Tuesday, 27 February 2018
The team opted for a day at Jez Wilson's Chalong Fishing Park which is just a 15 minute drive from our base!
We were first to arrive and were greeted by another lovely morning with a welcome breeze from the sea which is about half a mile away.
Jez offers a good menu with both Thai and European food on offer. After a couple of weeks of spicy food and rice, it's very nice for us 'Ferangs' (Westerners) to order up a full English breakfast.
Our charming cook and waitress is called Noiey. She is a friend of Kannika's and was brought in from Bangkok to assist Jez's wife with the catering and cooking etc during the 'High Season'.
Noiey is an archetypal Thai lady; extremely polite, shy, always smiling, can't speak a word of English and had never, until 6 weeks ago, heard of let alone cooked a 'Full English'.......so good for her for learning!!
And, as are all the best eateries, it is kept immaculately clean and tidy and features an attractive array of local flora.
Well...I've never seen such a creature and they really do have little snouts like a pig! They stay in the water all the time.
Any other species caught was to be mocked and the captor berated for being 'useless'.
And here's Mr Tony Perkins from Sheffield hooked into the first fine fighting beastie.
These Mekongs fight like mad but are even more fun when played on light tackle. The fish are strong enough to make many long runs and fight right to the end. It's no good trying to bully them...this is all about correct use of the Shimano and Okuma bait runners twinned with the light test curve catfish rods.
Guide Tedge estimated this fish at 25kg with the one above more in the 30kg range.
Whatever they did actually weigh, they are massive fish compared to anything we catch from lakes and river in UK and so every fish like this is a wonderful experience.
Amazing what a close knit group we anglers are. Paul had fished with several Brighton skippers including Terry Lee who I met at Jez's lake back in December. We knew many of the same people back in UK and all through our passion for angling.
Paul Taylor's Mekong was estimated at 35 kg!
Well, I left the team to carry on in my absence as I had a lot of photos of their many adventures to sort out and put on to the memory sticks my guests had provided.
The lads and lasses have just walked in...it's going dark now...full of tales of yet more fish.
We've certainly enjoyed some memorable days fishing and diving and it'll be sad to see them leave early tomorrow after one final dinner together at the wonderful Tamarin Bar in nearby Chalong town.
Sunday, 25 February 2018
There is a continuing debate about this and sunbeds etc have been allowed back on the beach in limited areas. How do you feel about such an issue? I do see many elderly holiday makers struggling to get up off their towels laid on the beach and, without the sunshades, there are certainly a lot more sunburned people around.
I can see the need for further explanation as to the complexities of diving!!
The sea was sparkling clear with wonderful colours to enjoy.
The first dive is always a wonderful experience.
And so, another great dive is over.
Our two couples are only here with us for a week (they had already been to Mike Bailey's Exotic Fishing Thailand in Phang Gna before venturing southwards into Phuket) and we have already run out of time for anymore diving. Today they are off on the famous John Gray sea kayaking tour and tomorrow is their final day before heading off for a further week's adventures in Koh Samui.
Gillian is hooked on the diving now and is promising to join her local dive club back home and work on her diving certification. She will leave the sea dives until she returns here next year but aims to complete all the theory and closed water (swimming pool learning dives).
And....they have already booked to return to Phuket and stay with Kannika and myself for two weeks next time.....
With the ladies off enjoying exploring the local beaches, the gentlemen sallied forth to endure a day on the fish....and what a day.....with fish on from the very first moment of the bread bait hitting the water.
Although a bit breezy we opted for float fishing setting the baits very shallow to avoid the multitude of walking catfish that inhabit this particular water.
Here's Tony with the first of the day's pacu which more than impressed him with its amazing fighting ability. These are seriously exciting fish.
Tony was the one to impress right from the off as after several pacu he then tempted this very nice Siamese carp. Again, the power of this species made for a number of very lengthy and powerful runs across the lake.
The two friends were certainly enjoying a day of non-stop action. It was so busy that we needed to limit ourselves to one rod each and dared not put them down for a moment for fear of them being pulled into the lake.
Here's Tony with another of the lake's hardest scrappers.
What a great day for us......it really was 'fish on' from start to finish. Amazing Thailand indeed.
We all caught and landed well into double figures of fish with plenty of our barbless hooks thrown during lengthy fights.
Monday, 19 February 2018
Our friends have returned to UK now but we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Londoners Debbie and Paul tomorrow, 21st Feb, who are currently fishing at Exotic Fishing Thailand. I am hoping they will arrive laden down with photo's and a written report by Mike Bailey as to what wondrous anglers they are!!
|Mandy Chard...redtail catfish|
|Mandy Chard...albino pacu|
|Gary Chard...mucking about with a Siamese carp|
|Gary Chard taking command of a redtail catfish|
|One of the many pacu that feature in the sessions|
|Heidi Balchin who emerged as our Rising Staress|
|Husband Marcus Balchin with a Siamese carp.|
|One of the great delights when fishing at Chalong Fishing Park is the B.B.Q. Here are Kannika and Mandy 'lending a hand'!|
|Kannika with a very good pacu. Kannika really loves fishing!!!|
|A great delight for us to be joined by Andy Bright.|
|Kannika and Mandy with a double shot of very hard fighting pacu|
|Our Mandy with another pacu|
|It's a different Siamese Carp from the one above...honest. Here's Andy Bright again, now retired and living in Phuket with his wonderful wife, Cara.|
|Here's Mandy, star-ess of the show as always...bending into another 'Gurt 'Un.|