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Sunday, August 23, 2015
THE "FISH THE EXOTIC" JUNE CATCH REPORT
We were busy in June with introducing new fish , a children's charity event and as always catching lots of exciting exotic species ..
I get calls every week from all kinds of people trying to sell us fish for the lake . When my trusted fish dealer called with Thai grown Sturgeon for sale I decided to throw apprehension about it being a cold water fish aside and ordered some.
We did lose 2 fish after stocking but that can happen with any species . I am very interested to see what bait these fish get caught on and will be happy to post photos of the first one caught .
I can hear my pessimistic competitors now saying "Why would anyone come to Thailand to catch Sturgeon when they can catch them in Canada" .This is very true as I really don't think anyone would do that ,but the same goes for Goonch from India , Vundu from Africa and Jau from the Amazon . Different fish are exotic to people from different areas of the globe . A Canadian from Alberta would not be interested to catch a Sturgeon and an angler from South Africa would not be chasing Vundu Catfish .
When you put 70 different species in a fishing paradise like EFT then I think we really have something special for everyone, and lots of variety to keep people interested for a long time to come .
Alligator Gar are not my personal favorite fish , but our customers are always very excited to catch them . When another shipment of some nice sized specimens came available I just couldn't say no..
We will only be buying Gar of this size or bigger moving forward .
In my opinion the Black Shark Minnow is definitely one of the most beautiful Thai Carp species
As explained in prior posts we do not buy Giant Stingrays over 1m as we feel this encourages fish traders to take them from the wild for possible sale. The Giant Stingray is an endangered species which must be preserved. We encourage the continued studies by VRMC from Chulalongkorn University under the direction of Dr. Nantarika Chanuse who are doing a great job of studying this species in order to promote conservation.
I unfortunately still see smaller rays in tanks or bags in Bangkok markets. I am always happy to rescue them to a comfortable home here at EFT.
One of the highlights of June was when children from the Good Shepherd school in Phuket came to visit us as part of GOMS charity day out for the kids
For those of you not familiar with GOMS , this is a charitable group of gentlemen who call themselves the Grumpy Old Men Society . They meet once a month and do fund raising and make donations to fund events for children's groups and the needy.
When approached by Peter Lyons a GOMS member who fishes regularly here at EFT I was happy to get on board and sponsor this event by donating lunch and our facilities for the afternoon .We also arranged to get our good friend Bunlert from the Phang Nga Viewpoint to give free horse riding and ice cream for the first half of the day to all the children, so special thanks to him and his staff.
After lunch the first stop for the kids was our Mountain Fish Park where they were happy to feed both the Amazon Catfish and Arapaimas in their 2 respective feeding ponds .
Next up was a group photo with "Harry" the "Ari"paima.
The children happily took advantage of the many photo opportunities in the park and around the lake.
That included posing on "Frog Rock" wth its amazing back drop.
Even sister Lakana had time fora photo on the "Rock'N'Chair".
Next up was the most important part of the afternoon ,which was of course the fishing .
We rigged small rods for all the children. They were very happy catching small Java Barbs and Tilapia ,which we kept for them to take home to be made very good use of in the school's kitchen .
We also caught some Amazon Redtails for the children to photo for show and tell.
All the children received an EFT catch certificate to acknowledge their catches .
Even Sister Lakana got a certificate :). I spent some time talking to Sister and was very impressed with all the amazing work she is dong with the children. I was happy to offer our full support for future groups of children to come and visit .
The children had a fun day and we were happy to donate to such a great cause . I must admit than when the children sang a thank you song to me even I teared up .:)
The happy anglers who fished 67 angler days with us in June caught a total of 395 fish . This made for an average of 5+ fish per angle 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.. 91 Amazon Redtails to 65lbs... 68 Arapaima to 325lbs ',. 42 Asian Redtails to 37lbs, 1 Blue Mahseer to 4kg . 2 Bony Lipped barbs to 7lbs, ..9 Chao Phraya Catfish to 110lbs, 9 Giant Gourami to 8 lbs..3 Giant Snakehead to 18lbs.. 1 Giant Stingray to approximately 1m . 9 Goonch to 26lbs ,.2 Hovens Carp to 7lbs... 5 Jau Catfish to 28lbs ... 4 Mekong Catfish to 260lbs.. 9 Pacu to 28lbs ,.. 5 Piraiba Catfish to 22lbs,. 8 Redtail/Tiger Cross Catfish to 18lbs,. 11 Ripsaw/Niger Catfish to 18lbs,. 2 Rohu to 14lbs ...39 Siamese Carp to 70lbs,.. 3 Soldier River Barb to 8lbs... 2 Spotted Featherback to 6 lbs. ..11 Tambaqui to 18lbs,.1 Tiger Shovelnose Catfish to 14lbs,. 6 Vundu Catfish to 18 lbs,..5 Wallagoo Attu to 25 lbs, 4 Wallagoo Leeri to 23lbs .
