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September 26, 2011

THAILAND: report from the deep jungle

From Jean Franocis Helias in the middle of the deep Thailand Jungle:

"July and August are the two best months of the year to fish Cheow Lan reservoir. It is rainy season there. All snakehead species such as giant snakehead, emperor snakehead, splendid snakehead and striped snakehead, as well as jungle perch, Thai Mahseer and Stracheyi Mahseer are to be found mainly in the rivers feeding the reservoir, and are in the best mood to strike at lures. 

I have personally never fished at that period though I've heard for a long time lots of exciting stories about it from locals. The fishing then is awesome. For years I wanted to go but there were always bookings of clients at that period that did not let me do what I wanted. This year, I feel the need deep inside of me to get there and get my share of jungle adventures. 

I was at Cheow Lan last year in April 2010 to shoot a film for the French TV. Though it was dry season with a too low water level, we had a ball. We caught every single specie of snakehead inhabiting the waters (for the anecdote, a lovely Splendid Snakehead I caught was 100 grams short to tie the IGFA world record), and lots of good size jungle perch (biggest one close to 3.00 kg). We even took on deep diving lures yellow mystus (pla kot). And some of the most exciting jungle fishing by trekking along small rivers brought us lovely Mahseer species. 

More recently, at the beginning of April 2011, I was back there with my good Malaysian friends Shah, Ali and Wai Hin. Again, the water conditions were extremely low but we all did pretty good with lots of catches. The highlight of the trip to me was the catch on lure of a 4.30 kg Thai Mahseer (Tor tambroides). A fight I'll never forget. Mahseer truly kick ass when at the other end of the angler's line."

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