By Jonas Nyqvist & Neil Robinson.
First of all another big apology again for the news being so late!!!
Swedish angler, Henrik Mattson fished his first day at Bungsam Lan this month.
The morning fishing at Bungsam Lan can often be fairly slow compared to the
afternoon action, but this was not one of those days and we enjoyed steady action
throughout the morning which continued right through the day. No really big fish
were caught, (unless you consider 20 kilos big!) but we had a nice steady day, not
having to wait very long in-between runs.
Next it was up to Cheow Lan Lake with Daniel and Mikki from Sweden.
It was really hot, and we found the Giant Snakeheads in a really lazy mood.
The usual habitat of Giant Snakeheads is close to snags, weed or in the margins of the
lake, but on this trip there were masses of them out in open water.
All the fish showing were a very good size in the 4-6 kilo range.
Initially this may seem like a good thing being able to actually see the fish, but no
matter what we threw at them they didnít want to know.
The fish were coming up all over the lake, but they were just taking in air, not
We did eventually get this nice one, along with a few smaller fish, but we had to
really work hard to get strikes.
I much prefer it when the fish are difficult to spot, like when they are hiding in an
ambush position, as they are much more likely to hit the lures, due also to the fact that
Giant Snakeheads are very territorial.
After this trip, Mikki joined me for two days at Bungsam Lan where the fishing was
still consistently good. Mikki is a big powerful guy but when the Giant Mekong
Catfish are feeding as they were, they will eventually exhaust anybody!
Again the morning action was really good, but the afternoons have to be witnessed to
be believed. Every cast produced a strike from Giant Mekong Catfish, and more than
once Mikki had to take a break to regain his strength!
17-23 kilo was the average size of the Giant Mekong, along with many Striped
Catfish average size 9-11 kilo most of which were landed before noon.
Two days later I was back on the same Bungalow with two more Swedish anglers,
Roger and Sebastian. After the trip with Mikki, I thought the fishing may have slowed
down a little, but it was the opposite!
The fishing was intense, the guys fished really hard, and even I was beginning to feel
tired just watching them! We fished until around 8.00pm, and the estimated catch was
between 50-55 fish, the average size similar to the catch Mikki had.
Per and Marcus, father and son anglers from Sweden joined me for a day at Bungsam
Lan after being recommended to fish with Fishing Khao Lak by their next door
neighbors in Sweden. I had fished with their neighbors the previous year and we had
had a great day, including this very nice Giant Mekong Catfish landed by an eleven
The fishing continued to be very, very good again with almost constant action, and
both father and son landed a good number of both Giant Mekong and Striped Catfish.
It just goes to show you, you donít have to be really big and strong to land these fish
if the correct fighting technique is used, which at Fishing Khao Lak we pride
ourselves on giving the best guidance possible when it comes to landing these
incredibly powerful fish.
Next a flying visit to Cheow Lan with Eric and Caroline from the UK found the Giant
Snakeheads in much the same mood as the last trip. Most of them once again seemed
to be out in open water and uninterested in any of the lures we threw at them.
We did however manage to pick up a few small Giant Snakeheads, along with a
couple of Hampala Barb.
During my last two trips to Cheow Lan I have never seen as many big Snakeheads,
and it has been very frustrating the fact that they just werenít interested, but thatís
fishing for you!
Meik our Danish guide had a trip with a Swedish angler to Pa Lai Lake in Phuket, and
enjoyed some great fishing. Between them they caught almost every species of fish in
the lake including a 2 kilo Giant Snakehead, and the biggest Striped Catfish I have
ever heard of being landed, a whopping 25 kilo!
My next trip to Bungsam Lan with four young Swedish anglers Eric, Bjorn, Johan and
Jesper was nothing short of spectacular! We had to postpone the original planned
fishing day due to one of the guys being ill, but within minutes of our fist cast, the
fishing was non stop all day. This day we fished off the big bungalow as there were
four anglers. Jesper got us under way with a small Giant Mekong Catfish of around 16
kilos. The guys were taking turns on the fish rather than having a rod each, and when
it came around to Ericís first fish of the day, he was in for a baptism of fire. The float
went under and a slow but steady run started to take line from the bait-runner. Eric set
the hook and then clung onto the rod as the fish went on its first long run of over sixty
seconds without stopping, pulling against a powerful rod and large bait-runner with
the drag set to around 12 kilos! By this time the huge fish was well out into the middle
of the lake and thankfully seemed happy to stay out there. As soon as Eric got any line
back on the fish, it just stripped it straight back off, this going on for over 40 minutes.
This was Ericís first Mekong, but you wouldnít think so looking at the skill he
displayed during the fight. After 50 minutes, Eric was starting to get really tired, but
stuck at it until we eventually slipped the net under this incredible Giant Mekong
Catfish. Eric was so tired he had to take a rest for 30 minutes in one of the bedrooms!
The catch rate, mainly Giant Mekong Catfish increased, and it became diffiult to keep
more than two rods in the water at the same time! Around 45 minutes after we had
released the massive Mekong, Bjorn was into another really big fish, and after another
energy sapping scrap, three of us struggled to lift this fantastic specimen onto the
bungalow. What made this capture even more amazing was that just two days before,
Bjorn was laid up in hospital suffering from dehydration! Bjorn too had to take a rest,
but full credit to him for actually being capable of landing the fish.
The pace of the strikes continued, which by late afternoon started to take its toll on all
four guys, not to mention myself! We decided to take it easy, but by this time they
had already taken around 50 fish between them!
My next trip to Bungsam Lan was with another four young Swedish anglers, Vilgot
August, Nicolas and Fredrik who are all aged between 11 and 13 years old!
I had recently fished with their Uncle Stephan for two days just before Christmas last
year and we had two great days fishing, so he recommended the trip for his nephews.
I thought I was maybe going to have an easy day and the lads would soon get tired,
but I was wrongÖ
Once again fishing from the large bungalow the action was instant, and didnít stop all
day. It was almost impossible to keep even two rods in the water the runs were
coming so thick and fast. I was amazed by the four young anglers who after only a
few fish each with assistance, they were totally capable of hooking up and playing the
fish on their own.
None of the boys got tired, and it was Mum who had to call time on the fishing, the
lads wanted to stay all night!
The next day I returned to Bungsam Lan to fish with Swedish Angler Michael and
also my two friends from the UK, Pete and Dobbs.
Pete and Dobbs didnít arrive until the early afternoon, and in the meantime Michael
had some fantastic action with the Cats. The fishing during this period of March was
one of the best I have ever known, and Michael continued this trend with a massive
amount of fish. We broke the 100 kilo barrier in less than two hours, and right through
the afternoon the action was incredible. Pet and Dobbs arrived and had some nice fish,
including this nice Pacu landed by Pete, and this nice Giant Mekong Catfish taken by
Dobbs. The early evening brought two 20 kilo+ Mekong in two casts for Michael,
immediately followed by this lovely Giant Mekong Catfish, which was the best fish of
Saltwater report to follow shortly...
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