Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gillhams Fishing Resort. Part 3. The Fish!!

The Fish!
Meet Mark Simmonds...who quite a few of you know as a regular south coast charter boat angler . Mark had enjoyed giving me plenty of stick whilst I was playing my gurt monster an hour or so before. Unfortunately for Mark, I'd decided to go and get a few photo's for this blog...just as he hit into a big Mekong Catfish. You will see, in this photo, what a relaxed and composed gentleman he is...and how happy he was that I'd arrived...ready with my own stream of abuse and technical tips!!
 Now Mark, unable to control his miserable tiddler with the same panache as I clearly possess, allowed his fish to control him. This meant that it shot off down the lake and around the corner giving Mark no choice but to jump in after it....and be towed along.
 This may seem like great fun but after some time it gets to be a bit knackering...'s Mark gasping for breath at the side of the lake with his rod still buckled. At this point he was refusing to look at me and kept saying bad words.
 I could include the whole photographic sequence depicting the downfall of a proud man into a quivering wreck...but I have decided to be kind and jump to the final picture where our brave adventurer has finally tamed his catfish after another 90 minutes of pleasure filled pain...this one was given as about 150lb...pathetic in comparison to mine. Well Done, Mark!
 And now to introduce Glock...the Thai guide. Glock is just great...with a fantastic temperament. If you think it's funny listening to Jai get excited and issuing instructions when your monster bass or playful bream gets to the surface...then you should hear Glock. The Gillhams have got a definite cockney twang to their accents (yeah, yeah...they'll deny this of course) and Glock has picked it up...well, sort of. In fact, he doesn't say many real words...they are often really funny noises but you can recognise them...and they are like Jai's. Hilarious....''yepyouturneditnow. Giveitsomestickyan blingitthiswaynow. Go on. Stopmuckinabout..getitin''.  (Thais don't use punctuation by the way)
 Here's Glock guiding the tired fish gently into the landing net....
 The fish is allowed to recover before any attempts at photography are made. This one (again in the 200lb region) was caught by Ron Biss. Ron caught four of these before lunch on our first day!! The difference in the catch rate between the experienced men of the lake and ourselves (3 silly old sea fishermen) was pretty dramatic and we clearly have a lot to learn...well, I do in particular because I want any of you who come to catch more than me, Jeff and Spike did. Saying that, bearing in mind we'd never done anything like this before...we can truly claim to  having caught some monster fish that we'd only ever expected to see in pictures.
 Not all the fish are monsters. There are 48 species in the lake with at least 7 of the species having reached over 100lb. There are two types of stingray in the lake....we actually hooked up 3 times on rays but we just couldn't moved them. One the guides dived down and physically lifted another angler's ray off the bottom so he did manage to get it in...weighing about 100lb. Anyhow, here's Spike with a smaller type species of catfish...I dunno what it's doubt you all will.
 And here's Spike with a Siamese Carp estimated at 65lb. We several carp to 100lb landed by different anglers.
 And here's me with that 200lb catfish again. I actually caught two of the rascals.
Highlight of our trip has to go to Jeff Whittard from Bristol. Fishing started every day at 7am and finished at 2000. Jeff persevered right to the end each day and was rewarded with several Arapima plus various catfish and carp. This was his smaller Arapima...we're waiting for the photo's of the bigger one to come from Singapore from another angler who had some much better camera gear than we had....soon as it comes I'll get it onto the blog.

You will notice that the fish are kept in the water for the photo...they are simply too heavy to lift out and would die from without the support from the water. Jeff has two guides in the water with him (Jeff's in the middle) to gently ease the Arapima into position...they are big and powerful...they have to be kept calm for the photo..if stressed and determined to take off they can cause an awful lot of damage to those holding it!

So, there we go...our first and highly memorable trip to Gillhams...what a place! What an experience! What fish! Thanks to all the staff and Gillhams for providing such an amazing angling experience and to Stuart himself for creating such an amazing venue for us all to enjoy.

There's loads of info on the Gillhams Fishing Resort website...take the time to read it!

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