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January 14, 2017

THAILAND: caught monster size giant stigray of 550 pound

Here an interesting fishing report from our friend and to fishing guide Jean Francois Helias from Thailand: 

"Our UK client, Luke Benson, who is in the military, will certainly never forget his Thailand fishing experience this past weekend. Luke had booked a 2 days fishing trip on Jan. 7 and 8, 2017, for giant freshwater stingray fishing with Megafishing Thailand, a fishing portal owned by our good friend Nathan. We know by experience that the period from December to May is the very best time of the year to optimize the chances to hook up one of those elusive aquatic creatures. Also we know too well that particular kind of fishing is kind of similar to gambling: we know where their territories, we know how to fish for them, the best rigs to use, and the best baits to attract them. But the fact is the main needed parameter for the angler to capture an himantura chaophraya has to be above all getting a big hand from Lady Luck!

That is one of the main reasons, by honesty, I am not too keen, since many years, on guiding visiting anglers to fish for the giant freshwater stingray. We still offer a package for it since some of our best buddies want badly to give it a shot though they are aware we cannot guarantee them a sure catch. Knowing how slim are the chances to score a giant freshwater stingray catch, I do not feel too good about being paid to deliver a kind of “fishing-gambling” which can be described as 20 % ALL and 80 % NOTHING! Because we truly fish for them in the true meaning of sport fishing. We do not scam visiting anglers (with guaranteed stingray catches) like a certain specialized tour guide company over here has done here for years...

Let’s go back to the Bang Pakong river, yesterday Jan. 8, with UK angler Luke Benson, and my team mate KIK who was in charge to assist him and to look after him for the 2 days fishing!  We had 4 of our baits sucked by stingrays on saturday 7th but no take. We were blank at the end of the day before heading for our usual local hotel to spend a good night of rest. Call it fate or destiny, the next day Lady Luck decided to come to the rescue. Luke landed a first giant freshwater stingray in the morning around 10.30 am: a male estimated weighing over 100 pounds. We were already pretty satisfied with that capture. Talking over the phone with Kik, I told him the day far from being over yet, who knows, we could get lucky again and catch another one before the end of the session…

We had to phone a few friends to come helping playing the huge stingray. From the time of the first run of the fish, until it finally got tamed for good, the fight lasted not less than 5 hours and 40 minutes on Luke’s stop watch. It is not the longest fight we ever had with a giant stingray. Years ago, while guiding my good friend Doug Olander, the editor of Sport Fishing magazine, four of us took turns to play another mega monster for 7 hours …until sadly the leader (certainly too much whipped by the ray’s tail) gave up and broke on us.

Kik and the experienced local people at the river estimated the weight of Luke Benson’s mega size himantura chaophraya  catch being close to 250 kilos (550 pounds). After the usual photo session (as seen below), and after having let the fish rest a bit, the barn door size stingray was safely released to go on with its life.

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