"Bungsam Bill" bags a beauty.
By Neil Robinson.
Iraqi contractor, "Bungsam Bill" from USA, had four days at Bungsam Lan Lake
which 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.
The fish, though swimming very slowly, seemed determined not to be landed.
On its first run I thought the clutch on the reel was never going to stop giving line,
and with it adjusted to its maximum limit and the rod bent to almost breaking point,
the fish still managed to go under the small bridge, and into the main lake.
Eventually after around 15 – 20 minutes we managed to continue the fight
when we cut, then re–tied the line. By this time the fish had changed direction
and had swam back under the bridge to where it had first come from.
We got back to our fishing bungalow and the fish "kited" to our right
which meant that we had to continue the fight from the next door bungalow.
We them managed to turn the fish out of the corner of the lake,
but we were still in trouble as the line was now very weak
and the fish was heading for the snags to our right.
The fish went around a pole in the water about 50 meters from us,
and I thought that was it, as it is impossible without a boat to reach the pole.
Keeping light, but steady pressure on the fish, luckily the fish came back
around the pole and into the center of the lake. What a relief,
or so I thought until the fish swam straight towards us,
then went directly under our own fishing bungalow that was next door!
Quickly moving back to our bungalow we discovered that the fish had gone around
several pillars, and then out again towards the center of the lake.
We caught the line, cut it and re–tied it just in time before the fish took up the slack.
The line was now not only badly frayed, but also had two joining knots!
My heart was in my mouth now as I watched Bill, because I knew
that one wrong move or too much pressure on the line and the fish would be lost.
By this time the fight was reaching almost the 1 hour mark,
and thankfully the fish now eventually began to tire.
The huge fish finally slipped into the net, and it took all our strength
to lift the fish out of the water.
I don’t think I have ever been so relieved to land a fish in my life!
Bill’s good luck continued with a small, but nicely conditioned Giant Siamese Carp,
a good sized Pacu that weighed 6 kg, plus plenty of Striped– and Giant Mekong Catfish.
The next day was constant action, and with Bill wanting to take it a little easy,
some of the fish landing duties fell to me.
I had just started to eat my lunch when the reel sounded the familiar sound of a running fish.
It was my turn to land the fish, and as soon as I stuck into the fish,
I knew instantly it was another "biggie".
You know it’s a "biggie" when the first run, although very slow
takes line for well over a minute without stopping!
Again the fish fought for over an hour, but thankfully I managed
to keep the beast free from any snags.
When we finally netted the fish, we required the help from the Thai angler
on the next door bungalow to lift the fish out of the water.
This fish was even bigger than the previous day’s fish, and there was no way
we could lift a Giant Mekong Catfish this size, for the photograph!
My lunch was now stone cold, but I can’t say I was too bothered after a capture like that!
The final day was shared with our old friend Anthony from the UK.
This day was very slow and it wasn’t until later in the afternoon
that the action started properly. We had caught a few fish however,
but by Bungsam Lan’s standards, it was slow.
When the action started though, it was none stop, with the bait hardly hitting the water
before a Giant Mekong Catfish screamed off with it.
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