Newsletter May 2015
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Catches, Entertainment and News from Thailand’s only syndicated sport fishing venue.
It’s that time of the month again so here we go with the newsletter for the month of May. Firstly let me thank all of you who ‘liked’ and commented on my very first newsletter for April as it has certainly given me an added incentive and inspired me to get this one written for you too. Before I start with the anglers antics and catches that occurred here in May, I’ve been persuaded by Jurassic Mountain’s ‘powers that be’ to include a story or two based on my Thailand experiences as they feel my stories are entertaining (I think they mean they are having a good laugh at my expense!) , trusting that you’ll bear with me on this, I’ll kick off this newsletter with a true short story that happened to me not so long ago in one of the bars in downtown Bangkok.
There I was sitting in Sukhumvit’s upmarket Soi 11 perched on a bar stool with a nice cold beer and my nose in the the Bangkok Post when I heard those immortal words. “Hello handsome man” .I looked up and I nearly fell off my stool as my eyes settled upon a gorgeous Thai goddess who was obviously the runaway winner of this years Miss Thailand competition and as there were only three other people in the bar which were all female apart from one which looked female but definitely wasn’t, I had no reason to doubt that this smiling young beauty wasn’t referring to anybody else but yours truly. Her first objective was easily achieved when I offered to buy her a drink in return for the compliment.Then came the standard ‘ What your name ? Where you from ? How long you stay Bangkok ?’ routine and then she asked ‘ How old you handsome man ?’ ‘ How old do you think I am ?’ I replied breathing in, smoothing my wig, removing my glasses and flashing my very expensive set of pearly white implants at her. Her gorgeous Thai eyes stared at me very intently indeed and after looking me up and down very carefully for what seemed like ages, she slowly put her bottle of beer down on the table, rested her slender chin into her cupped little hand and with an angelic expression that could melt a thousand hearts she fluttered her one inch long eyelashes at me and said …..’Forty ?’
Well, that did it for me as I’m the wrong side of sixty four and soon to be joining the rest of the old cronies in drawing my old age pension, you can imagine what a buzz that was coming from Miss Thailand but just in case there was the extremely unlikely and very remote possibility that she was exaggerating and was only trying to impress me, I decided, just in case, to take it a step further, so I laid her a little challenge. I said, ‘ That was very very close Princess but not quite right. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll give you one more guess and if you guess correctly I’ll give you a 1000 baht but if you guess wrong , You’ll just have to settle for the beer that I’ve bought you ‘. The lure of a 1000 baht was obviously too much for Miss Thailand to turn down. Quick as a flash the eyelashes stopped fluttering , her beautiful Thai eyes narrowed and bore the look of a demented Kamikaze pilot and without a moments hesitation she said…. ‘ Sixty three ?’ Stone me, I’d aged twenty three years in five seconds flat and almost lost a 1000 baht in the process……Bill please !
I hope you enjoyed this little story. For future reference we intend to publish a monthly newsletter supplement with further stories named quite aptly “Bivvied up and Bored!”. So look out for it soon.
Right, let’s talk Jurassic ….
May was hot !! Very hot and humid but apart from the near record temperatures, Jurassic mountain produced near record catches and record bookings for the resort in the month of May too. Long may it continue and many thanks to you all. It certainly seems that quality fishing combined with quality accommodation on a top quality resort is attracting many new faces to Jurassic but also a very large proportion of returning guests too so it looks like we must be doing something right here in Cha-am. That big smile that you’ll see across Jule’s face is proof that his labour of love is now reaping the rewards of having an ever growing list of many satisfied customers. A lot of credit must be apportioned to our new resort manager Piak who pulls out all the stops and goes that extra mile in making our visitors feel very welcome and totally at home on the resort. Well done Piak, your doing a great job. Also a must mention for the resorts very own Mr nice guy Eddy Mounce who also pays particular attention in putting out the welcome mat for all Jurassic Mountains guests, anglers and non anglers alike. Eddy deals with most of your booking enquiries, but with bookings on the rise most months please make his life easy and book well in advance. This coming high season is going to see higher pressure on our 10 angler limit than we have seen to date, so please book early to avoid missing your first choice of venue, dates and rooms.
