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Welcome to our latest newsletter where you’ll find what’s been happening at Jurassic in August! Fishing in Thailand
The start of another day in paradise… Fishing in Thailand
As the anglers collect their tickets from reception and make their way down to the lake the sun tries its best to break through the low-lying cloud as a morning shower passes.
The gillies have prepared the swims for our anglers and the frogs have disappeared from the paths in anticipation of the later heat whilst the Chao Phraya can be seen circling in the centre of the lake and the arapaima patrol the edge of the water hyacinths.
After the excitement of July’s carp competition and visits from John Wilson and Martin Bowler the peace and tranquility that Jurassic is renowned for has returned. August has been a warm month on the lake with average temperatures in the early 30s resulting in the carp feeding very well. More Siamese carp have been landed than any other fish with some stunning 100lb+ specimens posing with our guests for photos.
It’s also nice to see anglers catching the prehistoric looking Niger Ripsaw catfish and the alligator gars, although the latter can be quite challenging to both net and photograph and we’ve seen an increasing number this month! The average weight per fish caught in August has been just over 44lbs and we’re sure this has contributed to a large number of PBs being set and/or broken by our guests.
Whilst a large number of guests come with friends and family some do visit us on their own and we like to think that a special Jurassic welcome goes out to everyone that comes through our door: there are no strangers at Jurassic, just friends we have yet to meet.
If you only attend 1 fishing show in 2019 make sure it’s this one!
Jurassic will have a stand at The Big One!
If you’re based in the UK put the 23-24 March in next year’s diary and pop along to see Martin Bowler and his wife Jo who can tell you all about fishing with us and answer any questions you may have about a fishing trip to Thailand. There will be special offers on any holiday booked during the show so don’t miss out! We will have more details nearer the time but if you want to pre-book your tickets go to https://www.thebigoneshow.co.uk/
August report from Tom, our Fishery Manager
An increasing number of fish have been landed on boilies over the last month including the Niger Ripsaw catfish and arapaima. We have a few flavours to choose from in the Jurassic Tackle Shop and the fishmeal base has been the most dominant of them, fished with stringer or crumbed in bags. It’s been good to see anglers trying some different methods, ie the pellet waggler, to fish mid-water and this has resulted in some large pacu being caught.
One of the rarely seen spotted sorubim put in an appearance for one of our lady anglers and the alligator gar have been very active this month. Our gar are certainly getting bigger and one was even caught on a pellet which I believe is a first, certainly the only one I’ve ever seen! The majority of the gar however were landed on dead bait with one going for a chicken carcass (these are also available from the tackle shop).
Thirsty? How about some coconut water to quench your thirst after a good morning fishing?
Order at reception, or ask your gillie, and a nice ripe coconut will be freshly cut specially for you and brought to your swim.
A look back over the month
August has once again seen a good mixture of new and returning guests. It’s always good to see guests from previous years and nice to hear their comments about the changes/upgrades we’ve made to Jurassic.
So let’s brief you on what’s been happening around the lake this summer with some of the highlights.
Bob was on top form and worked hard during his 3 day trip at Jurassic, constantly working the swims and watching the water. Never afraid to recast he didn’t settle until he was confident that both his rods were fishing effectively.
He also understood the importance of feeding at regular intervals and maintained a steady supply of fresh bait, catapulting it in at regular 20 minute intervals – very soon his hard work started to pay off and he managed over 20 fish on his first day. This level of catching continued for the duration of his stay with Bob only interrupting his fishing to pose with his prizes for the camera.
Lee, from Birmingham, is a regular traveller to Thailand and has fished here a few times for Mekong catfish but this was his first time at Jurassic – he decided to fish with us after a number of recommendations from friends. After walking to his swim he spoke to the gillie who, after checking the tackle, suggested a few areas to try. It wasn’t long before he caught his first fish, a nice Siamese carp of around 30lb.
Working hard through the heat of the day resulted in a further 5 fish for Lee by mid-afternoon when the alarm sounded once more and he lifted into a carp that immediately started stripping line from the spool leaving a bow wave in its wake. The battle was on and Lee was certainly put to the test before he guided his prize into the net.
