Friday, 24 December 2010

A Nice Sized Redtail From Dreamlake in Chiang Mai

A nice sized redtail catfish Caught while fishing in Chiang Mai.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Fishing in Chiang Mai for Siamese Carp

There are only a few places in Thailand where you can target large carp; Chiang Mai's very own Dreamlake is one of the top spots. 
Sorry about the face...... Big Siamese Carp Caught in Chiang Mai.

My luck is definitely in this month and I must put it down to the new lease of life for fishing that has been injected into me from my new fishing buddy, Mac.. The man is fishing mad and has caught many big fish while fishing in Thailand.

Mac made me join him on an evenings fishing at Dreamlake in Chiang Mai. Which gave me another huge fish. This time I was fishing for the carp. Dreamlake holds a good head "Rohu" and "Small Scale mud carp" which are hard scrapping and growing fast, but the lake here in Chiang Mai also holds a good stock of Siamese Carp as well as Julians price carp which both can grow to huge sizes and fight like steam trains. This is what we were targeting.

We fished a Lum mix only a rod length from the banks. They definitely love a nice cloudy mix and this is what we gave the on a small method feeder. the rods sat untouched for several hours and the lake did not want to give up any fish. Mac was stalking a redtail catfish that had been taking his baits from down the margins and I was standing guard on the rods with the buzzers. I was sure Mac was going hook the first fish of the evening and my confidence in the other rods was dwindling fast. When I jumped instantly to the scream of one of the buzzers screaming but couldn't work out which rod was going in the darkness, after a moments hesitation,  I realized it was one of mine. The line was being stripped at an incredible rate. Strike!!!! The rod curls round ,  I know it is something big, but it could be one of the Mekong Catfish which fight like monsters, too. (The Mekong Cats are passing 35-40kg in the Dreamlake already) When Fighting a  big fish in the dark it definitely makes it more  exciting. The fish fights all the way stripping line as it wants. Finally we see the beauty, it breaks the surface. The mouth is big enough to fit a grapefruit  in.  I decided to enter the water to save lifting the fish out, this I feel is always better for the fish. It slides into one of Dreamlake's extra large landing nets, then is easy to unhook. Keeping it in the landing net we get ready for a picture , I lift the beast feeling the weight , being reminded of a sack of cement we snap a picture, as we get ready for the next shot the fish flaps and I can not hold it . It slides back into the darkness.
Huge Mouth for the Siamese Carp (Fishing in Chiang Mai)

Soaking wet and covered in fish slime I splash out and buy the Cokes to celebrate another great fish taken while fishing at Dreamlake in Chiang Mai.
Fish slips away before another picture could be taken.

This is why I love fishing in Thailand and Chiang Mai.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Loooook at the Teeeeeeeth on that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Fishing in Chiang Mai)

Finally the Alligator Gar stays still long enough for a picture.

After a slow start to the day the whether changed and so did the fishing.... I moved away from the swim I had been fishing all day to do a bit of stalking. I moved up to the top end of the lake only to see several alligator only feet from the bank. Casting a live bait around these only caused them to slowly slide away into the deep depths of Dreamlake. So, I stopped chasing the fish I could see. I just cast the bait into the middle of the lake, basically giving up. I had hardly settled the rod down when the float started to move around a bit too fast for the little live bait dangling from the hook. What's going on??? Then, that was it! The float shot under.  Without waiting I struck hard feeling a solid lump on the end. I new instantly that this was a big fish as the rod curled round and the the drag had no choice but to yield line. My father and fishing friend Mac came running up with the landing net and camera. The fish stayed deep, but was coming closer to the bank all the time then it broke the water. All three of us saw the fish at the same time and all new it was big. The fish dove several more times then Mac got the net ready and tried to slide it under the fish realizing we really need a bigger net. Mac being well experienced  with big fish managed to bend the fish in to the net expertly. Mac and myself lifted the fish from the water and laid it on the unhooking mat this is where the fish starting fighting again. It didn't stay on the mat for long It is almost impossible to hold a fish this big, we managed to wrap it in the unhooking mat and I basically sat on the giant beast.  My father would not come near the fish once he had seen the teeth. He decided it would be safer to use the zoom on his camera then come any closer.When you see the teeth on these amazing predators you know instantly that you do not put you hands anywhere near there teeth , unless you want to find out what Chiang Mai's local hospital is like. Today thou we were lucky Mac's skill as a pike fisherman came into play and he slipped the hook out without much fuss.

A few pictures and we slide the fish back into the lake water.

