Phil Williams spends alot of his retirement not just fishing around the world but also capturing the angling moments on some rather professional camcorder equipment. This trip fishing in Thailand was no different as Phil embarked on his 3 day fishing holiday in Thailand. A day at Boon Mar Ponds primarily fly fishing for barramundi, a day at IT Lake Monsters predator fishing the famous Thai & Amazon predatory fish species and finally a day at Bungsamran fishing in Bangkok for Mekong giant catfish.
Phil managed to capture on camera all of his target fish species whilst fishing in Thailand and the above pictures illustrate a few of these moments. Below is Phil's written account of his three days fishing with Fish Thailand.
"Most people who either know me or know of me through fishing have me down as a small boat angler at sea, which I am. But I am equally happy to collect new trophy species from freshwater too. And what bigger freshwater trophies or opportunities could there be than the worlds two largest growing true freshwater fish, the Arapaima and the Mekong Giant Catfish, the planets biggest carp, and around 30 other Thai and Amazonian predators, amazingly all together in a collection of small day ticket waters within daily striking range of Bangkok. White Sturgeon and Freshwater Stingray can grow bigger but don't count as they are not true freshwater fish due to their life cycle involving time spent at sea. So with the offshore boat fishing not looking like being up to much around Bali where I was on holiday, it didn't take much persuading for me to hop on a plane over to Bangkok for what turned out to be the three most memorable days 'pond' fishing of my life.
I suspect like most people booking guided fishing trips for the first time with Eddie Mounce and the team at Fish Thailand, I had targets and expectations, but at the same time little or no idea how the whole show would run. Well let me say here and now that the show runs like a well choreographed routine, and while there are no absolute guarantees in fishing, this is possibly about as near as it gets short of lobbing sticks of dynamite in to the water. As much in hope as absolute expectation, I had booked a day each at Boon Mar, IT Monsters and Bungsamran, and in that order to try to pace my body for what I was told could turn out to be a bit of a physical mauling at the hands of the Mekong Cats, which as it worked for me was the right way around to do it.
I had fished for Barramundi before in Australia without success, so I just wanted one by whatever method to start things off at Boon Mar, then I could switch to the fly and try to earn more bragging rights amongst my game fishing friends. Within 3 casts the Barra was ticked off the list, followed a short time later by several to 16 pounds on the fly. Not the easiest fly fishing I've ever done due to the imbalance of the outfit brought about by the weight of the fly. But certainly the most exciting. A great boost to start day two at IT monsters which saw an endless stream of Red Tailed Cats, Alligator Gars, Pacu, Giant Snakeheads, Feathertails and other Catfish species coming to the landing net. Then it was over to Bungsamran for the physical abuse, predictions of which certainly lived up to their billing. Mekong Cats are without doubt the hardest fighting freshwater I have ever come across, which when playing them from the bungalows wooden platform overlooking deep water reminded me of a Giant Trevally or a Tuna. And it is relentless with fish after fish after fish all day long if you want them. The only way to get a break here is not to cast in.
As I said earlier, I did go over with a tick list which I hoped rather than fully expected to complete, and in that respect it was all objectives and more achieved with the exception of one. I didn't get an Arapaima. But I got the next best thing, as the chap alongside me at IT Monsters hooked into one, which as I was filming three videos for my website meant that I could actually do some of the camera work which for me is almost as good as catching the fish myself. So there you have it. Normally what happens at this point in a testimonial is that the writer starts pouring out heaps of praise on all concerned, which after all is why we take the trouble to put pen to paper in the first place. But that isn't going to happen here. Instead, I'm going to quote my wife Dawn who is something of a people watcher and who has accompanied me on many guided trips all over the world. Her view of Eddie and Alley was that by a very wide margin they were the two nicest, hardest working, knowledgeable, helpful and easy going guides we had ever fished with. More like friends than paid associates there doing a job. I couldn't agree more"
FOOTNOTE: If anyone would like to see how the above trips actually went, the three films are available for viewing on www.fishingfilmsandfacts.co.uk