Mark had just recast one of his rods and was in the process of re-baiting the other when he received an absolute screamer on the pellet. Lifting into the fish it continued to strip line from the spool and Mark was certain, given its behavior, that it was a new species for him. With a good bend in the rod and the clutch set he gradually started to gain line as it kited on a long arc in front of him.
A long tapered dorsal broke the surface and the culprit was identified – the Chao Phraya catfish, an indigenous species to Thailand. The line pulled tight and Mark moved forward on his seat, ready to pounce with his gaze firmly set on the rod tip. A few minutes passed and he started to think he had lost his prey but then the water erupted and Mark sprung into action, managing to set the hook before getting into position.
The Chao Phraya are extremely powerful fish and this one gave Mark a good fight before, on the second attempt, he guided it into the net resulting in one very happy angler!
Keith had another super session with us this month, accompanied by his friend Alan they have certainly reaped the rewards of their hard work. Feeding at regular intervals and spreading their rods over the swim has been the key to their success and they have taken the majority of their fish from the deeper water alongside the aerator.
The average weight of their captures continued to climb until Keith was rewarded with one of the largest Siamese carp in the lake. He was still on a quest for an arapaima however and on several occasions he was convinced he had hooked one only to see the distinctive red fin of the Amazon redtail break the surface. Keith was surprised at the strength and fighting power of this species and after some hard battles under the water hyacinths he was left with aching arms.
Over the last few years Ginger has been a regular visitor and working in Asia and being relatively close to Jurassic he’s fortunate to be able to book his trips when he has a few days spare. On this occasion he was joined by his work colleague, Paul who is a relative newcomer to angling but after an introduction to the lake and the fishing methods he was ready to get started. Fishing solely on the pellet to start with and working together their first day saw them land 21 fish between them including a powerful arapaima that tested Ginger to the limit and shocked Paul with its strength.
A great first day for them both as Ginger ticked a target species off his list and Paul became more confident in his fishing. The following day started with a good sized arapaima falling to Ginger’s pellet and making him work hard before it came to rest in the cage, after regaining his composure and resetting the rods he began topping up the swim with his catapult. The next hour was relatively quiet but Ginger persisted with his plan of regularly applying small amounts of bait before the rod arced round and he connected to a specimen Siamese carp.
Bryn and his son had been looking forward to their 6 days with us – quality time away together just relaxing and fishing. To begin with they started in swim 6, which is big enough to cater for 2 anglers and 4 rods at a time, giving them a chance to fish together and familiarise themselves with both the tackle and the techniques needed to catch.
Our gillies are always more than happy to help and provide assistance as required whether you’re an experienced angler or a relative newcomer. After a few days they felt confident enough to fish separately and in the swim draw chose different swims to put all their newly found knowledge and experience to the test with Bryn landing a specimen sized pacu, a completely new species to him.
Niklas visited Jurassic and Thailand for the first time this month, travelling from his home near Frankfurt, Germany, where is he an enthusiastic angler targeting carp and predators such as zander from both still waters and rivers.
The lure of 100lb+ carp and arapaima was too strong for him to resist so he booked a 7 day trip to us in search of a monster. The first few days saw him hook into 2 arapaima but unfortunately they both shook the hook, something which is not uncommon with this species. That night in the draw he opted for a different swim and that decision certainly paid dividends as he landed 2 arapaima that day with the best coming in the afternoon. Well done Niklas!
After a very successful day fishing Leigh had planned for a rest the following day and decided to do some sightseeing. When he woke however the weather was better for fishing than seeing the local sites and on enquiring he found that there was one space available on the lake if he wanted it . So after a cup of tea and a quick recce of the lake he made his decision – fishing it was, the sightseeing could wait for another day! By the end of the day he had caught a total of 9 fish including a chunky Siamese carp – we think you made the right choice Leigh!
Stefano had been following our Facebook page for some time from his home in Italy before he decided to come to Thailand and experience Jurassic fishing for himself. Arriving at the resort nice and early he checked in, collected his tackle and proceeded to his selected swim. It wasn’t long before he was hooked into his first fish and he was making his own stories for Facebook.