The May heat did not deter the completion of the resorts stock ponds and they are now brimming with soon to be specimen fish for future stocking that are just itching to gain an extra few kilos in weight before being let loose into the lake to add to everybody’s future sport and enjoyment. Being primarily a carp fishery one of the additional species that we are experimenting with are Karashigoi Koi carp which can attain weights in excess of 30kgs and measure over a meter long so hopefully once big enough to avoid being eaten by our hungry monster predators, they will be introduced into the main lake, although as yet its not clear if higher tropical temperatures will suit the species, if they like it they will be a great addition to our Siamese and Indian Carp, if they don’t we will try something else. Whilst on the subject of the stock ponds a big thanks to new resident and my new neighbour Wayne for organising and overseeing the stock pond project and whilst on the subject of Wayne, congratulations on being the very lucky person who managed to secure the very last villa that is currently well under construction in Jurassic’s phase 2 development. You’ve got yourself a great spot there Wayne !! I’ve heard a rumour that a phase 3 plan for Jurassic could maybe materialise in the future and so for those who would fancy their very own lakeside piece of heaven, please register your interest with the resort team just in case phase 3 transpires into a confirmed future reality.
Things to do around Jurassic
Before I get onto the fishing side of things… D’you like Bats ? No, neither do I particularly but there’s a tourist attraction about 5 minutes from the resort that’s a
real must see. Has this particular attraction sprung up in the last month or two ? No way, in fact it’s been there for untold millions of years. It’s called the Bat Cave and its a huge deep dark hole set high up in the mountain range that surrounds Jurassic and every evening as regular as clockwork, millions upon untold millions of bats fly out as ‘one’ to go out and feed on the many tons of unfortunate insects that they devour in an evening session. If your at Jurassic Mountain and this particular event is something that appeals to you, I can tell you now that this ‘mega mobile mosquito munching machine’ is one of the most phenomenal sights that you’ll ever witness. A visit is easily organised, just ask the Jurassic duty manager.
The bats reside in that dark hole you can see in the side of the mountain.
Then everyday at dusk the bats leave by the millions in what looks like a column of smoke.
Before long they are in a ribbon across the sunset sometimes miles long.
So that’s this months reports of Jurassic Mountains progress and tourist attractions out of the way so now let’s see what fish were landed and we’ll also have a very light hearted and ‘tongue in cheek’ look at a selection of some of the anglers antics that the month of May brought to the Jurassic Mountain table. My apologies to those who wanted a mention and didn’t get one and apologies also to those who got a mention ….. and wished they hadn’t !! Here goes ….
First off to show his face in May was Stuart who not only bagged some very decent fish but was also doing his level best to be nominated as the winner of this months best dressed angler competition. Pity we didn’t have one really cos he’d have walked it !
Personally I thought that by wearing that hat and the shades he looked more like a Sicilian hit man than an angler ! No offence Stuart and congratulations for becoming a new member of the ever increasing 100 pound Carp club.
Ben has been here I believe two or three times previously and has always been accompanied by his wife ……but this time he arrived ALONE. Congratulations Ben and if there’s any husbands out there who would like any tips on how Ben managed to get away with it, I’m sure he will be only too pleased to divulge the necessary information. I have to say that Ben would not look out of place in a Mr Universe competition and he brought specimen carp to his net with ultimate ease. Actually it was nothing to do with the strength of the man, more of his dedication to angling as he is yet another dawn till dusk guy who reaps excellent dividends by working the lake. Obviously he has taken note of Aprils man of the month , Robert Dungate who worked his socks off to gain similar results. I hope he won’t mind me saying this but our Ben has a very strange diet indeed ….Steak, Steak, hard boiled eggs and steak. That’s it! Nothing else as far as I could tell. Our poor Thai chef was at her wits end and didn’t know which way to turn. So having seen the diet and the resulting physique of the man, I decided to change my eating habits and have a crack at it myself as I quite fancied converting myself into a Greek Adonis. Three days I lasted. All I ended up with was stomach cramps and constipation that even Dyno Rod would have had trouble sorting out so I’ll be leaving the high protein diet to Ben in the future and I will stick to my regular Thai green Curry … And chips!
