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Catches, entertainment and news from Thailand’s only exclusive syndicated sport-fishing venue.
Jurassic produces a massive 350lb+ Giant Mekong Catfish
The giant Mekong catfish is an iconic fish species of Thailand that has one of the fastest growth rates of any fish in the world. They can be distinguished from other catfish species due to their lack of barbules and teeth, unlike predatory catfish. Despite being native to the Mekong river basin in South East Asia, they are classified as being critically endangered in the wild. This is mainly due to disruption to their migration routes mainly as a result of dam building meaning they are unable to follow their usual migratory journey to spawn.
They are however mass farmed for food in SE Asia and very common in sport fisheries throughout Thailand. They are often stocked in high densities which can negatively impact upon their growth potential. Being herbivorous filter feeders, they typically feed upon terrestrial plants, benthic filamentous algae, weeds, and insects. In fisheries they will take to feeding on rice bran and bread but this diet again is not conclusive of good growth rates. For farming they are often reared in Green water fed with nutrient from the waste of chicken farming, which promotes dense algae blooms in the water column. Understanding their dietary requirements was key to managing the longevity of the species when they were introduced into Jurassic in 2012 with the biggest being 82kg.
We purposely chose to stock just a few individuals into the lake at the beginning, with the aim to allow them to progress naturally keeping the competition for their preferred food source low, and although this makes them much harder to catch, the results speak for themselves, with the fish doubling in size from an already large 82kg to a 160kg plus in around 9 years. They are one of the eight species present in excess of one hundred pounds in weight, in the fishery.
Avoiding anglers for nearly 9 years
Well known Thai angler Krit joined a group of twelve anglers from the UK at the start of the month headed by John Harvey. He had his sights upon landing a very big Siamese carp and felt Jurassic offered him the best prospect of a 75kg plus specimen, and that’s having extensive knowledge of many other venues in Thailand, and fished most of them. The daily draw for swim selection fell in his favor and he opted to fish his full three-day trip from The Bruce. His angling approach consisted of using the method feeder with copious amounts of rice bran meal with a bait additive of his own design to build a spot out in open water. Having baited heavily for the duration, Krit had seen countless carp, but the biggest was only 40kgs. During his third and final day in the morning, the alarm went into meltdown as the rod ripped off once more. He set the hook and despite years of angling, he was immediately full of nerves as the line continued to be stripped from the spool amid a completely unstoppable run. He could feel through the rod that the fish possessed massive weight and power. Surging runs continued and Krit was yet to gain line as the fish kitted back and forth out in open water.
A truly team effort to tame the beast ensued.
After 30 minutes of intense action a crowd had started to form behind Krit in his swim, all expecting to see a giant Siamese carp. The group would later all have a role to play to finally get the fish in. 45 minutes in and Krit was feeling the burn when we got the first glimpse of the fish, taking us all by surprise. Silver in appearance with a rounded head left fellow anglers convinced that it was a Chao Phraya catfish. Moments later, the second show left us all stunned as we looked at each other in amazement when we realized it was a Mekong catfish. Suddenly, disaster struck and Krit’s reel could not take no more as the drag washers disintegrated and a team effort would be needed to save the day. Another rod and reel was prepared in the Sala by onlookers, then a few others cautiously held the line against the leviathan to buy some time. Something we all know can be quite dangerous when there’s a monster on the end! When the moment came and against his instincts, Krit alone cut the line at the spool, then with the slack line behind the team, tied the quickest back to back knot the world has ever witnessed! His heart was racing as the tension increased down to the spool once again and the line began to whistle in the wind, the joint knot twanging between the eyes.The knot held and the battle continued.Just after the hour mark, the gillies got their first chance at netting and after all the efforts made by other members of the team they wasn’t about to make an error. In one seamless motion they slipped the the cage under and around the giant 2.5m fish and the battle was won. It was a truly memorable moment as we all screamed in excitement to finally see such an elusive giant finally landed at Jurassic. Some people believed Jurassic’s Mekong catfish are no more than a promotional myth given that they were stocked nearly 9 years ago and had yet to grace the net. Now though the photos speak for themselves! The low stocking density has allowed them to thrive, doubling in weight and smashing Krit’s personal biggest fish, BUT this is not a lake record for Jurassic as we have had Arapaima topping 400lbs in the past too, also HOMEGROWN. This Mekong was stocked at around 80kgs in 2012. Collectively the grouped placed an estimate on this fish of in excess of 160kgs. A doubling in size, and a credit to the stocking profile of the fishery and the way the fishery has been managed over the years, in many fisheries large Mekong catfish tend to decline in weight after being stocked due to over stocking, this is the difference between a Specimen Lake and a Match Lake so often overlooked in Thailand.
For a great overview of what Jurassic and the surrounding area has to offer watch this 5 minute video!
More newsworthy catches in July
What a month!
