and an arapaima of 340lb. Jut would have caught the lake record alligator gar at 55lb, but the only trouble was it was hooked in the tail, so he didn’t claim it or even take a picture.

Simon Davies came for a week’s fishing after meeting Stuart at one of the shows in England and flying out the following week. While here Simon also had his mate Frank King come down for a week’s fishing. Simon caught a total of 32 fish of six species with two arapaima over 300lb – his biggest going 340. In one day Simon caught over 1000lbs of fish. Frank also had a good trip, landing 26 fish of 11 species including Julian’s golden carp, Chinese seerfish, wallago attu, arawana and his biggest fish, a Mekong catfish of 180lb.

So that’s it for another month here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts. Thank you to all our guests; we hope you all had a good time and caught your dream fish – if not you will have to return for another trip. Thanks to all our followers, and we look forward to meeting many new anglers over the coming months. If you haven’t booked yet be sure to get booking as places are filling fast. To contact us email gillhamsfishingresorts@gmail.comor phone +66 (0) 861644554. For those of you reading this newsletter in Big Carp magazine, visit

From all of us at Gillhams, we hope all your dreams come true for 2012, which they will if you visit Gillhams Fishing Resorts here in Thailand.