Thailand Team Boys - Ali Hamidi And Tom Dove

Shortly after my Manor hit, it was time to travel to Koh Samui one of the beautiful Islands that flank Thailand. The trip was the first time Tom or I had visited Thailand, and the objective was to visit the awesome Top Cats fishery in Koh Samui. The plan was to film some footage for the new Korda website, whilst hoping to put a hook in some of the majestic creatures that this venue holds.
The resort is home to absolute leviathan's of many species and was completely different to anything that I or the Dove From Above had experienced. Coupled with the amazing scenery, the nightlife, food, beaches and fishing, this had all the ingredients of being an anglers’ paradise! The Top cats resort will be new to some of you, but if you've never considered going to Thailand fishing, then slap yourselves in the face and think hard, this place is MAJOR!
On arrival we were greeted by the sight of a beautiful lake of some four acres flanked with wonderful antique boats that have been renovated to form the accommodation for visiting anglers on all-inclusive holidays! I wouldn't describe the boats as a Las Vegas casino suite, but they were really clean and on par with any Premier Lodge or Travel Inn I've been too. In other words, if you want to take the missus or are fussy then they'll be more than suffice! So, with the bags put away and a Thai Green Curry planted firmly in the belly, it was time to experience some of the fishing! Every angler has a guide devoted to the them and we got the King pin of the pack in 'YUT', this guy lives and breathes the sport, with the care he gives to fish second to none! I have never seen anyone take fish care to such a level - to be honest I didn't expect it in Thailand, but the fish safety aspect on this venue is nothing short of exceptional, with oxygen bubbles being pumped all around the venue to rejuvenate landed fish immediately.
Impressive stuff indeed, something that venues in France and Europe should consider especially on the heavily stocked venues. 

So, what about the fishing I hear you ask? Well, the first afternoon was an eye-opener to say the least with half a dozen Mekong catfish to over 50lb landed in just a few hours! If you've ever wanted a battle on a rod, then wait to you feel one of these things, they're literally unbelievable - power, muscle, speed, truly magnificent sport and as the holiday progressed these fish were two to a penny to be quite honest!
I watched as visiting tourists arrived for a short session and landed this species to over a 100lb, all on a Korda Bait-up Method feeders and Maize hook baits - quite simply unbelievable, this venue had already exceeded our expectations. However, once there, like any true angler we started to set our sights on certain species. Tom & I wanted to connect with some of the giant arapaima in this lake (up to 300lb), Siamese Carp (up to 125lb) and a quite beautiful creature called the Red Tail catfish, (the venue record is 150lb called 'Harry')!
Nothing prepared us for the next 5-6 evenings fishing. After some spectacular sport we landed Siamese Carp to over 65lb, Arapaima to over 50lb (none of the real monsters!) and the jewel in the crown for me, a load of Red Tail cats, topped by one for my good self over the 50lb mark! There are a whole host of other species in the venue that we didn't hook, but this was mainly down to the fact that we didn't take smaller end tackle or varied end tackle. If we did, then I'm sure we would have connected with some of the Indian Carp, Niger & Leopard Catfish! I can't rate the venue highly enough. I paid flights and the usual holiday money, so I wasn't paid to say any of this. If you’re looking for a fishing holiday with a difference, then look no further - it was simply phenomenal. If you're unconvinced then wait for the first installment of our exclusive website series, 'ALI & TOM DO THAILAND' only on www.korda.co.uk.....stay tuned, part one is out soon.

 A Special thanks to Shaun Mcnutt, 'YUT' and the team at Top cats, www.fishinginthailand.com.
Words by Ali Hamidi.