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Welcome to our latest newsletter where you’ll find what’s been happening at Jurassic in Mayl!
Welcome to Jurassic Mountain Resort, Fishing in Thailand
May has been a hot month on the lake with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s, resulting in a number of amazing storms and stunning skies. The above picture was taken as a storm rumbled in the distance, swallowing up the mountains as day gave way to night. All year round the sunsets across the lake are magnificent so whatever month you visit us in you will not be disappointed.
The weather didn’t put the fish, or our anglers, off however – average catch rate per angler was 18 fish (5 or 6 per day) with the average size being 63lbs. The Siamese carp was the number one fish caught in May with a large number of 100lb+ beasts finding the net, the Amazon redtail was a close second and the mighty arapaima was third.
Jules Fernandez (co-owner of Jurassic)
Born near Dartford in Kent, not far from the Darenth Valley Jules’ interest in angling started at a young age. He became a member of DDAPS (Dartford and District Angling Preservation Society) before he was 10, and by the age of 12 he was emulating Chris Yates by getting up at the crack of dawn every available day (and plenty of days that were not due to school!) of the week and cycling on his mum’s bike, with rods as a cross bar, the 5 miles to his first club water, Sutton Leisure Sports, chasing what was believed at the time to be one of only a few 40lb plus carp in the UK. Using a split cane rod (amongst others) and simple baits chasing the carp, tench and pike. If he wasn’t fishing he was making his own floats out of hogweed stems or balsa wood, or re whipping his rods; all much to the concern of his mother who felt he wasn’t “getting out enough” as a young man.
Sadly though Jules never managed to achieve the same results as his inspiration the famous Mr Yates and the 40lb mirror in Sutton never came near his luncheon meat. Unfortunately by his late teens and due to the rising costs of Sutton Leisure Sports Syndicate his enthusiasm waned as he also longed for the mystery of fishing that had mesmerized him as a child. Eventually the demands of society got the better of Jules and his passion for angling (pardon the pun!) was subordinated by a passion for girls, cars, expensive clothes and even more expensive nights out!
It was to be some 13 years and 6000 miles away before Jules was once again captivated by fishing’s great mystery – after a short stint backpacking around the world his last stop before home was Thailand. As he was on medical leave from work, due to stress, he felt he should try and rekindle some of his interests from his youth and fishing was on the top of his agenda after he heard ridiculous stories about 200lb+ carp. In 2002/3 information about Giant Siamese Carp was thin on the ground for western anglers to research and there was only one westerner, Jean Francois Helious, promoting fishing trips in the Land of Smiles on the internet. Because of this the stories of huge carp tended to be dismissed as just over zealous marketing, but ultimately Jules got the shock of his life when the first Siamese Carp he ever captured was in excess of 40lbs, and this was from a small farm pond that charged 60 Thai Baht a day to fish! From that moment on Jules knew his destiny was to migrate to Thailand and build his own fishery. As research for this he set up his own guiding service Siam Fishing Tours before embarking on the project that we all know today as Jurassic.
Jules’ ambition now is to gain access to several 400lb+ Siamese Carp that have been fed by hand for over 50 years, just to prove to the world such fish exist in Thailand today. As of yet no westerner has EVER gained access too feed these fish. All that exists as evidence of these fish are a few grainy old images and the odd live clip of film on Thai News Channels.
Who knows maybe one day Jules.. keep chasing rainbows… it’s got you this far!
Andy Clawson, a football coach in Bangkok, took some time off work to visit Jurassic with his girlfriend with one goal – to catch an arapaima
On my return to Jurassic Fishing I was determined to get a arapaima as it’s the one species that has always evaded me. As always the condition of the lake and resort was perfect and the new selection of tackle in the guest bags was really helpful. It was also good fun to use the float on the carp line and they really went for the ram mix.
Day two was my arapaima hunt and I used two predator rods with chicken carcass – my alarms didn’t stop as the red tail took the hook on the drop continuously after lunch; 13 redtail in total but still not one arapaima seemed interested until yet again both alarms went off. I needed the help of the gillies as two rods took a lot of line and then the arapaima made its first roll to show itself.
What an experience to bring it in and the staff on hand were superb, guiding me all the way.
My back was killing me but I can’t wait to do it again!
Summary of day 2: 3 carp,13 redtails and an arapaima to finish the day Superb!
Andy Clawson Director of Coaching FC Bangkok
Thanks Andy – hope to see you back on the hunt again soon!
Jullien’s Golden Carp
The Jullien’s Golden Carp, also referred to as the seven-striped Barb, is a species that was previously found in large numbers in the Mekong mainstream basin but unfortunately, in recent years, its numbers have declined and it is now regarded as something of a rarity. They do not naturally inhabit still waters but they do thrive within them; their natural habitat would be slow moving large rivers, as they prefer sandy/gravel areas of the river bed and feeding on shrimp and mollusc.
As part of our stocking program here at Jurassic we have introduced a number of Jullien’s Golden Carp but the specimen in the picture being held by Tom, our fishery manager, is by far the biggest to date weighing in at 60lb 8oz. We believe it may well be one of the largest of the species within a sport fishery environment.
