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Krabi newsletter October 2009

SeeUsHello once again to all of you following this fishing in Thailand newsletter. This month has seen an increase in people coming fishing in Krabi as the wet season comes to an end and the dry peak season kicks in. Gillhams Fishing Resorts is now the official number one fishing destination in Thailand. Thanks to all of you for your support in getting us there. Without you we couldn’t do it – a simple fact that other so-called operators here seem to forget. We are now booked into the Five Lakes show in Essex for March 6th and 7th 2010, so come and see us. We are again working out a holiday giveaway, so watch out in forthcoming newsletters for news on that.

Before I start, I have to apologise to my little bald French amigo, for not giving him his correct handle. Apparently when you are 4ft 10in tall with no hair and a funny accent it is very important that people spell your name correctly and use your full title. So to put the record straight from last month, the bald French dwarf’s title starts with a bitch name: Jean-Francois Helias. Hopefully this has stopped a seven-generation curse! Sorry Sir Jean, everyone knows who I meant, as you are the only French hero in the world with seven thousand fishing world records!

October started off with rain most days, but soon started to settle down to a shower every three days. We have taken full advantage of the last of the heavy rains by flushing the lake out and filling it to its maximum level via the stream and our sluice gate system. The arapaima love rain, and this month has seen the most arapaima ever caught in a month here, with 84 landed including nine over 300lb – yes, you have read that right; nine arapaima over 300lb this month! This makes Gillhams the best arapaima fishery in the world. The new arapaima have not been released this month, but we have four new fish over 300lb waiting to be set free from behind the nets in the top bay, so that will bring the amount of arapaima over 300lb in our lake to at least 14!

We have acquired a couple of cracking new fish this month in the shape of a 103lb Siamese carp and a world record sized Thai mahseer of 34lb. We also moved three arapaima from our fish farm of 400lb, 380lb and 200lb that had decided to stop breeding. We have three others to come, two of which are over 400lb. Strange really, as we have 17 breeding pairs, and 11 of them produce approximately 300 young per year, but these ones managed around 20 each last year that did not grow properly, and none this year, hence they have now joined the ranks of arapaima that swim in our lake to make dreams come true!

Talking of spawning arapaima, we had two pairs spawn last month. When the eggs hatch, the young live on the mother, which stays a foot below the surface, and the young surface every 30 seconds for air, which looks like rain on the lake surface. The males guard the females fighting off any fish that comes too close. The Chao Phraya catfish in our lake have turned into uncontrollable bullies, ganging up and killing any fish that they can find. They have gone too far this time, hunting in packs of six to eight fish. One goes in and gets the male arapaima to chase them, then the others swarm in and feast on the babies! They seem to have just about cleaned off one female and killed the male who was trying to protect his family. The other female has abandoned her young, who are swimming around the lake on their own. I have now declared war on the Chao Phraya in the last month – eight no longer swim here, and we have 19 left, which is 19 to many. Anyone wanting to try Chao Phraya and chips is more than welcome! Only last week these school playground bullies killed a rohu carp. Helmet the dog swam out to fetch it to the bank, and they attacked him. I then swam out, only for them to start swimming into my legs. OK that’s it now – every one of the bastidos is on borrowed time, and hopefully in the next couple of months they will be eradicated. Once that is achieved we will be ready for restocking some new home grown red tails, Amazon and Asian, tiger cats, arawana, Thai mahseer, ripsaw catfish and arapaima in April when we close. The first two weeks we open in June 2010 should be exceptional fishing what with the new kids on the block, plus a six-week break for the existing stock, if you haven’t booked yet you could be too late as those in the know are already booked in.

We had a few blasts from the past this month in the shape of Les Bamford, an old mucker from years back, who if anything is louder than ever, and just as barmy! For those of you who don’t know Les, he is famous for his non-stop partying, anal pyrotechnics, the Banford conversion on original Optonics, and also for running the famous Redmire pool. His catch report will follow, but I just had to mention here about Les’s sunburn. I warn everyone who fishes here on cloudy days and in the rain that the sun’s rays are very intense behind the clouds, so cover up. Did Les listen? Did he hell! The stupid old sod ended up with severe sunburn on the top of his feet, with blisters the size of fried eggs, which went septic and ended up putting the twat in hospital with septicemia. Every tragedy has a happy ending though, as we got three days’ peace until the hospital paid us to take him away, as all the nurses had headaches! The downside was that he couldn’t fly for another week, so we had to have him even longer!