Another Great Day Fishing in Chiang Mai

The real fight began when this fish was on the bank.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Return To Dream Lake for some fishing in Chiang Mai

Chaz with a good fish caught on light tackle.
A return to Dreamlake saw Chaz and myself catching some good quality silver fish on light tackle. The larger fish eluded us with just a couple of runs and a small redtail shaking the hook.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Man Op Fishing Park Chiang Mai

Located on the Hand Dong Road heading out of town. This well established man made ponds holds a wide variety of fish big and small. The main targeted species is the plaa dook or the Gunthers walking catfish. It is stocked regularly from one of the holding ponds surrounding the lake.  These fish are generally caught at well under a kilo but larger fish pushing 10 kilos have been caught.
This fishing lake also holds plenty of small fry and also some larger Mekong Cat fish but these are definitely more elusive than the other species in the lake.
The lake gets very crowed on Wednesday evening as there is a completion that takes place every weekend it is light hearted and a good laugh as long as you can cast straight….it only cost about a hundred baht to enter  and there are plenty of prizes given away every hour. Go on give it a go….

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Paradise Lake in Chiang Mai

Some of the hardest Fighting Fish
Fishing at Sun Set In Chiang Mai "Perfect"

Frank with One of Paradise Lakes Smaller Fish

Giant Meakong Cat Fish From Paradise Lake
Adventure Fishing

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Bueng Farm Fishing

Pai Northern Thailand
I have to say a big thank you to Run and Orn the owners of a beautiful man made lake in the idilic location of Pai northern Thailand. Pai is about three hours drive from Chiang Mai and is very popular with Thai and foreigners alike.
A good net of fish for Thailand
I took the family away for a long week end. The wife was more then happy with the location and I was more than satisfied with the fishing. The lake holds a wide range of species. from Talapia to Red Tails although not very big yet, they have only been stocked for just over a year. I was not to worried about these fish as I can catch them closer to home and a lot bigger. I got out the pole and spent the weekend stretching the red hydro under the strain hard fighting fish. I had the 10lb bottom line occasional smashed by unknown monsters, but other then that the pole held up rather well.

The final day saw a good afternoons fishing after doing the bare back elephant riding in the morning. The fish were smaller then the previous day, but none the less ready to jump on the hook. Much to the disbelief of the local Thai anglers. I managed to put about 35 kilos in the net and released another few kilos of Siamese carp that I didn't want to put in the net for fear of these being very fragile fish.

Can't Remember their names.....
She caught her first fish, too.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Nice Peacock Bass from Dreamlake in Thailand

A nice Peacock Bass from Dream Lake
Dreamlake gave up a large peacock bass but 2 other larger fish slipped the hook, one returning a large Siamese carp scale. Chaz a new fisherman to Dream Lake  caught a small Pacu very early on, this put a smile on his face.
Chaz with his first Pacu
I feel the lake was fishing a bit slow and there was very little surface movement compared to normal. I think the fish were waiting for the rain which turned up only hours after we left and has been coming down in down pours ever since. I just hope it keeps coming because if it does I will be heading back to lake next weekend.
Fishing in Thailand is always full of surprises. 

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Alligator Gar

I have had a couple of nice Alligator Gar myself , not that they are my favorite fish to catch, due to their teeth that protrude viciously out of their mouths. They are pretty impressive prehistoric fish it has to be said.
None of my fish have been even close to these Huge beasts I am still not sure if the have been 'Photo Shopped'

Monday, 10 May 2010

Painfully Good Day at Dream Lake, Chiang Mai

Nursing a bit of hangover from a small stint on the town we (Bruno and I) arrive at Dream Lake just as Reiner opens the gate. I have decided that today I am going to target the larger predators that the lake holds. Sometimes, well more often than not, I pole fish for the smaller inhabitants. We stroll round to bungalow number 2 and I give Bruno the choice of sides.
He takes the left so obviously I am on the right. I am trying out some new bait that we purchased from the world’s biggest bait store, “Tesco” the day before. I ledger a hair rigged piece of mackerel on one rod and a simply hooked hotdog sausage on the other. Bruno takes out some fish balls and some Chinese sausage. Now, we just sit back and wait, at dream lake some days one run is all you will get, if you are lucky!!.

