We were so excited to be going to Thailand again this year. The weather, the beaches, the people and the food are amazing. For me it’s our very special family time in the most amazing place. It’s certainly not about the fishing but it would be rude not to dabble given what’s available to your average fisherman over there – Arapaima, Siamese Carp, Juliens Carp, Catfish and much more.
This year we decided to head for Krabi. We stayed half way between Ao Nang and Noppharat. Slightly busier than places we stayed previously but there was a great buzz about the place, decent beaches and lots of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Above: The amazing beaches in Thailand
Above: We did the usual excursions that include temples, hot springs and long boat journeys to remote beaches. It’s absolute paradise.
Half way through the second week I got to go fishing!!!! I was picked up at 7:30am and was taken to Gilhams Fishing Resort. In previous years I’ve caught Arapaima, Asian Catfish and Amazon Redtail Catfish so my target was a Siamese Carp which can grow to over 180lb and I figured that Gilhams gave me the best chance of catching this. It’s become a real ‘bucket list’ fish for me and to land one would be awesome. Before my trip I’d been watching videos on YouTube and if things got tricky I had already decided to try for a Juliens Carp in the smaller lake there. They look stunning and fight like crazy and would be another fantastic species to tick off the list.
Above: The rods are out and we’re fishing 🙂
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The day ticket guys start an hour after those that stay on site – but in reality by the time I got there, paid my money, was shown to my swim and cast out I was a couple of hours behind everyone else. But that didn’t really bother me … what an fantastic place to be, fishing in paradise with a few beers in the coolbox 🙂
The technique was to use stepped up carp gear and rigs. I was going purely for the carp. On this trip I wasn’t interested in catfish or arapaima – I wanted a BIG carp and so I used boilies. I critically balanced a white Mainline Milky Toffee pop up to sink very, very slowly. I had taken my own pop ups and PVA with me and each rod was fished with a solid bag. Over the top of this I spodded quite a lot of boilies supplied by Gilhams and pellet. I sat back a waited in anticipation. I was getting a few liners throughout the morning. Around mid morning the guy in next swim had a Red Tail but other than that it was a quiet.
Above: The fishing was slow in the morning but still just happy to be there!
By midday I decided to head over to another lake to target a Juliens. I hooked into something almost straight away. I wasn’t very big and after a bit it slipped the hook. Whilst playing the fish noticed another fish jump over other side. I rebaited and cast back out, I was getting twitches straight away but again couldn’t help notice another decent sized fish swirl on the far bank. That was enough for me – I reeled in and grabbed my stuff and I was off over the other side. I moved into position and cast to where I’d seen the fish up against some reeds. 5 minutes later and the rod was almost yanked out my hands. What followed was the hardest fight I’ve ever experienced from such a modest sized fish. The drag was set quite hard but it was still pulling line. It rolled in front of me and I was delighted to see it was my target – the Juliens Carp.
Above: Have you ever seen anything like this absolutely stunning carp! The Juliens Carp Thailand.
Above: Check out the teddy bear eyes!
What an amazing looking creature. The scale pattern is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The golden flanks with the clean, black stripes. I was so please to have picked up one of my targets.
Above: Metallic scales of brushed gold – stunning.
I got back to swim and was told that I shouldn’t cast out. A Mekong had been hooked and had already despooled the guy next door when the fish ploughed through his lines. I was told that these fights could last for hours, Mekongs are incredibly strong. I decided to hang around and watch the fight. Well over an hour and a half later an absolute beast was netted at over 150lb. Fantastic to watch but this had rather impacted on my own fishing, I’d lost a couple hours so headed back to my swim.
Above: A huge Mekong of around 150lb.
As I headed back to my rods I saw another guy was connected to something decent. They had seen it roll and said it was a carp. I decided to sacrifice a bit more fishing time just so that I could see my target in the flesh. It was worth it, these Siamese carp are immense and this really made me want to catch one even more.
Above: Well at least I got to see one in the flesh – the awesome Siamese Carp.
My session came to an end. It had not been as productive as previous years but that’s fishing for you. I’d been very fortunate to catch some amazing fish from Thailand in previous years and although I’d caught very little I’d had a great day. Stunning surroundings, beautiful weather and I’d seen some proper creatures caught by others.
Above: A big array from a previous year.
I returned to my hotel room and got room service (which has become a bit of a tradition when I return from y Thai fishing adventures!) The next day we were straight back into holiday mode – sun, beach, pool, happy hour, food and fun.
Above: Back to what’s important – family fun in the sun.
If you visit Krabi and be sure to visit Raily beach which is accessible by long boat. The beaches here are nicer than along Ao Nang and Naparrat.
Above: The long boats pulled up on Riley beach.
One of my favourite parts of Ao Nang is at the very far end of the beach. You can find a beach bar called The Last Fishermans Bar that do great pork ribs and a fine bottle of Chang!
Above: The Last Fishermans Bar at Ao Nang.
So ends another Thai adventure. I really can’t wait to get back to Thailand and hopefully next time I’ll catch up with that Siamese Carp! If not then I’ll enjoy trying 🙂