Then we had Keith ‘The Tooth’ O’Conner. For those of you under 90 years old, Keith was one of the original Savay syndicate members, fishing with the likes of Rod Hutchinson, Kevin Maddocks etc. What Keith did to Bob Baker of Richworth Baits in the Rat Hole swim on Savay is still to this day a secret outside of a small circle of fishermen. All I can say is it stopped Uncle Bob from wearing lace-up shoes while fishing for evermore!

This month we also had the pleasure of Dean Macey’s company. We are not allowed to say what he caught ‘til next month, as the Angling Times have the exclusive on his tremendous catch. Plus he is talking about his trip here on Tight Lines on Friday the 27th November, so watch the old TV that night, folks! Dean was accompanied by our friend Vince Rogers, who was on a return visit. I have included their catch in the fish caught figures this month, but have promised the Angling Times not to report their catch until next month. So all I will say here is that Dean Macey is one of the best all-round anglers to visit here. I would go as far as saying if I had to name the top ten anglers I have ever seen, Dean would be in the top five. No wonder he was such a top athlete; his dedication and determination stood out, and put that with being an all-round Mr. Nice Guy, and it’s no wonder he is so popular with the British public. His athletic ability is in doubt though, as Helmet the dog pissed the race with Deano through the jungle, and Alf Garnet Wicks and I beat him hands down on the pole vault! Vince must also rate in my top ten anglers list. If everyone had these two guys’ attitude and enthusiasm, every day here would be a pleasure for us. Unfortunately it is not the case, which leads me nicely onto your favorite part of the Krabi fishing news – Gillham’s Gripe!

I promised this month not to go over old ground regarding feature finding, which lets a high percentage of this month’s visitors off the hook. Gillhams bell ringer society has once again swelled my bank balance, but some antics did not go unnoticed, such as finish fishing, shower and run to the bar, then ring the bell before anyone arrives – Alf Garnet Wickes, Les Bamford, Chris Hughes and Paul and Karl of Lake Escapes Holidays, you were all sussed! Or how about Alf Garnet Wickes breaking the bell to escape ringing it – tight old git, considering his long-suffering son Paul paid for his trip!

We have a livebait ban here to stop damaged fish spreading disease, and the latest bullshit to emerge is when caught using livebait, the anglers concerned swear blind it must have hooked itself while taking the single grain of maize impaled on a 4/0 hook intended for arapaima! Our arapaima are all farmed and fed on sea fish deadbaits, and all their life they see sea fish as natural food, hence they outfish livebait five to one, but still we have nerds groaning as they think you can’t catch without live fish! These same prats come here having never seen, let alone caught an arapaima, and then arguing about our findings and trying to tell us what we are doing wrong. Their theories even compare them with European pike, which are so far removed, it’s like saying a elephant is the same as a mouse! Once again we have had twats shouting across the lake to their mates, and then telling me what a peaceful place we have!

We did have a group of Malaysians who came for a night’s stay and a day’s fishing, now this crew really spoilt the Malaysian 100% record for being spot-on people, ordering a seafood buffet for the seven-man team, then pissing off down town half an hour before being served, leaving a pile of wasted food. They all wanted an arapaima each in the first half hour, and were disappointed when it never happened! One of them had the name AK, and I wish it was the real thing, an AK47, as we could have shot them! He landed a 60lb and 70lb Siamese carp only to be gutted they weren’t 300lb-plus arapaima. They all caught, but as only one of them had an arapaima, of ‘only’ 150lb during the day, they were disappointed! They did promise to send me pictures, but I suppose that after such a poor day, they must have thought, sod it. Oh did I say they spent three hours sleeping, four hours by the pool, and stopped two hours early?

We have some tour companies who sell all-inclusive trips here. Why do their clients have to try and get their money’s worth by ordering a starter, a steak dinner and a sweet two hours after breakfast, then a starter followed by a monster mixed grill and sweet in the evening, only to leave three-quarters of it because they are full? I know where I would like to put the leftovers! While off the subject of fishing, Alf Garnet take note; we do a Sunday buffet ‘eat as much as you like and return as many times as you like’ so why fill your troughs 6ft high and leave it?

