Newsletter December 2016
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Catches, entertainment and news from Thailand’s only exclusive syndicated sport-fishing venue
December again. Where did that year go? It only seems like five minutes ago we were all sitting down to Christmas dinner in 2015 and now it’s upon us once again. There’s been some remarkable changes to Jurassic Mountain during this year all of which you’ve been kept in the loop by reading the newsletter each month and if you’ve been impressed by the progress of Jurassic Mountain so far ……. Just wait til 2017.
So here we are again in the final month of the year and having wrote this newsletter for you now for almost two years, I’m pleased to say that my enthusiasm for putting pen to paper is still as intense as it was when I wrote the very first newsletter back in 2014. On that note I’d like to extend my gratitude to the ever growing numbers of anglers and readers who log in to the newsletter every month because it’s you alone who provide me with all I need to continue with my editorial adventure which has become something of a passion for me. Please god may it long continue. If you have any friends who you think might be interested in the going’s on here at Jurassic Mountain, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be added to the list of the thousands who already receive this monthly update.
Jules has been busy finalising the numbers for our annual Christmas day banquet and I’m pleased to say that along with the joints of pork and a few plump chickens, he also managed to source a turkey of some considerable proportions which was good news really because last year’s turkey looked like it’d been on the Atkins diet all year. I’d seen more meat on a butchers pencil than what that bird had on him but fortunately the pork and chicken that was served up with it was more than adequate. So this year we all looked forward to Christmas day with relish especially as we declined the services of that well known chef Nigela Lawson in favour of my sister Chris who had kindly volunteered her services to assist in the kitchen. Chris had arrived for a 2 month holiday at the beginning of December and we were grateful to have an extra pair of hands to help the catering team feed the multitude that we expected around the table. I secretly hoped that Chris’s cooking skills had improved somewhat because as far as I can remember, she used to burn salad. In fact she was that bad a cook, in her house they used to pray after the meal.. I’ll let you know how it all turned out later…….
One of the most appealing features of Jurassic Mountain is the manicured gardens around the resort provided by a very competent team of gardeners that would put Percy Thrower to shame. It’s a never ending job as it tends to grow faster than they can stay on top of it but it always looks in pristine condition due to their never ending efforts. Take into account also all the grounds that surround the lake which wouldn’t look out of place in a Jurassic themed Kew Gardens and you’ll realise just what a fantastic job our gardening team do to provide you with yet another eye catching scene here at Jurassic Mountain.
We welcomed a new resident this month in the form of Paul Williams from the UK who joined the ‘runaway train’ that is Jurassic Mountain by snapping up the poolside villa complete with fishing rights that had recently come on the market. Good to have you on board Paul and we hope you enjoy your new holiday home for many years to come. I’m certain you will.
As our food menu becomes more and more extensive to cater for the numerous and diverse needs of our visitors to Jurassic, one of our crew had the bright idea of introducing a breakfast special which he eloquently and very aptly named ‘The Bellybuster.’ This breakfast which sort of consisted of about half a dozen eggs, two packs of bacon, fourteen sausages, ten slices of toast and a bucket of tea was priced at 795 Thai Baht which I’m pretty sure didn’t even cover the cost of what was on the plate let alone a profit. Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that due to unpopular demand, the Bellybuster has now been completely modified in design and price because unsurprisingly, not one person risked having their stomachs pumped out due to overeating after having forked out around eighteen quid for the privilege. Anyway, whether you go for the new Bellybuster or not, our famous standard full English breakfast served up in your sala for around six quid is more than adequate to set you up for a fine day’s fishing.
Talking of breakfast, it reminds me of the time I went into the ‘Greasy Spoon’ cafe in South London and ordered a fry up. “I’d like egg, bacon, sausage, tomatoes and beans,” I politely asked the waitress and then I added, ‘ Can I have my eggs undercooked and slimy, the sausage burnt to a crisp, the beans stone cold, the tomatoes as hot as molten lava and the bacon so well done that when you put your fork in it, it springs into a thousand pieces…. Please.’ The waitress sneered and said in no uncertain terms, ‘ I aint got time to muck about like that,’ to which I replied, “ Well you had bloody time yesterday.”
Without mentioning any names, we interviewed a guy this month for the prospective future position of our fishery manager and this fella had all the right credentials. That was until after his very successful interview where he celebrated by getting drunk out of his skull down in the local bar area, upsetting about half of the population in the process and was last seen disappearing into the distance accompanied by a couple of ladyboys. The position’s still vacant.
A vital piece of information for all of you who stay on the resort is that you would be well advised to pull your blinds of an evening because although your smoked glass doors to your villa result in others not being able to see into your room during the day, this unfortunately doesn’t apply at night when you’ve got the lights switched on. This fact obviously didn’t occur to one particular visitor who, without drawing the blinds paraded around butt naked giving two unsuspecting ladies who just happened to be strolling by on their way down for dinner a full uncensored view of his very ample meat and two veg. Hopefully it didn’t ruin their appetite too much but I assume they swerved round ordering the bangers and mash.
