Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The New Pattaya Fishing Park, Jontiem, Thailand

Back in Fishy Monster country again. It's what you do in Thailand when you're mental about fishing.

This is the new Pattaya Fishing Park. I managed 2 hours of absolutely exhausting Mekong catfish battling before the thunderclouds came and gave my aching arms and shoulders an excuse to call it a day.

Bait was sweetened bread with a method feeder packed with finely ground sweetened and flavoured bread. It smelled like pineapples.

The Old Pattaya Fishing Park was bought by developers and emptied and the fish transferred to the new. The new park is still looking a bit industrial and non-rural as it has only just been excavated and created. The fish get to over 180lbs although I can't imagine trying to land a monster like that. I think it would end with me being held underwater by the fish while his buddies took photos.

 Sadly it looks like my little Panasonic pocket camera is giving up the ghost...the photos were not all that well focused. I'll see if it's in the settings...if not I'll have to replace it.

 The Park Dog likes to get in the frame.

Thunderclouds in the background ended the fishing for that morning. Huge lightning storm with torrential rain followed.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Tropical Park, Miami.

So, of course what you do when you visit Miami is go freshwater fishing in one of its biggest public parks. 

It's a a fairly picturesque park, about 430 acres, in the middle of the suburbs of Miami Dade. As you can see there are some friendly turtles. A bit too friendly, as it turned out. I caught three of these. I didn't want to but when the float dips there's always the chance it might be a fish. I always use barbless hooks which meant no harm done to these greedy hardbacks. That's the good news. The bad news is that they were the biggest things I caught all day.

In the time it took to (accidentally) catch 3 of these only one small fish was caught. The turtles would swim on the surface and dive down about 15 feet to get to the bait. Being caught and released did not make them hook shy in the least. 

I moved to a different part of the lake. No more turtles. The fishing was fast and furious. The bait would only last a few seconds on the hook and the end result was either missing bait or a fish landed. Biggest of the day, about 6 ounces. Thailand's monster fishing is not under threat by Tropical Park. There are some big catfish and grass carp in the lake but the small stuff wouldn't leave the bait long enough for the biggies to have a chance. Apparently chicken liver is the bait of choice for the big cats so naturally I didn't have any. 

As lunchtime approached lots of local families showed up and a few youngsters made it clear by whining persistently that they wanted to use my spare fishing rod. I had to balance the need to keep the youth of Miami out of trouble and away from illegal drugs against my wish not to be sued by their family in the event one of them speared themselves in the eye with a hook. This was, after all, the USA. But, their parent's English was limited. Maybe they hadn't watched enough episodes of Judge Judy. I rolled the dice and showed them what to do.

In the end the kids had fun, two caught their very first fish ever and their parents were so happy not to have to look after them for an hour that they invited me to their picnic lunch as I was packing up to leave. Unfortunately I had a prior appointment so had to decline.

All in all it was a good time at Tropical Park. No chicken liver = no big fish but did I really want innocent chickens to die just to catch a few bigger fish? Of course, YES.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Shropshire Union Canal in January....some REAL fishing for a change

I kid you not......temps just above freezing, light but cold breeze into my face and fishing the Basin at Telford's Warehouse Pub in the heart of Chester. It doesn't get any better than this!

My biggest fish of the day, a very small skimmer bream.

 Steel grey skies.

 Some colour on the canal.

 Occasionally the sun would peek through the clouds.

 Yes, a fish. That's a roach, perhaps 1.5 ounces. I was very pleased to catch one because it meant I hadn't completely lost all my marbles.

Enlargement of the roach. In Belize (where I live) that would be called a "maggot"

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

It just shows you how worthless the Nobel Prize for Economics is....

Paul Krugman, well known economics shill for the Obama administration, has written yet ANOTHER article bashing Bitcoin (and I suppose, by default, all other cryptocoin).

It's obviously written for very stupid people but if you want to lower your standards here it is.

Although I don't know Mr. Krugman personally I feel as though I should address him as "Paul." This is not out of any kinship I might feel towards him. Rather, it's the correct way to address someone who has already proven time and time again that he is well behind the curve when it comes to innovative economic theory and needs to be comforted with a "There, there, Paul, keep trying, one day you might get it right, Paul."

So, a quick re-cap: as usual with Paul's Bitcoin comments he thinks it's doomed to failure. He thinks it can't possibly have a place in the world's economy. He thinks everyone who believes in cryptocoin is dumb by default because that's Paul's condescending writing style.

Paul, I wonder if Western Union or Moneygram think cryptocurrencies are dumb? Perhaps you'd like to purchase some shares in those corporations as your way of putting your money where your mouth is? The future sure looks GREAT for them....

How about Visa, Mastercard and American Express? Do you think they think there's no place for Bitcoin and other cryptocoin or do you think they might very well be working on strategies to incorporate the cryptocoin revolution into their future planning? Or, maybe laying some people off?

And, Paul, what about huge retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ebay and countless others? You know it'll only take ONE of these giants to embrace the cryptocoin revolution to turn your opinion of Bitcoin into the same discredited and ridiculous opinion you had about the Internet a few years ago. How did that work out, Paul?

Remember this column, Paul,  in a couple of years. You're going to look awfully stupid, even to your dreamy eyed "Paul is God" column readers.

