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Catches and news from Thailand’s only exclusive syndicated sport-fishing venue.
Where do I begin with this long awaited newsletter? That has unfortunately been pushed aside over and over whilst the ongoing development and day to day running of Jurassic has continued to take up most of the time and attention of it’s managers as the vision of the finished product begins to come into view over the sun kissed Cha Am horizon soon to be a totally complete, totally awesome fishing resort built out of nothing but a passion for the Thai freshwater fishing scene.
Well, due to the obvious time consuming work that has been a labour of love for Jules now for over 3 years the ever expanding fishery and resort is now undoubtedly Thailand’s top fishing resort in the eyes of those that have been here and elsewhere for them to make an objective comparison. For those that haven’t visited well you just don’t know what your missing. As Jules alway’s tells me and his partners though “knowbody knows about this place, because we just don’t spend enough time telling people about it” , which is where I come in!
To help tell the world the syndicate members are now all chipping in with their own contributions, which is just what Jules and Eddy had hoped for when they embarked on creating not just a fishery, but a community of anglers in Thailand. On my part I’ve volunteered and have partly been nominated with the task of writing the Jurassic newsletter and it’s a task that I will endeavor to undertake with relish.
Who am I and how did I become involved in this mega fishery project? That’s a good question and one which I will try to answer as briefly as possible without wishing to bore you to tears before my new found role has even started.
One of 19 carp I caught on my first ever trip to Jurassic. The fish where small enough
then to save me a dip in the lake, but now all fish are unhooked in the water.
My Pal Colin from Caterham UK with my terrified sister, the day I first introduced them to the amazing fishing venue of which I was now a lifetime member.
Me! (Centre) present day, enjoying the fruits of my investment in the Juracuzzi! With more fishing friends from around the UK. Great fun!
Me playing one of Jurassics monster carp. At the point this shot was taken I’d been playing the unseen carp for over 3hrs on a specialist 5lb test rod. The general consensus was that I’d hooked into what has become fondly named as “The Grim Reaper”, as it’s been the death of numerous anglers fishing day!
My name is Steve Byford formerly of Beckenham, Kent in the UK, and after two failed marriages and a complete lack of enthusiasm for running my business in ‘big brother England’, I handed everything over to my son Jimmy and took off on an impromptu retirement, heading off to Heathrow and I eventually found myself residing in Hua Hin,Thailand which compared to my former haunts around SE London had everything in every aspect going for it. Everything about my new found far away land ticked every box that I required ticked and I was quite content in my condo in Hua Hin believing that this was the place where I would see out the rest of my days and I wasn’t intending going any further. That is until one day I decided to take Jules up on his offer and do a spot of fishing at a place called Jurassic Mountain about twenty five minutes up the road in Cha-am. At that time I hadn’t heard much about the place accept for the fact I’d bumped into Jules a few times when he was taking his guests to other local fisheries before Jurassic was open, and he suggested I should pay him a visit some time.
Sitting in my Sala on Jurassic Mountain which was situated three steps from my swim, I was simply in awe of the beautiful setting around me, how could this unspoilt place be so stunningly beautiful whilst yet still having all the conveniences of one of Thailand’s most upmarket and popular tourist towns literally within spitting distance. Jules and Eddy must have studied the Estate Agents mantra of “location location location” until they was blue in the face to have found this spot. Jule’s did in fact inform me that he had come to Thailand 10 years prior with the sole aim to develop a fishery, and had covered just about every corner of the country researching suitable locations for such a venture, but most of the beautiful locations where fairly inaccessible, needing internal flights or very long road trips to get too, but Jurassic, is just a short jaunt from Asia’s biggest airport in a taxi and even closer to Hua Hin which is Thailand’s cleanest and most modern town.. Well all I can say Jules, is after 10 years searching, you NAILED IT.
Stunning scenery surrounds Jurassic on all sides, Mountains, fields of rice and sugar palms all contribute to the Jurassic Landscape.
The angling arena is a dramatic backdrop to play monster fish against, especially at sunset.
Jurassic Mountain itself rises up out of the surrounding plains some 600ft, imposing itself on the fishery from nearly every angle.
