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Fishing In Thailand Newsletter September 2015

Hi and welcome to the September 2015 newsletter, our monthly round up of news, catch reports and anything remotely connected to our little slice of paradise out here in Krabi

September saw the arrival of the TV cameras as the “big fish off” rolled into town. If you haven’t seen the program it’s a match between two celebrities, each one guided by either Dean Macey or Ali Hamidi.
The celebs were, professional boxer Mitchell Smith who is currently the WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Champion, with thirteen professional fights under his belt all of which he has won, 7 by knock out. The other chap Ricky Rayment was from the TV show, The Only Way is Essex or T.O.W.I.E as the show’s fans say.
Now obviously we can’t say what the outcome of the show was, you’ll have to wait till next April/May for that, but as the filming unfolded and with a dramatic and epic finish, the producers, Dean and Ali were all happy with how it went. Everyone had a laugh and we look forward to seeing the finished program.

Another thing which caused a bit of a giggle here was a small rubbery electric device, which seemed to turn itself on at a quite inappropriate moment, I’ll tell you the story.
Now I won’t allude in any way as to who it was but, a chap turned up with his wife and Lawrence showed them to their bungalow and gave them a hand to carry the suitcase up the stairs, as the suitcase was put down a “buzzing noise” started and could clearly be heard, “oh your electric shaver must have turned on” said the wife, “but no darling” he replied, “I haven’t brought it with me”, “you must have done, I can hear it” she replied, with her eyebrows raised in a sort of “please just agree with me” way, accompanied with a nod, “No” he continued, “I definitely haven’t packed it”, by now Lawrence had twigged what it was, (in fact there’s probably a couple on his bedroom tucked under his pillow). The lady looked a little embarrassed and I don’t think the Husband quite caught on to what had happened, but either way, they had a good holiday and seemed to enjoy themselves, even if she did a little more than he did!


Sitting in the office one day Stuart leant back in his chair and said “Bon Jovi are playing in Kuala Lumpur you up for that?”, “sounds good to me!” I replied, so two weeks later we were jumping on an Air Asia plane along with Sean, bound for Malaysia ready for a bit of rocking!

We landed after the 90 min flight and then took a train into the centre of Kuala Lumpur. A short cab ride then ensued and we arrived at our hotel, pretty much to find that half of it had been knocked down and it may have been better situated in Soweto, we looked at each other somewhat perplexed, a quick check of the rooms and the admission of a mosquito problem from the management, prompted a swift exit, with the big dawgs words something like “f*** that! That’s worse than the one you booked us in Dartford Spug!” and there was me thinking he had forgot about that little faux pas! Anyway we managed to find another hotel and after booking in we headed to a favourite restaurant of Stuart’s where they served a pudding called “The Eton Mess”, probably designed by some rich toffs in England at the elite school Eton, you know the one, it’s the one where allegedly David Cameron had some fun with a dead pig. All that said, it was a bloody tasty pudding and after a bit of shopping we had an hours peace and quiet before, we headed out to the show.

The show was great and the crowd was certainly an eclectic mix, mainly Asian and they lapped up the old classic tracks, took literally thousands of selfies and all seemed to enjoy themselves. Afterwards a trip to an Irish bar and good old Guinness and steak pie saw an end to a thoroughly enjoyable day.


It seems like everyone has fallen in love with Martin Lloyd or “Sticky” or “Stix” as he is affectionately known, he’s been here nearly a month now and settled into his new role superbly. You can hear him singing away in the kitchen, always cheerful and happy to help everyone whenever he can. We even gave him the standard Gillhams haircut! It’s been great to see him develop into his role and it has definitely made a positive impact throughout the whole resort.
Stuart said yet again the other day that he is really happy with how things are going here and that the team of guides are the best team he has ever had, and continued on, although he has had guides as good or maybe even better, that this is the best team he has ever had, which is testament to all the hard work they put in.

September saw a little excursion to Phi Phi island for Lawrence and me. We only went for one night but we got up early and caught the ferry from Krabi which took about 2 hours to get to the island. It turns out there are no roads on Phi Phi so after we had arrived, it was a case of jumping on a longtail boat which then took us to our resort. It was superb because low season in Thailand is a lot cheaper and the hotel was half price and there wasn’t much of a queue when it came to a local restaurant either which was a plus as the steaks we ordered came quickly but the only downside was that they had run out of red wine, so I had to drink white instead, but hey if that is the only thing you have to moan about, let’s face it you have had a pretty good day! The evening was spent chasing hermit crabs on the beach and watching the sun go down and although the stay was short, it’s another destination ticked off the “I want to go there list”.

