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Thai jungle fishing

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Amy and I just finished a trip to Thailand and of course for us fishing is slways a part of it. We organised a 3 day trip fishing a large lake surrounded by Jungle in Kao Sok National Park just north of Phuket. After a late arrival we had a 5am pick-up and a 3 hour drive to our launch and onto the lake  our guide was english (Neil) with a Thai boat captain and his assistant 

With no idea what to expect we were seriously surprised 


The limestone bedrock makes the water strangely clear almost like sea water


First thoughts the lake was spectacular, we did a quick stop at our floating bungalow accommodation 



And we were off to start casting the target giant snakehead

As we learned snakehead fishing is tough, casts need to be spot on first time especially casting at "fry balls" of baby snakehead with very aggressive parents guarding them, with lots of guidance from Neil we started to figure it out

The first session took us to some beautiful areas


But the snskeheads proved elusive it was a challenge accurately casting light surface lures long distances but as our casting came good we started to get strikes including Amy getting hammered by a beast. We fished the morning session for no joy so we stopped for lunch and a break (in the heat and humidity it's a must) and headed out for the arvo session in the rain.

In the arvo we fished the most remote section of the lake heading up into one of the many small creeks, it was a frustrating session landing perfect cast after cast on fry balls for no joy, finally with dwindling hope and patience blind casting some submersed grass I hooked a fish


A juvenile giant snakehead atleast the doughnut was broken

With the day slipping away and spirits low and wet about to head back, the Thai captain suddenly appears at my side saying "babies' his eagle-eyes spotted a fry ball many deep breaths later I put a long accurate cast in the zone and was almost surreal when the water exploded, I was dead set shocked with the power and attitude of snakehead it was a serious struggle to wrestle the fish in incredibly nasty shallow water 


Finally a solid fish, there were high fives all around with that we ended day 1 exhausted but excited for day 2

Day 2 started with spectacular scenary


We were soon into the fishing again we again headed into some stunning jungle 


And were treated to wildlife like "dusky langurs"


The morning started with blind casting grassy edges and it wasn't long before Amy was on


A nice giant SH to start were off, even at this size they have attitude, and literally next cast she csught another similar sized fish

Shortly after I hook into another thinking another juvenile I was pretty excited to lsnd my first striped snakehead


A much smaller species but seriously aggressive 

We then found some balls of much larger babies and actually csught a few


As juveniles the giants are stunning fish  unfortunately the parents weren't having a bar of our lures, our morning session ended with renewed enthusiasm 

For the arvo we pushed way up into a creek,

received_1486348918766767.thumb.jpeg.5647b6239575fd4a870400a166ae6b95.jpeg after a couple of babies Amy gets blown up by a better fish, the surface strikes are ridiculous 


Amy's best snakehead for the trip even in there non breeding form they are beautiful fish

Shortly after I landed another small fish


But the big fish continued to evade us.... for now,

Heading out to another spot the old eagle eye captain spots a fry ball, my first cast was a about 1m wide feeling dejected I near soiled myself when the water erupted as an angry parent launched out of the water and did a 180 and screamed off, the fight was brutal as the fish dove for cover there were many nervous moments especially when the fish dove under the boat but held my nerve and unbelievably 


A cracker of a snakehead this fish was big and angry trying to bite me more than once, being air breathers snakehead can stay out of water for quite awhile so we spent some time searching for the dry ball and releasing her back with her babies, after that the heavens opened and we wree beyond wet but indescribably happy

Our final day we went a completely different direction again stunning


We spotted hornbills, buffalo, monitor lizards and a troop of long tailed macaques swimming across the river


Not to mention freshly destroyed jungke from wild elephants 

The fishing was tough but I managed a nice striped


And a couple of small giants but it was a bit slow, after lunch we packed our gear and headed out for our last session

We headed i ti some more spectacular jungle we were unlucky with missee stikes and me dropping a nice hampala barb but Amy managed to put us on the board


With a nice little giant, on our last stop of the day my lure gets destroyed in the final minutes and I finish the trip off with a nice giant


That ended a truly amazing jungle trip the fishing was tough but rewarding and the scenery absolutely breathtaking, 

Definitely can't beat a fishing trip away with your significant other

received_2072327156477076.thumb.jpeg.6e2defeac88807d6f59b38a0baaf1836.jpegpart 2 of out Thai trip to come

If you want any details on the guide etc send me a p.m.


cheers for reading 




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Great report Dave! Often fish is one of the best ways to see a new environment.

I had never thought of these as a sportfish! Used to only see them for sale in fish markets in China and frozen (headless) in the Asian grocery stores here. But they have the appearance of a predator, so it makes perfect sense they’d e great sport.

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I watch a few US YouTube fishing channels and these have been released into much of the US east coast. An invasive species but all agree that they fight like demons and taste great.

That looks like a great trip! Well done.



Edited by Jiggy
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Another great trip, spectacular scenery, wild critters and targetted fish caught.

The big tail looks like it does it's job giving the fish speed and power.

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Fabulous report Dave and Amy. You lovebirds are certainly seeing the world as you hunt down some elaborate, and unusual species. You can see where the power comes from with the tail on those SH.

Thanks for sharing your adventures...look forward to the next one.

Cheers, bn

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Thanks for sharing. Dave looks like you and Am had a fantastic trip. They are a pretty mean looking fish and their reputation sounds well earned. Your pics of the jungle to Riffic. Wish I was there even though it was probably pretty hot and humid with thunderstorms.

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Excellent report and adventure Dave and Amy. Thanks for sharing. 
I first came to know of SHs when I lived in Singapore. Extremely aggressive fish. The locals we’re targeting them in an abandoned quarry that had filled with water and become a huge lake - some we’re even using juvenile turtles as bait 😱 as apparently the larger SHs were quite fond of them. 
Not sure I could ever go to that but lure fishing for them sounds great. 
Nevertheless I hope nobody introduces them here. 
cheers Zoran 

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