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Catches, entertainment and news from Thailand’s only exclusive syndicated sport-fishing venue
Before we embark on this months edition of our newsletter, all at Jurassic Mountain would first like to offer our sincere condolences to the nation of Thailand who very sadly lost their much loved and revered King during the month of November. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world’s longest serving monarch and he will be very sadly missed by the millions of his subjects here in Thailand.
Welcome once again to the Jurassic Mountain newsletter that gives you all the news, gossip, catch reports and light hearted anglers antics that relates to this Thailand fishing paradise for the month of October. A big thanks to all the new faces and returning guests who succumbed to the gravitational pull of our ‘extreme fishing gem.’ It was our pleasure indeed to welcome you all to Jurassic Mountain Resort and Fishing Park.
October. Not a month I particularly looked forward to in the UK as it normally heralded the beginnings of winter along with the cold dark nights and mornings that would eventually come with it. Not so in Thailand I’m pleased to say as this is the month where we invariably say goodbye to the rainy season (if you can call it that) and we say hello to the oncoming holiday season with all the beautiful weather that’s guaranteed to come with it.
Also, this year in October, we celebrate the 210th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in which that Great National Hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, took on, and beat our long-term adversaries, the French and their Spanish allies. As I for one had been completely disillusioned and fed up with the Health and safety and human rights issues that now plague our society in the UK, what would have been the case if the battle had taken place in October 2016?
Picture the scene:…
October 21st 2016 – Upper Poop-Deck – HMS Victory – 0700 hrs
Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”
Hardy: “Aye, aye, sir.”
N: “Hold on a minute, that’s not what I dictated to the signals officer. What’s the meaning of this?”
H: “Sorry sir, I respectfully suggest you read this…….”
N: (reading aloud) “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability? What gobbledegook is this?”
H: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”
N. ” Absolute poppycock Hardy, and pray tell me, what is the meaning of this absurd sign on the deck ‘ Slippery when wet?’
H. ” It’s because we’ve been hit with numerous claims for injuries Sir, “
N: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Claims against the British navy? I’ll have them hung from the yardarm”
H. “Sorry sir, that’s been abolished along with keel- hauling. Three written warnings are now in place instead.
N. “Unbelievable Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”
H: “Sorry sir, you’re not allowed to smoke whilst on board ship. All naval vessels have been designated as smoke-free working environments.”
N: “In that case, Hardy, break open the rum ration and we’ll splice the main brace before the battle.”
H: “The rum ration has been abolished, sir. It’s all part of the Government’s policy on Binge Drinking.”
N: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it then. Full speed ahead.”
H: “I think you’ll find there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water, sir.”
N: “For f–ks sakes, man! We’re on the verge of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all speed. Send a man to the crow’s nest.”
H: “Not possible, sir.”
H: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest sir. No harnesses, and they say that the rope ladders do not meet current regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected.”
N: “Then get the ship’s carpenter without delay.”
H: “He’s busy building a wheelchair access ramp to the fo’c’sle, sir.”
N: “Wheelchair access ? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”
H: “Health and Safety again sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently-abled”
N: “Differently-Abled? I’ve only got one eye and one arm, and I refuse to hear mention of the phrase. I didn’t get to be an Admiral by playing the disability card.”
H: “Actually, sir, you did. The Admiralty was under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”
N: “Whatever next? Give me full sail, the salt spray beckons.”
H: “A couple of problems there too, sir. H&S won’t let the men up the rigging without harnesses and hard hats, and they don’t want them breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the adverts?”
N: ” I never heard such infamy. Break out the cannons and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”
H: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”
N: “What? This is mutiny!”
H: “No, it’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There’s a couple of Legal-Aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”
N: “How then are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”
H: “Actually, sir, we’re not”
H: “No sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. And, according to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in these waters. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”
N: Devil take it, Hardy. You must hate every Frenchy as you would hate the Devil himself.”
H: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you say that, sir. You’ll be up on a charge.”
N: “You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of our King.”
H: “Not any more, sir. We must all learn to be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your high viz vest, sir. It’s the rules, and it could save your life.”
N: “Don’t tell me, Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, the lash and sodomy?”
H: “As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu and the lash is now abolished as there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”
N: “What about sodomy?”
H: ” Ah, I believe that it is now legal, sir.”