Ok back to fishing: we state 45lb minimum hooklinks, so why go to 25lb? Some of our beasts are in excess of 400lb, which is 16 times the breaking strain. Do you carp fish at home with 2lb hooklinks for carp? They couple this with size 6 fine wire hooks, and when told they are too small and weak, they reply, “Oh, it’s ok, I will play the fish gently for several hours.” Yeah right, and kill our fish with exhaustion! These same bounty hunters claim to care about fish, but will do anything to get their mug behind a big, rare fish in the name of glory. We are seriously considering banning braided hook links, as the fact is that all companies keep going thinner and thinner with their materials, which is damaging our carp’s mouths. Why can’t these supposed conservation-minded, caring companies sacrifice a bit of their vast profits and reinvest in fish care by developing flat, fish-friendly braids? Let’s face it, all the braided hooklinks on the market have been sourced from the upholstery trade and tailors at pence per 1,000m, then spooled onto 10/20m spools, renamed ‘Dog’s Ball-Sack skin’ and sold for vast profits! Les Bamford is also thinking of banning these hooklinks at Redmire, so I am not alone in my thoughts!

It’s a pity really that some of these so-called experts don’t liaise with fishery owners. I am sure between us we could come up with some better solutions, or would it affect profits having to actually develop some materials rather than just sourcing them! We also get the guys asking why we do not stock so-and-so’s pop-ups, or moaning ‘cos the guy in the next swim is catching on pop-ups and they haven’t got any. When asked why they didn’t bring their own, the reply is, “I didn’t have room.” One small tub of them is all that is needed, but it’s too much effort for some! These are the same guys that expect our guides to cast, bait up and strike for them, even wanting one-on-one personal slaves. Do they fish the same at home? My biggest hate is when someone hooks a big fish, which is steaming down the lake at 40mph, and some people refuse to wind in and give the angler a free run, only to expect everyone to pull their lines in when they hook one! Another ignorant trick I see is when someone has taken the time and trouble to find and feed up an area, and then these so-called anglers move in opposite and cast three-quarters of the way across the lake to the other poor sod’s baited area.

My final gripe this month is the dreaded sentence, “The line snapped.” No it didn’t; you snapped it! Take a 200lb fish swimming one way at 40mph, with a dickhead tightening the drag the other way, and something has to give! Every cast, check the drag setting; you will be amazed how temperature changes affect drags. Don’t put your hand on the spool, let the fish run, and when it stops, bring it back. After all, why do you want to stop them? They ain’t going anywhere – they can’t get out of the lake and run up the sodding road! Free Spirit supply our rods, and they are the best on the market for the job here, but we get the guys saying the rod is not man enough because their hook straightened, or they broke the line. How the hell do they reach that theory? If the hook or line is going before the rod, surely a heavier rod would just show up their inadequacies earlier or am I thick? The line, hook links, swivels and hooks we supply are tried and tested, so why spend your hard earned wonga on the trip of a lifetime and then bring inadequate gear to try and land the fish of a lifetime on?

So on to the fishing in Krabi: 30 anglers came for fishing holidays in Thailand, ranging from three to ten days, with 22 anglers fishing on day tickets between their Krabi holiday. Between them all they caught 580 fish of 23 species, made up as follows: 84 arapaima to 360lb, eight alligator gar to 25lb, two arawana of 8lb, 91 Amazon red tail catfish to 85lb, eight Asian red tail catfish to 30lb, 54 black pacu to 39lb, 10 Chao Phraya catfish to 80lb, two giant snakehead of 7lb, two giant featherback of 10lb, three Julian’s golden prize carp to 20lb, 14 Mekong catfish to 160lb, six mad carp to 4lb, four mrigal carp to 10lb, 14 rohu to 20lb, two tambaqui to 40lb, ten spotted featherback to 15lb, 189 Siamese carp to 80lb, one striped catfish of 10lb, three striped snakehead to 4lb, 51 shovel nosed spotted sorubim to 50lb, ten shovel nosed tiger catfish to 20lb, five wallago attu to 20lb and seven wallago leeri to 20lb.

Earlier this year I received an email from a friend I lost touch with some 20-odd years ago. Johnny Swann and I used to pike fish together just after Harold lost his eye in the battle of Hastings! I was even Johnny’s best man many moons ago, but time moved on and we lost touch. To my surprise Johnny got in touch and booked a week away from his fish shop empire! He arrived here laden with cod fillet and smoked haddock – oh bliss, he always did supply the best fish on the planet! I was really hoping Johnny would catch some whackers, but neither of us dreamed he would catch what he did in six days. He landed 66 fish and three hangovers from some 20 bell rings of nine species: 12 arapaima to 340lb, 13 Siamese carp to 40lb, 13 Amazon red tail catfish to 75lb, plus a Mekong catfish of 120lb gave him two species over the ton! Put those with pacu, Asian red tail, sorubim, featherback, Chao Phraya, Indian Siamese carp, and wallago leeri and attu. What a haul, and yet another repeat booking for February!

