Snakehead Fishing Near Burma - Bang Saphan, Thailand
I've been looking forward to fishing for the elusive snakehead for a while now. I got in contact with Nathan over at Mega Fishing Thailand and we worked out a custom trip where we hit up some of the local reservoirs in the Bang Saphan area near Burma. Since we weren't traveling to some remote location where the snakeheads have never seen a lure, I knew catching them would be tricky, but I was hoping for the best.
The most challenging part of the trip was the casting. Snakeheads will lay in wait right next to an overhanging shelter, whether it's a low tree, weeds, bush, lily pads, etc., and you have to cast literally right to the edge of the structure and then start ripping your lure. The structure here was a snag waiting to happen so there wasn't much room for error. Lots of thick vines and branches. If you cast 6 inches too short, you'd scare the fish and ruin the spot. Cast 6 inches too far and you'd be snagged if the weed guard couldn't prevent it. I can't count how many times we pulled in front of a perfect looking spot and my cast was just a tiny bit too short or too long and the spot was basically finished.
I took quite a few photos, so I'll just narrate in between the photos.
The pier leading to the boat in Chumporn, Thailand. It was as sketchy as it looks.
I was a little late getting onto the boat, so I had to sit on the upper deck. It was great until the rain caught up to us.
The train station.
The crew didn't quite know what to do with my 8 foot fishing rod tube, so obviously it should be laid right across a doorway Only one person tripped over it and didn't get hurt.
Police man coming by to check people's tickets. He ended up sitting next to me and we were looking at my big catfish photos from Samui. He was really nice and interested in the fish, but when someone would walk by he'd get a stern look on his face and turn his head away from the photos.
My house for the next 5 days. It was very simple, but had a toilet and cold shower. I actually loved it and would much rather stay somewhere like this than a hotel. Every night the locals would come by to eat, drink and smoke. Good times.
The road that lead to my "house". I was in the middle of a palm garden. At night the sound of the insects and animals was so loud it was like music playing.
Nathan knew I was eager to fish, so he said if I wanted I could go fish the pond by the bungalow for live snakehead bait and dinner.
One of the workers came by so I rigged him up a rod and he fished with me for a bit.
A Thai cigarette. (Yes, it's tobacco... )
Cutting up the stalk of a banana palm to feed to the water buffalo.
Fresh tilapia for dinner.
A mosquito net is mandatory out here. In the morning there was mouse poo on top of the net.
Waiting for the truck.
Guides unloading the boat and gear.
One of the Killer Frog lures we were using for most of the trip.
First fish of the trip. A nice sized snakehead caught on my Phenix Recon w/ Shimano Core 50.
2nd and last fish of the day.
The guides stayed on shore and fished with live bait while Nathan and I went out on the boat. The action on live bait was very good... when the snakehead managed to bite the hook.
Live eels were one of the better baits.
Ready to call it a day.
Location for day 2 looked promising, but ended up only having 1 snakehead go for the lure and he missed. Fished it hard, but that's snakehead fishing.
Next morning I woke up to a huge storm with thunder and lightening. This cut the day in half. We decided to go back to the first lake since it was closer.
Weather subsided a bit, so we went to get some live bait. No time for rod and reel fishing.
Nathan snagged a baby snakehead while casting into a fry boil with his diver.
Motored in for a home cooked Thai lunch. We set back out after and managed one snakehead, but he came unbuttoned at the boat.
Next day we decided to go back to this same lake. Nathan and I went out for a bit tossing the artificials without much luck. We came back and found this guy plus a couple others in the back of the truck:
Live bait was obviously the hot ticket today, so we rigged up some rods with a float and wire leader. Didn't take long before I saw the float sliding to the right... under the water. Set the hook and brought this bad boy in. You can see the massacred eel next to his head.
Another on the live bait.
This fish some kids actually caught using a throw net. They had it in the basket on the front of their motorbike.
Then something weird happened. The float with an eel went under and it felt like a good one. When it came to shore there were 2 snakeheads hooked... one on the front hook and a small one on the back hook. I could tell this wasn't a common occurrence by the reaction of the Thais. The smaller one fell off when we dragged it onto shore, but only the bigger one is in the photo.
Wrapping up the last day of the trip.
Last edited by gavin310; 11-04-2011 at 02:02 AM.
Damn!!!! That was an awesome report thanx for the pics.
Felt like i was on the trip with you i even choked on that thai
cigg yo!!! Great fishing keep it up.
Finally! A snakehead report on the FNN! THANK YOU for sharing! It looked like it was one hell of a trip.
Niiiiice! felt like i was watching some show on Nat Geo.. Are you recording your trip on film? you should be! lol nice fish man im glad we dont have those things here in california waters
Don't know Steve, in one decade, they spread themselves pretty quickly from Florida Everglades all the way across the east coast to central area. Once they manage to jump into the Mississippi, they ride along the long stretch, and spread themselves even faster. Once they hit the Colorado, we're all screwed.
Now that, was an interesting report. Snakehead Fishing, who would have thought.
That little one is pretty. I wouldn't recommend it but it would look nice in an aquarium.
Did you try eating the snakeheads? I've heard that they're good.
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