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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lure Fishing at Boon Mar and Bait Fishing at BSR (again)

When I went to Bangkok (BKK) last year with my mum, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to repeat the experience again this year. So off we went on a Wed night till late Sun night end Oct for a "Mother-Daughter fishing, eating, shopping cum beauty" trip.

Boosted my experience lure fishing in Langkawi (which I will be flying off to tomorrow!), I decided to go to Boon Mar pond which stocks exclusively, barramundis (Barras), also known as Sea Bass or Kim Bak Lor (Kims). Boon Mar is located 80km east of Bangkok in the Bangpakong district of the Chachoengsao province and we took about 40mins to get there from a hotel near the airport area. The air there is amazingly fresh given the country side location of the pond but the amenities provided at Boon Mar are horrifyingly basic. It might therefore not be a good idea to bring non anglers or ladies to Boon Mar - the toilet is located in a shack which is a good 10 mins walk (on a dirt path) from the fishing pond and the only shade/shelter at the ponds is a couple of umbrellas on rickety stands.

Fortunately it didn't rain (or shine too brightly) and neither mum nor I had to use the toilet at all. I started out with a yellow bright surface minnow lure. After two or three casts, I got my first hook up at Boon Mar, a 2+kg Kim per the pic below.

The next 4-5 cast netted nothing and the wind was blowing rather strongly which meant that the lure did not land where I had aimed. So I changed to a heavier lure, also a surface one with the all too familiar red and white body. Cast, retrieve, cast retrieve, and then TUG! Next fish on put up a bit more fight but given its size, it was no match against The Slog or rather, a 3olb leader hehe. Pic below of the second Kim.

Because I knew that the pond was full of nothing but Barras (Kims), the only one variable which I could play with (without changing line poundage or reel) was the type of lure I used. So I decided to change lure every two barras. After the third barra on the red and white surface action lure, I changed to a green diving action lure with slow motion retrieve. I didn't have much faith in this lure at first but green is my favourite (and lucky) color so I figured why not. And it turned out that I never changed any more lures after using this one. I landed the second biggest Kim of this trip on the first cast. And then it was Kim and more Kim. It got to the point where I didn't mind failing to land two kims becaused they had tossed the hook. Kims put up a pretty good fight when snagged...that is what makes barras good fighting fishes. Unlike Pacus which jerk and try to break the line, groupers which dart down to make for its holes, and stupid catfishes which make long runs (for structures etc), Kims actually surface from the water shaking their entire body to dislodge the hook from their mouths. However, even if one failed to set the hook properly (which I have never forgotten to do since I lost that fishing competition in KK last year), a greedy Kim which takes the entire lure like this one below, is a goner. Talk about deep throat.

Anyway, between 9am to 11.30am, I landed 12 Kims, lost about 4 and got pretty bored/tired of fishing Kims. Variety is really the spice of life. Pic below shows the final and largest Kim I caught at Boon Mar estimated to be about 4-5Kg. Oh yes, one more important thing about going to Boon Mar - wear covered sandals. See my sandals above? Those are NOT good for going to Boon Mar with. I got at least 4 huge insect bites, 2 of which caused my right big toe to swell up and make walking difficult. After I sprayed insect repellant, I still got 3 huge mosquito bites. I don't know how true it is that certain blood types are more prone to mosquito bites but it seems that I get more bites that my CEB every time, and this time, more than my mum too!

Well, as I said, it got really boring hooking up Kim after Kim and I decided to go to Bungsamran (BSR) in the afternoon after lunch to relive last year's thrill of reeling in large mekong catfishes. Sadly and unfortunately, after having landed a 35kg catfish last year, nothing I caught this trip compared or gave me the same buzz. There is no way one can use light tackle at BSR because some of the catfishes there are over 100kg and you never know which fish may take your line (the minimum/standard reel is 6000 unless you are prepared to run the risk of your expensive/treasured reel breaking if you catch a large one). On hindsight, maybe I should have just gone for even lighter tackle at Boon Mar to up the thrill of catching Kims but oh well. Pic below shows No 6 of the 6 catfishes I caught at BSR in the space of almost 3 hours. And I think it is time to hit the gym again - didn't have the stamina I had last year...meh.

After fishing, mum and I went for dinner at the Thai restaurant on the second floor of Ploenchit Shopping Center. The food there is pretty steep for BKK standards but the crispy fish and prawn ball appetisers are superb. However, although I wouldn't say this is a Must-Eat-At restaurant in BKK, it sure beats the other alternatives at the basement of the shopping center.

And oh yes, even if BKK is no longer good for pond fishing (at least for me), there is always good food and one should try out the immensely popular local Jap restaurant. Zen is higher end than Fuji but Fuji is so reasonably priced with a huge variety of Jap food that it is worth a visit at least once when one is in Thailand. We had Fuji twice when we were in Phuket, my CEB and me, and this time in BKK, I had Fuji twice too. Below is a pic of just some of the many food items on Fuji's menu.

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