Finally we have a new addition to the inflatable team, I went to Ao Nang to try and find a couple of inflatable guitars for the Bon Jovi concert and couldn’t find any, but I did stumble across a great big crocodile so I bought that instead, upon my return Lawrence quipped that I was the thickest individual he has ever met, nice huh?


Right that’s enough of my ramblings, 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 Thailand has to offer had some superb fishing in Krabi this month with a total of 691 fish caught of 29 species, made up as follows: 47 arapaima to 520lb, one alligator gar of 25lb, 112 Amazon redtail catfish to 85lb, two Amazon stingray to 25lb, 97  Asian redtail catfish to 40lb, 32 black pacu to 45lb, one Chao Phraya catfish of 80lb, three giant snakehead to 14lbs, seven spotted featherback to 14lb, 21 Julian’s golden carp to 40lb, 44 Mekong catfish to 200lb, two Nile perch to 18lb, six red bellied pacu to 18lb, 278 Siamese carp to 148lb, one spotted sorubim of 35lb, one mrigal of 15lbs, two gourami to 5lbs, one striped catfish to 50lbs, ten ripsaw catfish to 35lbs, one giant freshwater stingray to 125lbs, five giant featherbacks to14lb, one big head carp 25lbs, three rohu carp to 18lbs, one Indian masheer of 4lbs, two tilapia to 3lbs, one zungaroo of 15lbs and a snakehead of 7lbs


Jo Green and her partner Mike normally come around the beginning of September and normally they catch a few too! The two of them are very good anglers and whilst Mike is more of an “under the radar” angler, Jo has 2 or 3 consultancies in the carp fishing trade and was the world record holder for the largest carp caught by a lady which was a monster of nearly 90lbs and IS still the holder of the ladies world record Sturgeon, so whether or not she likes it, she’s in the public eye so to speak!

The first days fishing saw them set up in sala 9 and 10 and it wasn’t much of a surprise that they kicked off in style with a 10 fish hit where Jo landed 3 Asian red tails to a clonking 45lb, whilst Mike had 5 Siamese to 85lb a black pacu of 40lb and then an Asian red tail of 35lb, great start obviously and the first day was finished off with a good roast beef dinner each!

The next day they swapped swims and Jo ended up in sala 2, whilst Mike appeared in D3 where he landed 3 fantastic pacu of 35lb, 35lb and 45lb, followed by a small Asian of 12lb and  Siamese of 45lb.
Jo’s rods weren’t so active with just a small red tail to show for her efforts, so it came as no surprise, that after another roast beef dinner, that the next day Jo was fishing in F1 and Mike was back in sala 9, which turned out to be a very good decision on his behalf, as two Siamese carp to 85lb fell to his rods, a superb 12lb spotted featherback, three more pacu to 32lb, an Amazon red tail of 40lb, but the icing on the cake for Mike was a 14lb ripsaw catfish, which he was really pleased about catching, Jo had a quiet one with just a gourami to show for her efforts.

Mike’s swim was going crazy by now and the next day he landed a shedload of carp to just over 100lb, a small 4lb gourami and Jo landed an Asian red tail and a 70lb Siamese but was starting to get itchy feet! The chaos continued for Mike the next day as seven fish fell to his rods, four Siamese carp to 75lb, two pacu to 45lb and then a superb Julians of 35lb, however things were not so great for Jo and remarkably for her, she didn’t catch anything all day, which was only going to lead to one thing, revenge of the highest order!

Revenge however is a pudding best served cold, or so some say and after another quiet morning Jo, unsurprisingly moved swims set up in in D3 and was very quickly into a 70lb Siamese carp and felt somewhat relieved I am sure. Mike on the other hand was still reeling them in one after another, and three more Siamese to 90lb, a super Mekong of 160lb, a black pacu of 30lb, a spotted featherback 4lb and an Asian red tail all came his way.

Jo was ready to exact some revenge on the lake and the Siamese carp were going to get it! It started with a 75lb corker, then a couple of 50lb’ers followed by another 75lb’er, then Jo decided to rest the swim and went round to see Mike for a cup of tea for an hour. After that little break Jo popped out another 50lb a 65lb and then a superb specimen over the 100lb mark to finish off what was a cracking days fishing!

