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Fishing Kanchanaburi - Khao Laem Dam
Jungle Fishing in Thailand

The Wildest Fishing Adventure in Thailand

Deep into Western Thailand's mountainous jungle lays a fishing adventure every angler dreams of, but few have ever discovered. Khao Laem Dam also known as Khao Lem Dam is set in the Kanchanaburi province - as far across Western Thailand's jungle as Burma. Khao Laem Dam stretches 60km long and 25km across at the widest point, within its vast boundaries lay a network of islands, swamps & mangroves providing an unspoilt wilderness for Thailand's untamed nature.

khao laem dam kanchanaburi
khao lam dam thailand
Khao Laem Dam - Vast Freshwater Ocean in Thailand's Western Jungle

The tourist track and comfortably tarmacked road which weaves around the east side of Khao Laem Dam serves only one purpose for The Fish Thailand Team - and that is to disembark the luxury of our air-conditioned 4x4 & proceed on foot through the seemingly non-existent trail to the marshy fringe of Khao Laem Dam. From here a Thai man, living on the dam away from mainland for 27 years awaits with his long-tail boat for us to board. The journey through the watery wilderness brings us to his home - a floating raft - a simple construction which shelters his family & is the base for his work as a fisherman and our guide. Locating the fishing grounds where the snakehead & jungle perch aggressively hold their territory would seem and indeed would be an impossible task without knowledge from locals who live & breathe fishing every day of their lives. As we are being navigated in & around the coves, bays, snags & islands for what feels like miles of isolated, endless freshwater ocean - it is at this point that you are fishing in the un-chartered wilderness which the very few of even worldly anglers have ever experienced.

Fishing tours are common to Srinakarin Reservoir & Khao Laem Dam. This is not a tour; tourists are herded along the padded stretches of waterways diluted with comfort and convenience. This is a jungle fishing safari deeper & further from civilisation than is known to tour operators & fishing charters. The Fish Thailand Team is a unique make-up of fishing explorers, true fisherman – all Thai with a lifetime of knowledge. This coupled with our armoury of infrastructure of minivans, 4x4's, bass boats & Thailand’s largest team of expert guides – only comes after years of operating – we are proud of this.

FISH THAILAND'S 16ft AVENGER BASS BOAT

For many years Fish Thailand used traditional long tail boats to lure fish from which is standard in Thailand and does indeed work very well. However we have now invested in the first professional bass boat imported from America in order to offer our clients much higher levels of comfort and enjoyment. The 'Fish Thailand Explorer' is complete with 115hp outboard engine, remote control trolling motor, collapsible roof, echo-sounder \ fish-finder, raised swivel casting chairs, live bait tank and many more fun accessories for you to enjoy. To see more pictures of this custom lure fishing boat CLICK HERE.

Fish Thailand's 16ft Avenger Bass Boat

The 'Fish Thailand Explorer' - Custom Built & Imported From U.S.A

See More Pictures & Details

SNAKEHEAD AGGRESSION

Vicious, aggressive, violent, ferocious & merciless are by no means exaggerations to describe the fury of the snakehead as it launches at the lure with intent to rip and slash it apart. The snakehead is not comparable to the pike, bass or barramundi – this predator is more dangerous and angry, as if it were possessed. When holding a snakehead up for the cameras, you will hear a ‘chop, chop, chop’ sound – the sound which comes from the snakeheads jaws as it snaps them open & shut.

It is for these personality traits, these natural instincts, these survival skills, these predatory assets which makes the snakehead a beautiful fish, a beautiful creature to be respected as the perfect freshwater predatory fish. To understand, fear & respect the snakehead in-turn brings the most exciting, scary, heart-racing, thrilling & rewarding fishing experiences imaginable. Discover Channel's Jeremy Wade guided by Fish Thailand made the 'River Monsters' episode 'Killer Snakehead' at Khao Laem Dam, unearthing a horrific story leading to a man killed by a giant snakehead.

giant snakehead aggression
This Snakehead Was Attacked By Another Snakehead During The Fight

SNAKEHEAD SPECIES & FACTS

There are various species of snakehead all belonging to the channidae family and all share the same channa genus. The giant snakehead channa micropeltes known in Thai as ‘pla shado’ – has a maximum published weight of 20kg, however this is truly an enormous specimen and certainly a rarity. Fishing Kanchanaburi in Thailand at Khao Laem Dam is the habitat to vast numbers of giant snakehead, fishing as far into the jungle as The Fish Thailand Team venture lays some of the biggest giant snakeheads Thailand offers.

The great snakehead channa murulius or in Thai ‘pla tjon gnoo how’ can grow even bigger, upto 30kg. The great snakehead is less common that the giant snakehead & owns slightly different variations of markings & colourings. As with the giant & striped snakehead species, the great snakehead is a native fish to the Mekong River Basin in Thailand.