Tom came to Jurassic from Newcastle via Taiwan. He was attending his brother’s wedding there but couldn’t resist visiting us for 5 days in between the nuptials. Over the duration of his trip he fished several areas of the lake landing Amazon redtail, Siamese carp, pacu, Asian redtail and sadly losing an arapaima at the net.
Bas had been looking forward to his trip to Thailand and specifically fishing for a few days at Jurassic. He set himself 2 targets; to land his very first arapaima and to beat his carp PB. He very quickly caught a large dark Siamese carp, smashing his PB which then left him free to focus upon the lake’s predators.
Danny is a regular at Jurassic and this month saw his 5th visit since 2014. He has certainly seen the resort change and prosper over the intervening years and it was nice that on this occasion his family joined him for a few days beside the lake before heading to Hua Hin to relax on the beach together.
A recommendation from a close friend and notification of 2 weeks leave saw Eric booking a flight to Thailand and checking himself into Jurassic for a few days fishing. Originally only planning to stay for 2 days he found the peace and tranquility, and obviously the fishing, too appealing so decided to extend his trip. This certainly reaped rewards for Eric as on his final day he hooked his second but by far the largest arapaima of his visit.
Mark’s childhood hero was John Wilson and he’s followed John’s escapades in Thailand over the past few years. With Mark’s 50th birthday approaching and his son turning 18 it was time to head to Thailand along with his family to see what the Kingdom had to offer, both in terms of fishing and sightseeing, for himself. Fishing together in one swim father and son caught 14 fish between them, a mixture of Siamese carp and catfish. The following morning saw Mark catch a pristine niger ripsaw catfish and after the gillies showed him how to handle the species Mark was more than happy to pose for the camera.
Baiting an area in the margin with chopped fish the water erupted and Bas was concerned that he had spooked any fish feeding in the area. Suddenly however the rod tore off and he realized he had just witnessed a take. A surging run stripped line from the spool as the fish headed for the cover of the water hyacinths. Slowly but surely he gained line and given the power of the take he was very surprised when an Amazon redtail surfaced.
Another guest who has been visiting Jurassic since 2014 is Scott from New Zealand. This time he ticked another species off his list – a specimen sized tambaqui. Deep sea diver Michael from Holland was over the moon when a good sized pacu graced the net during his 3 day session with us.
South African Fanie had watched the arapaima activity in the morning and it was clear there was a good head of fish in the area along the water hyacinth bed. Choosing to fish the margins during the day and periodically applying chopped fish on the spots at distance Fanie hoped to build their confidence with less line in the water. Around midday the activity ceased but as the sky clouded over around 4pm his target started to show once more.
One good cast and a few minutes later the water erupted and the start of a gruelling battle began. Again and again the fish sought sanctuary in the thick vegetation in the shallower water only moving to take a breath but Fanie remained patient and gradually started to gain line.
Jochen and his family are all keen anglers and have fished together in a few different countries searching for specimen fish. This was their second trip to Jurassic and Jochen wanted to try some different methods in an attempt to hook some different species. Switching to the pellet waggler certainly worked for him as he landed 2 pacu in 30 minutes and ticked another species off his list.
This was Jason’s second visit to Jurassic and on this occasion he was accompanied by his wife for a 6 day stay. His first day saw him catch a Niger ripsaw catfish. A few days later Jason sat and observed the arapaima and alligator gar during midday as they started to show out in open water and within hours he was smiling at the camera with another first – an alligator gar.
If we haven’t included you in our round-up and you would like to share your experience of fishing/staying at Jurassic please email email@example.com
The lake and its swims!
Although this is a rather old aerial photo of Jurassic it does show all the swims around the lake. We have a total of 16 swims but only 11 go into the draw every night as they have salas in them as well as being named.
The numbering starts at Lazymans, number 1, which is right by the clubhouse, hence the name and proceeds clockwise around the lake.
