By Neil Robinson.
Cheow Lan Lake kicked off the action in April for me,
first with a trip with Italian angler Giordano.
We fished our new hotspot at Cheow Lan, which once again
continued to produce a good fish or two.
A nice 4 Kg Giant Snakehead for myself, and I also lost a fish a lot bigger
that I hooked up close to the boat, but I couldn’t stop from burying itself
in a large weed bed and spitting out the hook.
I am sure that this was the biggest Giant Snakehead I have ever hooked,
and was extremely disappointed to say the least, to lose the fish!
Giordano also took a 2 Kg fish from another area
that is now also starting to produce some good fish.
We released many smaller fish, most from the new hotspot.
Our next fishing trip to Cheow Lan was with the Italian TV program, Big Fish Adventures.
I missed the first day of filming as I was fishing a different area
of Cheow Lan with Giordano, so Jonas stepped in for me.
The first day Andrea lost 3 – 4 very good fish from the new hotspot,
but unfortunately didn’t manage to land any.
The next day I arrived around midday and I suggested we try the area
that had produced Giordano’s 2 Kg fish.
They didn’t seem too keen at first, but almost as soon as we got there
we spotted a shoal of "fingerling" Giant Snakehead fry.
Andrea on his second cast, just to the side of the shoal
produced his best fish of the trip, a beauty that weighed just less than 4 Kg!
The locals predicted poor fishing because the water temperature was so high,
but even so, we caught many fish of 1 – 2 Kg size range
from our most productive fishing areas.
During lunch at one of the bungalow complexes, Jonas had a chat
(Jonas is a fluent Thai speaker) with one of the local fisherman
who we hadn’t met before. He suggested an area that we
had never fished, that was a good distance from where we where,
and he agreed to take us there the following day.
We arrived in the afternoon after a morning spent filming different areas of Cheow Lan.
This new to us area of Cheow Lan operates a very strict no netting policy,
and this policy really seems to pay off for the sportfishing.
We enjoyed a good number of strikes, some off quite good size fish,
and released a few fish in the 1 – 2 Kg bracket. Then the weather turned really bad
with heavy rain for the rest of the afternoon and early evening.
We continued to fish however, and released some more average size fish,
plus lots more strikes. Andrea also took a good size Striped Snakehead
during this rainy period. This area has lots of potential,
and we are going to be doing a test session for a few days up there,
so we can familiarize ourselves with the best places to fish.
The Big Fish Adventures Team have fished all over the world in some amazing places,
but in their opinion, nowhere comes close to the natural beauty
and diversity of wildlife as they witnessed at Cheow Lan!
After missing out on my big moment in front of the TV cameras
at Cheow Lan (Jonas being "the star of the show" due to my late arrival),
I finally had my chance in the "lime light" when I attended the opening party
for Top Cats Fishing Resort in Koh Samui.
I was filmed for local TV catching a couple of perfectly conditioned Giant Mekong Catfish,
which thankfully behaved themselves in front of the cameras.
Jonas and I are now just waiting for the big movie offers to start rolling in,
to keep us busy during the low season! I have had to turn down
the new James bond film already though,
due to a booking at Bungsam Lan!
Top Cats Fishing Resort in Koh Samui officially opened on the 30th April,
and after my first visit there, I must say I am very impressed.
Both lakes are "teeming" with fish of many different species,
which are all in perfect condition as most have never seen a hook before.
The equipment (our own Typhoon rods) and facilities are second to none,
and I’m sure its going to be a big success for Mike and his team,
and anyone who fishes there on the beautiful island of Koh Samui.
Jim Hayes from the UK returned to Bungsam Lan,
this time bringing along with him his young son Aden.
He also brought along with him his unbelievable run of good luck...
His first day of his 2 day session produced this tremendous Giant Mekong Catfish
weighing an estimated 73+ Kg, on his first cast of the day!!!
Aden quickly mastered the technique required to land powerful fish,
and caught a load of Mekong Catfish weighing up to 22 Kg.
No doubt that he will beat his father’s record sometime in the future.
The next day was quiet, due to a change in bait and technique
aimed at targeting "only the very big fish".
Jim was quite happy about this though,
as he was a bit worn out from fishing the day before!
Aden once again demonstrated his skills
landing every single fish, but one, taking his bait.
Bill from the USA had a few days at Bungsam Lan
which also produced some great fish...
His first day was the usual, "catch as many fish as possible, before we go for a big one"
kind of day, that produced many fish, but no really big ones (nothing above 25 Kg).
The next day, on the second cast we caught our first "biggie"
that put up one of the hardest and most nail-biting fights I have ever witnessed.
For a full report about Bill’s battle with a large Giant Mekong Catfish
please check out the full report here ––>
Cenk from Austria, also a returning customer had a brief
but rewarding session at Bungsam Lan.
Fishing a short session we had almost constant action from the first cast.
A violent thunder storm at midday spoiled the fishing for an hour and a half,
but a steady stream of fish continued once they started to feed again.
