Newsletter February 2014
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Catches and news from Thailand’s only exclusive syndicated sport-fishing venue.
February 2014 Newsletter – John Wilson Special
“Fishing isn’t a matter of life and death….It’s much more important!”
We have had lots of positive comments about last month’s newsletter which is great news. This, along with the fact we have lots of exciting developments happening here at Jurassic, should ensure we continue writing in the months ahead. The weather warmed up a lot in February – which means so did the fishing with almost daily catches of Arapaima. There has also been some monster carp being caught and the new species recently introduced are starting to put in regular appearances. Every month sees the average weight of our carp on the rise, and with more Arapaima being introduced, Jurassic is a must visit for anglers coming to Thailand. However, this month’s newsletter is in fact devoted to another lake, John Wilson’s Private Lake Garden, which anglers visiting Jurassic will have exclusive access too.
Meet John Wilson & Fish his private lake :
Beyond a long tree lined drive way, behind a grand gated entrance, hides a glorious four acre lake fringed by a wall of jungle. Sculpted on the far bank stands a house of fine stature amongst a tropical garden of vivid plants, ponds and the sound of running water.
Bung Sawan or ‘Lake Garden’ as it translates in English can only be the vision, passion and private home of one man – the legendary John Wilson MBE.
It is no secret to the angling fraternity that the UK’s most loved and famed TV angling star and journalist landed on Thai soil in October last year to enjoy retirement with his wonderful wife Jo, his treasured German Shepherd Zach and his colorful African Grey parrot Chico. Responsible for seventeen consecutive years of the greatest fishing show ever produced ‘Go Fishing’, John leaves behind a legacy that quite simply can never be equaled. John has contributed to ninety angling books of which forty one were entirely his own. The years of work and passion that John gave to angling is still being enjoyed today by anglers, whether they realise it or not. John’s work has actually been a formative part of UK angling culture.
Regularly visiting his brother Dave in Thailand and fishing together over the past thirteen years, makes John no stranger to Thailand’s fishing scene, having visited most of Thailand’s most noted fisheries. In fact these visits resulted in John producing six angling DVD’s of fishing in Thailand, and it was John’s first Thai episode “Dream Fishing” first broadcast on UK TV in 2003 that inspired Jurassic’s partner Jules to venture to Thailand to explore it’s angling secrets, later to go on to meet Eddie Mounce and develop Jurassic Fishing Park with his partners into the world class fishery it’s become today. So it is with great honour today to be able to offer exclusively trips to John’s brand new fishery.
Now a far cry from Norfolk where John resided at his treasured Lake House for thirty one years; throughout which he nurtured and cared for his six acres of grounds and lake set amongst dense forest. John has also ventured down the road of developing a fishery in Thailand. Now in Thailand John has recreated a tropical version of Lake House, this time the woodland is jungle, common carp are now Siamese carp, wels catfish are now redtail catfish, pike are now arapaima and the name given to his new kingdom is ‘Lake Garden.’ instead of Lake House.
Lake Garden is a mixed species coarse fishery, responding well to classic John Wilson fishing techniques such as peacock quill float fishing beneath your rod tip or ledgering across to the overhanging jungle margins. The diverse stocking profile holds angling’s essential ingredient of mystery as the float slides under or the tip wraps around – not knowing which of the Amazon & Thai freshwater fish species has fallen to your bait:
Just five swims on one bank of Lake Garden makes for exclusive yet sociable and comfortable fishing. Each swim has it’s own unique feature to fish too, be it the marginal shelf, the overhanging far bank jungle or from a point casting to an island, it could easily be an estate lake back in old blighty! Five anglers is the maximum number accepted on the lake for fishing which is only open 2 days of the week.
Jurassic are honored to have an exclusive opportunity to take our guests to John’s private lake, with an opportunity to meet the legend. This is not only an incredibly special chance to sample some great fishing for a multitude of species; but also a chance to meet John Wilson himself. The fishing is guided by John’s brother Dave who lives within the grounds and manages the anglers fishing, John will be around to meet and greet and offer tips to his guests. Although Lake Garden is John and Dave’s private estate, anglers are able to book a very exclusive trip which you can find out more about by clicking here:- ‘John Wilson’s Jurassic Fishing safari’ which includes two days fishing at John’s lake combined with 3 days fishing at Jurassic, where the biggest carp are now topping 150lbs (more about this in next months newsletter!) Anglers interested in this unique opportunity can book this very special fishing safari directly through Jurassic Mountain Resort or via Fish Thailand, Thailand’s No1 Fishing Tour and guiding service. Watch this space in the coming months to see who gets to be the first to visit John’s Lake Garden Reservations are being taken from June onwards.