Then all hell broke loose as Boons tours arrived! The boys had a traumatic experience as the plane came to land in Bangkok, when the loudspeaker announced anyone bringing live stock into Thailand could receive imprisonment, and Boony shat himself thinking he had been rumbled for being an international worm smuggler! It did manage to shut up his boasting to all the other poor sods on the plane of, “Hi, I am Alan Boon. Did I tell you about my world record Chao Phraya catfish?” Also on the trip were Les ‘Motormouth’ Bamford, Rob ‘Sieve Head’ Eustace, Steve ‘Dodgy Car Salesman’ Smith and their normal mate Tony Walsh, the match angler. The beer sales went through the roof as they rang the bell time and time again. If you ain’t caught one before, even a 2oz Java barb will cost you a round. Alan was top rod with 32 fish for eight species; he also got the dreaded purple bum, and while bent over to photo Rob’s Mekong with his builder’s bum poking over his Speedos he got sprayed with the purple fish antiseptic!

I mentioned Les Bamford’s sunburned feet earlier, and for a guy who runs Redmire Pool, the most famous carp puddle in the world, Les sure knows how to break the rules! Put that with shouting every other word beginning with ‘F’ over the lake, and failing to ring the bell, Les surely is any fishery’s worst nightmare! For those of you thinking of booking in February, be warned; he is returning! In the most abysmal display of attempting to fish, Les somehow managed to get 12 fish of five species to feel sorry for him. Not once did he check the depth, but went on to tell me all about money spots where you carefully plumb the depth, feel a smooth area with your lead, then cast on the money every time. When asked why don’t you do it here, his reply was, “Oh, I have you lot to do that for me!”

Rob Eustace did ok for a bungalow with Alzheimer’s, landing 18 fish of seven species, including a 130lb Mekong catfish and four arapaima to 250lb. Whenever his dad Terry comes over, he fakes an illness to stay longer, but Rob did have a genuine excuse to stay on – nursing a severely sunburned Bamford. I think I would rather have gone home! Rob also made the record books for the most travelled picture in the world. In June my daughter Becca took a framed picture of Benz, little Jack and me back to the UK. She posted it to Birmingham for Terry, but Rob ignored the post office letter about a parcel to collect, and it was sent back South to Becca. Now Becca once again posted it to the Gold Label premises for Terry. So what does Bungalow Rob do? He packs it in his case and brings it back to us. After travelling 20,000 miles, and Jack starting school, it now hangs on uncle Terry’s wall.

Steve Smith landed 12 fish of four species, including three arapaima. He forgot to ring the bell, and came out with a classic when told about Sean’s motor bike accident 12 years ago when he was pronounced dead, and taken to Phuket mortuary. I went to identify the body, only to be told that he was actually unconscious, and had walked out half an hour ago. Steve promptly turned round and asked Sean if he is dead! Christ, I know Sean is a bit slow, hence the nickname ‘Garage Door’ ‘cos it all goes up and over, but dead he certainly isn’t!
Tony Walsh was the normal one in the group; he is a top match angler in the Midlands, and was gutted he did not bring his match tackle, as he reckons he could have 100lb of Java barbs a day here. When he said that I was gutted too, as we need the pesky things removing. Tony landed 13 fish of eight species, including the biggest fish he has ever caught in his life; a 280lb arapaima that put 270lb on his personal best! He rang the bell every time, plumbed the depth, spoke sensibly, and did nothing for us to take the piss about!

Next up was a young guy who had saved up to go on an adventure, traveling around Asia with a plan to end up in Australia looking for work and a new life. Scott Morley bombarded me with questions for months before his proposed trip, but it was all sensible stuff. He came for three days, and stayed on for three more, catching 22 fish of eight species, including five arapaima with two over 300lb, Siamese carp to 60lb, Amazon red tail catfish to 80lb, plus tiger cats, sorubim, pacu, Chao Phraya catfish and wallago. On his last day he stated he would love to work at a place like Gillhams, and would work for free. On hearing this, my ears went ‘ching’ – free labour! Scott is now working here, starting his new life in Thailand as a fully unpaid fishing guide. He is a cracking guy who is passionate about his fishing. He studies the lake and always puts 100% into trying to get the punters a fish. We do feed him and give him his board, but he relies on the clients for tips, which many customers regard in the same way as bell ringing!

