Amazing haul of big Siamese carp for Gary Newman!

Korda TV Production manager Gary Newman had a fantastic trip to Gillhams Fishing Resorts, in Thailand, when he notched up his eighth different freshwater species over 100lb.

During an eight-day session he landed 25 Siamese carp, with eight of them topping the 100lb mark, and he broke his personal best several times, culminating in a monster of 158lb, which came as part of a brace with another fish of 125lb – two carp totalling 283lb!

Gary explained: “I’ve been after a Siamese carp over 100lb for quite some time, as prior to this session I’d caught them up to 96lb, but since my last trip to Gillhams they have grown a fair bit. It is really interesting seeing how the fishery has changed over the years, as I remember first fishing it around a year after it opened, and back then most of the carp were in the 25lb to 40lb bracket, and were also fairly easy to catch. Not only have they put on a lot of weight since then, but they are also far more wary – as you’d expect as they are3 fished for every day – and you really have to work at it these days if you want to catch consistently.

“Things got off to a bad start when I got cut-off on my first bite and someone else caught the fish trailing my line – one of the guides brought my rig back round to me and told me that the fish was over 120lb! But things came good later that day when I landed a cracker of 110lb, a great way to break the ton.

“The following afternoon I ended up moving swim to an area where I was less likely to get cut-off, and it also meant that I could fish at closer range where there would be less chance of interference from anglers on the opposite bank. I leaded around and soon found an area at the bottom of the shelf that I liked the feel of, so marked all my rods up at this range, with the plan being to fan them out on the same line – I ensured everything was done very accurately, and had even packed my set of Distance Sticks in my suitcase!

“The fishing just kept on getting better as I built the swim up by feeding a mixture of Gillhams 8mm pellets and Mainline Essential Cell Response pellets. I wasn’t exactly piling it in, but was topping up very regularly, often with two Spombs on top of each rod every 15 to 20 minutes – although that was dependent on the amount of action I was getting and how much activity, in terms of bubbling and showing fish, I had in my swim.

“I broke my PB several times over the next few days – with fish of 116lb and 120lb – and was catching fish steadily, although I was really having to play around with rigs and my baiting pattern to keep the action coming, and changes to the length of my hook links made a big difference, depending on how the fish were feeding on the day.

“On the penultimate day I landed a fish of 110lb in the morning, and then in the afternoon I hooked what I could tell was another big fish. I played it carefully and can remember myself and one of the guides, Nick, exchanging a look when we first caught sight of it, as we both could see it was very big. Thankfully everything went to plan and he was soon netting a giant of 147lb for me.

“I didn’t really fish the rest of that day and thought that this was a fish that I wouldn’t beat, and on the last day I was almost tempted to have a go for a different species, but I decided to finish what I had started and was glad that I did.

“I kicked things off with a ridiculously wide fish of 125lb, and then added another three fish and was happy with how things were going, despite being absolutely soaked due to it raining all day. I was still recasting my rods every 45-60 minutes, as well as baiting up, and it wasn’t much fun trying to tie solid PVA bags of pellets in these conditions – especially as I was double-bagging them due to the depth and temperature of the water I was fishing in.

‘Around 4pm I had my fifth bite of the day whilst chatting to one of the other guides, Darren, and it ended up running down the lake and picking up another line belonging to an angler on the other bank. We’d shouted that I had a fish on, but rather than slackening off he started pulling hard until thankfully Jo Green, who was guiding on that bank stepped in and luckily my fish came free.

“The rest of the battle was fairly slow and uneventful, and although I could tell it was a decent fish I didn’t think it was massive. Then it briefly surfaced about 20 yards out and Darren recognised which one it was and told me to be careful as it was well over 150lb! Finally it went in the net and I couldn’t believe that I’d landed another of the real big ‘uns, with this one going 158lb. It was a great way to finish off, so I didn’t cast out again and just sat by the lake reflecting on what a great session I’d had.

“All of my fish were landed on size 1 Wide Gape XX hooks to 50lb Kamo or Sinking Arma-Kord hook links, and Dura-Kord leaders, with pieces of cork as the hookbait, fished very critically balanced. I fished medium or large Solidz PVA bags ‘parachute’ style threaded onto the hook link.

Gary’s other 100lb-plus species are: piraiba catfish 196lb; arapaima 330lb; goonch catfish 105lb; Mekong catfish 170lb; Chao Praya catfish 110lb; Wels catfish 180lb; alligator gar 180lb-plus.

Check out: http://gillhamsfishingresorts.com