“The charm of fishing,” said Scottish writer John Buchan, “is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable,
a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”
While in Hua Hin, if one wants to partake in this pursuit, there are plenty of options. Deep sea fishing is usually what comes to mind when staying near an ocean, and while this is an option, one might consider one of the many catch-andrelease fishing parks in the region. Catch-and-release fishing is a practice within recreational fishing, intended as a technique of conservation. After capture, the fish are unhooked and returned to the water before experiencing serious exhaustion or injury. Using barbless hooks, it is often possible to release the fish without removing it from the water.
Imagine hooking a 80kg arapaima, a 62kg giant Mekong catfish, or even a giant Siamese carp weighing up to 32kgs – all these are plausible at one of the stocked ponds. The Kingdom of Siam now boasts more fish species to the budding angler than anywhere else in the world – both predatory and non-predatory share the same waters. Here are four of our favourite catch-and-release fishing parks in the region. Hua Hin Fishing Lodge Established more than 13 years ago, Hua Hin Fishing Lodge is open every day. This catch-and-release venue has two lakes adjacent to each other, with 44 different species between them. Of the many fish here, seven are currently on the Endangered or Critically Endangered Species List of the WWF. As this is catch-and-release, anglers have a better chance to land one of these endangered creatures here than in the wild – without depleting their numbers. Hua Hin Fishing Lodge offers day tickets at 800 THB for the top pond, and 1,900 THB for the top and bottom ponds.
The price includes one rod and is valid from 9am – 6:30pm. The price is the same no matter how many hours you spend at the lodge. For further information, check out their website: www.huahinfishing.com. Greenfield Valley Fishing Resort This fishing resort is located on an 80 acre estate. Opened by TV presenter and angling celebrity John Wilson, Greenfield Valley features 3 lakes stocked with a variety of the world’s hardest fighting freshwater sport fishing species like arapaima, Mekong catfish, Amazon red-tail catfish, barramundi, giant Siamese carp. The main lake is approximately 4 acres in size, and is home to a vast variety Thai and Amazon fish species. There are 23 species of sporting fish all in the range of 2.2kgs to 45kgs, as well as some big boys like arapaima (136kg), Mekong catfish and Chao-Phraya catfish (both up to 45kgs). An all-inclusive fishing package for a full day is 5,500 THB per person, valid from 7am – dusk. Half day rates are available at 3,900 THB per person and run either 7am – 1pm, or 1pm to dusk.
More information available at their website: www. fishinginhuahin.com. Palm Tree Lagoon Fishing Park Located in Ratchaburi, halfway between Bangkok and Hua Hin, this fishing park has been around for over 25 years. The stocked lake spans three acres, and is stocked with 35 species of fish including stingrays, pacu, many carp species, and arapaima. Most of the species originate from Thailand, India, China and South America. The standard fishing rate per day (one or two day duration) is 5,500 THB per. This includes one predator rod, and two nonpredator rods. Sticking to carp and non-predatory fish only, the price drops to 4,500 THB per day and includes three rods. There are many other packages available – the longer the package the cheaper the rate. Check their website for full details: www.palmtreelagoon.co.uk. Jurassic Mountain Resort and Fishing Park Just 10 minutes from Cha Am beach is Jurassic Mountain Resort and Fishing Park.
Here you will find specimen carp in excess of 80kgs, arapaima in excess of 130kgs, and other giant fish species. Currently there are 17 species stocked, including Mekong giant catfish, Indian carp, tambaqui, Niger ripsaw catfish, giant snakehead, and alligator gar. Shade is provided by wellsituated salas from where anglers can enjoy the Thai countryside while awaiting a fish to strike. Pricing is 5,800 THB per person, which includes 2 rods, 1 tackle hire set, 10kgs of carp bait, 10kgs of dead bait and a bamboo shelter to fish from. To learn more, visit their website: www.jurassicfishingthailand.com.