Epilogue: Interesting ....I read a lot of the readers comments after this latest Krugman Kalamity and there are a fair sprinkling of Bitcoin aficionados in amongst the "Paul Can Write No Wrong" worshippers. Normally dissenting views are largely missing from Krugman reader comments. Maybe the censors have had enough....

Monday, 23 December 2013

Chiang Mai Fishing Park...crowded but fun

More fun at Chiang Mai Fishing taken on Saturday 22nd December 2013. It started busy and then it got REALLY packed!

Please be aware that the Pacu fish you see here was caught by Mr. and not Mrs. Mr. now feels as though his testicles have at least been partially re-attached after recent fishing humiliations heaped on him by Mrs.

Nice pacu caught on fishmeal paste, 4lb mono and float rig. Normally the pacu will bit through the line as soon as it's hooked but in this case it was hooked "just right" and the line avoided the trillions of sharp, deadly nut-eating teeth. 

FYI all fish caught on our travels have been released unharmed (but mad as hell) back to the water. 

 EVERYONE has fun at a Thai fishing park.

 Big crowds but no tangles (at least where we were fishing). 

Cost of fishing the main lake and 3 adjacent ponds, just 50 Baht (about $1.70US) for the whole day. I always pay for my wife to fish too at these prices. Her Modus Operandi at a venue like this is to fish for 5 minutes, catch the biggest fish of the day, and then spend the rest of the afternoon stroking the back of my head while softly saying "There, there."

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Chiang Mai Fishing Park

Those of you who have been following this Blog clearly have way too much time on your hands but we thank you anyway!

As you know we've been to BoSang Fishing Park quite a few times. The main species there is the Striped Catfish which can grow to ridiculous sizes. But, it can get a bit "samey" pulling out one large catfish after another and let's face it, they're not difficult to hook.

I wanted a change, a new challenge so to speak. A week or so ago we visited Chiang Mai Fishing Park. This is a REAL family fishing park, quite typical in Thailand complete with a small restaurant, cold beers, a basic tackle shop and a tannoy system piping traditional and pop Thai music to all and sundry. The only written English we could find there were the words "men" and "women" at the toilets. Reading the restaurant menu was possible as long as you spoke and read fluent Thai. This was not a problem for us as we'd already eaten lunch.

 As you can see it gets busy. There's a main lake where the predominant species is the Striped Catfish. They don't get as big as the monsters at Bo Sang but they're just as obliging when it comes to taking your bread bait. I was happy to catch one or two but it all seemed a bit repetitive.

 As you can see from the photo above the catfish at Chiang Mai are not shy to pose for the family album.

So, what to do for a change? Luckily Chiang Mai Fishing Park also has four smaller lakes - well, ponds really - which are stocked with Nile Tilapia, Pacu and one or two other species. These are VERY hard to catch and the Tilapia in particular require fine line tactics to hook. I can tell you it took 2 more visits to the park for me to catch my first small Pacu. The tilapia simply wouldn't be caught. That changed today. We hit the jackpot with twelve nice Tilapia in about 2 hours of fishing. All were released although you do have the option of taking your catch home as long as you pay for it by the kilogram.

Not the biggest fish we've caught on this trip by any means but amongst the most satisfying and enjoyable. Nile Tilapia are hard fish to catch in the local fishing parks. We've seen the locals spend hours trying to catch one or two for supper. There had to be a way. I watched a guy catch 4 in the space of an hour, easily the best we'd seen for this species at this venue. He was very obliging and showed me what I was doing wrong (everything).

So, by using careful scientifically proven research methods (ask a local who knows what he's doing) we became experts ourselves in the fine art of catching these VERY shy fish at Chiang Mai Fishing Park.

Yes, Mrs. Fish In Thailand caught the biggest one but I'm not complaining because I lost one MUCH bigger than hers. Oh wait, that's not good, is it?

We'll try and visit this amazingly fun venue again in the next day or two. Price for the 2 of us to fish for a couple of hours? About 90 cents U.S. each. They also have an annual membership scheme where for the princely sum of 1000 Thai Baht (about 32US) you can fish all year for free.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

This is a FANTASTIC light fishing travel rod....

The Fenwick Eagle GT 10 4-Piece Spinning Rod (7-Feet,Medium Light) ">Fenwick Eagle GT10 7ft 4 piece fishing rod/pole is an AMAZING product. Here's a list of its best features:

1. It packs down to almost nothing. You're left with 4 sections, each less than 2ft long, which can easily pack into a standard suitcase and into a small one if packed diagonally. Perfect for travel! It's also super lightweight.

2. The action on this rod is absolutely first class,. We've been carrying it on our travels through Thailand and I can tell you that between myself and my non-fishing wife we've caught fish with weights ranging from a few ounces up to 25lbs. It doesn't matter...each and every fish felt like a good-un on this rod. The "action" is steady throughout the whole length with no dead spots. And, bear in mind, this is a rod which breaks down into FOUR pieces.

3. Lots of rod rings! You should know by now that the best fishing rods don't skimp on the rod rings. Less rings = more friction shared between fewer rings. This great rod casts and retrieves smoothly every time and even with pressure on the rings from a big fish the line runs true with minimal friction.

Expensive? Not really, you pay under 60 bucks and you've got yourself a prime piece of fishing gear.

Gripes? Yes, one major gripe. I only own one. I need to buy another.

10/10 all day long. I also have a Shakespeare 4 piece Ugly Stick travel rod. It's a fine piece of gear but it's not even close to the quality of the Fenwick. I'll review the Shakespeare in a few days.