To me it seemed that I’d found paradise in the sun even before my idyllic thoughts were shattered by the sound of a screaming bite alarm as a carp sped off at a rate of knots the likes of which I’d never ever witnessed before. Twenty minutes or so later I was very proud to be holding my very first Siamese carp which was estimated to be around the 35lbs mark. Then came another and another and by the end of the day I crawled away from that swim that has since been named “Blind Mans Bluff” having bagged nineteen carp in total with an estimated total weight of around 800 pounds. That don’t sound like much when you say it quick but you try pulling in the equivalent of 1500 bags of sugar…. That don’t want to come in !! Almost half a ton of scaled lunatics that I spent at least 8 hours of the day doing battle with. Apart from being well and truly knackered, I was also well and truly hooked !
I’d found the best venue that I’d ever fished in my life that was situated in what could only be described as heaven and I couldn’t wait to get back there again to land the remainder of the lunatics in the lake that had eluded me that day. Jules assured me that I shouldn’t take my spectacular result for granted, because carp in Thailand are no different to carp in Europe. One day they are on, the next they are off. I just thought Jules was talking “fishery owner, baloney” wrong assumption that was. I sat in the same swim using the same tactics a few days later and only caught ONE!
Now I happen to know of some anglers who would become very disillusioned with this meagre catch but to me it only added to the intrigue of the place, and I fully intended spending a lot of my retirement figuring out Jurassic’s every little nuance targeting Jurassic’s ever growing monster carp . So what was the logical outcome of my passion for this place? Easy answer to that question, I purchased one of the villa’s and now base myself on Jurassic Mountain Resort for at least 8 or 9 months of the year, the remaining months I go elsewhere just to remind me why I’m here! I’m very proud to be a member of what is probably the most exclusive fishing syndicate in the world with just 16 people who have a ‘lifetime pass” to fish on Jurassic … and what became of my condo in Hua hin ? Well as good as it is and believe me it’s good but now…. it has become a fast fading and ever more distant memory.
Jurassic Mountain has everything going for it for anglers and non anglers alike. The accommodation on the resort is without doubt second to none, it’s actually better than the vast majority of 4 star hotels in the area as are the facilities. Cha-am itself which is only a 10 minute cab ride away is just how you would imagine Thailand to be before Starbucks and McDonalds took over most Thai tourist towns and it offers something for everybody except American junk food outlets which keeps the beach road looking original. Throw in the miles upon miles of deserted sandy beaches, warm sea , guaranteed sunshine and incredible value for money and I promise you that you’ll never again contemplate trying to find a pitch on Brighton beach whilst paying through the nose for a pint of warm lager out of a plastic glass or sit on a UK riverbank freezing your nuts off while attempting to catch something no bigger than what Jurassic use as bait for it’s monstrous predators. Or spending 300quid on fuel heading off to some French Carp venue only to stay in a bivvie beside a lake That’s not likely to yield anything much bigger than Jurassics smallest fish, and take a lot longer to catch. My logic is why bother with any of these scenarios? Just jump on a plane to Jurassic.
Now before I review Aprils anglers catches and antics, on behalf of the Jurassic Mountain Team I would like to apologise to all previous anglers who have not had their name up in lights in the Jurassic Newsletter. It’s been a year since the last newsletter and countless people have come and gone during this time and had many hundreds of great days fishing, including my good mate Colin Moore from Caterham in the UK who flew back home to England and, realising that the green green grass of home was actually covered in frost … Promptly flew back out again !! I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting acquainted with numerous visitors to the resort and there are far too many to mention here but be assured that it’s nothing personal. I’ve also seen some big names in angling fishing here at Jurassic. Martin Bowler and John Wilson experience some fantastic fishing, whilst here helping the fishery make a promo DVD I was here watching the filming from start to finish on the lake and for all you anglers who are waiting for the finished DVD to be released and distributed, I can only say that your in for a treat, so watch this space on news of its release.
The beauty of living on a Thai fishing resort is that I get to meet new people and eventual friends every day. I meet and talk to more people here in a day than I do in the UK in a month !! But without a doubt my biggest enjoyment to date is having my fishing mad son Jimmy fly over from the UK not once but three times bringing new blood with him each time to get to grips with the fantastic fighting fish that Jurassic provides. Talking of fantastic fighting fish, let’s have a look at what some of April’s guests caught because we’re almost halfway through May and specimen fish are being landed so thick and fast I won’t keep up unless I get Aprils down now.
Here we go….