Today though, my bait is not out long when I start getting taps on my hotdog Bruno suggest I hit it as he hooked a couple of fish previously that way. Bang!!! I strike the rod curls round and the clutch starts giving out line then for no reason it’s gone! A few rude words later and I put the bait back out. Back to the waiting game. It is still only early but the sun is coming up and glaring straight at us. So we are now fighting over the little bit of shade this bungalow provides. We see a repeat performance of the earlier take and a few more knocks. All of a sudden the bait runner screams into action! With a nice controlled strike the drag kicks in and the fun begins. It puts up a fair fight, but soon we slide the net under an Alligator Gar not my favourite fish for one simple reason they are dangerous!!! But hey I like to pride myself on my fish handling abilities, so leaving the fish in the net in the water I get to work. These fish never really seem to get hooked they just hold on. With this in mind, I am trying to open its mouth. The prehistoric looking animal shakes its head disapprovingly taking the skin off my thumb with its rows of sharp teeth. I retreat backwards holding my thumb that wasn’t even in its mouth. While I stop the bleeding, Bruno finishes the job I was doing. Satisfied that the fish has been banked and we haven’t blanked I go to get some iodine for my thumb.

Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai

Then back to Bruno’s tales of the fish he has caught from here that just keep getting bigggggeeer!!!! A few hours pass with a few more missed runs then the heat of the midday sun kicks in and we know that we just have to wait it out till the temperature settles down a bit in the evening. Sure enough just as the evening starts to show the rod belts in to action. Bait runner going at full speed. I hit this one and the fish does not like it one little bit. The rod bends right round and I am wondering if the rod is going to hold or not. Long deep fast runs it strips line. Then I slowly gain the line back then the fish is eventually beat and the net goes under a beautiful Siamese carp. This is a surprise knowing these fish normally go for bread and not hot dogs. This though is still one of the lake’s smaller carp the big ones are still eluding me. I enter the water to unhook the fish as these can be fragile creatures that don’t like being handled too much. A couple of picture and off it goes.
Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai

This is turning out to be a good day. One fish is good, two well that’s great. Now Bruno is in to a fish after a slow run. It doesn’t put up much of a fight and when it comes to the surface we are not over the moon to see another Alligator Gar. This one turned out to be easy to unhook and no further injuries.

That must be it; the sun has gone and between us there are three fish on the bank. So we start to pack up. I go behind the bungalow to start putting the spare rods away when, the bait runner goes again. Just as I hear Bruno shouting my name I head back the 3-4 meters to my rod. I shout for Bruno to leave it as I step on to the bungalow. Bruno strikes, just as I miss my footing in the excitement and end up falling into the lake. Well half in the lake, half on the smelly baits that were in the margins and the rest of me ended up on the bamboo poles that are there to stop the bank eroding. ( I just know that’s going to bruise nicely) As I drag myself out of the lake Bruno passes back the rod and I am playing my fish, this fish carts right and fights hard. It keeps going right. Now I know what fish it is and where it is going. Straight to the bank and into the roots it snags me. Left with no choice I head back into the water worrying about the cuts and scratches and what weird and wonderful infection I might get. With the rod in hand I have to swim around to bungalow number 1 Listening to chuckles from Bruno and Reiner as my head keeps going under the water. I pass the rod to Reiner and follow the line to where I am expecting to find a Redtail catfish. And sure enough I can see the big eyes of the Redtail looking out at me in the moonlight. He is just waiting to see what I do. I untangle the line from the roots but the catfish doesn’t seem in any hurry to go anywhere so I figure he is beat so, I place my hand in its mouth and ease him out. No, I am wrong!! He is not beat yet with my hand in his mouth he shakes his head. All his ‘Velcro’ style teeth sand away at the top layers of skin leaving it shredded. The fish finally slides into the net. We take a few more pictures and slide the fish back into the depths of the lake.

Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai
What an end to a great day at Dream Lake!! Fishing in Chiang Mai

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The New Yank and Bank is not doing its job.

I am a lover of pole fishing as well as most other styles, I have just moved out to the San Sai side of town and found a lake that holds a large head of Plaa Suai (Striped Cat fish I think) most are only around the two kilo mark. So, I figured I could use my newly shipped in Yank and Bank. These poles are designed for the comercial carp fisheries of the U.K. So they are meant to be able to handle large fish. But I am finding out, it is realy struggling to handle these little power houses. I lose every secound or third fish which is not the rate I want to be losing them...
I am going for the ton out of this lake and when I get it I will let you know..

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Fishing Dream Lake for Arapaima in Chiang Mai

Big Red Chiang Mai's Biggest Arapaima

It is not even eight o’clock and the sun is already beating down at Dream Lake. I have missed the last two summers here and forgotten just how hot it gets. Having chosen my swim for the day, I am going to fish bungalow number four, I have set up two ledger rods one with sausage and one on dead bait.  I am really hoping for a fish early on because as the day wears on the chances of getting a bite decrease rapidly.