What a month it has been, consisting of monumental captures and personal records being shattered by anglers lucky enough to be able to make it to us during the continued COVID-19 restrictions. Whilst travel restrictions are gradually being lifted within Europe, unfortunately international flights have yet to resume to Thailand as concerns regarding the virus remain across the world. Thailand continues to be one of the safest countries by comparison and many of you made the most of our July Corona Special Promotion, despite not knowing for sure when we can get here, one thing seems sure, it is currently one of the safest destinations to travel too if you have concerns about Coronavirus.
A selection of species
John rallied the troops together and organized what is becoming a monthly gathering here at Jurassic, giving us 3 days of being fully booked, which is a mircale in the current climate, so thank you John, and all who came for your support during this difficult trading climate. Anglers from far and wide across Thailand flocked for three days of fishing with some making an eighteen-hour round trip in full confidence that it would be well worth it.
John himself made a start during the first day working the upper layers with a concoction of baits and additives from the tackle shop. Osaka fishmeal mixed into rice bran along with a few liquid additives improved the potency of the groundbait. He started the session with a good run of Siamese carp on the float before the winds went against him, so he switched back to the bottom feeder. By forming a stiffer mix around the method feeder twinned with a small pop up, he bagged some incredibly beautiful Indian carp amid a moody mountain backdrop as the weather was unsettled to say the least.
On the opposite bank in The Bruce, Krit was still shell shocked after his massive Mekong capture as he flicked back through the photos in awe at what he had achieved. The swim had been kind to him since the start of the session when he landed two tambaqui back to back within hours of arriving. A pattern that we have observed here on several occasions whereby they grace the nets in quick succession before going back into hiding. During his third and final day and following the frantic change between tackle, his swim resembled a bomb site. As he packed away some bits, the rod ripped off just shy of 6pm. Shortly after the gillie slipped the fish into net and turned to him beaming from ear to ear, unbeknown to Krit what it was… What a way to end the session of a lifetime with yet another sought after species for the hat trick in the fine form of a Salween Rita catfish!.
Paul Remained Patient
The use of ground bait had been successful, but Paul preferred to approach his trip from a specimen angling perspective. Being no stranger to big fish venues such as the famous Lac de Curton (A.K.A. Rainbow in France), he was happy to get the traps set, sit back and relax. Arriving in Mountain View shortly after 7am, he cast a lead about the swim to help build a mental picture of the contours and substrate. Happy with a few firmer spots he located he got to work with the catapult and built up a light bed of boilies and pellet. A couple of critically balanced hook baits were whittled down and tested in the water’s edge. Paul was feeling confident as he got the rods on the spots. 4 hours went by without a single bleep sat listening to other anglers whistles and watching the gillies rushing around netting fish for everyone else. The subsequent banter soon followed with his fellow anglers asking if he was feeding them or fishing for them. Paul, cool as cucumber remained optimistic and rejected the offers of tuition and Chang draft by his comrades, refusing to drown his sorrows just yet.
At 11am the right-hand bobbin pulled up tight developing into a screaming take as a big bow wave erupted over the spot. The rod tip arced over and stayed there, a telling sign of a chunk! He grabbed the whistle finally put to use, proving to the others that it was more than an ornament as the fishery team arrived. After a protracted fight, a dark giant wallowed in the top water and seconds later, the gillie signaled success. Paul was blown away. His patience had paid off and it was well worth the wait. How the tables turned… A pint on order and one of the iconic giant Siamese carp at 150lb+ sulking in the cells awaiting photos, known to many as Scarface!
These were perhaps the most notable captures of the month, but others also enjoyed success. Lee slipped the net under a pacu during the first few hours of fishing in Sam’s Sala to kick start the day. The species has been off the radar over the last few weeks which may be have been due to the erratic weather that we have experienced. Just like the tambaqui, captures usually come in spells during calm and stable sunny weather. Jumping in for the photos soon cleared the cobwebs following ‘a few’ beers the night before and the capture was well worth waking up for.
Grant also made a start in Sam’s Sala during his day trip to Jurassic. He first fished here many years ago and could not resist a day whilst in the area. Siamese carp were the desired species but only the predators expressed interest; Asian redtail, Amazon redtail and an Arapaima which sadly managed to pull the hook. After a chat with the fishery team, he took on board their suggestions and upped sticks, moving on to the far bank. His efforts were rewarded with a new personal best, a beautiful black Siamese carp making him one happy man! Steve and Simon also enjoyed success in the swim working as a team when action started early. Within the first two hours they already had six fish on the board, so they were optimistic about the day ahead. As the bites slowed down, the average weight went up as the larger Siamese carp moved in.
The next day saw Steve take on the predators in Lover’s Retreat, a swim that is often overlooked despite providing many opportunities. He approached the swim quietly and watched the water before getting the rods into position. An aggressive take put the bodybuilder to the test as he set the hook into his largest ever arapaima. Yet another memorable highlight at Jurassic leaving him itching to come back.
Peter had also observed numerous arapaima and alligator gar at the opposite end of the lake. He was torn between Lazy Man’s and Blind Man’s Bluff as each swim offered access to the water hyacinths. He finally decided upon the latter and ordered some live baits to add to his arsenal. The live tilapia tempted a cracking alligator gar tipping the scales at a touch over 65lb.