The striped snakehead channa striata – ‘pla tjon’ is the smallest of all snakehead species with a maximum weight of around 4kg. Along with the giant snakehead, the striped snakehead is a popular target specie for the Thai people – much harder to tempt & entice. For more snakehead species information & detailed facts including scientific classification see freshwater fish species of Thailand.

snakehead fishing khao lam dam
giant snakehead
Giant Snakehead - The Perfect Predator

JUNGLE PERCH – DECEIVING MORPHOLOGY

The jungle perch also known as hampala barb shares morphology similarities to the roach or rudd, but that is as far as the similarities go. Do not be fooled by the apparently harmless looks of the jungle perch, it’s shiny silver coated scales, it’s gorgeous red fins & it’s seemingly herbivore type mouth are all very deceiving. The jungle perch hunt in two ways, the first very similar to the snakehead they will be solitary or in small numbers hunting not far from margins, bays, weeds & snags. The second, unlike snakehead the jungle perch will hunt in open water in huge shoals working together to herd prey fish upto the surface where they mercilessly strike hard and fast at large numbers of prey fish. This hunting style is so ferocious and fast that not only is it a visible, water erupting attack; but it is loud and frightening too.

jungle perch fishing thailand
jungle perch \ hampala barb
Jungle Perch -Also Known As Hampala Barb

LURE FISHING IN KANCHANABURI AT KHAO LAEM DAM

By reading the above ‘snakehead aggression’ & ‘jungle perch deceiving morphology’ sections; it will now be clear that lure fishing for these fish is by far and the most exciting indescribable technique of fishing. The strikes are outrageously fast & visible and so much more fun than live baiting. The most significant advantage that lure fishing has over and above live baiting is the vast amount of water covered by the boat whilst lure fishing. Lure fishing for snakehead & jungle perch is an active hunting style of fishing, the heat and time passes through the day unnoticed while focusing on the strike zones; every cast and retrieve is comparable to the feeling of biting your nails sat on the edge of your seat watching a horror movie anticipating & expecting your heart to burst from your body.

LURE SELECTION – CASTING - RETRIEVAL

Snakehead & jungle perch are both top water feeders, this is great news for devoted lure anglers as it means that the most effective lure selection is also the most exciting and loved – poppers. Surface poppers come in a variety of shapes, imitations, colours, sizes & styles. Two of the most effective are surface frog poppers & surface minnow poppers, which require great skill and precision to work effectively. The retrieval must be fast to gain the attention from snakehead; they will not be fooled by a slow retrieve and will never grace you with a strike. To keep a popper working fast but maintaining the motion of a wounded fish while still creating the deep, hollow echo of the popping sound comes with experience. Fish Thailand Guides will demonstrate & teach this technique to the less experienced lure anglers, it really makes the difference between getting strikes and not so much as seeing a fish. Another equally as effective top-water lure is the buzz bait, see how effective these 'Scary Baits' are.

Casting accuracy & placement is critical; it is as much a determining success factor as retrieval – especially for the snakehead. Where you will see reed and snaggy fringed bays, it is vital that the lure is cast to land inches from the bank side, for this both distance & direction accuracy must be nothing less than perfect. For example casting from the boat towards a reed lined shore, the lure must follow a trajectory to fly between a gap in the reeds and land flush with the bank side. The snakehead will be tucked deep into the snags hugging the shoreline, your lure worked back out of this zone towards the boat will either receive an instant strike from any snakehead in the zone or will be followed out of the snag and receive a strike just outside. If the lure was cast to land short of the snags it is unlikely that a snakehead will strike, however jungle perch tend to be more spread and do not solely hug the snags.

Always be ready for rising fish, when a snakehead or jungle perch gives its position away by feeding on prey fish you have to work fast. Casting to rising fish is a moment of extreme pressure. In this case the lure must be retrieved quickly from it’s current position, turn to face the rise, rod back, reel engaged for casting and launch the lure past where the rise was but on the correct line and retrieve. You only ever get 1 if you’re lucky 2 casts and if the fish has not struck the lure by then it will have disappeared back into its layer. The only reason it was ever out of its layer was to follow and strike upon a prey fish or to take air – once that is over so is the opportunity for a hook up. However to get a strike and hook up with a snakehead or jungle perch in this scenario is beyond rewarding, a feeling that keeps you awake for nights after.

Hooking snakehead is much more difficult than hooking jungle perch. The snakehead tends to slash at prey fish first whereas jungle perch go for the grab. Snakeheads have much tougher, harder more rigid mouth structures making it harder for the hook to penetrate. The mouth of a jungle perch is softer and can be snagged on the hook with great ease. Almost all strikes from jungle perch result in hooked fish; however it is completely normal to receive many more strikes than hook-ups from the snakehead. Even so, a strike alone is incredibly exciting and will have you trembling with fear from the speed & aggression of the strike.

snakehead surface lure selection
fishing from Fish Thailand's custom lure fishing boat
Surface Lure Fishing Khao Laem Dam

FISH THAILAND GUIDE – MR. AY

The Fish Thailand Team will escort you further into the jungle and deeper into Khao Laem Dam than any other fishing tour operator has ever been. This far into the wild there simply are no tours or guides other than Fish Thailand, there is only a small community of Thai fisherman living on rafts floating offshore. It is on one of these rafts that Mr. Ay lives with his family and his boats. He has been a fisherman, fishing Khao Laem Dam for 27 years of his life. He is wise, thoughtful & slightly mysterious & is one of the longest operating fisherman on Khao Laem Dam – also a Fish Thailand Guide. This jungle fishing safari has taken every bit of Fish Thailand Guide – Ay - & his 27 years of knowledge & experience coupled with The Fish Thailand Team’s organisation of 4x4 transport, boats, experience & infrastructure to make this fishing journey possible.

