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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter November 2016

Hi and welcome to the November 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.

Well we have started to see the back of the rainy season, thank god! Unbelievable the difference between this year and last year, for me personally. I realise I have only been out here 5 minutes in the general scheme of things, so I am not confessing to be the font of all knowledge with regards to Thailand, but I can tell you this year has seen a lot more rain than last year! I think it is a good thing because that means we have a lake full of nice new water and that’s always a good thing (so I am told) This month also saw the annual Lori Krathong festival which is held on the full-moon day of the 12th lunar month, many Thais float their krathong down a river or even a pond to pay respects to the Lord Buddha and seek forgiveness from the goddess of water for any misdeeds against her. Benz took quite a few customers down to the festival and a great night was had by all.

You may remember in the June Newsletter I had mentioned, that I felt my time was coming to an end out here, and that I was going to try and hang it out until March, well unfortunately that was a bridge too far for me, and I feel my time has now run its course out here, so this will be the last time I write this newsletter. My heart isn’t into it like it should be, so it’s time to go home. I have been missing my friends and family quite a lot, and with the 3 years I had in Essex before I came out here, that’s 5 years away from home and that’s enough for me, and the time is right to go now . I would like to thank Stuart and his family for the opportunity to come and work out here, it’s been amazing and I know I will always cherish my time out here, at what I genuinely believe is the world’s greatest fishery.

Right that’s all the waffling finished, so best we get on with the who’s, 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 548 fish caught of 23 species, made up as follows: 26 arapaima to 300lb, five alligator gar to 70lb, 89 Amazon red tail catfish to 70lb, 77 Asian red tail catfish to 40lb, 23 black pacu to 40lb, two tilapia to 6lbs, one chao phraya catfish of 135lbs, seven giant featherback to 15lbs, 14 Julian’s golden prize carp to 60lb, 36 Mekong catfish to 250lb, one Nile perch of 8lb, three ripsaw catfish to 25lbs, 261 Siamese carp to 170lb, three giant freshwater stingray to 140lbs, four spotted featherback of 5lbs, one wallago attu of 12lbs, one Thai masheer of 5lbs, five giant gourami of 8lbs, three black shark carp 12lbs, two Amazon stingray to 20lbs, six big head carp to 25lbs, three arawana of 8lbs and a giant snakehead of 12lbs

Mark Law, his wife Sharon and his son Jake came out with a few friends for a good weeks fishing then a week seeing the sights and doing the activities that are available locally. Mark has caught loads of European carp and spent many years in the fishing magazines back home. It didn’t long before Mark got amongst the Siamese carp and he quickly caught one over a 100lb at 110lb. After that he carried on catching consistently and also landed a Mekong catfish of 150lb, before going onto to land an even bigger Siamese at 130lb. Mark also landed a couple of Asian red tails to 40lb and then popped a cracking ripsaw catfish in the net. Jake banked a few pacu up to 40lb, a couple of Asian redtails of 30lb and then 130lb Mekong catfish and a superb chao phraya catfish of 135lbs, before the whole party had the final week off where they enjoyed, the long tail boats, quad biking, the tiger temple, kayacking and a whole host of other stuff, although I think the elephant trekking was their favourite!


Steve Cook and his wife Filomena paid a return visit to see us this month, Steve fished a few days on, had a couple of days off, then a couple of days on, that sort of session, rather than a flat out attack, so to speak. Steve blasted into the Siamese carp and right at the start of his trip, he had a day where he landed a 40, two 50’s, two mid-seventies, an 80 and then a 100lb’er, that’s a good days fishing in anyone’s book! Things slowed down a little after that but he landed, an Asian red tail, a superb big head carp of 25lb and a few more Siamese carp, before heading home.


Stretton Honor returned for his usual tour of Thailand, the self-proclaimed “Rod father”, just loves everything about the fishing in Thailand. He says he doesn’t want to fish for Mekong catfish anymore, having reeled in 100’s of them before. Now he says he wants to concentrate on Siamese carp. He can’t help himself though and we saw the Mekong style tactics, (i.e. the ground bait ball float set up) come into play quite quickly, and he hooked a Mekong almost straight away! He landed it with a little bit of help from Lee, as one of his hands was playing up a bit, so he decided not to try the float tactics anymore and concentrate his efforts on the bottom of the lake, rather than near the surface. This seemed to annoy the Mekong catfish as he then went onto to catch a few off the bottom, which didn’t help he ailing hand what so ever! He went onto land Mekong’s of 165lb, 150lb, 175lb, 180lb, he also landed a Siamese carp of 80lb a couple of Asian redtails, before he then set his stall out to catch another stingray as he did last year. The stingray came very quickly and gave him his 5 fish over a 100lb on this trip. The final fish to add to his catch report was a smashing giant gourami of 10lbs, which was caught again by doing something a little different.


