Day two and I was up well before my alarm sounded, I had a swim (if I'm paying for a villa with it's own pool I'm damn well swimming in it), got ready and was on route just after 7am. As we bumped through the potholes excitement level was already set to eleven!
Through the iron gates and into Jurassic Park - EFT. By the way; all the photos show smog, this was caused by the fires in Indonesia - it was still incredibly hot (I did get sunburnt) and to me it just added to atmosphere - no pun intended.
TC came along with me today, and even though she doesn't fish she was still blown away by the beauty of the place. A quick chat with Mike, which I kind of cut short - I could see the arapaima swirling and was eager to get going - sorry Mike.
Bau had the gear set up, we had a quick discussion about tactics (even though neither of us could understand what the other was saying) and the rods were baited and cast.
Ten minutes later I was hooked up to an arapaima - they don't jump, they are just pure power, they run and just when you think you've turned them they run again - and after you've worked them into the side they hammer off across the lake and make you do it all over again. An arapaima before breakfast - brilliant!
A bit of breakfast and a few dropped runs later I was in again, another Amazon redtail - in my opinion the hardest fighting pound-for-pound fish I hooked - not as fast as the arapaima but they really don't want to meet you.
The next cast was nailed on the drop - a white gourami. Not a hard fight compared to the bigger species but boy this thing was aware of - and could avoid the net. I thing Bau pretended he wasn't looking to give the fish a false sense of security!
He did an equally good job with the photo - I didn't spot the spikes at the bottom - and dropped it as soon as stuck me, but the photo was on the camera and it wouldn't be me without a bit of blood. Another beautiful fish.
The afternoon was pretty biteless, the arapaima swirled and the cats cruised in close but they weren't feeding. A few hours later, as I tightened up the line on one of the rods it was away - I thought it was a redtail - as it came in range Bau simply smiled and said "ripsaw".
Have I found a new favourite species? Did Wes Craven design a fish? Its pectoral fin was based around a long spike and it had a saw blade for a lateral line - a ripsaw catfish (above and top photo, couldn't decide which one to use) - fantastic looking fish!!
As evening approached I had a bunch of dropped runs, and ones I simply failed to hit - thinking back I wonder how I missed some of those runs. But I added two more hard fighting Amazon redtails to the days tally - another awesome day fishing in Thailand.
I walked back around the lake in the dark to join TC who was already in the lodge. On route I saw a centipede eating a frog - which was pretty cool... Roll on day three...