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Fishing Khaolak News 2016–2017

Thailand Fresh and Saltwater Fishing Report


Hello and welcome to our latest annual newsletter for the 2016-2017 season. First of
all is the news that 2 of Thailand's well established fisheries have actually moved
location! The legendary Bungsam Lan (Bungsamran) lake in Bangkok has moved
location, just East of Bangkok and Phuket Fishing Park has moved a few km North
West in Phuket. Bungsam Lan was particularly a massive job moving the thousands
of massive fish several at a time to their new home. This process took several
months to complete, but the new Bungsam Lan is open again and operating as
usual. The new lake looks and feels very similar to the old lake and the catch rate is
still very high but with a greater number of different species being caught. Rohu,
Giant Siamese Carp, Giant Gourami, Pacu and Amazon Redtail Catfish are now all
commonly being caught along with the high catch rate of Giant Mekong Catfish and
Striped Catfish.

Phuket Fishing Park has only just completed its move but is open for business as usual.
The new location is in a very nice countryside location with very nice new
facilities and is a great improvement on the last location, which due to the landowner
increasing the rent to an unaccountably high level had become very rundown. Both our
webpages for the new locations will be being updated as soon as possible.

Phuket Chalong Fishing Park 2 has also been improved with a new stocking of Giant
Siamese Carp, Redtail Catfish and Mekong catfish up to 20kg size making this small
lake a great option for families with children to enjoy. There is even a new swimming
pool to cool off in and relax. The on-site restaurant serves both Thai and Western
food at very reasonable prices.

OK, so on to some of the news about the actual fishing we have been doing.
Thinking back over the season, 3 incredible fish come to mind when I consider
the best fish of the season. Long term regular, Andy Cartwright amazingly landed
two of the three fish starting with the biggest Julienís Golden Price Carp at Krabi
in November 2016. It was weighed at 60lbs exactly caught on a bait intended for
predators fished close to the hyacinths in front of the restaurant. Andy fought the
fish harder than he would have done as he was expecting a Redtail Catfish, so was
ecstatic to see the massive Julienís surface near the net. This is a lake record at
one of the premier lakes for massive fish in Thailand and to my knowledge the biggest
from any of the commercial fisheries in Thailand that was actually weighed.

Andyís second contender for the fish of the season was this completely unexpected
Giant Mekong Catfish. Although we were using a standard Mekong setup, we were
actually fishing for Cheow Phraya Catfish (Andy's favourite species) when the
monster struck. Fishing at IT Monster Lake, at first we thought it was an incredibly
large Cheow Phraya as until that point we didn't know the lake held any Mekong.
As the fight wore on, Andy conceded that no fish had ever beat him up as much as
this one and considering the number of +300lbs fish Andy has landed, that means a lot!
The fish had not shown itself at this point so we still assumed a massive Cheow Phraya.
The fish was staying deep which is a little unusual so I asked the Thai manager if
there were any Mekong in the lake? ďYes, but only 2, very big, nobody catch.Ē
Andy had already set his Mekong PB in November in Krabi at 200lbs here and has not
the greatest appreciation of this species. The fish soon surfaced to take a breath and
indeed turned out to be a Mekong. At this point we knew it was big, but not how big.
Andy increased drag to full skull dragging tension and bent the rod to itís maximum.
Eventually the fish was netted in record time, Andy amazingly landing the beast in less
than a 1 hour scrap!
In my opinion this is one of, if not the biggest Giant Mekong Catfish ever landed on rod
and line. An incredible achievement when you consider the number of huge Mekong landed in
Thailand each year and this one has grown to this size without ever being landed before.
Take a look at the incredible specimen here.

The 3rd contender for the fish of the season is this monster Giant Snakehead landed
by Josh Brunzel of Australian big game charter company On Strike Charters.
Josh already has a very impressive catch record of Giant Snakehead, so to smash his
PB is a great result.
All three contenders are exceptional fish. Normally I would say that the Snakehead was
the winner because they are my favourite species and it was a wild fish, however
The Julienís and the Mekong are so impressive I can't decide, so I have declared a 3 way draw!

We have had an exceptional season for Giant Snakehead this year on our Jungle
Fishing trip to Cheow Lan Lake. Often the action at this wonderful wild location has
been more intense than the action at many of the commercial fisheries here in
Thailand that can slow down if pressured too much.
Max from Australia making his 3rd and most successful trip so far after a slow
first day really got stuck into several great fish. Take a look here, here, here, here, here.
Richard another Snakehead fanatic also from Australia topped up his photo album
with pictures of these impressive Snakeheads here, here and here: Richard actually
managed a Cobra Snakehead hatrick, catching 3 small ones in the space of 20 minutes!
I have never heard of a wild fish hatrick of this species ever before.
Here are some more great pictures of Giant Snakeheads landed during the season
at Cheow Lan by our clients. Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here here,.