Gary Hipple made a return for his usual November session and he got off to a flying start as the first fish he landed was a Siamese carp of just under 170lb! And that set the scene for another terrific session which ended up with a total of 54 fish banked, of course there was the odd slow day amongst them, but Gary knows his trade and pretty much caught every day. His catches included a new species in the shape of an Amazon stingray, a shedload of Siamese carp including 5 over the 100lb mark, making his total over 100lb+ Siamese carp to a mouth-watering 16! He also landed giant featherback, spotted featherback, pacu to 40lb, tilapia to 6lb, Amazon redtail catfish to 40lb and Asian redtails to 30lb. An impressive haul, but alas, Gary is one of those customers who doesn’t take many photos as he already has many many photos of fish caught room here. So every photo we have here, is one of a 100lb+ Siamese and his Amazon stingray!


The lovable Keith “the tooth” O’connor, also made a return visit and hooked up with his mate Gary Hipple. Just like Gary Keith opened his account with a 100lb Siamese carp, which he then followed with a 20lb ripsaw catfish. This made him very happy as he had been hoping to catch one for many years. After that he steadily caught Siamese carp mainly, including one day where he had six of them. The average stamp of them being around 70lb, although the Siamese weren’t flying up his lines he kept plodding away and equalled his personal best of 135lb and he joked that he wanted a real biggie of 150lb+, which funnily enough he landed a good few days into his trip. He also landed a few Asian red tails to 40lb and a 20lb Julians and another big Siamese at 105lb. Keith was also delighted when he also landed a rare  12lb wallago leeri.


Jodie and Sam Fenson came for a short break and things went very well for them with a load of Siamese to a 120lb and a giant freshwater stingray over the 10lb barrier too!


Tony Bradshaw actually caught quite a lot of fish on his holiday here however, we have to seemed to struggle getting all of his photos in, we will let him off though as we got a great “live” video stream of him playing a 110lb Siamese carp on our Facebook page!

Ben Bowles came here last year with his girlfriend, and thoroughly loved the place. This time however, he left his lady behind and brought his mate Ash Sceal along. The boys set up in sala 1 and sala 2 and although the lake wasn’t flying, they worked hard at their fishing, and they both caught consistently. Ben had a few Siamese carp over 80lb and a monster of 135lb. he also landed some Asian red tails to 25lbs, a wallagoo leeri of 10lbs, a Mekong catfish of 170lbs and a few Amazon red tails to 40lbs. Ash in sala 1 also had a few Siamese carp and one of them was 110lb. He also caught a 180lb Mekong, a small arapaima of 75lb and an Amazon red tail catfish of 30lbs. They were also really chuffed when they had a double take which resulted in a nice (but a little bit blurred) brace shot consisting of Ben with a 50lb Amazon red catfish and Ash with an 80lb Siamese carp!


Dave and Sonya were last here a couple of years ago, and I knew before they got here this time, that they would have a great time, and also that they would have a real go at the fish and more likely than not that they would catch a few. Things couldn’t have started any better for them as Sonya had an 85lb Siamese carp, which beat her previous best, then a 40lb Asian red tail, which again was a PB, and then Dave popped out a 105lb Siamese carp, which was his biggest ever, so not a bad start at all then! Things continued on the same as they steadily caught every day. Dave landed a giant freshwater stingray of 50lbs, which he was really pleased about as he lost one last time, he also landed his first arawana from the top lake, and his first Mekong catfish with a 160lber, but the real icing on the cake was an alligator gar of around 70lbs, being a big predator hunter at home, that made Dave a very happy man that’s for sure. Sonya kept grinning away and pulling them in too and managed to get a 90lb Siamese carp, plus a few others. All in all, they had a great trip and no doubt we’ll see them again in another couple of years!


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)!