Painfully good day at Dream Lake Chiang mai

Nursing a bit of hangover from a small stint on the town we (Bruno and I) arrive at Dream Lake just as Reiner opens the gate. I have decided that today I am going to target the larger predators that the lake holds. Sometimes, well more often than not, I pole fish for the smaller inhabitants. We stroll round to bungalow number 2 and I give Bruno the choice of sides.
He takes the left so obviously I am on the right. I am trying out some new bait that we purchased from the worlds biggest bait store, Tescos the day before. I ledger a hair rigged piece of mackerel on one rod and a simply hooked hotdog sausage on the other. Bruno takes out some fish balls and some Chinese sausage. Now, we just sit back and wait, at dream lake some days one run is all you will get, if you are lucky!!

Today though, my bait is not out long when I start getting taps on my hotdog Bruno suggest I hit it as he hooked a couple of fish previously that way. Bang!!! I strike the rod curls round and the clutch starts giving out line then for no reason it’s gone! A few rude words later and I put the bait back out. Back to the waiting game. It is still only early but the sun is coming up and glaring straight at us. So we are now fighting over the little bit of shade this bungalow provides. We see a repeat performance of the earlier take and a few more knocks. All of a sudden the bait runner screams into action! With a nice controlled strike the drag kicks in and the fun begins. It puts up a fair fight, but soon we slide the net under an Alligator Gar not my favourite fish for one simple reason they are dangerous!!! But hey I like to pride myself on my fish handling abilities, so leaving the fish in the net in the water I get to work. These fish never really seem to get hooked they just hold on. With this in mind, I am trying to open its mouth. The prehistoric looking animal shakes its head disapprovingly taking the skin off my thumb with its rows of sharp teeth. I retreat backwards holding my thumb that wasn’t even in its mouth. While I stop the bleeding, Bruno finishes the job I was doing. Satisfied that the fish has been banked and we haven’t blanked I go to get some iodine for my thumb.

Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai

Then back to Brunos tales of the fish he has caught from here that just keep getting bigggggeeer!!!! A few hours pass with a few more missed runs then the heat of the midday sun kicks in and we know that we just have to wait it out till the temperature settles down a bit in the evening. Sure enough just as the evening starts to show the rod belts in to action. Bait runner going at full speed. I hit this one and the fish does not like it one little bit. The rod bends right round and I am wondering if the rod is going to hold or not. Long deep fast runs it strips line. Then I slowly gain the line back then the fish is eventually beat and the net goes under a beautiful Siamese carp. This is a surprise knowing these fish normally go for bread and not hot dogs. This though is still one of the lakes smaller carp the big ones are still eluding me. I enter the water to unhook the fish as these can be fragile creatures that don’t like being handled too much. A couple of picture and off it goes.
<img title=”dreamlake fishing” alt=”Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/news_simonbrad1_2.jpg” border=”0″ />
This is turning out to be a good day. One fish is good, two well that’s great. Now Bruno is in to a fish after a slow run. It doesn’t put up much of a fight and when it comes to the surface we are not over the moon to see another Alligator Gar. This one turned out to be easy to unhook and no further injuries.

That must be it; the sun has gone and between us there are three fish on the bank. So we start to pack up. I go behind the bungalow to start putting the spare rods away when, the bait runner goes again. Just as I hear Bruno shouting my name I head back the 3-4 meters to my rod. I shout for Bruno to leave it as I step on to the bungalow. Bruno strikes, just as I miss my footing in the excitement and end up falling into the lake. Well half in the lake, half on the smelly baits that were in the margins and the rest of me ended up on the bamboo poles that are there to stop the bank eroding. ( I just know that’s going to bruise nicely) As I drag myself out of the lake Bruno passes back the rod and I am playing my fish, this fish carts right and fights hard. It keeps going right. Now I know what fish it is and where it is going. Straight to the bank and into the roots it snags me. Left with no choice I head back into the water worrying about the cuts and scratches and what weird and wonderful infection I might get. With the rod in hand I have to swim around to bungalow number 1 Listening to chuckles from Bruno and Reiner as my head keeps going under the water. I pass the rod to Reiner and follow the line to where I am expecting to find a Redtail catfish. And sure enough I can see the big eyes of the Redtail looking out at me in the moonlight. He is just waiting to see what I do. I untangle the line from the roots but the catfish doesn’t seem in any hurry to go anywhere so I figure he is beat so, I place my hand in its mouth and ease him out. No, I am wrong!! He is not beat yet with my hand in his mouth he shakes his head. All his Velcro style teeth sand away at the top layers of skin leaving it shredded. The fish finally slides into the net. We take a few more pictures and slide the fish back into the depths of the lake.

Redtail catfish fishing in Chiang mai
What an end to a great day at Dream Lake!!