May on the Lake
This month has seen a mixture of visitors to Jurassic from a variety of different countries. We hope that everyone has enjoyed their stay with us and have taken away some great memories of incredible fishing in a spectacular setting.
Below are just a few of our guests’ experiences at Jurassic – apologies, as always, to those we haven’t included.
Dan and Beth from Cambridge are on a trip travelling around Thailand and with Dan being a keen match angler in the UK they couldn’t resist staying with us for 3 days. Fishing here is very different to the tackle and techniques Dan usually uses but he soon got to grips with it and before long had opened his Jurassic account. He caught Amazon redtail along the water hyacinth but was keen for an arapaima. When he arrived in the swim his prey had been patrolling the edges but moved out into the main body of the lake as the temperature rose – with an hour to go they made their way back to the margins and Dan struck into his first of the species, landing it just as dusk descended. On his final day he started bright and early and it paid off when he netted his second arapaima before breakfast! All was quiet for a few hours but that changed in the afternoon as he managed 7 fish, including his second carp in 3 days weighing over 100lbs!
Des used to be a very keen carp angler, owning his own lakes in France for a few years, but has been struggling to enjoy it recently. He’s travelled to Thailand a number of times but this trip was the first time he’d ever experienced the fishing on offer in the Land of Smiles. Having worked the margins all mornings for predators and been rewarded with a some good redtails he started receiving finicky takes which were then dropped. Reducing the size of the dead bait and recasting another take ensued and the clutch soon felt the force as the fish headed into open water. Expecting to see an arapaima, or perhaps another redtail, surface there was nothing for a good 30 minutes and each time line was gained another surging run followed! The fish kited but failed to surface leaving us all perplexed – it wasn’t until it neared the bank for the third and final time that its identity was revealed, it was in fact a Siamese and a big one at that!
Returning guest Simon has done little carp fishing in the UK since his last visit to us and having landed 24 fish in his first 2 days at Jurassic, with 2 Siamese over 100lb, how could it compare? Unfortunately after this great start he lost 2 arapaima on the trot so Simon decided to choose a completely different swim on the opposite side of the lake in the draw. It wasn’t an arapaima that took his pellet but he did seem happy with a Niger ripsaw catfish.
It had been over a year since Peter had wet a line at Jurassic and he was raring to go, regaling us with tales of his last trip. Coffee in hand he headed up the right hand bank and immediately opened his 2018 account with a good sized, but rather angry redtail!
Mark and Angela arrived from Leeds with 12 days angling ahead of them. Having previously fished for Mekong catfish in Thailand Mark wanted to net arapaima and Siamese carp this time round. He certainly had a good start on his first day landing 5 fish, a mixture of redtails and Siamese carp up to 65lbs. The afternoon saw the couple making the most of the sun and the ice cold draft Chang we offer whilst waiting for the rods to go off. Well, they just about had time to finish their Changs before there was a take on one of the rods. Having already landed several different species Mark knew this was a new one for them and as a golden coloured tambaqui breached the surface he realised he was right!
After following our Facebook posts and seeing the sport we have to offer Singapore residents Jeremy and his partner decided it was time to visit us . Wanting to familiarise themselves with the swim they decided to take a walk around the lake ahead of the evening draw. As they were fishing together swim 6, aka The Point, was their first choice as it provides ample space for all the tackle, bait and both of them. Well, the first catch of the day was a pleasant surprise for them – a stunning tambaqui, a species they really weren’t expecting to catch.
Escaping from Bangkok for a day’s session with us, Dan landed a mixture of Siamese carp and Amazon redtails whilst enjoying the Chang we offer on draft!
First time visitors to both Thailand and Jurassic the Sherlock family came to us from the Wirrall to celebrate John Snr’s retirement. John and his son have regularly fished in France and if you don’t find them on a riverbank they’re probably involved in shooting or archery. Mixing fishing days with time spent sight seeing they had a fruitful time with John Snr fulfilling an ambition by landing an arapaima within the first few hours on his first day! John Jnr meanwhile caught 7 fish that day including some nice specimen Siamese.
Martin Bowler’s good friend, Welshman Terry Theobald and his wife Carole, came to us for a 10 day trip which saw Terry mixing time on the bank with visiting local attractions. Fishing predominantly mornings and evenings saw him catch 68 fish in total consisting of 40 carp, with a number of these over 100lb, 6 arapaima, 20 Amazon redtails, a Rita Salween catfish and an alligator gar. The latter was caught in heavy rain when you could hardly see from one bank to the other. Let Tom, our fishery manager, take over from here: ‘I attended a whistle from swim 3 – it was the last 20 minutes of the day in the middle of a ruthless thunderstorm. I couldn’t see much until the last minute when an alligator gar surfaced which I netted. We transferred it to a cage for photos but it just wouldn’t behave. It nearly had me twice before jumping the cage, leaving Terry and I frozen to the spot wondering where it went! We just hoped it had left the area as it was not happy!’ Terry found it all highly amusing but did make his way back to the bank very warily!
