Friday, 13 December 2019

Exotic Fishing Thailand Trip Dec 13th/14th 2019.Mark, Wayne and Anna!

Phang Gna.....a Thai mainland Province dominated by truly spectacular scenery and containing massive lakes and mysterious, myth-laden cave systems. If you visit Phuket then a trip Northwards into the Phang Gna (Thai for elephant tusk) region is an unforgettable experience. 
One of the Phang Gna viewpoints looking eastwards into Phan Gna Bay. 

This is one of those places where it is very difficult to get a good clear photo as it tends to be very hazy; you have to see this for yourself to appreciate just how amazing it is. What the photo above shows is the remants of the world's largest ever coral reef extending 3,000 miles through Malaysia, Thailand, Loas, Cambodia, North -east Vietnam (the very famous Halong Bay) and into China. Apparently, according to geological evidence, sea levels were 240 metres higher in this region a mere 10 million years ago! When the sea level dropped, the coral was exposed and died. Dead coral turns to limestone. Limestone is very vulnerable to weathering, especially with the increasingly acidic rain of the last and current century, thereby creating these unique and ragged profiles. Some of the Karsts (as they are called) have caves that penetrate right into a hollow interior. These are called in Thai language 'Hongs' or rooms. The memorable John Gray Sea Kayaking trip takes visitors into Phang Gna Bay and uses experienced Thai guides to penetrate the cave systems and the Hongs. 

The 'Hong by Starlight' is THE trip that my guests rave about and say they will always remember.

 Travelling further north-eastwards towards the town of Phang Gna, we enter a landscape of land- locked Karsts before reaching Mike Bailey's Exotic Fishing Thailand. Mike took a long time to find this location and it really is a magnificent setting for his lake.
 Mark Butland, Wayne and Anna Claridge have just returned from a couple of days fishing at the lake and were rewarded with some monster fish. Here's Wayne with a hefty Siamese carp.
 Mark Butland caught three arapaima over the two days. These were estimated by the guides at 70kg, 80kg and 90kg.... I watched Mark play the 90kg arapaima and can assure readers that these fish fight like demons. There's no way you can bully these fish into submission! This photo shows the smaller of the arapaima.
 Wayne did not catch an arapaima....so he'll have to return here next year (good!) but he did catch several hefty red-tail catfish which is a spectacularly coloured fish and another manic fighter.
 Here is Mark with a Vundu catfish which, according to Wikipedia, originates from African sub-Sahara regions. When such species as this come to the net, anglers are reminded of the name of this lake...'Exotic Fishing Thailand' as the  lake contains 60 different species of fish, many of which do not 'originate' in Thailand but come from all over the planet. Many of these non-indigineous species are endangered and these fishing lakes in Thailand are helping to save such species.
 Arapaima are often caught just after dark which means that when the 7 pm whistle for 'stop fishing' is blown there are often fish being played for another hour!
                                                 Mark with a fine red-tail catfish.
 Wayne shows the large mouth of the red-tail catfish which is described as a Predator Species preferring fish or chicken baits and often taking these baits close in at 'the margins'.
 This is a fabulous pacu in the 10kg range. These fish really are also manic fighters and can often leap clear of the water during the battle in tarpon like fashion. Their powerful teeth can easily cut through mono traceline which is the main reason why Exotic Fishing Thailand uses braid hook-lengths.
 This was Mark's 90kg (estimated by the guides) arapaima that he thoughtfully hooked into just as I arrived with the remainder of our current guests who were enjoying a sight-seeing tour with me.
 Our angling team stayed overnight in the Exotic Fishing 5* accommodation. This is the dawn view.....just picture yourself waking up to this! Wonderful!
 Wayne is a keen freshwater angler who enjoys trips to France. He explained to me that a realisitc catch rate in France would be one fish per 24 hour cycle. Many UK carp anglers are very grateful for such hectic activity and may well go days without a bite. Not so in Thailand where our anglers averaged 4 fish each per 11 hour (0800 to 1900) session. I have been at the lake when our teams have got into double figures of fish numbers caught but these lakes are all about BIG fish rather than quantity.

One thing for sure is that no-one can ever forget the magnificent setting of Exotic Fishing Thailand with its massive Karst backdrop and wealth of tropical foliage and colourful flowers. Fabulous!

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