Ian’s First day of three was spent in The Bay and things could have been better… Strong winds were clearing the cobwebs but hangover could not be shaken meaning both he and the weather indicated poor conditions. It was hard work and he lost a few good fish to add insult to injury. A valuable lesson learnt meant he was on top form and fresh as a daisy during his second day. In Jamboree the tables turned, and he landed multiple Siamese carp on the feeder landing more than 10 fish to end the day on a high. Unfortunately, that evening, an old injury came back to haunt him leading to a broken knee and he subsequently missed his third and final day. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery to join us back at Jurassic in the future.
Graham also spent a day in The Bay having never fished the swim, despite multiple trips to Jurassic. Curiosity got the better of him, so he got to work using rice bran meal. To his surprise an Amazon redtail had soon picked up the scent. David on the other hand , had set his stall out for them using chopped mackerel and chicken hearts leading to a few chunky cats before dusk. They are a common capture and can be caught using just about any bait given their scavenging behavior. Their characteristic long marginal runs make for hard fights that put your back to the test as they hug the banks and head for the water hyacinths.
It’s not all about fishing
Jurassic is not just a great angling hub, conveniently located for many of Thailand’s fisheries, but also sits close to not one but TWO popular holiday destinations here in Thailand, being Hua-Hin and Cha-Am.
There is an array of different activities and excursions starting on-site from world class golf courses a few minutes away, to days on the beach also a few minutes away and everything else in between.
The Anglers Rest
You simply cannot beat waking up in the morning to the sound of the bird calls and opening the curtains to be met with the tropical gardens on your doorstep. Follow the path across the stepping stones, over the arapaima pond and into the Angler’s Rest. Order a freshly brewed coffee exactly how you like it and take a seat on the veranda overlooking the lake, whilst waiting for your full English. What a way to start the day at Jurassic!
Jurassic Monster Tackle and Bait Shop
Follow the links in the pictures above, to find out what’s working on Jurassic. All products are available both on site and in our online store for pre-ordering before your arrival!
Enter our August Competition to WIN!
In July we ran the corona promotion which saw our customers benefiting from a 15% discount and bonus bait allowance which offered flexible and transferable dates for the next two years.
If you missed out on this deal, make sure that you follow, like and subscribe to interact with our social media platforms to keep up to date. Our social media pages is where we first launch any deals, promotions or competitions, as well as being packed with the recent captures and updates on the resort, it is certainly not to be missed, and we are currently working towards a truly unique and amazing promotion that could see the smart ones among you making massive savings on your Thai Fishing Holiday’s. So if you haven’t already, please get on our Facebook Page asap.
August Caption Contest Running Now on Facebook
In August we are be running a caption contest where one of you will be able to win a gift voucher worth 7000 THB which is equivalent to a days fishing. This can be used as part payment against new and existing bookings. To enter, simply go to the POST and COMMENT with your caption then LIKE and SHARE the post. The comment with the best caption will be selected at the end of the month and will be announced in next month’s newsletter and on our social media pages. The Comment section closes at 6pm (UK) on the 31.08.20, so make sure to head to our Facebook page and get thinking for your chance to win!
Capturing the moment
Clouds had started to form in the distance building momentum between the mountains as they darkened in colour. A sudden gust of wind swept across the lake, stripping flowers from the bushes and depositing them upon the surface. The storm was brewing and could be heard up above. Suddenly, an eerie silence descended indicating we were at the centre just as the first droplets started to fall. Based upon previous years July had a minimum temperature of 25 degrees and an average rainfall of 93mm. Whilst storms often form in the afternoons this month usually sees only occasional showers that pass by in a few hours with an average daytime temperature of 33 degrees.
Monthly Wildlife Watch
The great orange tipped butterfly is a species found widespread across most of Southeast Asia. They can be spotted all season round especially between areas 9 and 16 in search of nectar produced by various flower types. The Green Paddy Frog is the best jumper among many Thailand frogs and is wary of humans. When disturbed on land it will often take several jumps of a meter or more to seek refuge under vegetation or in the water. In water its quick swimming action between vegetation is what many buzzbait lures have been based upon. Their preferred habitat is in and around near lakes, rivers, marshes, irrigation ditches, and rice paddies. Usually found within a few jumps of the water. They prey upon millipedes and insects and low-lying flies and are preyed upon by Snakehead, monitors and snakes. The Javan pond heron is a wading bird of the heron family and is one of the most common birds to be spotted surrounding Jurassic. It is native to both fresh and salt-water wetlands in Southeast Asia preferring shallower water. They can be observed foraging along the banks in search of insects, fish, and crabs. Over the years they have become accustomed to the anglers on a daily basis and now spend their days stalking the black bait buckets in the hope of landing the ultimate catch, a fresh mackerel!
Until next month – tight lines!
Jurassic Mountain Resort & Fishing Park
43/6 Moo Baan Kokesehti Tambon Na Yang, Na Yang, Cha-am District
For all enquiries/bookings contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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