Scotty was itching to go back to the lovely Gillhams Resort in Thailand and I needed no persuasion for a return trip so this year we decided to go in May as we'd never been at this time of year and it was also the only time slot Scott could find in his busy match schedule. After a lot of travelling it's always lovely to see the sign at the entrance to the resort and after a couple of beers it was time to relax before grabbing some food and having a relatively early night.
We were up bright and early and as always the scenery and views are stunning and we soon had the rods out, we'd taken some different baits to try and Bait Tech had very kindly let me have some of their new pop ups to. After only 45 mins I had a slow run on two pink Sweet Coconut pop ups and was into a decent fish. The fish grounded me and Jut the guide swam out to put some pressure directly above it, after several more groundings it became apparent I'd foul hooked one of the venues big stingrays. I eventually got it within netting range where the guides could start to handline it but the pressure eventually saw the line snap and I lost the rig and everything - not a great start.
|What a view to wake up to|
|Rods and Bait Tech pop ups|
With the weather really hot, we weren't getting many indications and Scotty was soon reaching for a waggler rig to fish pellet up in the water and was into an angry Mekong catfish which snapped braid like cotton after a 30 minute scrap. We had no more action during the day but as night started to fall, Scott's hooked into an arapaima on a deadbait and just as the fish was nearly ready to be caged, the hook pulled out! I did manage a small redtail of 33lb to get off the mark.
|First fish of the trip, a 33lb Amazon redtail catfish|
|38lb Siamese Carp|
|Scotty with a new pb 62lb Siamese Carp|
|Fish of a lifetime - 360lb arapaima|
We both stayed in the same pegs the following day and it was quiet during the day with Scott the only one to catch with a 55lb Siamese. As night started to fall, my fish rod screamed off and I thought I was going to lose yet another monster but slowly but surely I was starting to win and the guides managed to cage a lovely arapaima of 240lb. I went up to watch Scott for bit and calm my nerves when his bite alarm went off and he had to get in the water to follow the fish and it was eventually caged below my swim and the guides estimated it at 170lb. I went back to fish but wasn't holding out much hope after all the commotion when I hooked another that snapped me straight away and that was enough for me, my nerves couldn't take anymore. Scott had another of 145lb and he'd now landed five arapaima, his record with the Mekong's still wasn't looking good though!
|Me and Chris in Amy's bar|
|The lovely Ell in Amy's bar|
|Scotty during the battle (nice lifejacket mate!)|
|The result - 160lb Mekong catfish|
|'Please don't come off'|
|180lb arapaima to finish the trip|
|There are some gorgeous birds about!|
|Reggie, Sean's new iguana|
|Terry 'Poppa' Eustace|
|Jonathan Salisbury getting some water shots|