The old silver fox, Dave Arber, appeared again, mainly to complete the purchase of some land for his dream holiday home here, and also to get some fishing in, fishing short spells between lawyers’ visits etc. He did land 18 fish of seven species. As he is a regular here, bell ringing is rare, but he did manage one ringer in the shape of a fine 80lb Chao Phraya. Unlucky, Dave; it would have been a world record before June!

The lads from Lake Escapes, Paul and Karl, made another appearance. They didn’t fish very hard, sleeping most of the time. Casting where it landed, they did manage 19 fish between them of seven species. Mind you, we are still waiting for the pictures we were promised! Paul’s daughter Bonny accompanied them; she had never fished before, and was going to go out on trips with dad, but as he was always sleeping, she decided one evening to see what this fishing lark is all about. In a very short stint she showed the lads up big time, landing a nice pacu, then backed it up with a beast of a fish; a 300lb-plus arapaima! Perhaps the lads failed to send us pictures due to the embarrassment of Bonny showing them what can be achieved with a bit of effort!

Next in line came Michael Zellner from Germany. Michael came here last year and didn’t do too well, but he saw enough to want to return. His trip started as the other one ended, struggling to catch, although doing everything right. After three days, things improved, and over the next three days his PB arapaima grew from 90lb through six fish to the grand prize of 300lb! Just the way we like it – each one of the six getting bigger, making six bell rings just on the arapaima. He ended up with 32 fish of eight species and 14 bell rings!

Another mate from the past appeared; a guy I fished around Europe with many years ago, Ralph Hughes. Now, Ralph does not seek fame, but he has caught more big fish than most. It’s not my place to list his many captures here, but trust me his fish list is awesome! Ralph was accompanied by his partner Renn, son Jack, brother Chris with his wife Claire, and sons Harry and Lewis. Now this fishing-mad family fished hard for the week landing 55 fish of 12 species.

Lewis was a fishing machine, and is surely going to be a name for the future. He fished better than most adults who come here, listening to every bit of advice we gave him, checking depths and finding the right spots, casting, baiting up and striking all totally unaided, he landed arapaima to 340lb, Mekong catfish to 110lb, plus Amazon red tail catfish to 60lb. Dad Chris had arapaima to 200lb, but shook a lot of fish off, as he was to tight to ring the bell! He even rollicked his missus and kids for catching too many that would ring the bell! It did not stop them though, as the non-fishing family members Claire and Harry got in on the act with an arapaima each.

Ralph had his 60th birthday here, and celebrated in style with five arapaima to 140lb, Siamese carp to 60lb, and really pissed Chris off with a 75lb Amazon red tail catfish! So, there was much bell ringing by Ralph, even though he is a couple of million quid behind brother Chris. Ralph’s better half Renn let the cat out of the bag on his birthday; he must have some fetishes, as the presents she gave him from their local sex shop were a bit OTT for a family newsletter. But a few clues could be in where she whipped them up from, plus the fact that Renn is not a nurse! Ralph must be a big bloke, as he also got an 18in willie warmer, along with various gels and potions! Renn had never fished before, but I am sure she will be fishing regularly now, as she played her fish like a professional. On the other extreme, Jack, Ralph’s son, came to party, only fishing late afternoons after falling from his pit, and still managed four arapaima to 300lb. The Hughes family’s final word was, “We can’t wait a year to return,” but as for Jack, his harem of dusky maidens can’t wait for his return either, so maybe the sodding great willie warmer was his!

The next trio in comprised of Paul Wickes, with his dad, Alf Garnet lookalike John, plus ‘Uncle Fester’ Jewish Dan! Now when they first arrived I though we had trouble on our hands, as all Alf did was moan, but then I cottoned on that the old git is a bigger wind-up merchant than me! He is a whinger anyway, but old age has taken its toll on the miserable old bastard. He fished as hard as he moaned, and landed 25 fish of nine species, he would have landed more if he had stopped playing with the drag settings on the reel (he was into drag but that’s another secret!). He got me a treat when he kept calling his arapaima small; it was only on the third one that I caught onto his wind-up. Alf landed a Mekong catfish of 120lb, only to let it slip from his grasp before a photo, and because he never got his trophy shot he whinged ‘til he left, and refused to ring the bell. We all reckon the tight old git did it to get out of a round, as in all his other bell rings he ran faster than Dean Macey to get in the bar before anyone else, so he only had the cleaners to buy a drink for!

