Monday, December 23, 2013

Gillhams in Krabi

Our Intrepid Team has just returned from the Internationally acclaimed Gillhams Fishery in Ao Nang in the Thai mainland province of Krabi.
 What a way to start each day, eh? This is the view from the veranda of our accommodation bungalows alongside the's spectacular yet calming. A truly wonderful place and a credit to the vision of resort creator, Stuart Gillham.
 Steve Thorne was the man to lead the way on our first day with four pacu. These were taken on worm baits.
 Our heroic Weymouth commercial fisherman, Gary Chard, was soon catching them as well....not what we were after but good fun and an extremely lively fighting species.
 Mark Butland landed the biggest of what must have been a dozen caught between the chaps.
 Behind every successful (???) man there is of course an inspirational woman. There are those, like Janey Thorne,  who sit and calmly offer advice on every aspect of everything.....
 ...and there are those who adopt the 'get out of the way' approach and demonstate how things should be done. Here's Mandy Chard giving a running commentary on the correct way to play a fish...and not a dinky little paku this time!
 Here she is...having leapt into the lake to show the guides how to handle a netted fish.
 It's a good job Mandy was in the thick of it to lend a hand as our guide Chris was clearly a bit nervous about picking up such a wild creature as an Amazon catfish. With Mandy controlling the thrashing tail with a steely grip, the photo was taken!
 Now Gary, as many of you know, is a bit nervous about water. He refused to get in as it was 'a but slippery' underfoot. This meant that our second guide, Khun Glock, had to present Gary's catfish to the world.
 Mark Butland landed a very nice redtail catfish and caught a far bigger one later on....but I wasn't on hand with the camera and Mark's memory card won't download via the Whittall Card Reader.
 Fishing is all about making new friends. At Gillhams you will meet angling enthusiasts from all over the world. Here's 23 year old Rodney Jones. Several generations back, Rodney's forefathers left Wales and headed west to settle in Florida. I mean, what on earth were they thinking of???  Rodney has left Florida twice in his life....and both times made the monstrous 36 hour trip to Gillhams. On this occasion he was rewarded with a 90lb and then a 70lb Siamese carp. Well Done, Rodney...and what a pleasure to meet such a polite young man.
And this is Kenneth Reichardt from Denmark. Kenneth was on his honeymoon with his glamorous new wife who had agreed to him spending 3 days fishing (shows promise this new marriage) at Gillhams. Kenneth was the hero of the 3 days we were there...catching a 280lb arapaima, an 80lb redtail cat and then this fabulous 80lb carp.

OK...we did not get one of the big fish we came for but it's such a delight to fish here that the disappointment can be but fleeting. I am fortunate in that I will be returning in early Feb for another 4 day session so maybe I will witness one of our February team landing one of the lake giants.

We are back in Phuket now with a scuba diving trip planned for tomorrow and then , after Xmas, another session at the Phuket Fishing Park. This time we have ordered up a load of chicken skin (yep, really!) with the intention of having a good go at the Amazon redtail catfish....and I hope to be trying out another of the tackle offerings from sponsor Grauvell.

Merry Xmas to everyone....hope it ain't too chilly for you back in Good Ol' Blighty. For what it's worth, an unusally high area of High Pressure from China is covering the north and middle part of Thailand. In Pitsanalok, Jai's hometown, the temperatures are currently -3 degrees at night and the Thai Government (not that there is one at the moment) has been sending up blankets etc to prevent untimely deaths through the cold! ain't all sunshine and warmth all the time in The Land of Smiles.

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