Nothing really big, but a good number of Giant Mekong Catfish only,
weighing up to around 23 Kg.
Par Lai Lake our Phuket based freshwater venue continues to produce good results.
When UK anglers Dave Irving and his friend Kerry paid a visit there,
they had many nice Pacu, a couple of which were over 5 Kg,
some small Striped Catfish (of which their now seems to be quite a lot)
and also two quite big ones of 10 and 13 Kg.
As usual at Par Lai Lake, the fishing attracts quit a bit of attention from the locals,
and Michael kindly handed over his rod with a hooked fish
to a young lady who had watched the action for some time.
She did a splendid job and landed this nice Pacu.
April Fools Day turned out to be a very lucky day for American angler Troy Kelly
when he chartered "Gecko" for a Marlin fishing trip to the Similan Islands.
The water temperature was up to almost 31 Celsius,
and Jonas was not too confident the Marlin would still
be interested in our lures considering the water temperature.
However, early morning at the drop–off south of Similan,
an estimated 120lb Black Marlin took one of our ten inch lures.
The fish fought very hard, and made several spectacular jumps close to the boat
before we finally managed to get the fish to boat side and release the fish unharmed.
It was Troy’s first ever Black Marlin, so as you may expect,
he was very happy to say the least!
The trip also produced King Mackerel and Barracuda at Sam Jot
on the down–rigger, followed by a nice Wahoo and several Tuna at an F.A.D.
(Fish Aggregating Device) close to the drop–off.
The latter part of April has been slow fishing with water temperatures
as high as 30 – 32 Celsius, knocking the fish off the feed, although most days
we have still managed to catch a few Skipjack and Longtail Tuna.
We have seen Sailfish jumping at Racha Island, but unfortunately
they have not been hitting the lures much.
A 5 meter long Whale Shark has turned up in the waters around Surin Island,
but being a plankton feeder, we can’t get the huge fish to take anything,
probably a good job as it would never fit on "Reel Thing"!
The South West monsoon started on 26th April, which is the earliest time
Jonas has known in his 20+ years of fishing the Andaman Sea.
Hopefully this will mean that we get an early finish to the SW monsoon,
but during this monsoon the Sailfish action can be really good
at Racha Yai and Koh Rok, often with multiple releases in one day
during the full, and new moon period.
"Reel Thing" our new speed boat, is now back up and running
after having had a new gear box fitted.
Bent Lindahl from Denmark had a daytrip on "Reel Thing"
and fished the area west of the Similan Islands.
After a few hours Bent decided to forget all about catching more Skipjack Tuna,
and try for a Marlin. Within minutes of arriving at the many F.A.D.’s
near the drop–off, we say a very small Black Marlin jumping
400 meters behind the boat, where the lures had just passed.
Going over and over the area again, could not trigger the baby Marlin,
but did produce a very nice Rainbow Runner.
No matter what size a Rainbow Runner has, it will for most anglers
come as a bit of a anti–climax when hoping for a Marlin.
Maybe that was the reason why this Rainbow Runner managed
to escape the gaff, and swim back to freedom!
After leaving the drop–off area and heading for the Similan Islands
the Skipjack Tuna was once again targeted with a single line.
As if trying to take the piss on us, another billfish came around
and hit the Tuna line, taking the hook clean off, for then to fall back
and slam the lure in the long corner, before disappearing for good!
Getting closer to the Similan Islands, Bent decided to stop the fishing
so we could run straight between the islands
and admire the shallow and crystal clear water.
Just off the main beach of Island No. 4 we spotted a beautiful
1 meter long Blacktip Reef Shark cruising near the surface.
We returned after a beautiful sunny day to Thap Lamu near Khao Lak,
only to discover that it had been, and still was raining heavily on mainland
where after we quickly agreed that it is much better to go fishing
then to stay ashore all day.
The prices for some of the freshwater trips have unfortunately had to be raised
due to increased expenses and fuel costs.
At Cheow Lan Lake, the main reason for this small increase is
that we are now going to be fishing a completely different area than before
that is a lot longer distance, but the fishing is also a lot better;
see the above report from Cheow Lan Lake.
The price for single anglers at Bungsam Lan is now 6.000 THB per day,
the price for more than one angler is unchanged.
The fishing session at Bungsam Lan is now from 9.00 AM until 6.00 PM.
A further charge of 800 THB per person will be charged for people
wanting to fish until midnight.
The 100 kg guarantee still stands, but anglers that have not caught
100 kg before 6.00 PM can continue fishing free of charge
until they have caught more than 100 kg of fish.
Please note that on most occasions we catch 100 kg of fish well before 6.00 PM!
Customers that have made bookings before the 1st of May 2006
pay the old prices for all our trips.
Even with these slight price increases, Fishing Khao Lak
still offers the very best value at Bungsam Lan!
Website changes this month include many new photographs in the Gallery,
and a slight change to the buttons (tabs) on the left hand side of the web pages.
Also a new subscription page where you can specify which news categories
that you wish to receive has been added. These categories include:
News, Trip Reports and Destination Updates.
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