We all went out for a night at Kansas saloon for food and music, followed by some dancing at the local nightclub. Alf was right up for it, telling us all day about how he taught John Travolta his dance moves, so it was a surprise when Alf sheepishly asked for a taxi home half way through the evening. It wasn’t ‘til the next day that we learned that poor old Alf had gone to drop his hat and followed through! Another hazard of being a senile old git, I suppose! Poor Paul, Alf’s long-suffering son, must need a holiday after taking care of the old fella for couple of weeks. In between sorting out the old fella’s numerous problems, Paul did get some fishing in. The arapaima eluded him, but he made up for that with a nice 150lb Mekong catfish, along with 16 other fish of six species.

Paul’s best mate, Uncle Fester lookalike Dan, had never fished in his life, but thought he would give it a go. Starting off with a 30lb Amazon red tail catfish, he soon upped the ante with a nice Mekong catfish of 130lb, followed swiftly by a 120lb arapaima. By the last day he was on 12 fish of five species, along with buying numerous rounds, which went against the grain for a nice Jewish lad! Then on the last cast of his last day he whooped the other two good and proper with a 360lb arapaima! Paul was green, Alf went into one about the world kicking him up the nuts, while Dan was chuffed, as he got out of a round by going home. Seriously, they where a great bunch who came to have fun, and they did by having a proper holiday; sightseeing, going out and fishing as and when it suited them. That’s what it should all be about here – fun! Another group of strangers who left as friends – cheers lads, it’s blokes like you that make our job a joy to do!

Then the Aussie contingent arrived; Gary Barnaby of Angling Adventures, Australia, with three clients. Between drinking and partying with a bit of fishing thrown in, they somehow managed to catch six fish! One of the group was a fly-fishing guide in Oz. He borrowed my fly rod and didn’t even get to cast, as he blanked for his whole hour’s fishing over the four days. Sod going out on a trip with him! Paul managed to catch a potential record spotted featherback, only for my fishing guide to be to busy picking his hooter to notice the bloody thing was around 15lb. That would have broken the world record by 3lbs! Gary the Aussie passport holder and Jag driver finally managed to find an arapaima to take pity on him, and at 160lb it was Gary’s biggest ever freshwater fish. Fair play to them all; they came for fun, and they certainly achieved it. If all our punters were like them the fish wouldn’t be hook shy that’s for sure!

Neil Cobley returned for his second visit this year. Neil is an exceptionally good angler who would be another guy in my top ten. Neil is a dedicated family man and only fishes odd hours between making sure his missus and kids get their family holiday, but in his short sessions he fishes like a demon. Oh, and he uses a plumbing rod! The only thing that let Neil down was trying out different hooks that kept letting him down, and fishing hooklinks that were too light. Despite the handicap he did land 40 fish of 10 species, with four arapaima to 300lb, red tails to 70lb, and Siamese carp to 70lb, which wasn’t a bell ringer though, as last trip he landed a 125lb Siamese carp. He also had a fine 35lb tambaqui, and never once shirked a bell ring – a good guy, and a good angler; another one who makes the job here worthwhile.

Space is running out, but the final guest this month was Derek Mallows aka Ladders. Del came for 20 days as my guest to catch as many fish as possible, and get a couple of articles written for us. Unfortunately the plans went tits up when Del boy decided to party for three weeks, blaming not fishing on the weather being too hot, then too wet, followed by feeling rough, which was nothing to do with the alcohol or all-night clubbing! In his six hours’ intense fishing over the 20 days, he did land 28 fish of nine species, including 19 Amazon red tail catfish to 70lb, a PB arapaima of 250lb, and a record-nudging black pacu of 39lb, only 2lb short of the record! He also lost a huge Mekong catfish at the net, which I estimated to be in excess of 200lb! Imagine what Del would have achieved if he had fished properly, plus he had two close shaves with records. Mind you, he probably set plenty of his own records. He also took out shares in Western Union’s benevolent fund! I can’t really mention his other personal bests here, but one was certainly not what it seemed!

Space has run out folks, but don’t forget to add to your diary the 6/7 March for the Five Lakes show. Also buy the Angling Times to see what monsters Dean Macey landed, and to tune in to Tight Lines TV show (no Del, not that kind of TV show!) on the 27th November as Deano will be showing some pictures and talking about the best fishing venue on the planet. Thanks for reading this Krabi fishing report. If you wish to be part of the newsletter why not treat yourself to the trip of a lifetime, and contact us at or phone Stuart on +66861644554 or visit the web site
Best wishes, catch a whacker, and book that holiday, from Stuart and all the team here at Gillhams.