View from your swim

View from your swim
A breathtaking view from your fishing swim

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

THE "FISH THE EXOTIC " ABSOLUTELY AWESOME APRIL CATCH REPORT .


April was an awesome month with lots of great fish ,great laughs and of course happy customers.


The Arapaima were still on the feed and even coming out 2 at a time .


We put the finishing touches to the restaurant entrance with some new signs and lattice work on either side .


Before I fill the report with his wonderful photos I would like to give credit to our good friend Henrik Moller who spent a total of 5 days fishing and photographing everything from butterflies to our great customer catches . Henrik got some amazing shots and when not snapping pics also got some fishing in himself. At least twice I saw Henrik hand off fish to other clients or let them strike one of his rods so they could catch a fish and he could get their photo .. A photographer and a gentlemen , thank you Henrik


Henrik caught Redtails , Arapiama and several other fish but ironically didn't get many photos of himself after being so busy getting some of everyone else..


Here's another great shot from Henrik showing how big our lake really is .. At 25 rai it's one of the biggest in Southern Thailand.


I can never say enough about our guides as they do such an awesome job . They are the most hard working guides I have every seen and I have fished at most of the top resorts in Thailand .. Nothing is too much to ask and they always respond with a smile ..Ched pictured here is my brother in law and when not guiding also helps out with maintenance around the resort . Ched and his wife Pom have been here from day 1 before we initially broke any ground and have been an incredible asset. Without their efforts we wouldn't be where we are today ..


Ched's wife Pom isn't actually a full time guide but thinks nothing of getting in to help with netting and releasing fish ..It looks like she has developed a safe way to release the Arapaima by standing behind the net :).. Pom also takes care of feeding all our fish . cleaning aquariums , many garden duties and on busy days she even serves food around the lake .. To top that off she is probably the best ground bait ball maker we have :).


Our newest guide Poe actually works too hard .. Works too hard ? How can that be you must be asking ?. I am constantly telling him to slow down so he doesn't get hurt . He literally sprints round the lake when a customer has a fish on .. I worry hes going to trip and fall in the lake. I guess he would be fine though as he's also an excellent swimmer as the other day I saw him quickly swim out to the middle of the lake when a fish needed to be retrieved for oxygen .. ..


Lek is our most senior guide who is responsible for rigs and tackle duties . He also helps coordinating the swim set ups from the daily fishing schedule .We will be losing him for a few months later in the year as he will go to be a monk . Many young men in Thailand do this and it is regarded as a very important thing to do by their family .


While on the topic of our guides I would like to thank all of our customers on the guides behalf for the tips they have received . Their tips really mean a lot to them and I have noticed this allows them to buy a little something extra for themselves . I often see them proudly sharing photos of their new purchases on facebook .

Many people ask me what they should tip a guide and I always say it's up to them. If anyone is looking for an number I would simply say that anything is appreciated , but 300 to 500 baht is about average from what I have seen ..


.. Our kitchen staff , Head Chef Tuk and Chef Poo also say a big thank you as they really appreciate your tips as they receive 20% of what the guides receive ...Tuk and Poo cook some amazing food and even serve around the lake come rain or shine . We will obviously add more full time serving staff once we get more busy , but for now all of our team help out and do a great job .


The total number of fish caught for April was 382 , with only 66 angler days fished.That was an average of 5+ fish per angler day


It was a real mixed bag of species for April .There were a grand total of 29 different species caught this month . Our catch report is as follows;- 4 African Walking Catfish to 28lbs,.. 25 Alligator Gar to 85 lbs,..10 Albino Pacu to 19 lbs.. 96 Amazon Redtails to 65lbs...68 Arapaima to 325lbs ,. 42 Asian Redtails to 37lbs,. 4 Bony Lipped barbs to 7lbs, ..9 Chao Phraya Catfish to 109lbs,.. . 3 Giant Featherbacks to 13lbs,.. 9 Giant Gourami to 8 lbs,..3 Giant Snakehead to 18lbs.. 1 Giant Stingray to 1m ... 9 Goonch to 26lbs , ...2 Hovens Carp to 7lbs... 5 Jau Catfish to 28lbs ... 4 Mekong Catfish to 260lbs.. 3 Pacu to 28lbs ,.. 4 Piraiba Catfish to 22lbs,. 6 Redtail/Tiger Cross Catfish to 16lbs,. 4 Ripsaw/Niger Catfish to 18lbs,. 2 Rohu to 16lbs ...39 Siamese Carp to 63lbs,.. 2 Soldier River Barb to 7lbs... 2 Spotted Featherback to 6 lbs. ..8 Tambaqui to 18lbs,.2 Tiger Shovelnose Catfish to 20lbs,. 5 Vundu Catfish to 18 lbs,..5 Wallagoo Attu to 24 lbs, 4 Wallagoo Leeri to 22lbs .


