Todays post was supposed to be about how I went fishing with Russell Hilton on the Taunton canal and caught a new pb pike but he had to cancel in the week. So instead here's a 'Hit Parade' of sorts, with another trip to Gillhams in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd take a look back at my trips fishing abroad.
Up until 2009 my fishing had been confined to the UK but when Scotty suggested a trip to Spain after catfish, I jumped at the chance to hopefully catch a monster, well things didn't actually go to plan but more of that later! I still love my match fishing but it really does make a refreshing change to get away to somewhere more exotic and try styles of fishing that are totally alien to me.
As I type this it's windy and looks set to rain at any minute so let me take you away to sunnier climes where only shorts and flip flops are required and weird and wonderful species of fish give you the battle of a lifetime.
5 - The River Ebro in Spain 2009
This was my first fishing trip abroad and me, Scotty and Ash were all set to do battle with monster catfish. To be honest it was a bit of an anti-climax but we all managed to catch a few fish and it was on this trip that the seeds were sown for our first trip to Thailand.
4 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2010
During the Ebro trip we were shown a brochure for Gillhams Resort in Thailand and Scott was well up for going, me and Ash didn't take much persuading and before we knew it we were 6000 miles away. Well it was an amazing trip, the resort was stunning, everyone we met were lovely and we were looked after so well. As for the fishing it was out of this world and we caught loads of different species and all three of us caught fish over the magical 100lb mark topped off by a stunning 340lb arapaima caught by Ash.
3 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2011
After that first trip to the Land Of Smiles, I was hooked (if you'll excuse the pun) and the following year me and Scotty booked up again. The fishing was awesome once again and we caught a lot of fish with Scott catching 64 fish of 9 species and I had 31 of 12 species with the best fish being a 160lb arapaima which was a new pb for me. We met some lovely people including Jeremy Wade and Terry Eustace (Poppa). To finish the trip off, Stuart came to Bangkok with us to show us the sights.
2 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2012
I was desperate to go back the next year but Scott couldn't make this trip and I was a little apprehensive about going on my own but there was no need to worry as Stuart and everybody looked after me so well and it was fantastic. I caught 27 fish of 9 species and upped my pb's for several species including a 260lb arapaima and a 90lb Amazon redtail catfish (which is still probably my favourite fish yet). I also had a 180lb Mekong catfish that took me over three hours to land and beat me up good and proper. I met some more amazing people including Poppa again and even got filmed by National Geographic!
1 - Gillhams Resort, Thailand 2013
Scotty was back for this trip and we found the fishing a little tougher this time although we still had seven fish over 100lb between us which is dream fishing in anybody's book. Scott had the best fish of the trip and the fish of a lifetime with a massive 360lb arapaima. We lost a lot of big fish and I think I lost ten with Scott losing six.. Poppa was there yet again and we also met Gary Newman from the Angler's Mail.
I wonder what my next trip will bring? The lake has been extended now and some new species have been stocked so it will certainly be interesting. At some point I would love to try for Sturgeon in Canada and there are loads of other fisheries in Thailand that look good too, I just need to win the lottery first!
Well tomorrow I'm at Summerhayes and the weather is awful so come back tomorrow night to see how I got on.