With the bit between her teeth Jo continued to pull them in and the next day had a further five Siamese to 100lb and she was definitely starting to grin again, well until I managed to get her videoed, which she hates and I am fairly sure the last word I heard from her was “off”, can’t remember the others! Mike opposite was still pulling them in too as he had a handful of carp to 75lb and another pacu round the 20lb mark.

We noticed Jo was a starting a little later every day and generally relaxing more, she was on the fish and she knew it.
Mike’s next day saw a few good Siamese roll into his net, nothing massive, biggest one around the 80lb mark, however the day will be remembered for a much smaller fish which he landed later in the day.
As Lawrence walked round Mike showed him a picture of a small fish he had caught and asked him what it was and it turned out to be a Indian masheer, which is only the second one to be landed from the lake, which is obviously a great capture as far as everyone is concerned.

Opposite Jo had a quieter day, and dare I say it, only landed Siamese carp of 30lb, 50lb 85lb, which was probably quite handy as the next day she was going to get her arms pulled off in style. It all started with a 90lb’er then a 60, 70, 85, 35, then a 40, then a 75, then another 70 followed by a 75 and finally an 80lb’er! Now that is one hell of day’s angling, just to keep going in the heat and keeping your mind on the task in hand is quite a feat, that’s for sure. Mike had a more leisurely day on the day of Jo’s hauling session but he was happy to see Jo whacking it and was more than happy to land a few himself, the best of which was a Mekong catfish of 175lb.

Sala 9 just kept producing the goods for Mike and over the next couple of days five more Siamese to 90lb, three more pacu to 35lb and two Mekongs over 150lb, all graced his photograph album. Jo, over in D3 managed to keep the Siamese interested too, as in the same two days she landed another eight to 85lb, which he was really pleased about, but then in her own words she hooked a “bastard!” which it would appear is a Mekong. It was throwing it down when the battle started and although I offered her an umbrella, I was impolitely told where I could stick it, as she was soaked anyway. Now in the past Jo has landed 7 in a morning, so she is well equipped to handle these beasts, but after an hour she was starting to flag a bit and although the fish was just in the edge, it would not come up off the bottom, so in the end (after an hours scrap) she passed the rod to guide Chris, so that he could give it a massive tug and she dived in the lake and on the third attempt basically man handled it into the net herself! The fish weighed 200lbs and she was made up as it was a P.B by 10lb for her.

With just a couple of days left Mike gave it the big push in sala 9 and chased the fish, as he felt the bites would come from a little further out, rather than where he had been fishing previously. This turned out to be a good decision as three Siamese carp of 65lb, 90lb and 95lb came along, followed by a 20lb Julians, a 20lb pacu and a Mekong catfish of 130lb. His penultimate day saw a change of swims as he moved into C3 and a mixed bag then followed for him as two red bellied pacu biggest 30lb, an Asian red tail of 35lb, two black pacu biggest 30lb, two more Mekong one of 130lb and one of 140lb kept him more than entertained for the day. Jo on the other hand was sticking to her quest of reeling as many Siamese as she possibly could in, and in the same two days she landed eight including two more over a 100lb, making her tally well over 40 Siamese in total, of which four were over the 100lb, which is impressive to say the least!

Jo likes planes a lot (in fact I think she still points at them when they fly over her bivvy) and she always books Thai airways so she can go on the A380 airbus, which secretly she finds very impressive, a lot more so than Mike’s model aeroplanes anyway, they also take the slightly later flight home and leave the resort around 5pm, I thought they would use this time to chill out and have a slow pack down, but I guess I wasn’t surprised to see their suitcases packed and thrown in an empty sala on their last half day, Jo was in the same swim and Mike had dived up to the grassy. Jo had a couple of Siamese to 95lb and an Asian red tail, whilst Mike had a small spotted featherback and a 25lb Asian red tail. They reeled in around 3 0’clock grabbed a quick shower and then headed home after what had been quite another very successful session for them




Doreen Ang is one very keen fisher woman from Singapore and we received a message through the facebook page that she was in Ao Nang and really fancied a days fishing the next day. As luck would have it we had a space or two and the next day the 33 year piscator was sitting in sala 9 with her friend Paige ready to go on the video and take pictures for her! Now obviously this won’t be a long one as she was only here for a day, but what a day it was. With Darren giving her a hand on the guiding front she was very quickly into what turned out to be a giant snakehead of 14lbs, a stunning fish.
Next along came an Asian red tail of 15lb and then an Amazon red tail of 60lb. Shortly after I saw her really bending into a fish and after a scurry of excitement Darren and Jaimie guided an arapaima of 160lbs into the cage.