Early April heralded the arrival of Robert Dungate and his friend Ian along with their girlfriends Sarah and Laura from the UK who incidentally were introduced to Jurassic by my son Jimmy. They had first sampled the delights of a fishery in southern Thailand before heading to Jurassic and in Roberts own words… ‘ Yeah, it ain’t bad but compared to Jurassic…..No contest !!
Robert shows of one of the best fish of the session, but he caught 4 carp at around 90lbs along with numerous others!
How can I describe Robert and his pal Ian ? Easy !! Chalk and cheese in Angling terms. Both paid for four days fishing in full with Robert sitting in his swim from dawn until dusk and Ian sitting mainly in the jacuzzi. Now, Ian actually couldn’t care less whether he had in his hand a rod or a red bull and he was more than happy chilling out around the pool with the very occasional lazy wander down to his swim but Robert is a completely different kettle of fish….No pun intended. He is what can only be described as a carp angling nut whose angling knowledge would give any “carp angling names” a close run for their money and his dedication over the four days reaped great dividends. Numerous carp up to 90 pounds graced his net but unfortunately the magical 100 pounder eluded him as did the estimated 200 pound Arapaima that gave Robert an almighty tussle before unfortunately parting company after a tense and very aggressive 40 minute battle. The sight of Robert standing on the lake poised at his rods in the blistering April Thai sun (which is one of the hottest months of the year) whilst other anglers headed for the sanctuary of the bar will remain long in the memory. Still, he certainly made up for it at night time and along with Ian and the girls, did a great job of attempting to drink Cha-am dry. True to form, Robert was the first person on the lake in the morning whilst Sarah simply laid in the pool and suffered as the photo proves. Jurassic Mountain has definitely not seen the last of Robert Dungate and company and I know that Jules would be the first person to thank and congratulate Robert not only for his angling etiquette and dedication but also for his just rewards of quality fish that he landed, proving that anglers that work catch many more fish than those that just sit and wait.
Others worthy of mention include returning guest Martin Lammi from Sweden who took some nice shots of the resort, he also managed another nice Arapaima towards the end of his session.
and Andrew Taylor or Pav to his friends who was recovering from war wounds from time served in Afghanistan, but it didn’t stop him getting a nice snap with an armful of Redtail.
Dave Kingsman also from the UK landed an up to now elusive Ripsaw and Liam lent a helping hand to soon to be resident Ex pat Wayne Metcalfe from Pattaya by landing a redtail on Wayne’s rod whilst Wayne was battling with an angry sixty pounder. Whist on the subject of Wayne, the resort would like to sincerely thank him for his contributions to the resort by way of superb videos that he provides and for mucking in with the maintenance and reorganizing of the site stock ponds.
and the USA got in on the act with Doug from L.A. sporting a decent size Siamese. Not to be outdone, Australian James from Sydney landed a very nice carp indeed but Wayne and Liam promptly overshadowed that with carp in excess of the magical 100 pound.
Shawn and friend Mark from Staffordshire had an exceptional day with both carp and araipalma as did Les whose days fishing was certainly one for him to remember.
Resort resident Christophe from France piled in with a 172 pound monster Siamese but spare a thought for Irvin and his friends from Singapore who displayed great patience and determination not often seen in Asian anglers and whose sole reward was one Tambaqui albeit a very nice specimen indeed. Fair play to Jules and the resort team in offering Irvin a discounted return visit of which the odds are definitely in favour of being accepted.
Also a mention to another very good Pal of mine, non angler and serial moaner Alan Crook and his family from Warlingham Surrey who apart from complaining that there were no egg cups in his villa enjoyed doing battle with a 200 pound plus arapaima that picked up his carp bait (lucky and still moans!) and this finally brings me to the unfortunate Jake Casson and the story of the elusive and to date unlanded brute of a Siamese carp that is now estimated to be on the phenomenal 200 pound mark and has now become affectionately known as the ‘ Grim Reaper ‘ very aptly named due to leaving several anglers in a state of absolute despair or is it disrepair?
Well, I’d like to thank you for taking the time in reading my first attempt at the Jurassic Mountain Resort newsletter and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. To all those people out there who have been to this resort, you will be well aware of the quality of this place and to all those who haven’t yet sampled it …… You really don’t know what your missing…. It’s extreme fishing of the highest order …..Get yourself booked !!
Bye for now ….. See you on this page next month !