200kg Giant freshwater stingray fishing Maeklong Thailand – 21 05 2009
Thai television presenter Num and the Ban Oa TV crew from Bangkok visited the Maeklong River in search of Giant freshwater stingrays.
Arriving at the river just before the incoming tide saw Num accompanied by the Fishsiam team moored up on a wide bend in the lower section of the river.
The objective of the expedition being to catch a large Giant freshwater stingray for a forthcoming TV show to be aired on Channel 9 in the coming weeks.
Scientists from Chulalongkorn University were also in attendance to carry out scientific examinations of any stingrays captured during the trip.
With the river now at its highest it was not long before a Giant freshwater stingray had picked up a live bait some twenty metres below.
A steady run developed which saw line begin to disappear from the multiplier reel as the fish moved across the riverbed with the bait.
Winding down into the fish saw the rod pulled violently down towards the rivers surface as the unseen monster characteristically clamped onto the riverbed creating an unmovable dead weight.
Steady pressure was applied with the anglers taking turns on the rod to prise the unseen Giant freshwater stingray from the muddy substrate twenty metres below.
The fish made several short runs each time pulling the 30ft boat behind it with relative ease!
Each time the boat was repositioned above the fish and pressure reapplied from directly above.
The battle raged on for almost two hours seeing the team taking turns to crank the monster fish up from the depths!
With Num now attached to the fish and the team becoming extremely tired from their efforts to bring up the fish over the past few hours the anglers wondered how much longer the battle would last.
More and more pressure was applied with Num bending the heavy stand up rod to its full parabolic curve.
Suddenly the rod tip sprang back as the fish was lifted from the bottom!
Furiously winding to regain contact with the fish saw the rod once again arch over taking the full weight of the fish as it wallowed in open water.
Num hauled at the fish with all his might slowly replacing line onto the large multiplier reel inch by inch.
The Giant freshwater stingray was clearly a large fish which caused the boat to rock violently as the fish was pulled up through the middle layers.
As the leader began to appear the team readied themselves to net the monster fish.
A few more winds of the reel saw the big lead come into view with the team quickly cutting the lead free from the mainline.
Moments later a gigantic Giant freshwater stingray came into view metres below the surface!
Num assisted by the team slowly raised the stingray from the depths into netting range.
As the Giant freshwater stingray thrashed angrily on the surface the net was expertly unfolded under the fish engulfing the fish in the folds of the net.
After quickly transporting the fish to the riverside scientists from Chulalongkorn University made a thorough scientific examination of the fish taking blood, DNA and toxicology samples for further research purposes.
The monster Giant freshwater stingray was measured at a width of 210cm’s and was estimated to weigh 200-210kg’s.
After a short photography session by various members of the national media the fish was released back into its watery home.
The full account of the capture appeared in several national newspapers the following day in addition to being aired on the Channel 9 adventure show Ban Oa