Travelling SouthEast Asia can sometimes be a bit of a tease if you are on a budget. So much blue all around, and yet, fishing charters are still rather expensive for the average backpacker. Thankfully, there have been some good fishing options that spare the huge price tag. One, in particular is a stocked fishing pond in Phuket, Thailand called Chalong Fishing Park . Stocked with many large fish including siamese and asian carp, red-tailed catfish, pacu and the giant mekong catfish.
My travel chum and I spent a solid 12 hour day at Chalong Fishing Park, and between the two of us caught about 15 fish. Apparently, some days people do better but we were more than satisfied with our success. In particular, Yogi caught a giant mekong catfish that weighed roughly 30-35 kg. Commonly fishing freshwater trout back home, this out-sized his second largest catch in Canada by about 20 kg.
The first giant mekong catfish on his line fought hard for about 25 minutes, and while Yogi’s arms were starting to tire, the smile on his face was untouched. Just as he had the catfish about a metre out, the fish snapped the line as a staff member jumped in to grab the fish. Noooooo!!!! Not uncommon to happen in fishing, but disappointing still. It was about 6PM at night, so with a few hours left of fishing we casted our lines out and were now beyond determined and excited to catch the giant mekong catfish.
Around 8PM the fish started peeling drag, and the sound of it had all of us on our feet. Yogi rapidly grabbed the line to begin the fight. He knew he had another big fish on the line and his big smile commenced. About a 30 minute battle with the second giant mekong catfish was well worth the battle, as Yogi pulled in his biggest catch to date. We quickly jumped into the water waist deep to hug his catch, and take a photo to send home bragging! Another great day wandering!
Have any suggestions for budget friendly fishing in SouthEast Asia or New Zealand? Please send my way.