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Fishing Khaolak News 2009

Here is a roundup of some of the fishing trips and fishing news for 2009.

Gecko our big game fishing boat has recently had a major refit, and also a name change!
She is now called 4Reel and will be operational from early January 2010. A full list of the
refit will be available once she is back in the water.

We have added another great quality fishing lake to our list; Grouper Lake.
There is no webpage for the lake yet, but so far results have been really good using lure,
fly and bait fishing methods catching lots of fish to 7 kilos. This small lake contains
Tarpon, Barramundi and mainly Groupers. These are very hard fighting fish with lots of
stamina. The lake is just over 1 hour drive from downtown Phuket and is set in a quiet
area with nice views.
The lake has a good cheap restaurant, and clean toilet facilities.
Prices for this trip will be 4,500 THB from Phuket, and 5,000 THB from Khao Lak.

I would also like to introduce a new member of the team, Tim from England.
Tim’s specialty is fly–fishing, but he is just as comfortable with lure and bait fishing.
Tim is one of the friendliest people you could hope to meet, and will make you’re fishing
trip a very pleasant one. He has been fly–fishing around Thailand for over 12 years and is
the only person I know to have caught a Giant Siamese Carp on fly! You can take a look
at Tim holding the Carp here, landed from Sawai Lake, and no, it wasn’t on a bread fly!

My Dutch friend Peter continued his Thailand fishing adventures with several trips to
Boon Mar Ponds just outside Bangkok for what is becoming one of his favorite species,
the Barramundi. Peter can’t seem to get enough of this fantastic venue, and with over 400
fish between 4–10 kilos its not hard to see why! The vast majority have all been taken on
flies that he has tied himself. Here is a pic of one of his big ones.
An from Korea was also blown away by the sport at Boon Mar ponds, again using flies
he had tied himself to good effect to land lots of lovely big Barramundi like this one here.

After another successful trip down to Twin Palm Lagoon two hours outside Bangkok
with Peter, I have decided to add it as a new destination on the website. (You can take a
look at the web page here). We opted to fish for the non–predatory species, our main
target Giant Siamese Carp. Fishing doesn’t always go according to plan and whilst “Carp
fishing” we still managed a few predators like this 8.5 kilo Pacu and also this 10 kilo
Pacu. We did how ever get into some fantastic Giant Siamese Carp, including several
Indian Siamese Carp like these, here, and here. The last cast on one of the days
we fished produced this fish, and the first cast of the next day produced this even bigger
fish! The Rohu were feeding very well also most days, some of the smaller fish were also
becoming a problem we caught so many, however with fish around like this its not all

During our time at Twin Palm Lagoon, I and Peter were trying out a new rig and bait set
up that is a slight variation on a popular method used when fishing in Thailand. We seem
to have almost perfected it, and once we solely concentrated on the rig, our catch rate
greatly improved. So far this rig has produced a staggering 20 different species. Although
initially intended as a non-predatory fish method, it has also proved
successful for several predators including Wallagoo, Featherback, Amazonian and Thai
Redtail Catfish, Alligator Gar, Pacu, Snakehead and Cheow Phrya Catfish.
It works well at several of the best lakes in Thailand including Bungsam Lan, Gillham’s
Fishing Resort Krabi
, Twin Palm Lagoon and Sawai Lake.

Sawai Lake in Phuket has really improved over the last six months and the fish are really
starting to pack weight on. The most noticeable has been the Amazonian Redtail Catfish
and Giant Siamese Carp. I would safely estimate that 80–90% of our clients have caught a
Redtail Catfish and also a Giant Siamese Carp! Most days are producing an average of 7
different species per day. Sawai Lake is currently the lowest priced professionally guided
fishing trip in Thailand, and puts to shame some of the expensive Bangkok fishing lakes
not listed on this website. There has recently been a fresh stocking of Giant Mekong
from 15–45 kilos and several Cheow Phrya Catfish.
It would take me for ever to write the catch report for Sawai Lake covering the last 12
months, so I have added a gallery page here showing a selection of the fish!