We then had Welshman Darren , an extremely proud and avid Cardiff FC fan crack into a 100 pounder. At least this fish gave him a lot of pleasure ….a lot more pleasure than what your team gave you last season I’m afraid to say Darren but at least you have next season to look forward to and if it seems like it’s going to go pear shaped again which, in all probability it will, you can always pop back over to Jurassic again for some fishing therapy to ease your pain. Hmm. I reckon that could well be my welcome in the Welsh hillsides gone straight out of the window. Kindly let me know when your next due on the lake Darren and I’ll make sure I’m on the missing list! So Darren Williams became yet another member of Jurassic’s 100 pound club with an absolute flawless specimen of a Siamese carp ending up in his net.
Well done Darren and I’m beginning to think it’s about time that we should actually form a new club and increase the minimum weight for membership up to a 150 pound as the Jurassic carp are growing at such a rate that before long the landing of 100 pound fish will become nothing more than a mere formality. Now THATS when you know for sure that you’ve got a serious top notch fishery on your hands and I’m really proud to have the pleasure of being the person who, through this newsletter, blows the trumpet for this place because it’s a trumpet that should have been blown week in and week out to let you and others know that there is an ‘extreme fishing paradise’ here in Thailand just waiting to be discovered.
May also saw one of Jurassic Mountains owners Sam bring a couple of his pals from Dubai for a spot of angling with whom I got very friendly with, named Mike and Ollie. How to describe these two ? Chalk and cheese springs to mind. Mikes a fairly quiet astute kind of guy and Ollie is simply as ‘nutty as a fruit cake ‘ but is actually a real nice guy and great company to be with. I had the pleasure of joining them for a few drinks one evening in which I think to say we had a “a few” was an understatement. We was still drinking in the pool until way past the managements approval! Obviously there was some fishing planned within their itinerary but excess vodka soon put paid to that and the fishing was relegated to just a few short hours when Sam managed to catch the smallest carp in the lake! Well done Sam for feeding them up for future guests. However, it was good to meet you two and I sincerely hope your livers recover soon. I’ll definitely look you up when I’m next in Dubai once I’ve got the all clear on my own liver count reduction. Now, let’s get back to the serious fishing…….
After recovering from the hangover Ollie left me with, yours truly decided that lounging by Jurassics pool, sitting in the jacuzzi and supping ice cold beers in the shade of the club house all day was the perfect retirement and all very well and relaxing but not exactly what Jurassic Mountain was all about, so I tore myself away from this temple of tranquility and set myself up on the lake with expat and my good friend Dave.
Dave lives just a few casts away in a lovely location with his equally lovely Thai wife Con.I actually caught the most fish that day but sadly for me , quantity was no match for quality and Daves stonking Siamese definitely relegated my redtails firmly into second place.Next time Dave ….. Next time !!
And what about James Scotland and his tireless pursuit of the Arapaima that he targeted under his ‘fish catch’ guarantee in place when Jurassic open its doors 3 years ago? Only Buddah knows exactly how many times James appeared at Jurassic and tried time and again in vain to hook into his ‘dream’ fish but as the old saying goes, everything comes to those who wait!
And to confirm the fact that Jurassic is fast becoming one of Thailand’s top fishing resorts, a couple of days later Mathers and his sons arrived from The Netherlands and very quickly showed James Scotland a clean pair of clogs by demonstrating how the Dutch boys do it by landing a very decent arapaima in a single day…. Well done Holland !!!!
An assortment of cracking Siamese to 80 pounds were landed by both Darren and Andy look up lad! I can’t see which one of you it is! And another familiar face who paid us a visit for one days fishing was returning guest and friend Ian Watson who weighed in with a whopping 100 plus specimen.
This will be noted by many an envious angler myself included. A friendly tip though Ian …… ditch them Dame Edna sunglasses mate ….unless your wearing them for a bet! Or trying to stay “Incognito” Like Darren or was it Andy above?