N: ” Good, In that case, KISS ME HARDY”
Ok, that’s enough of the jovialities, let’s get down to serious business………So October arrived and it looked as if the holiday season finally had lift off as we were fully booked for the majority of the month. Old faces and new faces turned up in their droves and the gillies certainly earned their corn during this busy period as it seemed that no sooner had a fish been unhooked and set free that the whistle would be blown again by another angler who was ‘in’ and looking for assistance. With the full quota of anglers on the lake on a number of occasions, it seemed inevitable that there would be one or two anglers who drew the dreaded blank but I can honestly say that I’ve struggled to recollect one person who did so during October as everybody got at least two or three to the net with the majority of anglers getting up to and into double figures for the day.
Our ongoing fish stocking programme included the introduction of a cracking alligator gar who tipped the scales at just over 66 pounds and another two wallagoo catfish both bordering on the 100 pound mark. There’s now half a dozen of these brutes cruising around the lake and it’s only a matter of time before some lucky anglers are going to have the scrap of their lives when one of these pick up their bait. Further stocking is imminent and we are confident that planned future introductions will cement us firmly in pole position in the popularity stakes for years to come so watch this space.
The new restaurant salas perched lakeside known as ‘the twins’ have proved to be a great success for diners and they’re literally fighting with one another to get the ringside seat so don’t forget to book one when you reserve your table in the restaurant.
All our swims now have named hardwood signs over the sala entrances that have been specially handmade out of Balinese oak and imported from Bali in Indonesia. So each peg is now known and viewed by name and certainly adds just a little more style by sending you off for example to ‘The point’ rather than plain old swim number six or to ‘Lovers retreat’ rather than just swim number nine. This underlines the fact that it’s just not about the quality fish that we’re putting into the lake but also just how much we’re endeavouring to put quality into the resort that surrounds it.
One of the pleasures that I enjoy in writing this newsletter is the location in which I sit happily tapping away on the keyboard of my laptop. Sat outside on my verandah, I never tire of the panoramic view that surrounds me. With the shimmering lake to my left, the vast rice paddies in front of me fringed by the distant mountain range beyond where fabulous sunsets are witnessed on a nightly basis and with the Jurassic mountain itself towering high above me to my right, words cannot express the sheer beauty that’s right before my eyes and I feel so blessed that I’m able to be in such a wonderful place that provides me with all the inspiration I need to be able to write this newsletter for you every month.
However, I have been asked on numerous occasions if, by living here at Jurassic whether I actually take the stunning beauty that surrounds me for granted on occasions? I must admit that having lived here now for over two years solid and human nature being what it is, it brings to mind that in life, we all take things for granted to a certain extent as in the more often we see things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world., things like flowers, the trees, the birds, the mountains, the clouds and even the ones we love…..Because we see these things so often, we actually see them less and less.
A sad fact but true and that is why that as this may well be the final outpost in my life, I refuse to let this happen here and I will always admire and appreciate what is in front of my eyes every single day of every single week just as I did on that very first fateful day that I wandered through the Jurassic Mountain gates over two years ago. Please God may it long continue.
Right, let’s now take a light hearted and a very tongue in cheek look at a selection of some of the anglers who graced Jurassic Mountain for the month of October. My apologies are extended to those who visited us and who didn’t get a mention, it’s nothing personal, there’s just far too many of you for me to keep up with. Here goes ….
We said hello once again to Lee from Reading who enjoyed a very productive two day stint where he landed Siamese carp, Amazon redtails and the much sought after arapaima getting on towards the 200 pound mark which ensured that Lee’s return visit was worth all the time and effort it took for him to get here and no doubt ensured that another future visit will definitely be on the cards.
Edmund from that gambling mad town in Nevada namely Reno arrived to try his luck on the lake instead of on the poker and craps tables for a change and what a fortuitous choice it turned out to be as crap it certainly wasn’t. Edmund’s haul of specimen fish far exceeded his expectations and prompted him to proclaim that his visit here was indeed the fishing experience of a lifetime and that he’s already making plans for the return visit to Jurassic Mountain in the future.
Back they came again. The Dive tours trio of Steve, Malcolm and Craig from Crawley found the delights of Jurassic Mountain too irresistible to keep them away for long and they arrived full of anticipation to carry on where they all left off the last time that they graced us with their presence. They didn’t have to wait long before the line was being stripped from their spools by the monsters lurking in the depths and you would invariably find all three of them in the jacuzzi during their non fishing moments soothing their aching limbs after the strenuous tussles they all encountered.
By the way, if any of you are those who take great notice of what the weather conditions will be whilst you’re here at Jurassic, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve incorporated a state of the art weather forecasting system directly outside my villa which is absolutely foolproof. Please feel free to tune in to the forecast as you’re passing …….
