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    Enormous Catfish!

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    • December 28, 2015 4:10 PM
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      Enormous Catfish!

      I recently saw pictures of a friend's catfish catch during his recent visit to Pattaya, and I was absolutley amazed! I've never seen any as huge as the Mekong giant catfish. This alone is making me want to make a fishing trip to Pattaya.

    • December 28, 2015 11:35 PM
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      Hi Jared,

      Actually the fishing parks in Pattaya have less big Mekongs in them then any other tourist area in Thailand.

      The big catfish lakes in Thailand are now (in no particular order):

      Gillhams (Krabi)

      Palm Tree (Just outside Bangkok)

      Jurassic (Hua Hin)

      Exotic (Phang Nga)

      Bungsanram (Bangkok)

      Plus there are few others growing their big catfish out nicely, namely Greenfields, Dreamlakes, Teak Tree and a few others that I presume are staying under the radar until they can compete with the established big fish lakes. There are also a few 60kg+ fish in Phuket Fishing Park, Pattaya Fishing Park and some other Thai run ponds that don't advertise in any media channels that I'm aware of, some of these also have really big catfish in them.

      Every country in Asia has different areas of sport fishing where they excel, right now Thailand is by a long way the best place in Asia, if not the World, for catfish monsters. However, if I was coming to Thailand for big catfish I would avoid Pattaya and head over to Hua Hin and down to Krabi and Phang Nga - this is where you can get into the really big catfish.

    • December 31, 2015 8:39 PM
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      I've caught catfish in my day but nothing like the ones I'm seeing from this area of the world.  I can't imagine what it would be like to catch something that big.  What pound test do you use for these fish?

    • January 1, 2016 9:56 PM
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      Mark Jones said:

      I'm with you Jamie.  I've caught catfish in my day but nothing like the ones I'm seeing from this area of the world.  I can't imagine what it would be like to catch something that big.  What pound test do you use for these fish?

      Hi Mark,

      Good question!

      When you start getting into the 50kg plus range you need to start thinking about 40-60lb mono mainline.

      Saying that it's rare that people are using more than 40lb as when you go for the really big freshwater monsters you generally use the gear provided by the lakes - they prefer this as the last thing they want is a fish of that size (and value) getting hurt from swimming around with smashed off terminal tackle set in their mouth, or deeper.

      If I go to a lake where I know there are 50-100kg Mekong I would go with good quality 40lb mono as mainline, then into a heavy duty swivel and onto a 30lb doubled up braid leader to the hook. Or at least that is my go to for Mekongs (no teeth), I've not been fishing for the big Arapaima's yet so that tackle may be different. But like I said, you wouldn't normally use your own tackle for this, you would use the gear the lake provides.

      Another noticable difference is that in other parts of the World big freshwater fish tend to be caught from a boat, so the rods and tackle are more geared to this type of fishing. I recently imported an Amercian Catfish Rod, a Chad Ferguson Whisker Seeker Rod and it's a really nice rod, but not really suited to bank fishing - it's all about pulling fish up from down below you not playing them in to the bank. Of course it can do both, but there are much better options for bank fishing.

      FA

    • January 1, 2016 10:05 PM
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      I would also add that for general pay pond fishing 15-20lb is the norm, this can easily handle 99% of the fish you will catch and will let you feel the fish allot better that 40lb. It's more important to get the hook length right, but that's a different and much more complicated story!

      FA

    • January 1, 2016 10:21 PM
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      Another thing I would add in is that as these big catfish start to hit their fighting weight, the tackle for each species needs to be tweaked to suit the species you are targetting.

      Around 5 years ago it was all big Mekongs, but now more and more lakes are stocking Amazon Redtails and these are much more intelligent than Mekongs.

      Mekong gear is all about hang on and haul them in, the bigger they are the slower they move. Amazon Red Tails (ART's) on the other hand are just one big lump of muscle that will aim for the nearest snag it can find and if your rod and reel can't steer them away from snags at short notice, it doesn't matter what pound test you have you are going to get snagged up.

      I know allot of people that fish on pay ponds that now only go after ART's as they are much better sport, but they have had to adjust their tackle from "haul em in" to "keep them away from snags" gear, this often means longer rods and lower test mono to keep the rod balanced. 30lb mono on fast action 9ft rods with a reel that can really apply some serious drag are called for with ART's, Mekongs you are beter off with boat fishing gear!

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