Newly married couple Jonathan and Marie from York were obviously enjoying their honeymoon and somehow managed to prise themselves away from the marital bed for long enough to land an absolute beauty of an arapaima that I’m sure will be one of the the major highlights and talking points of their Jurassic experience for many years to come. Personally, having been married twice myself and currently interviewing for a third, I’ve come to the conclusion that weddings and funerals are exactly the same. Except that at weddings you get to smell your own flowers! However, we all at Jurassic mountain wish you a long and happy married life together and who knows, maybe we’ll see you two and any additions to your family again sometime in the future. A friendly word in your ear Jonathan, kindly disregard Ben Pinions info on how to ditch the ‘trouble and strife’ for a few days. Way too early this info is for you mate and if in the future we again have the pleasure of your company and we bump into each other around the lake, kindly don’t waste your time asking yours truly for any advice on a successful marriage as I’m as much use on this subject as rubber lips on a Woodpecker! This is mainly due to the fact that although God did very kindly supply me with an adequate brain and a slightly above average tool …….unfortunately he forgot to supply me with enough blood pressure to be able to use them both together at the same time!
To confirm that Jurassic is now a destination for people from all corners of the globe, we had Gary and guest Gavin fly up from Singapore and identical twins Kevin and Ian , or was it Ian and Kevin? Arrive from Tring, Unfortunately, although some fish were lost and some were landed, in general the day was slightly hit and miss because the fish decided to go on a go slow but then Rik from Sweden arrived for a seven day visit and basically caught enough specimen fish in his week on the lake to enable him to start up his own fishery ! Evidently Rik had tried other resorts in his vain attempts to land an Arapaima but fortunately for him he arrived at Jurassic Mountain who came to the rescue and turned up trumps for him on his FIRST CAST. Not one, not two but three Arapaima beauties Rik managed to land and each one bigger than the previous. Congratulations Rik and we at Jurassic were happy to be of service. Unfortunately we wasn’t able to provide you with the sauna that you Swedes tend to spend most of your lives in but it has been noted and is now under serious consideration for the future.
From Sweden to the other side of the globe, we then had the pleasure of Mark Green and his wife who arrived on a flying visit all the way from New Zealand to try their luck at Jurassic. Mark has since described his visit as a lifetimes buzz so on the basis that he was last seen prancing around the lake performing his own version of the ‘Haka’. I’ll leave it to you to work out if we had yet another satisfied customer on our hands. On a serious note, It’s a pity that I was away from the resort when Mark was here because I’d have really loved to have had a chat with him as my son Jimmy and myself had the ultimate pleasure of being in Kaikoura on New Zealand’s fabulous South Island a good few years back and what an absolute stunning part of the world it is. Without doubt for me it’s one of the best places on the planet for seafood. Kaikoura is actually a Maori word which I believe means something to do with eating seafood so that gives you a bit of a clue really. Also, as Mark is by profession heavily into the aquatic scene in his beautiful location, I would have also liked to have listened to his views on the giant squid that was washed up on Kaikoura beach recently. Evidently this monster had tentacles which were 18 foot long. Anyone for Calamari?
We then had Toby Coe from the UK drop by for a one day visit and had most people’s lifetimes target fish safely in his net on his first two casts. A Siamese and an Arapaima with a combined weight of over 300 pounds would you believe? This place just gets better and better! Safe to say that recommendations will be coming thick and fast once Toby spreads the gospel. Evidently whilst Toby was enjoying the Jurassic experience, there was one happy soul in the clubhouse moaning that there wasn’t enough chicken in his curry whislt Toby proceeded to land a couple of whales. I can categorically state that It wasn’t my mate Alan Crook the serial moaner from Warlingham ‘cos he was definitely in the UK moaning about something else, so a friendly word of advice for our latest and extremely rare food critic…..next time don’t order the Vegetarian curry and expect chicken, and you might catch more if you focus on the fishing!
Enter Keith Brannon a first time visitor from Birmingham who before setting himself up on the lake, got involved in a meaningful discussion with Jules about their past employments in the leisure industry working for First Leisure. Keith, being an ex cellar man and glass porter and Jules having tried his luck as Swanley’s equivalent of Tom Cruise behind a cocktail bar had plenty to talk about and luckily for Keith, the conversation was put on hold for long enough for him to snare a fine arapaima . We’ll all drink to that one! We then had Martin Fisher from North Wales who certainly lived up to his name by hooking and landing a variety of specimen fish whilst effectively on his honeymoon having recently been hooked and landed himself by his beautiful new wife named Nan. Well done and a high five on both counts Martin.