Our good friend Dominik returned from Austria with his lovely partner Stefanie and this time stayed with us for a week. He started this trip with a Wallagoo Leeri which was a new species for him .
Dominik has caught Pacu before , but this one was quite a chunk .
Stef also wanted to try to reel in a fish and did a great job with this Amazon Redtail.
Dominik caught over 70 fish this trip. This was just one of many Asian Redtails .
Another new species was this Giant Gourami. Dominik decided to use gloves to hold onto this fish as they are quite slippery.They also have very rough scales if you rub them the wrong way.
Its always a good idea to use gloves or a Towel with the Alligator gar as they have similar scales to the Gourami , but of course also have a wicked set of teeth.
Dominik had been talking about catching a big Mekong for some time now .When he finally hooked this 200lb+ fish which took off like a train he was very excited to say the least . Dominik is a professional football player and in good shape , but even he had trouble playing this brute of a fish . Once we showed him the "Mekong Shuffle" he soon started to gain line on the fish and finally had it in the net in just over 1 hour .
The "Mekong Shuffle" is a simple walking back and forth method we use to gain line on the fish between runs while keeping maximum pressure on the fish . We find this works very well. By using their legs it puts less stress on the anglers arms as they can keep their forearm straight while holding the rod higher up from the reel with the non reeling arm .
Dominik caught lots of Arapaima with this being one of his bigger fish .
He continued with some more rare species like this stunning Wallagoo Attu
Some people think the Tambaqui is just a green Pacu but it is a completely different species which grows a lot larger and is a lot more rare than the Pacu .
After reeling in her first fish earlier in the trip and with some help from her new found friend [ now veteran angler :)]Marie Channer, Stef decided to try her luck with a separate swim from Dominik .She really did quite well for her first try with her first fish being this big Asian Redtail.
Her next fish was an Amazon Redtail.
This chunky Siamese reminded Dominik of his first visit to EFT where he caught Carp all day and came very close to the lake record for number of Siamese in one day .
Last but not least is another photo of one of many Arapaima.
We wish Dominik good luck in the coming football season and look forward to seeing him and Stefanie back here soon .
Daniel meek was very happy to finally be here at EFT after lots of excited anticipation. Daniel was off to roaring start with a very nice Amazon Redtail .
Next up was an African Vundu catfish . Easily distinguished from the African walking Catfish by its 2 distinctive dorsal fins where as the African Walkng Cat only has 1 long fin.
His next fish was this beautiful Albino Chao Phraya Catfish .
Daniel had a great time at EFT and promised to be back and stay for longer next trip:)
Paul from Singapore was very happy once we explained that he had caught a very rare Jau Catfish and a very good sized one for Thailand at approximately 25 lbs.
Paul's next fish was a beautifully marked Redtail Tiger Crossbred Catfish . This fish is also sometimes misnamed Leopard Catfish and Sorubim but is really a Thai cross breed .
As with most anglers the Arapaima was at the top of Paul's wish list and EFT delivered yet again .
Our highest repeat visit customer and all round nice guy Peter Lyons returned and started his catch report with a rare Wallagoo Leeri caught on the lum ball
Peter didn't win any fashion shows but definitely came prepared for the rain . The weather didn't deter him and he landed a nice Siamese Carp .
Tom from the UK returned again guided by Neil Robinson and had a fantastic trip . Tom's first fish was this big Pacu
Sticking with the Pacu family he landed an Albino Pacu next .
He also landed the very similar shaped Tambaqui
Next he lost what Neil suspected was big Mekong on pellet but bounced back minutes later with this Asian Redtail on one of Neil's favorites , a hair rigged Chicken head :).
Neil is very good at fishing with lum and soon got Tom onto a big Siamese
A welcome surprise to Tom was this Stingray also caught on lum . The rays swim over the lum and then trap the smaller fish using their bodies like a cover and then start eating the fry and often finding a fry that has accidentally got hooked while eating the lum.,
Tom just wowed us with Arapaima and caught 7 Arapaima in only 6 days of fishing. Neil and Tom figured they would rather get quality versus quantity and settled on fishing with a dead java barb left untouched for hours . The end result was that the smaller fish left the fish alone and at some point one of the bigger Arapaimas would make a mistake
Their second Arapaima wasn't one of their biggest but it was a step up from the first fish
The third fish was the biggest of the trip and also had some great colours.
It seemed like every time I looked over Tom was into another Ari.
Tom and Neil also stuck with the same swim for their whole trip which also seemed to help .Far too often people want to move each day as they see fish rolling in other areas of the lake ..
Tom was all about predators this trip and even managed a nice Alligator Gar . We hope to see Tom back soon to land his big Mekong which got away .
This Russian angler was also very happy with an Alligator Gar and finally decided to get a fish pic. He also caught 3 Amazon Redtails which he didn't want to get wet for .
Shawn from the UK visited us with his family and was off to a slow start until he caught this Siamese .
