Top exotic angling destinations for the ultimate holiday!

When it’s cold and wet outside in the UK, it’s the perfect time to be planning a trip overseas to warmer climes.

These days there is no shortage of choice and you can jump on a plane to pretty much anywhere that you fancy, and it doesn’t take much more effort to go fishing halfway across the world than it does in planning a trip after carp in France!

There are now companies offering fishing trips to all sorts of exotic destinations, both in freshwater and on the sea, and with many you don’t even need to take your own tackle as the packages include pretty much everything!

Here we take a look at some of the top destinations that offer some amazing fishing for species that often grow to huge sizes, and will try and rip the rod out of your hands when you hook them.

Gillhams Resorts,
Krabi, Thailand
Well known UK angler Stuart Gillham dug this fishery from scratch and has created it to be the ultimate home for freshwater monsters.
The two lakes on this complex have over 40 different species in them, a number of which grow to over 100lb!

As well as the fishing there is also accommodation available in the luxury bungalows which line one bank of the fishery, plus a restaurant onsite.

Arapaima are one of the main attractions, and these South American giants grow to 500lb in this lake, plus there are native species such as Mekong catfish to over 200lb and Siamese carp to nearly 200lb. All of the gear you need is provided and professional guides are on hand to help and give you advice.

Lots of well-known anglers have visited the venue, and it was where the finale of the forthcoming Big Fish Off 2 series was filmed. Check out: www.gillhamsfishingresorts.com

Florida Keys,
Some amazing sea fishing is available off of the Keys, with all sorts of different species to target.

Tarpon are one of the main attractions, and this giant ‘herring’, which grows to over 200lb, is renowned for its fighting prowess. There are also numerous shark species to target, including bull and nurse sharks, plus goliath grouper running to the sort of size which could swallow a man! For something a bit different, there are broadbill swordfish, and even sawfish living off of the coast!

There are loads of different boats to choose from, but we can recommend Captain Joe (John Johansen) who has guided out of Islamorada for 20 years, which Korda’s Ali Hamidi has used on his trips.

It is also a great place to take the family, and there are also all sorts of species to catch from the shore if you have an hour or two spare, but you’ll need to take your own tackle for that, or buy something locally in one of the many fishing tackle stores. Go to: www.captjoe.net

Top Cats Resort,
Koh Samui, Thailand
This popular lake is a great place to get a few bites from some huge fish, and it will fit in with a family holiday or a trip specifically for the fishing.

You can stay at the resort in luxury accommodation at the side of the lake, and there is never any shortage of action from Siamese carp and Mekong catfish, plus South American species such as redtail catfish and arapaima.

It is known for being home to a potential IGFA record redtail known as Harry which tops 120lb, plus having around 300 Siamese carp, with 65 of those being over 100lb. If it is an arapaima that you want then there are over 100 to target, with the largest around 330lb. Koh Samui itself is Thailand’s third largest island and as well as it’s beaches and other tourist attractions, it is known for its amazing scenery, and Top Cats is located at Ban Taling Ngam, an area renowned for its tranquility.

Korda’s Tom Wager recently paid a visit there during a holiday with his girlfriend, Sophie, who became interested when she saw what he was catching and by the end of the day she was joining in with the action from Siamese carp to around 60lb, as well as some of the other species. Full details: www.fishinginthailand.com

Fraser River,
British Columbia, Canada
Sturgeon are the biggest fish that is found in freshwater, growing to over 12ft long and weighing more than 1,000lb!

The Fraser River has some absolutely stunning scenery, including the Fraser Canyon where Rambo was filmed, and is conveniently located just a 20 minute drive from the town of Hope.

There is never any guarantee of catching but you’d be very unlucky if you didn’t, and multiple catches of huge sturgeon in a day aren’t uncommon.

Plenty of guides operate on the river and provide all the gear that you’ll need, as well as offering full packages including accommodation and transport. One that is worth a look is: www.fraserriverlodge.com

Bin El Ouidane,
The scenery in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains resembles the sort of landscape that you might expect to find on Mars, with red rock and sand everywhere, but nestled amongst it is a 4000 hectare lake.

It is home to carp to over 70lb, along with numbers of 20s, 30s and 40s, mostly commons but also the occasional scaley mirror as well – the lake record of 73lb 5oz was a mirror, with commons to 60lb 8oz. The action can be frantic at times as the fish tend to go around in groups and when they get on the bait multiple takes are common!

Most of the tackle that you need is provided, and all you need to do is fly over with a few smaller items of kit and they will pick you up at the airport. Check out: www.moroccocarpfishing.com

La Zona,
If you fancy the trip of a lifetime after one of the most amazing looking freshwater species on the planet, then La Zona, at Salto Grande Dam, on the Uraguay River is the place to head for.

It is home to the stunning looking dorado, which have been caught there to over 60lb, and fall to a variety of lures.

The whole area is protected from commercial fishing, and the fishing is limited and exclusive to La Zona Lodge, with English angler Steve Townson running trips there via his company Amazon Angler, and he has been fishing there for years so knows exactly how to target them.

You need to bring your own gear but the lodge has professional guides. Check out: www.amazon-angler.com