Do you remember the story about the massive carp we nicknamed ‘The Grim Reaper?’ This was the carp that was introduced just a few pounds short of the 200 mark and got hooked half a dozen times including by myself who had him on for over four hours and almost rendering me into a state of submission before managing to bolt to freedom. Well, I’d love to report that he’d been landed but alas I can’t. To this day he’s had a case of once bitten twice shy and he remains as elusive as ever. However, there had been a couple of hook up’s lately akin to hooking into a train before suffering the dreaded hook pull but we couldn’t be certain that it was this fish who was the culprit. In fact I was even beginning to have concerns that he’d met his demise as it had been nearly two years since being stocked without anybody getting him into the net. I needn’t have worried. As I took my early morning stroll around the lake I saw him. He erupted through the surface like a porpoise on steroids and in a split second was gone. How can I be sure it was him? Well, I’ve been lucky enough to witness the big carp come to the net on a number of occasions that are almost 200 pounds in weight if they are an ounce……and this thing was bigger! Somebody’s going to get lucky someday and you never know, it could just be you who’ll get their name into the Jurassic Mountain record book as the first person who landed ‘The Grim Reaper.’ Makes your mouth water don’t it?
Right, let’s now take a light hearted look at some of the antics and a selection of some of the anglers who graced Jurassic Mountain for the month of December. 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 ….
The small ‘bleep’ of the bite alarm was not enough to have Jurassis resident Beejay automatically running for the rod but was sufficient enough for him to open one eye as he slipped in and out of a self induced coma after the previous night’s episode of alcohol abuse. A further bleep quickly followed by another was more than enough to prompt Beejay to disregard his hangover, leave the sanctuary of his sala and stand by the rod in readiness for a possible take. He didn’t have to wait long. Another couple of bleeps from the alarm was quickly followed by a piercing shrill that echoed around the lake as the line was stripped unmercifully from the spool by the fish that had greedily picked up the dead bait offering. Beejay struck into the take that was meant not only to sink the hook but hopefully an attempt to slow the fish down as it charged across the lake towards the far bank. The fish slowed momentarily as it felt the pressure of the strike and then with the realisation that it had been well and truly hooked, it made a bolt for freedom with a series of searing runs that stretched the capacity of rod and reel almost to it’s limits. Over 50 minutes of strength sapping action later and Beejay was the proud captor of a beautiful arapaima of some 220 pounds which was great news for Beejay because after what seemed an eternity of pursuing them, this was his very first ‘arri’ in the net although he previously did have one on for an hour or so before losing it at the netting process. So congratulations are extended to Beejay for capturing this fish which he estimated was 220 pounds and all of 2 metres in length, although I’ll reserve judgment on that as Beej has been known for his exaggeration when it comes down to the size of certain things so we’ll safely call it 200 pounds and 1.95 metres eh? Even so, as this was his first arapaima landed after umpteen attempts, I’m very pleased to announce that Beejay has the prestigious title of the December ‘Angler of the month’ bestowed upon him. It wasn’t so much the fact that landing his first ‘Arri’ warranted Beejay being named our ‘Angler of the Month’ but more realistically to the fact that he managed to stay sober for long enough to catch the bloody thing in the first place.
The beginning of December saw a considerable drop in temperature to around 28 degrees which was enough to put the fish ‘down’ for a couple of days and it was only the anglers that persevered combined with their own angling skills and techniques that got results. Enter our very good friend Dave Brewster who I admit has been the brunt of a couple of ‘Blanker of the month’ jibes in the past but who I’m very pleased to say that on a particularly slow day, he showed those fishing around him just how it’s done by initially hooking into and losing a couple and then landing a nice chunky redtail to end the day on.
Stuart, along with pals Simon and David from East Sussex enjoyed almost a week on the resort and experienced some extremely diverse results too. For instance, one particular day’s fishing was, to say the least, rather slow and only minimal totals of fish had been seen in the net by close of play, yet on their final day’s fishing they hardly had time to draw breath because they proceeded to land an incredible total of fifty four fish between them. Now that’s what I call a result.
It looks like I’ve upset the proverbial apple cart a wee bit with a couple of our visitors here last month. First of all expat Steve complained after I’d mentioned that his carp was landed after a 45 minute scrap when in fact it was actually three hours and 45 minutes. Sorry about that Steve. Not that this omission is such a big deal really because it doesn’t make his massive carp look any bigger than what it was but what it does do is get him off the hook with his seven year old nephew who was so thrilled to hear of his Uncle Steve’s exploits which included that three hour plus scrap only to have his bubble well and truly burst when he read differently in the newsletter. So, to the little lad who is no doubt wondering whether his uncle is just telling him yet another fisherman’s tale, please accept my apologies for knocking three hours off of his battle with his dream catch and I trust that you will now reinstate Uncle Steve back up to hero status where he belongs.