Joel from Sweden fished Sawai Lake for 2 days, with a trip to the lake in Krabi in–
between. The first day at Sawai was lots of action with many fish of different species, the
best fish being a Striped Catfish over 10 kilos. The following day we headed to Krabi in
search of some bigger fish, we got off to a slow start, the conditions were very hot and it
took a while for our baited spot to start producing results. We landed a nice Giant
Siamese Carp, using maize and boilie, but the fishing was still slow, so I changed the
Carp rod to the rig that I mentioned above and the runs started to come. The total was 7
Giant Siamese Carp, the biggest ones here and here, and also this large Pacu taken on the
dead–bait rod. The dead–bait rod was quiet most of the day, but we were having problems
with shrimps eating our baits! The next day we returned to Sawai Lake Phuket. Joel
decided that he had caught most of the species that he wanted, but so far no Redtail
Catfish or Arapaima. I knew it would not be too hard to get a Redtail, we had been
having fantastic results with them, and first cast saw Joel bending into this Redtail
after only a few minutes! The rest of the morning the fishing was quite slow, but just after
lunch we decided to have a try for the Arapaima. I took Joel to a quiet spot on the lake
where I had seen an Arapaima rise to take a few times earlier in the day. I pointed to the
spot, and then walked back to my own fishing spot. I had only just got to my rod, and
Joel was already into a good fish. I thought it may have been another Redtail, but the
length of the first run soon proved it to be an Arapaima! Joel had been fishing quite close
to a snag, so he had to walk around the lake to a safe area to fight the fish. Luckily the
fish stayed away from the snag, and after a long fight Joel and I were holding the fish in
the water to recover, and for photographs. Take a look at the fish here.

The fishing in Krabi has now really started to come into its own, the fishery is just
incredible, the quality of the fish is just awesome, I think now it is for sure the best
fishery in Thailand, which I think makes it the best in the world! That does not mean to
say that it is an easy fishery where the fish just hook themselves, its not. However with a
little patience, hard work and accurate casting combined with a little knowledge about the
lake, species and their feeding habits produces results.
Rob from the UK was supposed to be going diving, but the sea conditions were not
suitable, so he took a day fishing with us at Krabi instead. The morning session was very
slow, only 1 run which produced a nice Alligator Gar. Unfortunately after the fish was
unhooked in the landing net, it tore a hole in the net with its razor sharp teeth and made
good its escape. I decided to move swims to a spot across the lake where I had seen some
good fish moving. We had only just got the 2 rods out and sat down when the predator
rod screamed off, Rod setting the hook into a nice Arapaima. The first run was a good
100 meters; I thought it was never going to stop! Eventually after carefully playing the
fish for 20 minutes he slipped into the landing cage. Take a look here.
The next fish was an Alligator Gar taken on the new rig, this one didn’t escape, and you
can take a look at it here.
Another fish to fall to the same rig was an Asian Redtail Catfish here. We rounded the
day off spectacularly with another Arapaima which is pictured here.
Rob returned a week later for a 2 day session hoping for more of the same. I was
surprised on the last session we had not caught any Carp, but we sure made up for it on
the first day. We had steady action all day, with several nice Carp, here, 2 or 3 Sorubim
Catfish, Featherback, Mad Barb and , Wallagoo. Just as it went dark we had a run on the
Carp rod using the new rig. A massively powerful fish was bending the rod double taking
lots of line. Stuart the lake owner was nearby, so came over to watch the action. The fish
surfaced, a massive Giant Siamese Carp. The fish fought and fought, making repeated
strong deep dives, eventually surrendering after about 15–20 minutes. Stuart recognized
the fish as one that his wife had bought him for Christmas the year before! Here is the
fish. The fish was photographed, treated and released, and just as Rob was about to sit
down, the predator rod bite alarm was beeping like crazy! Rob was into another
Arapaima! 20 minutes later the fish was being photographed here.
The next day produced some more nice Carp and Surabims and an Alligator Gar, Rob
also losing another Arapaima that took many meters of line before slipping the hook.
What Rob really wanted to add to his collection of species was an Amazonian Redtail
Catfish. It took until the last cast of the session, but we finally got this fantastic fish
which you take a look at here.

Tight Lines!

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