We don't get many Thai customers at EFT but our guides were quite excited when Kuhn Nipon Thongnum arrived . He is apparently a quite famous entertainer who stopped singing due to some medical issues... He is now fully recovered and was in Phang nga with his partner to donate to an orphanage ..He was hoping for an Arapaima but started with an Asian Redtail


His next fish was yet another Thai species with a Siamese carp .


He did manage some non Thai species and caught several Amazon Redtails, but unfortunately no Arapaima on this visit.


Neil Robinson returned with another customer ,Tom from the UK and expertly guided him to some very nice fish .


One of Tom's favorite fish of this trip was this beautiful Chao Phraya Catfish .


Tom like so many anglers this month landed several good sized Asian Redtails.


His redtail list was also filled with some nice Amazon species.


Tom also managed several Siamese carp


A top angling day like this would not be complete without an EFT Arapaima


Our good friends Gill and Paul returned to EFT and were busy catching some awesome fish like this huge Asian Redtail ... I think they were following the trend set by their friends Colin and Georgina on a recent trip with both of them getting in for a few couples fish pics.


One of Paul's Arapaimas was so big that even I got in on the photo ..


Their friend Jay dropped by for an afternoon ticket and not only caught an Arapaiama but caught it at the same time as Paul for yet another EFT Double Ari photo.


Paul was so happy with this Arapaima that he was teaching our guide Ched some of his celebratory moves...


If you think it was just the men catching Arapaima then you are 100% wrong ..


Even Gill gave up her lounge chair and fancy coconut drink to fight an Arapaima of her own .


It wasn't just about Arapaimas for Paul either as he was also catching lots of weird and wonderful fish like this Ripsaw Catfish on a lum and poly ball rig


This Pacu was quite the chunk and definitely worthy of a photo ..


Paul and Gill are some of the most easy going and funny couple that I know. They are fun to be around and I look forward to guiding them whenever they visit.. I definitely have the best job in the world when I can guide and fish with such good friends :).


Paul had brought some fancy pop ups and other bits which he gave a good go . I finally got him back on to pellets and the lum rig and he quickly got into some Siamese Carp action.


Here's Paul with a nice last minute Siamese .


Paul landed a load of Amazon Redtails during their visit .This was one of my favorite Amazon Redtail photos from his trip.


This photo says it all and what fishing here is all about .. good friends , good times and good memories. OH!!! and of course a couple of fat guys breathing in for photos :).


For anyone looking to stay for dinner we also have some very tasty food and our wine selection isn't bad either .


Another pair who were here at the right time to catch some nice fish while being photographed by Henrik were Andrew Harmann and Danial Chappell .Danny was very eager to catch an Arapaima and Andrew being a very experienced angler was more than happy to offer his advice .


Danny was very happy to get the ball rolling and catch some nice Siamese Carp


Andrew also got in on some of the carp action although I know he was really after one of our 55+kg monsters


Andrew landed an African Walking/Vundu Catfish next...


The pair didn't catch an Arapaima the first day so Danny especially was very eager to return to try his luck again. As those things always go Danny had to wait and Andrew was first to strike with another of many Arapaima he has caught here .


Andrew showed no mercy and also landed the second and third Arapaimas of the day while Danny was still empty handed ..


As often happens patience finally paid off and it was Danny's turn, with his first Arapaima coming at 5;30 pm.


He followed up an hour later with a much bigger fish and left for home a very happy man .. I am sure we will see him back at some point and hopefully Andrew too as we continue to increase our numbers of big Siamese Carp ..