Doreen was over the moon as this was exactly what she had hoped for. We saw a video go up of her playing the fish and it was extremely impressive seeing her giving the fish some stick, so impressive that the Big Dawg asked me to try and get hold of a copy, so we could put it on our facebook page to show people how it’s done, as the amount of times we see people playing them too softly is unfortunately all too often. On a personal note whilst I appreciate how well and skilfully she played the fish, I was more impressed with the fact that as I walked past 2 hours later she was sitting there grinning away, celebrating the capture with a nice cold tin of Singha beer in one hand and a fag in the other, top angling!! Oh yeah and she caught another Asian red tail at the end too!



Darren Hunt arrived at the complex 3 days before he could actually start on the main lake, this really surprised me as I knew he would struggle not being able to wet a line and just walk round talking to people, especially with no Lisa to keep him company, it turned out Lisa was at home 7 months pregnant and had sent her son (Mason) as a photographer and travelling companion.

After an afternoons walking about Stuart said that Darren should have a go on the top lake (probably knowing that he would go round the twist) and so it was that the second morning as I walked past the top lake, there he was with an arawana in his hands, at 7.10am, I had to laugh he’s so keen to catch fish.  After a few more negotiations Darren managed to get fishing a day early and set up in sala 2 and the day started very quietly for him and around 5pm I saw the Mekong float rod go flying out and 20 minutes later he had hooked and landed a 160lb Mekong. Then things all went a little silly for him as he caught two 40lb Amazon red tail catfish and a sweet little 50lb arapaima and to say he was buzzing was an understatement! The next day was more of a normal affair as the fish came steadily for him through the day and by the time dinner was served three Siamese carp to 70lb, three Amazon red tails to 55lb and two Asians biggest 18lb had all made it into his photo collection.

Full of beans and spurned on by great start Darren was back in the swim and raring to go the next morning, baiting up early and ready for the 7 O’clock start, but the fish had other ideas and he had to wait until 7pm before a 60lb Amazon red tail came along and was shortly followed by a couple of Asian red tails one of which was a new P.B of 30lbs. With the spots carefully selected, the baiting continued and then the Siamese started to come along when three turned up biggest one 90lbs, followed by a couple more Amazon redtails and then at 5.30pm, he hooked something pretty special and I heard him say: “I’ve not seen it yet but I think it’s a big Siamese”, well it was a big fish, a very big fish, in fact it was one of the real biggies in the shape of a 520lb arapaima! Darren was blown away and I mean blown away, he went for a walk round the lake to just let it sink in. Out of all the fish in the lake, never did he think, one of those bad boys would come along that’s for sure!

During his first few days Darren had been popping a bit of bait in on a couple of spots, that he had found at the start of the trip hoping to attract the odd Siamese or two. After catching his big Arapaima his attentions definitely changed and it was all systems carp style! The Siamese obviously decided to play along as he then landed an 80lb’er then an 85lb’er, followed by a 90lb’er before dropping down to a 30lb’er. Things were obviously going well for Daz and the more he caught, the harder he tried, he was baiting up spots for two days, then fishing them on the third and catching off them too. Rotating the spots, reeling in, baiting up pushing harder all the time, it was a fine display of angling that’s for sure! The effort was rewarded again as the next day’s captures were two Siamese biggest 85lb, a P.B equalling 80lb Amazon red tail and a Chao Phraya of 80lbs now that really made his day.

Another big surprise was just around the corner when a huge carp rolled into the net the next day and after getting the scales out we weighed the carp at 136lbs, so another P.B for him and as you can imagine he was buzzing! Also that day he landed three more Siamese carp biggest 70lb and then he got the float road and went for a Mekong, which he got, weighing in at 170lb’s and he launched into it and managed to land the monster in 15 minutes much to (student guide) Jaimie’s amazement.

