Ratchaprapha Dam Reservoir, as it is also called, is located in the centre of Khao Sok National Park. The huge 160-square-kilometre lake was created when the dam was built to generate an electricity source in 1987.
The scenery is breathtaking with picturesque jungle covered mountains surrounding the lake. The dense rainforest provides a home for some amazing wildlife. If you have a keen eye it is possible to see wild elephants, otters, monkeys, bears and countless bird species.
A two- or three-day trip is suggested as it’s a two-hour car ride from Phuket airport and then a lengthy boat ride to prime fishing areas, which does not make a one-day trip worthwhile. Local accommodation is available ranging from very basic Thai-style bamboo huts to a recently added air-conditioned bungalow resort.
Fishing is always from longtail boats piloted by local guides who know the waters like the back of their hands. There are no hydrographic maps here and local knowledge is essential as you definitely wouldn’t want to get lost amongst the many islands.
Lure fishing using top water baits to structure or balls of fry is probably the most exciting and productive method. The snakehead guard their fry with a vengeance and will have no qualms attacking a lure that they think is a predator trying to devour their young. Accurate casting is paramount to catching these fish. Repeated casts to the same target until the fish finally reaches a breaking point can make all the difference.
Toman as they are also called put up an extremely strong and acrobatic fight and will test any medium to heavy action bait casting or spinning equipment. If you are lucky enough to subdue one of these brutes then a word of caution when removing hooks from these fish as they have no qualm about taking a chunk out of your hand or a finger. A Boga grip and long nose pliers are a must.
Another sought-after predator caught on a variety of lures is the Hampala barb, or more aptly named Jungle perch. They also take top water baits but will take crank baits spoons or just about any minnow imitating lure.
A good fishing fact to remember is that 90% of fish come from 10% of the water fished makes fishing with a knowledgeable guide essential. I would strongly recommend contacting Neil Robinson http://www.fishing-khaolak.com who has fished these waters for years if you would like to put the odds in your favour.
This vast area is truly a lure fisherman’s paradise and should not be overlooked by any serious lure casting enthusiast or nature lover.
– Mike Bailey
If you have questions about fishing in and around Phuket please feel free to contact us by email and we will do our best to help you with an accurate answer or direct you to another reliable source.
By Mike Bailey, Exotic Fishing Thailand Co Ltd
Telephone; English 0883799377 or Thai 0811995922