Thailand is relatively new on the world freshwater fishing map, but it's full potential is being uncovered as well is some of the best sport fishing in the world.
Freshwater Reports 7 July 09
July to October is the rainy season in Khao Sok area and it’s also the time when the big Thai Mahseer moves up from the lake to spawn in the numerous rivers and streams. During our last trips to Cheow Lan we have released more than 100 Thai Mahseer, with the 3 biggest 16lb, 21lb and 23lb. One of the most amazing angling feats was first time angler Mrs. Kelly Cooper from Texas who hooked a 16lb Thai Mahseer that went full speed into some sunken roots and got tangled, she than somehow turned the front handle on the Berkley Series 1 spinning rod so the reel came of the rod, I thought this fish was 100% lost and helped Kelly to put the reel back on the fishing rod again.
Suddenly the rod bent over again and the fish started to take line, the fish was free from the sunken roots, I quickly gave the rod back to Kelly who fought the fish back to the boat, just when I got the landing net under fish the hook came free, some girls got all the luck! This fish was probably the biggest Thai Mahseer a female angler ever caught in Thailand.
Many nice Giant Snakeheads around 13-14 lb was also caught the last week in the lake by visiting anglers, “look krok” (Giant Snakehead fry) was spotted all over the lake and this is a very good sign for the future of Snakehead fishing here.
The new extended no netting area in the lake is working; now nearly half of the lake is a no netting area where only sport fishing is allowed.
July and August is spawning time for the Hampala Barb (Jungle Perch) the rivers can be full of them during this time and we have caught fish in nearly every cast during the big spawning migrations. They hit spinners, spoons and small crank baits and are very strong fighters; they can also be caught on fly using small streamers or big nymphs.
If you want to experience the most exciting wild water fishing Thailand has to offer in the breathtaking beauty of Khao Sok National Park give us a call.
Freshwater Reports 9 May 09
Deep in our pristine jungle rivers swim a fish so majestic, so beautiful and so elusive, it has become a holy grail for many angler, me included. The Thai Mahseer represents the ultimate challenge for a fly fisherman or a light tackle angler. To locate a big Thai Mahseer is already a triumph. Then comes the challenge of enticing it to take a fly or a lure. Finally, the angler has to contend with its extreme strength and dirty fighting style before it can be brought to the river bank, to be lovingly photographed and released.
I have hooked many big Thai Mahseer before, only to my frustration to lose them in snags or from broken lines, bend-open hooks or frayed leaders. I was fishing for Giant Snakehead fish one early morning last week just outside the river mouth of Klong Sean (Sean river in Khao Sok National Park) with my friend Peter from Finland and my friend had just lost a nice Giant Snakehead fish on a deep diving wobbler, when I got a violent strike on my deep diving plug, I was fishing from the stern of the long boat and the fish took a lot of line in the first run and went around some dead threes on our port side, I was screaming to our Thai captain to back up as fast as possible to get the line free from the threes. Hut my captain understood quickly that it was not an average fish that I had hooked and he reversed full speed with the MinKota electric motor. With a free line I could start to put some pressure on the fish and gained a couple of meters of line before the fish took off again, this run was even longer than the first one and I understood I was into something spectacular.
After 3-4 more powerful runs I could see the fish for the first time and what a sight it was! A big Thai Mahseer with gold colored big scales, my friend Peter did not missed the fish with my big landing net and lifted it onboard. We were all in awe of the sight of this beautiful fish and unhooked it carefully and photographed and released it gently. I have seen bigger Thai Mahseer before swimming under one of the floating bungalows in the lake but never caught a fish this size before. I estimated the fish to weight between 10 and 11 kg. The current IGFA all tackle record for Thai Mahseer is 12.00 kg caught by M. Zanudin bin Ibrahim July 2001 in Benta Pahang, Malaysia. I am very confident this record can be beaten in one of the Cheow Lan Rivers. Not an easy task, but record size fish are in the lake and they migrate up into the rivers to spawn now during the rainy season.