Again and again I tell people to fish right until 7pm . Shawn showed great patience and sure enough finished on a high note with this family fish of a lifetime Arapaima
John King was back to see us again and catch some more monsters . After a complicated start where the hotel he chose had locked him in and he couldn't get out in the morning he finally managed to get to the taxi and join us here at EFT :). John started his trip with this very plump Ripsaw Catfish .
Now John has caught many Amazon Redtails here in Thailand but he didn't want to miss a photo with this beautifully marked fish .
The Asian Redtails always put up a great fight , starting with a very strong first run .
Another fish with an even faster run is the Chao Phraya Catfish . In my opinion these fish have the strongest and fastest run of any Thai fish pound for pound . This first run is usually followed by a turn back towards the angler which tricks him into thinking he has lost the fish .. My advice is don't stop reeling until you see your bait .Most anglers drop their rod tip assuming that the fish is gone which is then followed by the reality that it has gone :).
John wasn't just catching Exotic Catfish he was also getting in on some nice Siamese Carp.
Another Stunning Siamese for this carp lover .
John loves all fish and has a specific soft spot for the Arapaima . John has caught lots of Arapaima like this one but was chasing a lot bigger fish .
After a few big fish broke through the net John was starting to get a little frustrated . Calm prevailed and he refocused and landed this awesome fish as a new PB .
Paul Shemmings and Marie Channer were back yet again for what would be their final visit before they left Thailand to continue their world tour in Australia . They were both looking to catch new PBs and also to cross new species off their wanted list. Marie was off to a good start catching a Redtail Tiger Cross
Another thorn in her side had been the Albino Pacu, but she quickly caught one of those as well.
Paul wasn't targeting this fish I don't think, but never the less was very happy to catch a Pink Gourami. Yes really he was .. really :):) Marie and his family and friends joke that he doesn't smile much in photos ...
Even Paul managed a smile with a new PB Chao Phraya Catfish
He was also over the moon with this awesome Piraiba.. I would never wish my life away but I really cant wait to see how big these fish are in 5 years ..Some have grown from 1 kg to 10kg in 3 years so even if they only double every 2 to 3 years we could be looking at some 20 to 30kg fish very soon ..
Marie was keeping busy with a PB Amazon Redtail .
I am not sure if this was her biggest Asian Redtail but a great fish non the less.
One of the most stunning fish this month was Paul's Goonch . This fish had some beautiful markings and even its eye was in the shape of a heart ..
The Ripsaw Queen was in full form in June with her new PB and one of the biggest Ripsaws caught here yet .
Paul and Marie were having such a great time here that they invited Paul's Mum and Dad over to see them and have a fish before they headed off to Australia. Once Ray and Susan arrived Paul spent most of his time helping his dad rather than fishing for himself .Ray's first fish was an Amazon Redtail
Next up a rare Wallagoo Attu taken on the float
Paul had been baiting up with a lot of chicken which paid off with this Chao Phraya Catfish
Marie on the other hand was still fishing strong for new species and crossed off yet another with this huge Soldier River barb . We have several of these fish which I stocked over the current world record .
Her next fish was an absolutely superb Blue Mahseer . Even I was jealous :(.. A beautiful looking fish and a good size for that species ..
An Albino Pacu which fell victim to pellet .
It wasnt all about Ray as even Sue got in on the action
We think Paul had been jinxed and couldn't catch a Ripsaw to save his life so we all knew Murphy's Law would kick in and he would catch one while helping his dad :)
Ray also caught one of our hungry Alligator Gar .
His biggest thrill was his first Arapaima.
Marie was taking no prisoners and catching some great fish including another monster with this Alligator Gar
This Arapaima made all of her other fish look like babies . What a beast of a fish .. Well done Marie .It is really hard to believe you only started fishing recently .I apologize as you are now spoilt for life when it comes to fishing after fishing here at EFT as much as you have :)..
Ray and Paul were busy getting lots of fish but unfortunately not the same size as Marie ..
Being from the UK and an experienced Carp angler Ray was more than happy with this super Siamese
The last fish of the trip for Ray was a Pacu . I think he described it as a big Bream with Teeth :)
Paul had explained that it was his dad's birthday so our head chef Tuk got to work in creating this tasty cake in the shape of a van. Ray loves vans and was stunned when he saw Tuk's handy work
It was also Susan' Birthday and she wasn't left out that is for sure as Chef created another of her tasty creations
That brings to an end another busy month with a very sad ending as we had to say good bye to Paul and Marie We wish them all the best as they continue their global travels.
Dont let the thoughts of rainy season deter you from visiting EFT, as we have lots of umbrellas and it doesn't rain every day .
If you are looking for more information on our resort and pricing , please take a look at our website at www.exoticfishingthailand.com where we have lots of info. We also have an "ask mike" section which I hope is helpful to answer many of your questions..
You can book your Exotic fishing experience through the website booking form , or email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org . We can be reached by phone at + 883799377 from overseas or from a Thai number 0883799377 ..We look forward to welcoming you here in fishing paradise soon .