Jungle fishing at Cheow Lan is not just about lure fishing for Giant Snakeheads and
Jungle Perch, the streams and rivers that flow into the lake offer the best wild
freshwater fly fishing in Thailand
and are teaming with Mahseer! This is the most
adventurous fishing trip in Thailand and is an amazing experience for fly fishermen.
Our hugely successful fly fishing methods we use here, very regularly account for
30+ Mahseer per person per day! The fish are not huge, but their high speed hard fights
provide pulsating action on a 5# fly outfit. This is easy fly fishing and you don't
have to be a great caster to achieve good results. A short roll cast is often all
that is required to get your fly to the fish and a resulting strike.

I actually managed to take what I think is one of the best photographs I have ever taken
on this trip. It captured the exact moment David from Scotland struck into a Mahseer in
a very beautiful pool in one of the rivers. Take a look here. I love this picture! Take a look
at some of the beautiful Mahseer here, here, here. here, here, here. here, here, here.

David had actually booked a Budget Saltwater Fly Fishing trip, but due to sea
conditions at the time we could go out so opted for the Jungle fly trip. David
also managed a small Giant Snakehead on fly which are notoriously difficult to
catch on fly. David landed around 50 Mahseer on his 2 day trip and was actually
pleased we had to change the trip to the jungle!

Here is a quick round up of what's been happening at some of the commercial
fisheries here in Thailand.

Exotic Fishing Thailand have now completed the building of several luxury lakeside
bungalows for anglers fishing multiple days at the venue. With a swimming pool soon
to be added, this premier fishery is constantly improving the facilities. New salas
(private fishing huts) have been built in all the swims with fans provided for extra
comfort. The catch rate for large predators, especially very large Arapaima, Alligator
and Cheow Phraya Catfish make this lake a must for predatory specimen hunters.
Check out some great photos of massive fish: here, here, here, here, here, here, here,
here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Greenfields in Hua Hin have now made a very large stocking of Giant Siamese Carp
and now instead of each angler fishing with 2 predator rods, one predator rod and
1 carp rod are provided. The catch rate for carp is usually very high, often with
20 carp per day more usual than not. The resort bungalows have all been upgraded and
a new restaurant and toilets have been built overlooking the lake. Here is a photo of
Patrik with one of very many Siamese Carp caught on medium strength float tackle.
Check out some great fish photos: here, here, here, here, here.

Another fishery with a high catch rate for Siamese and Cutla Carp is Jurassic. This
lake and resort has matured into a fantastic fishery with a great catch rate for carp
and predators like Arapaima, Cheow Phraya Catfish and Amazon Redtail Catfish. This
lake holds some of the biggest carp in the country and our average catch rate per day
last season was well over 10 fish per angler per day. We are very impressed with the
improvements at this fishery, the swims are very private and the gardens around the
resort are incredible.
Here are a few photos of awesome fish from Jurassic.
pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic.

We have actually spent quite a bit of time this season at IT Monster Lake. This is one
of the highest catch rate lakes for big predators like Amazon Redtail Catfish,
but has become a cult destination for anglers targeting very big Cheow Phraya Catfish.
These fish are what the connoisseurs of the Thai commercial fishery scene like to
target most, along with very big Siamese Carp. IT Monster Lake receives very little
angling pressure compared with most other commercials, so it usually maintains a high
catch rate. This lake is expensive to fish if targeting predators all day, but we allow
a split day of non predator fishing until 2pm and then predator fishing 2pm - 8pm.
Check the webpage here for the prices which vary depending on the number of anglers
in your party. Here are some photos of some of the specimen sized fish this season
from the venue.

Pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic,

Krabi has of course maintained its place among the elite fisheries in Thailand. For
anglers targeting massive Carp, this venue has produced by far the most number of
carp above the magical 100lbs barrier. Here, here, here are pictures of Patrik from
Sweden with the 3 he landed over the magical 100lbs.
Here are some photos of some of the specimen sized fish we have caught
this season from the venue.
pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic, pic.

Palm Tree is now the place to go if huge Mekong Catfish are your target, with several
specimens well over the incredible 300lbs barrier being regularly caught after being
stocked last year. Here is a photo of Martin from Denmark with the second biggest in the lake.
More Pics coming soon.

For anglers visiting Bangkok looking for lots of action on light lure tackle,
Boon Mar is still producing incredible catches of Barramundi.
It's also great fun to target them on fly equipment.
Check out the fly-fishing webpage here for all the info.
Here are some great pictures of Barramundi caught from Boon Mar Ponds.
pic, pic, pic, pic,

Saltwater Fishing News:

The sea conditions outside Khao Lak for an unusual amount of the season were
quite bad this last season and I apologise to the many anglers who had to have
their local boat trips cancelled. Hopefully this season will be a lot calmer and
we can continue with our great results on this trip. Thankfully the conditions for
the big game fishing trips from Phuket were better and it's good to see the numbers
of Sailfish being caught by our boats increasing and getting back to what they were.
The possible reason for this is that the Thai Fisheries Department have started
clamping down on illegal commercial fishing boats and have confiscated over 60 illegal
trawlers. The number of Sailfish like this one here have certainly increased around
the island of Koh Rok, which several years ago was rated as the Sailfish Capital of Asia.
New saltwater news and pics coming soon, here is a few to be going on with:
pic, pic, pic, pic, pic.

We look forward to seeing you, so until then,

Tight Lines!

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