By Neil Robinson.
With the rainy season now in full swing, fishing has suffered with large seas
affecting the saltwater fishing, and water levels affecting the freshwater fishing
leading to necessary cancellations of some bookings.
However, we have managed to get out once or twice and wet a line...
On a trip up to Cheow Lan Lake with local German Eco–Guide Olaf,
we have discovered a few interesting sights that anglers
fishing at the lake may be interested in.
For a quick stop–off on the journey up to the lake, it's worth a look
at a long narrow cave with a small Buddhist Temple inside.
At the far end of the cave there is a beautiful river absolutely crammed with fish.
There are huge shoals of Schwanenfeld's Barb everywhere, to such an extent
that you could almost walk across the river on their backs!
Throwing fish pellets into the water causes an explosive feeding frenzy,
the like of which I have rarely seen before.
We stayed at different bungalows this time, in a more northern section of the lake.
Close to these bungalows you can take a 1 kilometer trek through the rain forest,
which leads you to another much smaller lake, called "500 Rai Lake"!
Here we saw a pair of White Throated Martins swimming in the water
next to the large bamboo raft that was taking us to see another much larger cave.
After the ten minute raft crossing, it's a small but steep climb up to the cave entrance.
Once inside, the cave opens out into a large cavern,
with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites.
The water level at Cheow Lan Lake was the highest I have ever seen,
with the lake carrying an approximate 2 meters of extra water.
The best fish of the trip went to Jonas when we spotted a shoal Giant Snakehead fry.
We both cast our surface lures between the fry which resulted in a double hook–up
of both parent fish. Unfortunately my fish slipped the hook,
but Jonas managed to net his fish.
At Bungsam Lan, the water levels were also causing problems,
with the central pier partially submerged in places.
The fishing was not affected too much though when Peter Lyon from the UK
had a good session. He managed to land over 22 Striped and Mekong Catfish,
also losing a good number of larger fish.
While we were there, we were disturbed by a Thai angler
who was fishing in the main lake area.
In 2 casts this guy hooked and landed a 95 kilo, and a 75 kilo Mekong Catfish!
Both fish took him under the small bridge into the small area of the lake
that we were fishing in, and he had to pass his rod under the bridge
to continue playing the fish.
Amazingly he managed to land both fish from our bungalow,
and it was a good job the water level was so high, or I don't think
we would have been able to lift the huge fish out of the water!
There is going to be another first class freshwater fishery in Thailand,
when Topcats Fishing Resort opens in February 2006, on Koh Samui.
The resort consists of two lakes. One a highly stocked lake with fish up to 20 kilo,
and the other lake holding less, but much larger fish. The fish to be stocked in this lake
include very large Mekong Catfish, Amazonian Red Tail Catfish,
Arapaima and Giant Siamese Carp.
Fishing at the resort will be done from moored boats at the side of the lake,
which is great news for anyone who has ever lost large fish
around the stilts of a bungalow!
The resort will also have facilities for all the family
including swimming pools, restaurants etc.
I will keep you all up to date with further developments concerning Topcats,
and we can't wait to have a crack at it ourselves!
The Marlin Bar and tackle shop have been re–arranged,
with the tackle shop and office being moved upstairs.
A new office for Michael is great news for customers of the Marlin Bar,
as he was starting to put them off their beer :-)
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