Talking about fishermen’s tales…….. I was fishing on the lake one morning for predators when I ran out of mackerel. At that precise moment I saw a snake with a large frog in it’s mouth and seeing that frogs are a particularly tasty treat for the predators, I decided to retrieve the frog. Knowing that the snake couldn’t bite me with the frog in it’s mouth, I grabbed him right behind the head, took the frog and put it in my bait bucket.
Now the dilemma was to how to let go of the snake without getting bit. Fortunately, Jurassic resident Beejay staggered by presumably on his way home from the bars where he;d been the previous evening and carrying a half empty bottle of Sang-som Thai rum in his hand. Upon my request, Beejay reluctantly handed over the bottle and I poured a sizeable drop into the snakes mouth. His eyes rolled back, he went limp and I released him into the undergrowth where he very slowly slithered away to freedom. So, after having given directions to Beejay as to the whereabouts of his villa, he staggered off with bottle in hand and I carried on fishing using the frog.
A little while later, I felt a nudge on my foot. It was that bloody snake again……with two frogs in it’s mouth.
Another apology is extended to Jeff who has fished here for quite a few times but somehow has always failed to get his mugshot in the newsletter. Even last month when he landed the fish of his dreams in the form of a carp around the 180 pound mark, he still didn’t make it into print. Now, I do state at the beginning of this newsletter that it’s not possible to cover everybody who strolls through the Jurassic Mountain gates as there are far too many of you for me to keep up with but seeing as Jeff has tried a few times to get a mention and has yet to get one, it’s my pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to him on landing the fish of his lifetime and I trust that by publishing the following photo, it more than makes amends.
A special Birthday present for Nathan from Sheffield was a three day fishing trip to Jurassic Mountain provided by his girlfriend Lisa. Just being at Jurassic was a thrill in itself for Nathan but could he put the icing on the cake by catching a monster fish too? Nathan drew peg 6 known as ‘the point’ and I wondered if he’d get better results than Wells Lawrence who had fished it the previous day armed to the teeth with all sorts of weird and wonderful tackle and baits which saw him land a couple of fish but nothing in the net at all worth getting excited about. So, enter birthday boy Nathan onto the very same peg armed with the Jurassic Mountain standard rod, reel, tackle and bait combined with a very evident dose of angling ‘know how’ because he demonstrated just how it’s done by landing a dozen or so good sized fish including hooking into a monster carp on his very first cast just a few kilos short of two hundred pounds in weight. Fishing’s easy when you know how isn’t it?
It’s close season in Ibiza so Jule’s brother Dominic was able to take a break from his normal profession of scaring the crap out of holidaymakers who venture onto the parasailing boat that he drives for a living. It didn’t take Dominic long to get into the fish here at ‘The Mountain.’ In fact, as Dom was so determined to get into the Christmas spirit early, it was about the same amount of time that it took him to empty my 5 litre box of red wine on the previous night. Unfortunately, there’s no photo of Dom with his fish because the guy who attempted to take the photographs of his catch needs to take a few lessons in how to do so because there simply wasn’t one decent photo among them. However, Dom will be resuming fishing in January when he returns from his jaunt over to Cambodia and I’ll personally make sure that our photographic team are on hand to get a decent shot that’s worthy of the January edition newsletter.
We awoke on Christmas morning to a glorious sunrise that preceded yet another fine sunny day and to be perfectly honest, if it wasn’t for one of the residents belting out Christmas carols on his way home from the bar earlier, you wouldn’t even have known it was Christmas. (No prizes for guessing who that was then) Sometimes I do get a little nostalgic where I wonder if I’m missing this time of the year in the UK with those lovely crackling log fires that unfortunately are normally accompanied by sub zero temperatures to go with them…… but I very soon come to my senses and realise what I’m not missing when I feel that Thailand sun on my back.
So as the delicious aromas of the Christmas fayre that was being prepared wafted around the lake stimulating the salivary glands of all and sundry, the fishing was cut short a little earlier than normal to allow everybody to don their silly paper hats and get into the Christmas spirit in readiness for the Christmas dinner to come. My initial concerns about unleashing my sister in the kitchen therefore subjecting our unsuspecting public to the mercy of her culinary disasters were completely unfounded as the food that was served up was quite frankly out of this world. Full credit is extended to our catering team with a big special thanks to my kid sister Chris who basically sacrificed half of her Christmas day to muck in and lend a helping hand and who presumably must have sacrificed half of her holiday beforehand studying cookery books too. Only joking Sis, ..…… Spot on as normal.
Finally, on behalf of myself, Neti, Jules, Eddy and all the team here at Jurassic Mountain, I wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year to come.
So with a final look at the end of yet another year,
We think of all who’ve graced us with their presence here,
And as the new year starts and the old one ends,
We thank you all, our new found friends.
So as we watched the final sunset of December, the year of 2016 slipped away into Jurassic Mountain history and I looked forward to the first month of the new year with all the new and old faces that it would inevitably bring. I sincerely hope that 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, SEE YOU ALL ON HERE NEXT MONTH.