The temperature rose and the wind dropped and a break in the weather was long overdue. A storm broke and heavy rainfall cooled the air. Alan took advantage of Mother Nature changing the conditions and set up early in swim 12, aka Sam’s Sala. The first take of the day and he came face to face with a species that he hadn’t seen before – the pacu!
Reaping the rewards after having moved swims Paul landed an arapaima on the pellet. A bit of a surprise when it first surfaced but he guided it to the net so photos could be taken. There was no time to sit back, relax and think about his catch however as immediately the dead bait rod ripped off…
On their first day friends John and Max fished swim 6 together keeping their approach simple, fishing at under arms length with a pellet rod each and scattering feed over the top at regular intervals by hand. The slope of the shelf in this swim provides adequate depth and a good line lay to a route that the carp patrol regularly. At midday John lifted into what he described as a ‘dead weight’, a slow moving fish that ticked line from the clutch as it gathered speed whilst at the same time holding deep. After a hard fight it surfaced for the first time and slipped into the net as John gave a huge sigh of relief – time for photos!
Jamie joined us from Sydney, Australia, for a 4 day trip. Normally a sea angler he decided to target fresh water for a change whilst relaxing in a first class resort. At sea he has caught huge mackerel, marlin and had a few encounters with sharks and grouper – his first few days at Jurassic saw him catch redtails, Siamese carp and tambaqui leaving him more species for the last few days. Different to his normal sea fishing but still thoroughly enjoyable.
Thomas from Sweden has visited us several times for day trips but this time he booked for 4 days. His targets for the trip were arapaima and alligator gar and he very quickly opened his Jurassic predator account with a redtail. Over the course of his trip Thomas caught not only his gar but 4 arapaima in total – mission accomplished and exceeded!
On his first trip to Thailand Martyn, another Welshman, came for a 5 day trip. One of the highlights of his visit was a 250lb+ arapaima which combined with 100lb+ carp, pacu, tambaqui, Asian redtails and Amazon redtails certainly kept him busy! One coincidence was that Martyn fished the same swim as our other Welshman Terry two days after him and caught the same carp as he had! Two men from Wales, other side of the world, same swim, same spot 2 days apart – of all the fish in the lake what are the odds of that happening?
Well done to all our anglers this month – hope to see you all again!
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
Angler of The Month – Mark Brown
Mark Brown can normally be found angling on the River Severn for barbel and pike or on one of his regular visits to France to angle for catfish. Looking for something different this year Mark and his partner Karen came to Jurassic for 7 days; Mark would be fishing for 6 of them whilst Karen was planning to enjoy the tranquillity and facilities of the resort with one day put aside for a spot of sightseeing.
Mark set himself a few targets for his trip – Siamese carp, Amazon redtails and an arapaima. Well, Mark was on top form and far exceeded his list and probably his own expectations – in total he caught 59 fish, different species, different sizes and on different methods.
In Mark’s words: ‘Sometimes the rod was in the water less than 5 seconds before ripping off, it was frantic” ‘The gillies at Jurassic are brilliant. They make your trip even more enjoyable and their focus on fish-safety is exemplary’ Thanks for your kind words Mark and we hope to see you and Karen again one day.
Jurassic Mountain – a great place to stay for both the angler and non-angler
The majority of our guests come to Jurassic for the fishing but we also cater for non-anglers – we are a fully facilitated resort with a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, jacuzzi and sunbathing terrace and are able to also arrange massages and spa treatments for all our guests.
Ask at reception and we will advise on local places to visit if you’re having a rest from fishing for a day. Our location is excellent for sightseeing – there are lots of local activities ranging from water parks to vineyards to the traditional Thai temples, a very popular elephant sanctuary, Bridge on the River Kwai and shopping to cater for all tastes!
Stay with us for a day, a week or a month – the choice is yours as is, subject to availability, the day you arrive as we have no set arrival or departure days. So whether you’re a solo visitor to Jurassic and here purely for the fishing or with your partner or family there’s plenty for everyone.
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Our lake has a large number of tambaqui which, along with the arapaima, originates from the Amazon and Orinoco basins of tropical South America. Like a lot of species the tambaqui found its way to Thailand as a food fish in the fish farming business.
Tambaqui can apparently grow to a maximum of 1.2m in length and 50kg (110lbs) in weight although the current IGFA (International Game Fish Association) has the record at just over 32KG (71lbs+).
The teeth of the tambaqui are strange as they are very similar to human molars (see picture below), but blunt although we wouldn’t recommend putting your fingers in their mouth! This suits their diet which ranges from fruit, water plants, insects, shrimp, nuts to boilies and pellet. The tambaqui’s markings are very distinctive and are often likened to a city skyline with the lower half of its body normally mainly blackish to light grey with the remainder being predominantly yellowish or olive. The exact shades can vary considerably, as the pictures below of two of our lake’s residents demonstrates and this is often attributed to the fish’s habitat.
A stunning fish which will give a good account of itself when hooked and looks great in those all important photos!
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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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