Jez Wilson also visited us again and got a great photo of this monster Asian Redtail


Our German friend Holger Block came to see us but unfortunately couldn't fish as he was recovering from a recently broken back and figured fighting an Arapaima was pushing his luck.. That didn't deter his good friend Alfred though as he fished hard and was rewarded with a good Arapaima ..We hope you continue to get well Holger and hope to see you battling Arapaima of your own some time soon :) .


Another German angler Stefan who visited us in April was also happy to catch an Arapaima .. The highlight of his visit though was to meet up with his good friend Francois who he hadn't seen in quite some time..


Francois didn't get a bite all morning while Stefan was busy catching ..He was just discussing with me that he wanted to maybe move swims when his rod screamed off and he landed this beautiful Siamese Carp..

This brings up a good point which I would like to remind everyone of .. When you go carp fishing at home and cast out your rods do you expect to get a run in the first few hours?. Probably not or you wouldn't have brought your tent , your stove and enough food and drink to last you a week ..I mention this as we often have customers stand on the swim with their arms folded or on their hips looking at us after just 5 minutes with this "why haven't we caught a fish yet ? expression ".

It takes time for the fish to move in on your bait {if you put any out :)} so please be patient , fish hard and you should catch 3 or more fish before you leave . If you want to increase your chances of a fish of a lifetime then I suggest to book a multiple day package or a 5 day package where we will guarantee an Arapaima.


Francois had a good afternoon with him and Stefan landing 8 fish between them . He was all smiles with this Alligator Gar ..


Eric Yeomans visited us for a day ticket and had a great day landing 4 awesome fish also including an Alligator gar


He also landed a very colourful Tambaqui which in that photo looks almost the same colour as our lake.


The fish got better and better as he landed a very rare Jau catfish . Not one of our bigger Jau but great to see any of this species coming out regularly .


The highlight of Eric's day was of course this monster of an Arapaima.


Mohammed Hassen Hussain and son Mohammed Ali joined us for their first visit to EFT and started their first day with a beautiful Asian Redtail. They ended their day with an Alligator gar and a Piraiba Catfish to fill up their catch report .. They had missed quite a few runs and made a wise decision to give it another go the next day


Their next day started well with an Amazon Redtail and Arapaima double header .


That's a difficult photo to top but they managed it with this beauty of an Arapaima


The next fish was also a stunner .. This Alligator Gar was so thick across its back that it actually looked like a small Arapaima .


Hats off to young Mohammed who is not only a good young angler but is also gifted in martial arts . In his home country of Botswana he is on the junior national Karate team and even gave us a live demonstration in our restaurant before he left . Luckily he didn't chop our bar in half :)...


Jeff and Julie visited us with their guide Neil Robinson .. . They landed 7 Amazon Redtails ,one of which you can see with an Alligator as part of this double header photo.


They had some great Catfish overall including this Asian Redtail.


Their favorite Catfish of the day was this Chao Phraya Cat.


This Albino Pacu is one of the biggest I have seen caught anywhere .


Siamese carp were also on their wish list and also quickly checked off


An Arapaima was at the top of their list and ticked off before the end of an amazing days fishing


Our good friend Brian from Mad Mohally's bar in Rawai called me and told me he had two eager Australian anglers wanting to catch Arapaima.. We booked the taxis and Simon and Nav showed up the next day .. They were very easy going guys and I had a good feeling they were in for a good day .. Their first fish was a fat African Walking Catfish


Their first Arapaima was not huge but it definitely put a smile on their faces.


This was the second of what turned out to be an amazing 5 Arapaima for the day .


This fish was the biggest of their school of Arapama .


Arapaima were not the only predator they were catching as they also caught this toothy Alligator Gar .. Most people are a little apprehensive of the Alligator but obviously not these Aussies ..


No trip would be complete without an Amazon Redtail .. This was one of several landed by these happy customers.. These guys were so happy in fact that a week later when I dropped in to see Brian for a Guinness I couldn't even get in the door before Simon and Nav hurried over thanking me again for one of the best fishing days of their lives .. It was also their last night in Thailand so needless to say there were a few Guinness consumed by all .


We had a lot of welcome Russian anglers join us in April with lots of Arapaimas caught which is almost always their target fish .


