By Neil Robinson.
Another busy month began with a trip to Bungsam Lan for a 2 day session
with Jim Hayes from England. Jim continued his run of good luck
(he caught a 220lb Black Marlin last month on "Gecko") on his first day,
when he landed a 60 Kg Giant Mekong Catfish.
This was part of backbreaking haul of around 20–25 fish (average weight 18 Kg)
that were released on the first day. The next day continued in the same way, and
about the same number of fish was released, but unfortunately his second big Mekong
of around 50 Kg was lost at the net after a marathon battle during darkness.
The strange thing about this session was that in two days,
we didn´t catch one single Striped Catfish, very unusual....!
Four Finnish anglers, Nick, Nicko, Harry and Harry experienced the awesome power
of the Giant Mekong on their first ever visit to Bungsam Lan.
This was quite a slow session by the lakes usual standard,
and we sometimes had to wait over an hour between runs! Even so,
everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and caught more fish in one day
than any of them had done before, and were totally amazed by the power of the fish.
Par Lai Lake continued to produce good results when Swedish angler Kjell
fished there for the first time. He landed a good number of Pacu up to 3 ½ Kilo,
Tilapia and a very nice Giant Gourami, which pulled the scales down to 7 Kg.
Mark from England also enjoyed a good session at the "Phuket Hotspot"
where he landed many Pacu, the best weighing 6 ½ Kg.
He also lost a much bigger Pacu right at the net after a great fight.
With a few glimpse of the fish, it was estimated to be around 8 Kg!
A few big Tilapia and a 2 Kg Striped Snakehead was also landed
as well as a 14 Kg Striped Catfish, before Mark decided
to try a cocktail sausage as bait.
The Pacu seemed to like this!
One nearly dragged the rod out of his hands with an almost instantaneous take!
For a short "bait test session" at Par Lai Lake, we raided the refrigerator of the Marlin Bar
for a new kind of bait that really came up trumps with the Pacu´s.
In 3 casts we landed 3 Pacu, the best being a 6 ½ Kg specimen.
The water level at Cheow Lan Lake is the highest we have ever seen at the moment.
The "rainy season" is just about coming to an end now, but on our recent trip
to the lake with German anglers Peter, and his wife Karen
we suffered almost constant rain for two days.
The dreadful conditions didn´t deter us, but we had to work very hard
for the 6 Giant Snakeheads and 3 Hampala Barb that we released.
We had many other strikes that didn´t "hook–up" and Peter lost a big fish also.
Hopefully the water authorities in charge of the dam will start to release more water soon,
because at the moment many of the best "Hot Spots" are totally submerged.
At the beginning of the month, unusually bad weather for the time of year,
and cross currents combined with almost no Tuna in the area,
made the saltwater fishing very hard going, and it wasn´t until the 11th
when American angler Bob released a 35 Kg Sailfish caught at drop–off
west of Phuket, that fishing started to improve.
The good news came later in the month when the Tuna re–appeared
in large numbers, bringing quite a lot of Marlin with them.
Danish anglers Bjorn, Johnny and Niels fished the Similan Islands for 4 days.
Trolling was quite good with 8 Wahoo and many Tuna caught.
3 Marlin was hitting the lures at Thon Mai seamount and also in deep water (200 m)
between Thon Mai and Sam Jod. Two of the Marlin were over 200lbs
and one was estimated over 300lbs.
The bottom fishing was also good with catches of Giant Trevally,
Rainbow Runner, Grouper, Snapper and a 43lb Cobia.
American angler Judd Briggs caught the first double of Wahoo
and Dorado at the same time, we have ever seen
in over 20 years of fishing the Andaman Sea.
We assume that the Dorado may have hit the Tuna "daisy chain" first,
and then the Wahoo attacked the Dorado, missed it,
and got snagged in the tail by another hook on the "daisy chain".
What an incredible battle though!
Christer, Hakon and Magnus from Sweden fished the Similan area for 5 days.
At the drop–off between Phuket and Similan Islands we spotted many sea birds
over a school of Yellowfin Tuna. We managed to catch 12 of them,
including 2 nice ones. Just outside the "Tuna school"
we hooked a 200lb Black Marlin on an "Aussie Nightmare" lure.
The fish put up a brave 30 minute fight against the 50lb stand–up equipment,
but the ex–boxer holding the rod was a match for the fish.
He was very happy to see his first ever Marlin released unharmed.
Altogether the guys caught 1 Black Marlin, 5 Wahoo, a very nice 20lb female Dorado,
23 Yellowfin Tuna (5–22lbs), many Skipjack Tuna, 2 Giant Trevally,
1 big Mangrove Jack and a mix of Snappers, Groupers and Coral Trout
whilst bottom fishing at night.
Topcats´ Fishing Resort Koh Samui have now got there new website online
at www.fishinginthailand.com, where you can see some of the many beautiful
and exotic species that are being stocked in the two lakes there,
and also detailed information about all facilities and accommodation.
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