The First week of February saw Christophe return to Jurassic. This was his 2nd 3rd day visit to Jurassic in a few months as he enjoyed his first trip so much and wanted to introduce his friend Martin to Siamese carp which he succeeded in doing half a dozen or so times. On his last day he tried to introduce Martin to Arapaima, losing one in the early hours. Sadly for Martin though Christophe returned alone a few days later to get his Arapaima with Martin absent from the scene. Never mind – Christophe and Martin are already planning their next trip with a few more fishing friends later in the year.
Another returning customer was Mike Crimp from Buckinghamshire also took Arapaim. Mike spent a few days at Jurassic when it was in its infancy, in fact being present when John Wilson caught his PB Arapaima here at Jurassic in February last year. His first day back at Jurassic looked like being a quiet one with no fish until early afternoon and no bites despite others on the lake catching carp. Not to worry though because Mike’s only bite on the first day resulted in a near 200lb specimen coming to the net, which Mike played with a great deal of prowess, making it look easy.
By the 2nd week Jurassic was “busy busy” with many anglers turning up at short notice. With as many as 9 anglers on the lake some days some anglers struggled; the carp don’t seem to like so many lines in the water but over all most anglers are catching 3 to 6 fish per session. Kim, a scientist from Sweden, endured the busy spell over 4 days during which time he had witnessed Arapaima captures to 240lbs+ and Arapiama’s lost both to misfortune and angling error. But in all that time with a dozen or more anglers coming or going Kim was the only one to catch Chao praya Catfish…3 of them in fact! To say he was over the moon was an understatement, he really enjoyed his time here and the news species just added to the excitement.
The morning of February 6th saw Jurassic as still as a millpond which doesn’t usually mean good fishing. But the Arapaima seemed to like the conditions. Andrew was the first to hook up with an Arapaima but the hook hold was light and the fish managed to throw the hook after 5 or 6 minutes, then Mike took a nice red-tail during his 2nd morning here . Kim from Sweden took a few small red-tails, and then just as the best of the morning opportunity seemed to have passed, the Arapaima whistle was heard across the lake from the far corner. Tim’s first visit to Jurassic and his first fish was one of our biggest! Well done Tim.
During the 2nd week of February we had Members of D.D.A.P.S (Dartford and District Angling Preservation Society) Alex and Scott hailing from Orpington in Kent who chose to spend 3 days on Jurassic. The fishing had been mixed, but they witnessed some big Arapaima captures and wanted one of these fish more than ever. Sadly for Alex and Scott, this was not to be. Nonetheless with a little initiative in the form of “back-leads” they brought with them from the UK, Alex was lucky enough to land this beauty in the morning. Our early stocked Siamese carp are now all good sizes, but with growth comes age and wisdom, so sometimes you just have to ring in a few changes to get results.
Mark and Liz joined us in the 3rd week. At first Liz seemed more interested in watching East-Enders than fishing, until Mark caught first an Arapaima and then one carp after another. So Liz decided she needed to have a go, and after catching this fish is now hooked. Now it looks like they will be spending the rest of their lives at Jurassic…or at least a few more days.
It’s been a while since we last saw John and Todd here at Jurassic, but every time they visit Thailand they end up seeing some of the largest fish we have on offer. This 70kg pellet munching beast put in an appearance right at the end of the day.
The last week of the month: Paul and his partner Linda enjoyed their first 3 days on Jurassic so much, that they extended their fishing to 6 days and 6 nights. On the 2nd morning of their stay Paul witnessed 4 Arapaima captures one of which was his, except the fish slung the hook after a fairly extended fight leaving Paul feeling a bit gutted. Paul went on to catch a total of 10 different species, he finally managed to get connected and stay connect to this lovely Arapaima. Well done Paul!
A very busy end of month at Jurassic, and the Arapaima keep on coming most days. Equally the consolation prize for most anglers are decent sized Siamese Carp to 60lbs….cant help but wonder who is going to hook into our new monster carp if your here anytime over the next 6 weeks your chances are good:)
Hire a bike!
Wrapping up this month’s newsletter our new service to staying guests is worth a mention. Jurassic has long planned to make more and more activities available from the resort, so when Hendrik and his friends from the Netherlands checked in for 3 days and they were keen to do some cycling around the local area. It was the ideal opportunity to buy some cycles for the resort under guidance from people who know what a cyclist wants.
There are a good number of places of interest to cycle to from Jurassic, such attractions as Bat caves within a few kilometers, and Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park which is just a 15 minute cycle away, which in itself boasts great hiking trails, and stunning views out to the sea, once you take a hike up the mountain trail. Other places of interest are Puktien Beach, the OTOP Hemp clothing shop a few kilometers inland, and of course Cha-Am Beach and Cha-Am town.
All these destinations are within easy cycling distance. With the surrounding area being so flat we took it on advice to buy single gear cycles that will offer the user hours of hassle free use. Good quality cycles here are 200BHT a day to hire, or less when you book in advance and pay with your room and fishing package.
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