All the swims that are available in the swim have:
A spacious seating area (sala) with cushions and a table
Overhead adjustable fan
2 x power sockets
Catch log white board and pen
Cool box ‘minibar’ filled with drinks & fresh ice (charged to room)
Food Menu (all items deliverable)
Bait menu (all items deliverable)
Only 10 swims are identified on this photo – number 12 which is in the middle of Sam’s Sala and Blind Man’s Bluff is called The Bruce! The other swims can be fished and if you would like to move to one of them just ask a gillie and they’ll assist you!
Since this photo was taken the flora around the lake has grown dramatically attracting a lot of wildlife and the resort itself has undergone some major changes.
Anglers of the month – Paulina & Mati
Paulina and her partner Mati first visited us here at Jurassic on a hosted trip with Claudia Darga and they enjoyed the resort and the fishing so much it wasn’t long before they were back on a plane to Thailand!
Above is Paulina with one of the rarer species in the lake – a spotted sorubim catfish aka the shovel nosed spotted catfish. This species normally prefers overcast weather and during the warmer weather they are found in and around the water hyacinth beds. Paulina also landed a very hefty Siamese carp; once hooked the fish was intent upon staying deep and refused to come up the shelf as it headed back out into deeper water. She let the rod do the work and gradually the fish neared the surface – the gillie was on hand in the water as she guided her prize into his net. The fish was taken on double pellet soaked in high attraction flavouring; numerous flavourings are available on site at the Jurassic tackle shop that can used with hook baits or mixed into groundbait to give you an edge.
Meanwhile Mati landed his first Chao Phraya catfish – this is a species known to be one of the hardest fighting fish in Thailand and it certainly tested Mati to the limit before it came to rest in the net.
Some great fish caught but by the end of August they still hadn’t caught up with an arapaima – hopefully they will before they head home!
Regular readers of our newsletter will see that for a large number of our guests one visit to Jurassic is not enough. Some of our guests who are fortunate enough to live within a few hours flight time visit several times a year whilst others from further afield we see every year.
Professional angler Martin Bowler, from the UK, is a regular visitor to Jurassic and has his own villa on the resort – he’s travelled to us with his family and on a hosted trip. The following is an article he wrote after his first visit to Jurassic in 2015, since then he’s certainly clocked up a few air miles to fish with us!
Even before prehistoric times it had been a special place. The rock formations filling the vista had risen up, created from sandstone erosion, into the Thai landscape, leaving behind a set of stone teeth that would last long after the dinosaurs had come and gone. Even today while gently swaying paddy fields sit in their shadows they are enough to stir the imagination about a place that time forgot and indeed not all the monsters have gone.
For where the lush green vegetation gives way to water huge ripples spread across the surface from seismic explosions as creatures writhe snake like across the surface, these however are not reptiles of the past but fish with an equal god like status known to the locals as the Buddha of the lake and if, like me, you are ever fortunate enough to worship here and pit your wits with rod and line then you too will have arrived at Jurassic Lake and be witnessing its stock of arapaima!
My own adventure started from Heathrow and minus temperatures before 11 hours later and with complete ease I stepped off the plane into 30oC and the bustle of Bangkok. Asia hits the senses immediately in an explosion of sound, colour and smell but a placard bearing my name by a friendly taxi driver meant that the only thing I needed to do was sit back and enjoy it. Then I was out of the city and into the suburbs where I gained fleeting glances of Thai life through the window before this gave way to a rural scene bathed in the glow of the setting tropical sun.
When everything is new time goes so quickly, especially with a journey that lasted only 2 hours, leaving me to wonder how I had got there so easily as I have had far more gruelling journeys in Europe. I could see how it might have been a little bewildering for a travelling anglers as I stepped from the taxi into the lodge but the smiles from owners Sam, Jules and Eddy immediately put me at ease as well as a bottle of ice cold ‘Chang’ thrust into my hand. Alcohol is a heady concoction when mixed with words of big fish and they came thick and fast as I was fed and watered. By the time I fell asleep in a luxury lodge my mind was a blur of Siamese carp, red tail catfish and, of course, arapaima,
I had arrived in darkness so as I stepped, a little blearily, into the light of early morning my senses were once again assaulted in every direction but none more so that with the lake and its ancient backdrop. It was a scene straight out of the movies but no blockbuster could ever compare to the sight that suddenly drew all my attention as a fish the size of which I had never witnessed before in freshwater broke free of its home for a lung full of air displaying a never ending flank of silver and red scales. So focussed was I that I hadn’t noticed Eddy nearby until he spoke the words I wanted to hear ‘are you ready for Jurassic?’