We at Jurassic Mountain then had the pleasure of rolling out the red carpet for our very first visitor from Egypt named Nema who obviously had Allah looking down favourably upon him because he bagged five specimen carp in quick succession. He was evidently so delighted with his mornings work that he decided to pack in early and was last seen on his camel galloping off to the nearest oasis to celebrate. It was indeed a pleasure having you here Nema and we understand that you’ve vowed to return again with friends in a month or two’s time. Mustaphad a good time! Sadly the cameraman was absent to get any decent pics.
Our penultimate catch report goes to Sharil and Idza, two mates who meandered in from Malaysia and mucked in together managing to catch a very fine Arapaima each before lunch. These fish are like buses, you can wait ages for one to come along and then two come along at once and just when they thought their day couldn’t get any better, they landed the biggest carp of the month weighing in at a very tasty 172 pounds after a brutal two and a half hour fight . Yes, you heard right …. One hundred and seventy two pounds. What an absolute wonderful days fishing for these two Malaysian marvels. Phenomenal!
Our final report is dedicated to…WHOOOSH! What on earth is that ? Is it a bird ? Is it a plane ? No… It’s Superman! It’s Jake Casson. He’s back! He’s back with a score to settle with the Kryptonite carp that almost put him in Bangkok hospital. The man of the moment,the legendary Jake Casson who has gone down in angling folklore as the man who endured a 12 hour fight with one of Jurassics giant carp…. and lost him. A story of such magnitude that it even took pride of place in the Angling Times.
With a burning desire for revenge, Jake flew back from the UK and proceeded to resume unfinished business with his four day plan of action with an option to extend to ten, to land the monster that physically and mentally smashed him to pieces …..but unfortunately second time around, whilst managing to land specimen carp that most carp anglers can only dream about including an absolute beauty in excess of 150 pounds, this time the Jurassic beast eluded him. Suppose this means we’ll see you again in the future Jake? For yet another crack at landing it and before you ask,……. Depth charges and harpoons are strictly forbidden on the lake! On a serious note, Jakes capture , estimated to be 40 pounds lighter than the giant carp that nearly put him into early retirement was a fabulous consolation prize and a great advert for the quality of fish that Jurassic Mountain is constantly producing. So as we speak, the exclusive and elusive ‘ Grim Reaper ‘still remains at large and unlanded and although we’ve had a couple of hook pulls and a snap up whilst fighting something of some considerable size and for some considerable time, we cannot say for sure that these losses were attributed to that brute which I truly hope will become one lucky anglers dream of a lifetime catch sooner rather than later. He’s still in there for the taking and there’s an empty space on Jurassics wall of fame waiting for the photograph of the ‘hero’ or dare I say it ‘heroine’ who can finally tame this monster once and for all. So you know the old saying about the early bird that catches the worm?
Book yourself up early at Jurassic and you might just get into the record books landing something a wee bit bigger than what you bargained for! Not if the IGFA have anything to say about it of course,but who cares about that bunch of clowns?
Well that’s it for this month, I’m off to the South of France for a bit of much needed relaxation and yet more sunshine as I’ve recently had a very stressful trip to a North Eastern Thailand known locally as Isaan which, on the assumption that you’ll bear with me even further, I will tell you about it in detail in next months newsletter. It was quite a trip!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this months edition as much as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing it and if you think it’s a good read, please feel free to share it and post any remarks that you see fit but if I’ve offended anybody with my tongue in cheek comments who must obviously be devoid of any semblance of a sense of humour, kindly accept my apologies and direct your complaints to co owners Jules and Eddy who I’m sure will do sod all about it! If I’m still nominated for the job after this newsletter , I will look forward to writing June’s edition from the side of a French riverbank with a size fourteen hook and a bunch of maggots.
Mon dieu ..Sounds so tame and insignificant compared to this place doesn’t it?
Au revoir mon ami’s !!