MISSION - Ali Ball from England came fishing in Thailand with The Fish Thailand Team for his third time - this time with friend Bruce for the first time. The target was to catch BIG Mekong catfish and BIG siamese carp; the only realistic way to achieve these goals is with a few days fishing.
DAY 1 - Fish Thailand knew of one particular bungalow that could produce a big carp or big cat, but it is famous for 'all or nothing.' The first day on this bungalow was drastically slow and as the afternoon drew closer with no decent fish it was time to evaluate the day and make a decision on where to fish on day two. The decision was made to continue the second day's fishing on the same bungalow; after all a lot of bait had built up and past results had proven this bungalow to be worth the wait.
DAY 2 - Fish Thailand guides were becoming nervous of a blank on the second day as yet again the afternoon drew on. Around 5:30p.m, only half an hour before pack up one of the three rods hooped over as a fish flew off with the bait. It was Ali's turn on the rod and as he was playing it we were all wondering if it could be a carp; the fight was certainly very much like a fight from a big Siamese carp. Pro-guide alley was sure it was a carp and sure enough about five minutes into the fight we all saw the fish for the first time, shortly after Ali played it perfectly into the landing net. A huge result given the hard conditions, weighing in at 78lb - this is a fish that many anglers fish for a lifetime to catch; waiting two days was definitely worth it for Fish Thailand guides and anglers alike.
DAY 3 - Despite the big carp yesterday - it was not enough to keep us fishing the same bungalow. Fish Thailand guides decided upon another bungalow known to us to throw up big fish - with more chance of a big catfish. Late into the morning it was Bruce's turn to hit the run from what soon revealed itself to be a monster Mekong which half way through the fight snagged itself. Pro-Guide Alley entered the water and the fight was back on! Twenty minutes later all 88lb of Mekong giant catfish was in Bruce's arms for the photo shoot. A cracking result and not even lunch time. Throughout the day Ali and Bruce took it in turns to hit runs, all turning out to be unwanted striped catfish and small Mekong catfish around the 40lb mark. Literally a few minutes before pack up time it was Bruce's turn again to hit a run, this time from another Siamese carp. Again it snagged up under the bungalow and Alley swam to free the fish - with alot of hand lining and swimming around bungalow posts the fish was netted. A beautifully conditioned Siamese Carp weighing in at exactly 50lb ended the day in style.
Conclusion - Exclusively targeting Siamese giant carp and monster Mekong catfish requires time, patience and confidence. Ali and Bruce understood the gamble of this fishing quest and patiently sat it out. What started to look like a miserably failed mission towards the end of day two, turned into a fishing trip of a lifetime with three spectacular catches.