Indian Carp Fishing in Thailand
Fish Thailand regular visitor Mike Sharp has been fishing in Thailand several times before. Mike has previously enjoyed great results from Shadow Lake, Boon Mar Ponds & with his son Christian at Bungsamran, each of the above links will take you to these catch reports.
This visit Mike had only a few days and wished to fish somewhere else for an experience outside of Thailand's fisheries and fishing parks. It just so happened that his timing was perfectly fitting with the Indian carp or rohu fishing season in Thailand.
Natural & Wilderness carp fishing in Thailand can be extremely fruitful & prolific if timed correctly with the seasons, with the dam filling up from the monsoons it meant the carp were hungry after spawning and now was the time to strike; this feeding frenzy will last through to January at least.
The three day jungle carp fishing safari began with the five hour drive to Khao Laem Dam located in Western Thailand. Upon arrival early afternoon, we took a short boat ride with all the fishing tackle to the carp fishing raft located in position over the pre-baited swim. The five days of pre-baiting prior to fishing is the key to successful carp fishing in Thailand, marking the position with a float. The rest of the first day is used to echo-sound the swim from the boat to show Mike the depth and where any snags may be situated; this mental image of the swim's topography is vital to gain the upper hand when playing a big Indian carp.
First light on the second day and all six Penn rods are baited and cast into position - it was encouraging to see Indian carp topping around the baited zone early on. Within five minutes the first run saw Mike strike into a fish, but not an Indian carp - a short fight later it turned out to be a lovely mrigal of 9lb. The next run was a little different as one of the rods whooped over and as Mike lift the rod into the fish, line was peeled from the spool - definitely a decent Indian carp. Weighing in at 21lb it was the first of many to come.
Several black carp and more mrigal were landed during the morning and then the most violent of all strikes occurred, this fish was much heavier and taking far too much line for comfort. In a moment of horror all went solid as the Indian carp had found a snag, a snag that was not picked up on the echo-sounder the previous day. Eddie and Ay took to the water in the boat while Mike stayed ready with the rod on the raft. The water depth was 19ft and Ay was confident he could dive down to the snagged fish, a minute later he surfaced and the fish was freed - good job is Ay is half fish half man! Mike continued to play the fish into the raft where it was netted - it showed 28lb on the scales - a magnificent fish. Eddie took the echo-sounder back over the snag to see it was indeed a single tree stump sprouting from the bottom. This was useful to know as the next Indian carp Mike hooked went straight for the same snag only Mike skillfully turned it away before reaching the danger zone - another low 20lb Indian carp. This first day a total of five Indian carp were caught with only one being below 20lb and by just a mere 8oz.
The second day's fishing on the carp raft was much slower - typically the second day produces 25% of the first day's catches. A few black carp and a huge tilapia of 6lb were landed, plus two Indian carp were frustratingly lost through hook pulls.
All in all - 22 fish in two days fishing in the wilderness of Khao Laem Dam is a successful Thailand fishing safari.