Our trip involved two different fishing spots . The first was up in the mountains fishing in a 10 acre lake surrounded by huge mountain cliffs . You could not get a better setting . Accommodation was great , as was the service . The anticipation of the fish , 60 different species and the biggest was about 150 kgs .
Day one the three of us had 8 rods out at the same time , some with small dead fish , some with chicken , some with live bait , some with a bread ball . Each bait was for different species . We fished from 8.30 am till 7 pm and there was a lot of hours of nothing happening .
So the end of the first day we caught only 5 fish , one 20 kg red tail catfish , one albino pacu , one razor cat fish , a smaller red tail catfish , and Jonathan caught a nice size aligator gar . See the photo for the teeth . Not great for the time we spent , but hopefully tomorrow is better .
Day two my goal was a big arapaima , and one of the others wanted a Chau Peraya , the fastest swimming fresh water fish , that fight like a kingie . I had the first luck at 9 am with a 20 kg Asian red tail catfish . A great fight , caught on bread ball . Then there was nothing until 1 pm when Jonathan caught his Chau peraya catfish . However it was only about 18 kg but it gave him a hell of a fight . We were finishing at 4 pm to leave for the town and time was running out . Then at 3 pm the arapaima hit the rod with the live bait and I was on. It took 10 or so minutes to get it in and see the photo . A great 80 kg arapaima , a prize , but they said there are bigger ones in the lake , twice the size . Anyway this saved the day for me.
The next day we were out ocean fishing with micro jigs and soft plastics . All I can tell you is that there are no fish left in the oceans around Thailand . All commercially fished out . We caught 3 small fish all day , and they take you to the fishing grounds 2 hours away .
If you are going fishing in Thailand , stick to the stocked lakes as they are much more fun and more reliable .
Enjoy the photos and the videos of the trip .
This video shows you a big bait school and what happens to their formation when a school of GT’s swim through . This water looks shallow but it is so clear in Vanuatu that it only looks that way . These GT’s were pretty big but not hungry . The water was at least 15 m deep .
Today we were after big yellowfin . The wind was howling and the sea at the fad bigger than yesterday . So we started to troll with big 12″ poppers and a 7 ” soft plastic . The first one was 15 kg then in came the big one at 25 kgs . Two more were caught ,12 kg and 10 kg . A great haul for the morning .
This huge 95 cm Barra weighing 11 kg was the biggest of all the fish we caught that day just outside of Bangkok . Total fish for the day between the two of us was 41 . Most of them were around 6.5 kg , some 5 kg some 8 to 9 kg . All on light gear , 2500 reel and 30 lb leader . We used only hard body lures , shallow running and the slower you worked the lure the more vicious the bite . All were released as the hooks had the barbs off . What a beauty . More info on the Thailand fishing soon .
Day one of holidays . Time for some flathead for the fridge for dinner with the first day is always a scouting trip to find out where they are .
6 am start , beautiful weather so we headed for the channel where it was running in up to high . The water was racing so out came 1/4 oz jig head and 5″ soft plastics . Always fish with the current when it is running as the flathead will be facing the current and you bring the plastic down to the fish right in front of its eyes . It wasn’t too long and we had one in the boat . Then another , and another . We finished about 9.30 am to go in for a feed . We had 6 flathead to clean plus 3 smaller ones we let go . Not a bad morning . My feelings are that under 40 cm they go back and over 58 cm they go back . These are either too small or the breeders . See the video of the cleaning table .
The technique I have described many times in the blog but it is simple . Find a channel where the water is running , drift with the current . Cast up stream so the lure comes with the current . I know this sounds wrong but it is right and the lure sinks to the bottom quickly coming with the tide . Your skill is to work the lure so it bounces along the bottom up and down. The fish will hit it . That’s why they are in the current !
Try it and you will catch them . Enjoy the video . Tomorrow we will try new places and tricks . Stay tuned.
Second day fishing we went to try new spots . So over to the other side of the lake to coal point and drift the reef bed towards Toronto .
After two long drifts we had nothing so we went over to green point . It was a rising tide now so we drifted along the bank and we were casting towards the rising shore . Finally one fish in the boat and then another strike with a big flathead that took the drag on a long run . She somehow got off .
Late afternoon we went out again and now it was a falling tide . The three of us bagged 8 flathead and one big 40 cm bream . The gear we used was 2500 reel , 8 lb braid and 10 lb leader . A 3/0 hook with 5″ soft plastic , 1/4 oz jig head . One used a 2/0 hook with 1/4 oz jig head and 3 ” clear jerk shad . The other colours were pearl white and pink . One of the flathead was a big girl at 64 cm so a nice photo and back she went .
Like anywhere you have to find spots according to the tide . Rising tide hit the flats or the drop offs near the flats . Falling tide hit the drop offs or deeper water near drop offs . This is where they will be .
If you are fishing Flats then hit them on the last of the run up and first of the run out . Other times mostly a waste of time.
Wind has been howling at 37 kms so the skill is to find the fish where the wind is protected . So the only way was the fish the FLATS.
Here we could get out of the wind and drift st a normal pace . So the tide was running up to high , an hour to go so we knew this is prime time . We scaled down our gear to bream gear as it was only 1.5 – 3 ft deep . The gear was 4 lb braid ,6 lb leader , #2 hook and 1/16 th oz jig head .. we used the 2.5″ shrimp soft plastic as the prawns are running .
So over the hour and half we caught 4 nice flathead , all between 46 cm -51 cm . Perfect for the table .
THE TRICKS – if y it want to fish the flats and there is a lot of weed and sand patches , go down to light gear . You still get weed caught but not as much and when you get a strike you have a lot of fun getting the fish in .
The tide is best at an hour before the high to an hour after the high . If you are still catching fish then stay but it will decrease . I don’t think it is worth while fishing the lower tides on the flats as the fish reposition themselves on the run out in the drop offs . You may catch a fish or two but the prime time is as above . As the tide goes out reposition yourself to cast into the drop offs . Remember it is always better to cast up stream if there is a current as the fish face the current . See the good video in the flats .
The wind was howling again and in the morning we only got 1 flathead . This was fishing the drop off from the flats as the tide was running out . Same rig , just cast over the flats and bring the soft plastic down along the drop off until you get it to the boat . Keep it hitting the bottom and you should get some fish .
This morning I took our next door neighbours grand son fishing , to teach him the finer points of soft plastic fishing for flathead .
The wind was blowing again so a tough lesson , and into the fast running water channel we went .
casting against the wind and bringing the lure back with the tide and drifting fast was a hard first session for him . As luck would have it he landed the first fish in the boat . And it was his first on a soft plastic . See the photo . So he caught it , cleaned it and ate it for dinner . You can’t get better than that for a 13 year old . Great to see things go right occasionally .
We caught two more and that was the story for the day . I have to go back to Sydney for a day .
We went out this morning to catch some nice big ones and try some new spots . There are plenty of channels amongst the flats in Lake Macquarie so you don’t have to go far . the tide was just starting to run out so things looked good . First channel a small flathead , throw back . Next channel a nice one for the fridge . At the next channel in comes a great 72 cm beauty . Some fast photos , see below and back she went . We thought there might be some males hanging around but not one more touch . So the morning of about two and half hours saw three fish caught , two thrown back and one kept . Not a lot of fish but the big one made up for it . See photo