The carp seemed to move the next day as his spots out in the lake went quiet but then the Amazon red tails seemed to turn up in numbers, where he landed 4 to 45lb on his “secret” luncheon meat and salami rigs, which were to prove very handy the day after as the carp remained quiet, but another clonking Amazon of 85lb broke his PB again and he was up in the clouds once more! A couple more Amazon red tails around the 40lb mark and a 30lB Asian finished off the captures for the day and a Mekong catfish which screamed up the lake, finished off the losses for the day. Another lost Mekong the next morning up the “anti” even more, but fortunately the smile was put back on his face an hour later when he was seen holding up a 70lb Siamese carp, then another P.B Asian red tail of 35lbs, followed by an Amazon red tail of 45 and a 50lb arapaima!

And so it came Darren was on his last day, he had had a great trip, he had 4 new personal bests, he had caught everyday (which was one of his goals) and the only thing that remained was to catch his 50th fish of the trip. His last days fishing saw an instant revenge on the Mekong catfish when he landed a 100lb specimen and this fish unbeknownst to me at the time was actually his 50th and it was smiles all round as he finished off with a couple of red tails and a siamese of 65lb.



Jimmy Griffin came along with a good few of his mates, one of which was Andrew Lythgoe and one thing they both had in common was the desire for a 100lb+ Siamese. Jimmy had started in E3 and opened his account with a small Siamese of 25lb and the next day a black pacu around the 30lb mark and quite simply he had itchy feet and wanted to move, as he knew the lake was capable of a lot more than that! So come day three it was sala 3 for him and almost straight away there it was a great big fat Siamese carp of 105lb and he was grinning from ear to ear! So was his Mrs who had by now popped a nice little Julians out of the top lake. Andy on the other hand came to the resort pretty relaxed after a couple of days with his lady in Bangkok and he slipped round to sala 10 and literally caught a 115lb Siamese monster straight away, whilst Jimmy then got another one at 102lb the day after he caught his first one, and what with a 148lb and Jo green with a 100lb exactly in the same couple of days, it was all going a little silly on the big carp front!
Andrew plodded on and although the fish weren’t exactly giving themselves away he went on to get a decent sized Asian red tail and a simply stunning Julians somewhere close to 40lb and a few more siamese carp to 85lb and then he had a couple of quiet days, until an arapaima of 70lbs let its guard down just before the 8pm finish, which was a nice fish to catch on his birthday.

With the fishing part of his Thailand holiday coming to an end, Andrew took Sharon up the top lake and was impressed that she set the rod, tied the rigs up etc.  all by herself and then went and caught a couple of Julians and an Amazon red tail, all by herself! This the day before going to Ao Nang for a day or two’s holiday, before finishing their time in Thailand with a few days in Phuket.
Jimmy continued to get amongst them and early one morning hooked a Mekong which ran straight from sala 3 to basically B3 in one run, but he gave it some teddy and in reasonable time the fish was pulled back in front of him and was netted and despatched back into the lake soon after around the 170lb mark.

The Siamese carp were also still falling to his rods and an Asian red of 35lb also made an appearance after a spirited fight,  and then he was on a couple of days off, for a bit of a chillout.. Jimmy had another 60lb Siamese the following day then had a break for a day or two, for a spot of sightseeing with Mrs His final couple of days saw jimmy land a few carp to 80lb a 70lb arapaima, a 18lb Nile perch and a small Asian red tail.



Father and son James and John Cutting made a return to visit for a few days fishing and it’s fair to say they looked very dapper in their matching T-shirts, as they slipped round the sala side on the first day of their trip.
On that first day James opened up the scoring when he banked a hard fighting 160lb Mekong from sala 2. John was in sala 1 and had fun with Asian red tails to 35lb and four Amazon red tails the biggest of which was 65lb, whilst James went on to land a 40lb’er.

For the next couple of days John continued to have the Lions share of the fish especially when the following day he went onto land three Amazons to 50lb and one of our baby arapaima’s at 50lb, which he was quite chuffed with. The two of them had a little dabble up the top lake and landed a few including some nice Julians but before they knew it, the trip was coming to an end and on the final day James landed a Siamese 40lb, a Mekong of 110lb and an Asian red tail of 20lb.


Well that’s it for this month as time and space has got the better of us, we’ll see you all next month for another instalment of Gillhams magic!

For those of you planning a return or first trip, please email Stuart or phone +66 (0) 861644554, and please remember we are +6 hours GMT.

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).