An hour or two pass and I am getting fidgety l have had only a few taps on the rods. I am trying hard to resist the temptation to recast every time I see a fish swirl or a few bubbles. “Big Red” (one of the lakes big arapaima) keeps swirling outside the bungalows a bit further down the lake. It’s about eleven o’clock now and believe me it is hot in the shade. I decide it is time for a change as nothing has moved down my end for a while now,  I collect my gear  together  and place it between bungalow number one and two really not sure which one to fish, until a big arapaima  shows  his head just off bungalow number one , that’s it, sold!!!
As change is needed I choose lives baits one on a float and one on the bottom. Watching the float keeps me busy now  . Watching the float bob around as the small plaa nin pulls the float all over the place as it panics. This is defiantly a lake where you wouldn’t want to be a small fish, with all those predators swimming around. I am now confident the float will disappear soon. But the arapaima is now topping outside bungalow number two, did  I make the wrong choice again? Should I move again?  No, keep working the float. This, I feel is my best bet.  Float rod in hand trying to keep the line from bowing in the wind.  I jump with the split second of wandering what is happening; my hand is on the other rod the line screaming of the real.
I strike. Yes, it is on. I can see Reiner and A a Thai friend start walking straight away to come and help. But it does not feel that big. I nearly tell them not to bother. When; there it is. It is a huge arapaima!!  But why is it not fighting?  It breaches the surface and then realizes it is hooked it is off stripping line. Wow, this beast is fast. The anti back wind on the real gives way the handles starts spinning I can’t stop this fish.

Eventually I succeed in turning the fish and working it back to the bungalow it now swims right next to the bungalow with all three of us looking down on the monster with huge shoulders. Then the fish is off again I know there are snags where this beauty is going. All I can do is pray as it is doing what it wants today it doesn’t find any and I finally feel the battle is won.  With the fish near the bungalow I jump in and handle the fish in the water as these fish are known to be very fragile.   I find it amazing that such a huge predator has such a small mouth. Unlike the big cats that I have out of the Ebro this fish is beautiful. Several pictures later the fish of a life time is released back into the depths of the lake.

Handshakes and grins all round Reiner estimates the fish to be between forty five and fifty kilos. That!!!, I am more than happy with!!! I think it is a new lake record. Today there is no point in fishing any more so it is time to buy the beers.

Cheers to Dream Lake

Friday, 2 April 2010

Dream Lake Chiang Mai

I had lived in Chiang Mai for a few years before I eventually discovered Dream Lake. This is a well stocked, well kept lake just on the out skirts of Chiang Mai town. It holds some enormous fish that bend the rod double. I also love this place because of the large numbers of smaller fish that I can cast a waggler or fish the pole for. I have just brought a new pole because this place broke my last.(I hope this one is strong enough) The owner and his wife are great people, I have fished with Reiner on numerous occasions, he is a passionate angler from Germany and I have eaten enough of his wife's(Ploy) food to know she is a great cook. This makes Dream Lake a great place to spend the day . Also, I can bring the wife. I fish, she eats, now everyone is happy.

About My Blog

Chiang Mai is situated in the north of Thailand and is surrounded by mountains. Chiang Mai has many opportunites. From nice sedate tours on coaches to see the temples, to down hill mountain biking or enduro riding which I myself enjoy. (Albeit on the baby slopes). Chiang Mai, well Thailand as a whole has a great reputation for its food and people...I have always enjoyed food so I am blessed to live in a country where the locals love to cook. The people are great as long as you take the time to understand their ways and show a little respect.
But as an Englishman passionate about my fishing there is one thing that keeps me going and that is my Angling. As a boy I started at the age of six, I went with my dad but we never caught much more than a gudgeon or two. Which didn't impress me too much. Then we started going with my granddad and we we catching perch and roach all day long... He had his split cane rod and I had my ten pounds one from Argos a real cheapy.

From then on I fished as often as I could walking the mile to river nearly every day to fish for an hour or two after school. As I grew I fished the match scene with varying success, Just as I was getting good the usual problems of drink and ladies got in the way for a few years till I eventually rekindled my love by packing my bags and heading of to the Ebro in spain with a one way ticket and far too much equipment to carry with my good friend Frank.... This was many years ago now long before the crowds and the big fishing tour trips of guaranteed 100 pounders.. It was real adventure. This gave me the buzz for traveling and from then on I always traveled with a fishing rod or at least some line and hooks.... maybe as this blog continues I may find the time to tell my fishy tales and the adventures that led to them, not necessarily for you, but just for my self.