I recently attended a wedding in Thailand, just off the island of Koh Samui. After the wedding we had three days to kill before back packing around the country.
Being a keen angler, the one thing that was on the top of my list of things to do whilst I was there was to visit Tops Cats fishing resort. I had my two friends with me Tim and Wesley, who also enjoyed a bit of fishing, and they were more than happy to go on the trip.
We rang Topcats to see if they could fit us in, and the manager confirmed that he had three spaces left for the following afternoon from 2pm till 8pm. So we booked on and were really looking forward to the trip.
The next day the three of us got a taxi to the lake. When we arrived at the resort we were met by Shaun the owner, who kindly had cold beers ready for all of us. Shaun then walked us to our swim for the day and asked us what fish we would like to target.
We decided that we would try a range of baits and techniques, as well all had two rods each. Shaun provided us with our bait which were boilies, maze and fish.
The set up was not that different from the fishing I was used to back home. One rod was baited with a method feeder with 6-8 grains of maize on the hair as hook bait, and the other was an in-line lead with a boilie bottom bait tipped off with half a cut down pop up.
Having all cast out to our baited areas, we sat down and enjoyed our beer, waiting to see what would happen, and not knowing what to expect.
For the next ten minutes or so, we talked to our guide about the lake and then, out of nowhere, my rod screamed into life. I hit into it, having no idea what it was but it felt as if I’d hooked into an express train.
Every time I gained line on the fish it just took double the amount back. After eight minutes of this one sided fight and with the fish taking me around the lake, our guide said to me that he thought the fish could be a 100lb+ giant Mekong catfish. With this news, my heart started to beat that little bit faster the excitement of catching 100lb fish was just amazing. Then the guide informed me that the fight could possibly be up to 30 minutes before I would get the fish in. That’s when it hit me and I knew in the 18 years I had been fishing, I was in for the fight of my life.
No sooner had the fish been treated by the guide to let it fully recover, and we were off again. This time Tim’s rod screamed off and although the bend in the rod did not look as big as the fish I had just had, you never know what’e on the end of a line until you bring it in. After about a twenty minute scrap, he had landed a Mekong catfish weighing about 60 lbs. Not 100lb but still a colossal fish
Meanwhile, while Tim had been playing his fish, Wesley’s rod had also screamed off, and this looked to be the same kind of bend and battle I had. Forty five minutes later and in the net was a 140lb Mekong Catfish. Wesley was over the moon, as the biggest fish he had ever caught was a 24lb carp.
Our guide said it looked like a Siamese carp, which I was over the moon about as carp fishing was what I’d probably have been doing, had I not been in Thailand. After about ten minutes I had the beauty in the net. I was really happy as catching a carp in Thailand was always some thing I wanted to do. The mouth on the fish could have fit a tennis ball in it. The guide estimated it to be about 40lb which is a baby out there, but was good enough for me.
As it started to get dark Tim had landed another Mekong catfish and Wesley followed this up with another both weighing around 60lb.
After this we only had a about twenty minutes left and I was getting ready to go when my rod went off again. This fish shot off accross the lake and it felt just as big as the first one I had hooked. During the fight one of Tim’s rods tore off too. So now we were both on to fish and both looking to land at the same time.
What a trip and experience we had. Nothing was too much trouble for the guides and the team at the resort. The fish are also extremely well treated and looked after.
We had fished for five hours and and landed over 600lbs of fish. That is going to be a trip that I will never forget, and all of us were over the moon and will definitely visit Topcats again.