I don't mean to paint everyone with the same brush but when Russian customers arrive it is 95% that their target is an Arapaima :). Other anglers I would say the Arapaima are first choice of about 60%.



It wasn't just Arapaima being caught by our Russian friends but also some Chao Phraya catfish


This very Patient angler came for Arapaima but unfortunately it wasn't to be and he ended up with a few other fish including this Bony Lipped Barb


Neil Robinson was also back with return customers Vince and Joe.. They caught a great assortment of fish including Alligator gar, Amazon and Asian Redtails, Piraiba Catfish and also this Ripsaw catfish


The highlight of the trip though started only 30 minutes after they arrived when they hooked into something huge on a pellet fished on the bottom.


A fight of over an hour included as always with our big Mekongs a lesson in the "Mekong Shuffle" . This is a pacing back and forth line retrieving technique which we try to get all our customers to use when fighting these bullet trains . I find this works better than a pumping of the rod technique and is a little easier on your back as the fish don't seem to pull as hard .


This fish was stocked less than 2 years ago and I would estimate it to be well over 120kg already .. It was so deep in the body that I couldn't get my arm under it and reach the far pec fin when I was trying to lift it..You know it is a deep fish when you can only see the anglers head behind the fish .. No insult intended but he is far from small:).


I thought I would show a photo of the fish stocking photo just to illustrate its huge growth rate .. The fish was weighed at 96 kg and electronically chipped before stocking .



Mekong fan Stretton Honor was back at EFT on a spur of the moment visit .. It is always great to see Stretton .. He started off his visit with some nice Siamese Carp


An angler of Stretton's experience has caught lots of Asian Redtails but this one was quite a chunk and worthy of a photo .


Hew was also thrilled with yet another EFT Wallagoo Attu


My only problem when Stretton visits is that I never get any work done :). Stretton is a witty person to say the least and I am always more than happy to help guide and have a few laughs rather than do my office work ...


Stretton is always after Mekong Catfish but they eluded him yet again .. He was still happy though with several new species this trip including this Jau Catfish .


It was a tough choice for his best catfish of the trip as he also caught this monster of a Chao Phraya Catfish.


A nice Tambaqui but not a new species .


An Albino Pacu was also not a new fish for Stretton .


Not a biig fish but definitley a new species was this Soldier River Barb


Another new carp species was this Hovens carp which proved a difficult one to hold on to ..I kept my promise I told you I wouldn't show the worst pic Stretton :)


One of the most difficult fish to hold onto and with some teeth to be careful of is the Alligator Gar .


Stretton never gets tired of catching Arapaima which is a good thing as he definitely gets his fair share



One of his better fish was this beautifully coloured 100+ kg fish .


They weren't all monsters but definitely all very lively when hooked .


We hope to see Stretton back with us later this year during prime Mekong time .. I have also heard a rumour that he is trying to catch a 50Kg + Siamese Carp from a 4th venue so we hope to help him with that also .


Stretton wasn't the only person catching Jau Catfish this month with another beauty for Runar from Norway . There were a total of 5 Jau Catfish out for the month which is the most so far .Our main goal is to get these fish closer to their 100lb+ maximum wait but also to make them more of a regular catch here at EFT .We will be adding more fish as soon as they are big enough to survive in the main lake


Runar also followed up with an Arapaima .


His Arapaima got bigger with every catch with a total of 3 for the day .


Runar finished up with one of our smaller Alligator Gar but a new species non the less.


I am not sure which angler caught this fish but they felt it was big enough for them both to get in the photo.


One of the anglers was lucky enough to get a second fish as darkness fell although not as big as the first .


Thanks again to Henrik for some amazing photos which didn't just highlight the fish and anglers but also some of the wildlife here at EFT.


That brings to an end another busy months report with some absolutely awesome fish caught and lots of good friends visiting . If you are looking for more information on our resort please take a look at our website at www.exoticfishingthailand.com where we have lots of info and even an "ask mike" section which I hope is helpful ..


You can also book online through the website booking form or email us direct at exoticfishingthailand@gmail.com . We can be reached by phone at +[66] 883799377 from overseas or from a Thai number 0883799377 ..We hope to welcome you here soon