Fish Thailand Guide - Ay
fishing khao laem dam - base raft
Fish Thailand Guide - Ay - Has Lived & Fished Here For 27 Years

INDIAN CARP \ ROHU FISHING IN THAILAND AT KHAO LAEM DAM

Fish Thailand’s jungle fishing in Kanchanaburi at Khao Laem Dam is one of the only fishing expeditions to specialise not only in lure fishing for jungle perch & snakehead, but also bait fishing for the Indian Carp. The Indian carp is also known as rohu. There are fishing parks throughout Thailand which stock a good head of Indian carp, which creates a great opportunity to sample the fishing techniques & species. There is nothing quite like however, fishing for Indian carp in the wild, away from fishing park scenarios. There are very few guides or fisherman, Thai or Western who would launch a guided fishing trip for Indian carp. This is due to the carp’s notoriously hard to locate nature, its wariness and the enormous & daunting task of producing results from wilderness fishing destinations such as Srinakarin Reservoir or Khao Laem Dam – fishing in Kanchanaburi province of Thailand.

Robson Green Extreme Fishing Thailand guided by Eddy Mounce
As seen on TV: Robson Green guided by Fish Thailand on Extreme Fishing

For detailed jungle carp fishing information read carp fishing Thailand.

The Fish Thailand Team however has special & unique access to a section of Khao Laem Dam that most others have never seen. Here there are large numbers of Indian carp but still they are residents to a vast body of complex & wild Khao Laem Dam; to ensure results for our clients we simply do what all TV-star fisherman do – we pre-bait. We pre-bait a large area located off an uninhabited raft which The Fish Thailand Team have set up for specifically targeting Indian carp. Each day for 5 days prior to fishing Khao Laem Dam, our resident Fish Thailand Guides will feed the swim with 25kg of ground bait. Over 5 days of pre-baiting & 300kg of bait later – you will be fishing with The Fish Thailand Team from our exclusive Indian carp fishing raft located in the most remote end of Khao Laem Dam accessible only by boat.

We will set up and fish 6 rods over the baited area for 2 days. Within this time period you will enjoy action from a fish which is lusted after by many anglers, of which very few are successful; hence why it is very rare for a fishing guide service to offer Indian carp fishing as an option along with lure fishing.

carp fishing thailand
carp fishing khao laem dam
Indian Carp Fishing in The Wilderness

BUNGALOW ACCOMMODATION

Every angler dreams of adventure jungle fishing trips such as this one, certainly every angler would remember the sights, scenery, smells, culture & environment of fishing in the wilderness surrounded by nature for the rest of their lives. It is completely understandable however that our clients would prefer and expect comfortable sleeping accommodation as opposed to the floating rafts which have no shower, bedrooms or electricity. The bungalow resort used by The Fish Thailand Team are in no way considered luxury - they do however house the basic creature comforts of air-conditioning, hot water shower, western style toilet, local TV channels, fridge, freezer, balcony and nearby restaurant.

Fish Thailand's Luxury 4 Door Toyota Hilix Vigo
fish thailand luxury minivan
Fish Thailand's Toyota 4 door Hilux
Fish Thailand's Luxury Minivan Included

The Fish Thailand organisation comprises of our own minivans, trucks, chauffeurs, team of guides & boats. Each evening a boat ride will take us back to the shore where we drive 10 minutes to our resort.

It is important to have a good comfortable night sleep after a delicious Thai meal between each day in the wilderness. Fish Thailand offer a unique combination of fishing deep into the beautiful unspoilt jungle of Khao Laem Dam with the comfort first class transport, pleasant bungalow resort & great evening meals.

 

NEXT - Package & Prices

Jungle Snakehead Fishing Packages & Prices

NEXT - Package & Prices
Jungle Carp Fishing Packages & Prices
OTHER: Thailand Fishing Veunes
Other Fishing Venues

 

Booking Information

Contact us if you like to discuss any details of the fishing tours with us or if you like to book with us right away. We'll contact you back immediately! For informative and detailed booking, look here.


Target Fish Species In Khao Laem Dam

Giant Snakehead
Giant snakehead  
Jungle Perch \ Hampala Barb
Jungle perch
Great Snakehead
Great snakehead  
Indian Carp \ Rohu
Indian carp \ rohu
Striped Snakehead
Striped snakehead  
 

 

 

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TAT Licence No. 11/3447
Fish (Thailand) Co., Ltd.