Eddy Mounce speaks fluent Thai and has explored the country’s fishing potential for 11 years. He has tamed the mighty freshwater stingray and explored the jungle for snakeheads so it’s not surprising that the like of Jeremy Wade and John Wilson have called on his services to unlock Thailand’s secrets. With such a pedigree it’s easy to imagine someone aloof and maybe a little arrogant but that was not the man I met. Yes he was knowledgeable but a nicer, friendlier man it would be impossible to meet.
As we strolled towards the swim he had suggested laughter was close at hand and my mood never changed when he showed me the equipment I would be using. I may have been new to the country but I wasn’t to the tackle and the superb quality was immediately evident. He explained that there were 3 main methods with the first 2 being legered pellet for cap and the same with a small herring like dead bait for the predatory species, but we would start higher in the water column with a pellet waggler for the indigenous Siamese carp. Ironic really that I had come all this way and would begin with a Peter Drennan float!
The tactic was to feed pellet continuously as well as fish the hookbait on the drop. Eddy did the catapulting while I cast repeatedly until I struck into a speed boat that spun the reel spool so fast that I swear a puff of smoke appeared. Every time I made a similar connection to this thick set indigenous species the same thing happened and no fight was over in less than 15 minutes. Little wonder the cool box and the refreshments inside were required on a regular basis and by the time a lunch of Thai delights was delivered from the superb kitchen a suggestion to try dead baits was happily agreed to.
It seemed that lunch was also on the red tail catfish’s mind giving us little time to digest the green curry and rice. These Amazonian fish replaced the speed of the carp with a dogged fight, but certainly put no less strain in the arc of carbon in my hand. As the name implies the first sight I got that I was anywhere near winning the battle was a bright red tail waving in front of the net, followed by a flank and head splodged with orange, yellow and brown as if buckets of paint had been poured over the beast.
I didn’t know what more I could have hoped for but Jurassic had plenty more to give ensuring I had my own very special story to tell over another Chang in the bar that evening. When the bite came I was prepared for the strike but not the havoc that came in its wake as the water rocked so much it nearly spilled over the banks and into the paddy fields! A smoking spool now wasn’t the issue but the braid setting fire! Fortunately it was wet leaving me to do my best not to be straight rodded. I was in no doubt that an arapaima was on the end and this was duly confirmed when a 7-foot wall of silver and red suddenly filled the horizon.
Then with braid still going down in a blur I followed Eddy’s lead and jumped into the water as the fight needed to be continued in its home! Patience was all I could use against it, positive that its energy and anger would abate although I did question this on its 6th and then its 7th run leaving me totally bewildered.
Eddy, a stalwart of many such battles, was happy we were taking our time so that the arapaima’s wrath was tempered, a lesson that he learn the hard way by a head butting fish and the need for 3 false teeth! Eventually the serpent-like fish swayed instead of charged, no longer in control as Eddy cautiously prepared to net the leviathan and end the duel. Head first and the upturned jaw appeared, followed by a body of silver and ruby scales, each one the size of a tablespoon shining as bright as the Thai sun could. It was time to pay homage and worship the Buddha of the lake and in the shadow of Jurassic mountain I witnessed a dinosaur!
August’s Video Round-Up
Mark Jordan – Chao Phraya https://www.facebook.com/JurassicMountainResortFishingPark/videos/721780951506406/
Matt & Steve – redtail brace https://www.facebook.com/JurassicMountainResortFishingPark/videos/316618582239505/
Mark & his first arapaima https://www.facebook.com/JurassicMountainResortFishingPark/videos/679495442434090/
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TIGHT LINES, SEE YOU ALL ON HERE NEXT MONTH.
Jurassic Mountain Fishing Resort
43/6 Moo Baan Kokesehti Tambon Na Yang, Na Yang, Cha-am District
Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand
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