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Author Topic: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing  (Read 4729 times)

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Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« on: August 18, 2013, 04:36:22 PM »
I have been lucky enough to spend the last two weeks in Thailand, visiting various locations including Bangkok, Hell Fire Pass, Chiang Mai & Koh Samui. While I was in Chiang Mai I took the opportunity to experience some local sweetwater. I spent quite some time researching the different species, locations & guides. In the end I decided on a full day with a company called Big Game Fishing targeting their version of Jungle Perch & Giant Snakehead.

My guide & business owner Mr Suvit picked me up from my hotel at 0500 & we headed north from the city for about an hour to a dam that is mainly used for irrigation. The boat we were using on this occasion was a Thai Bass Boat, 14 ft long with a 70 hp Yamaha pushing it along at a good rate of knots. We spent the morning targeting Jungle Perch. These fish are a predatory fish that hunt in schools, they push bait fish to the surface & proceed to smash the bait fish on the surface. The fish are targeted with surface lures while they are boiling on the surface. It was very strange to see these explosions of fish on the surface on a fresh water lake. Although the fish were plentiful & visible this did not make them easy to catch, with only two fish being boated for the morning despite plenty of casts being made.

Lunch was a very authentic affair. The lake is home to quite a large population of people who live & make their living on the lake netting  Giant Catfish & breeding Tilapia in large netted enclosures in front of their floating homes. On arrival at one of these floating homes an old lady came out with two warm beers, as the ice had not been delivered at that stage. Lunch consisted of Tom Yum soup with catfish, deep fried Tilapia with chilli sauce, omelette & steamed rice. The ice boat arrived during lunch, so a few more beers were consumed with ice.

The afternoon session started with targeting the dam edges with scum frogs, a couple of baby Snakehead were caught during this session but no big ones could be located. These fish are very protective of their very young & if you can locate the balls of fry the parents will be very close by. The balls of fry would every so often break the surface giving us a reference point to target. After a couple of touches & two short lived fights I finally got a solid hook up to a fish. The power of these fish was incredible, the first lunge saw the fish head straight under the boat nearly pulling the rod from my hands. After a good fight the fish was netted & brought aboard with the lure falling out as it was boated. These fish have very hard mouths, full of very sharp teeth. I was a bit early in the season as the breeding really gets under way with the onset of the monsoon season & the subsequent water rises. During this time the fish are more easily targeted around the edges feeding on the insects in the freshly submerged grasses.

We left the dam as the sun set & I think I slept for most of the trip home, arriving back at my hotel at about 2030. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is heading to Chiang Mai. The total cost for the full days fishing including pick up & drop off & lunch with warm beer was about $250.

Cheers Andrew


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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 06:05:58 PM »
Thanks for the report Andrew; the Snakehead looks awesome.
Good to see you were doing it "tough".

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 06:10:07 PM »
Thanks for sharing Andrew

The snakehead is one cool fish  :thumbsup

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 06:46:00 PM »
Awesome Snakehead Andrew.  That's one of the few fish left on my Bucket List.  Glad you got one mate.

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 07:28:32 PM »
G'day Andrew,
Well done on the Thailand fishing mate, did you take your own gear or use local stuff? I fishing the rust water in Thailand once on a people smuggler boat out of Koh Samui. That was a wild ride, nothing was thrown back and we barbecued a Barracuda trolled up on the way out. The BBQ was a charcoal jobbie straight on the wooden deck. Koh Samui is a great spot.
Cheers mate,
JD

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 07:37:52 PM »
The BBQ was a charcoal jobbie straight on the wooden deck.
JD

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 08:04:28 PM »
I looked into that guide when i went to phuket. Plane trip to chang mai would have been more than total airfares all up. They make their own buzzbaits for snakehead (in the shape of a snakes head. Daiwa made the Millionaire Blacksheep reels for these fish exclusively.). cast and retrieve through their fry and the adults will smash anything you tie on. awesome tackle box in 1st pic

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 01:12:06 PM »
Fantastic snakehead there. Definitely on my bucket list. I'm in Phuket in a few weeks time but won't get near snakehead water I don't think.

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 09:47:28 PM »
Looks like you're having a great time there Andrew. Pretty looking fish... Will have to take your word for it about their fighting abilities, I won't be going there myself any time soon. Can only dream of it for now.

Thanks for sharing your Thailand experience with us.  :thumb

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 08:23:45 AM »
Thanks guys I did have a good time. JD I took my new Daiwa travel rod & used that to catch the Jungle Perch, but I used the guides gear to land the Snakehead. Not sure what the gear was but about 30lb line on a spinning reel with the drag done up with pliers I think.

Cheers Andrew

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 07:35:55 PM »
Thanks Andrew, if I go I'll take my own pliers then.
John

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Re: Thailand Sweetwater Fishing
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 01:27:38 AM »
Great report Andrew!  :thanks
Some fish there that I can only dream of catching.
And doing the drag up with pliers!?! That's serious fishing mate.
Well done, and a really enjoyable read.
Cheers,
Steve  :youbeauty :GoodPost)

 

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