Away from the fishing just for a moment, I just had to share this next photo with you that goes a long way in depicting everything I love about this wonderful country…………
As is the case with many of our one day visitors, an extended stay or a quick rebooking is a common occurrence …………
The golden nectar, commonly known as Chang beer on draught flowed freely as we bade farewell to the late Bruce Lee Lancaster on his send off night here at Jurassic Mountain. The night was a great success and we did our dear departed friend proud. For the first time here we had live entertainment and everybody including Bruce’s closest pals thoroughly enjoyed themselves although there were a few teary eyes as well as a few bleary eyes and sore heads around the lake the next morning. If Bruce was watching from above I’m sure he’d have been chuffed to bits with his send off especially when his good friend Eddie Singleton was presented with the latest wooden sign for a swim to be named after his late best mate who without doubt had Jurassic Mountain etched into his heart. This wooden plaque that will sit forever proud in Jurassic Mountain simply reads ……. “THE BRUCE”.
The latest wallagoo leeri catfish, (pictured below) also known as the helicopter catfish due to the five rays in it’s dorsal fin is introduced into the lake by myself and ably assisted by the beautiful Neti who showed no fear at all as she plunged into the water for the photograph. I sure do like a girl with spirit
Further improvements continued as the new entrance gates were finally installed …………..
Eddie Singleton who was presented with the plaque for ‘The Bruce’ runs a tropical fish business up in Manchester and is well up there in the list of the most prolific visitors to Jurassic Mountain. Eddie and his pals enjoyed a very satisfactory visit this time around as they all had more than their fair share of fish even though their first day saw eleven anglers on the lake and the going was a touch slow. Their subsequent days showed a major improvement in quantity and quality as Eddie not only cracked into the carp but managed to slam into a couple of arapaima’s as well. One for him and one for his old mate Bruce no doubt.
Neti’s son came to stay for a few days so it was with great pleasure that I introduced him to the Jurassic fishing scene seeing as I hadn’t fished for quite some time myself because what with completing my house build and writing this newsletter which takes up more of my time than I first thought, I just hadn’t found the time to do so which, considering I have nothing but time on my hands these days is rather strange but it seems that as soon as the sun rises over the lake, within the blink of an eye it’s setting again. Anyway, a few hours on the lake saw three nice Siamese and a cracking Indian carp that displayed a beautiful colour mixture of almost black with a vivid bronze tinge and the biggest Siamese was around the sixty pound mark. I got as much pleasure landing it as I did looking at the little lads face who had never seen a fish of such immense size. I wonder what he’d have thought had one of the big boys took my bait.
And look at Arto, a one day visitor wonder who landed the fish that he dreamt about catching during his one day stint……
A nice fish for Beejay but as predators go, not the biggest in the lake by any stretch of the imagination but when Graham from Derbyshire tried similar tactics, he was rewarded with this fabulous Chao phraya that easily tipped the scales at over 100 pounds.
Our friend from Ipswich, Paul Bradley who very kindly accommodated our own Eddy Mounce on what they both described as one of the UK’s most idyllic venues, very kindly sent me a photograph taken of Eddy during his visit there last month. I’d like to think that the smile on Eddy’s face was due to knowing that he’d very soon be back here at his Thailand paradise but in reality it depicts everything that he loved about the venue and he loves about the sport as he landed yet another bream during his stint there. Thanks are extended to Paul for the photo. Eddy, myself and the rest of the team look forward to welcoming you back here when you return once again in January where we trust that your smile will be of similar size that you very kindly provided for Eddy.
So as October finally slipped away into Jurassic Mountain history, I looked forward to next month and all the new arrivals and old faces that it will inevitably bring especially as my son Jimmy will be included in these arrivals as he’s due to arrive here in November presumably to check up on his ‘Ol man’s’ well being but more realistically to resume his love affair with the Jurassic Mountain lake. I can’t wait to spend some time with him on his favourite peg and hopefully he’ll top his last visit here in August when he landed an arapaima of almost 300 pounds. Fingers crossed.
I hope this newsletter tempts you to sample the delights that Jurassic Mountain has to offer and hopefully we’ll have the pleasure of your company in the future where you will have the opportunity to realise your dreams and maybe just catch the fish of your lifetime. However, in the event that the fishing gods decree that the monster fish lurking in the murky depths eludes you on the day, at least you’ll return home safe in the knowledge that you’ve just fished at the closest place resembling paradise that you could ever imagine possible.
Tight lines all, see you on here next month.