Fishing for Arapaima Bungsamran Lake Bangkok – 18 09 2009
Day two fishing at Bungsamran Lake in Bangkok saw the TBS team back on the boards of Bungsamran in search of Arapaima.
An early start saw the Japanese comedians led by Kawata San once more fishing from a large bungalow at the far end of the lake.
Fishing with a combination of sliding float set-ups in addition to several rods fished hard on the bottom for carp the anglers began to catch fish.
With copious amounts of bait being placed in the swim the previous day the catfish were stacked up in great numbers in front of the anglers who continued to catch a fish every cast.
The average size of the Mekong Catfish remained relatively low with the majority of Mekong Catfish being in the 10-18kg bracket.
With the anglers fishing six rods the action was non-stop seeing the trio battling fish side by side for the best part of the morning.
A short break at lunch time saw the Japanese fishermen formulate a plan to target one of the monster Arapaima which surfaced at regular intervals around the lake.
After prebaiting several marginal areas in quiet corners of the lake with mackerel fillets the anglers returned to their fishing platform and rigged up strong fluorocarbon hooklengths with Super Sharp Owner hooks.
Quietly positioning themselves in a quiet corner saw the Japanese anglers gently lob mackerel fillets into the edge of the lake.
Seconds after placing the rod on the floor line began to be slowly pulled from the open spool of the reel.
Winding down hard into the fish saw the unseen predator making towards the nearby underwater structure of a nearby fishing platform.
With the angler clamping down onto the spool a large Pacu broke the surface close to the snags.
After unhooking the Amazonian Pacu the anglers rebaited the hooks and repositioned two rods over the baited area.
Fifteen minutes later saw the slackened off line pull taught before line was ripped from the spool!
A gigantic swirl formed over the baited area as a monster sized predator angrily shook its head in an effort to free itself from the hook.
With the Super sharp Owner hook holding fast the monster Arapaima made a powerful run along the margins towards nearby snags.
Putting maximum side strain into the predator saw the fish steered into open water away from the danger zone where it became fully airborne wildly thrashing from side to side in mid air.
On the sight of the massive two metre plus Arapaima becoming airborne a shout of ‘Pirarucu’ went out from the Japanese anglers and TBS film crew.
As the monster predatory fish crashed back down into the lake in a mass of waves the fish embarked on another powerful head shaking run causing a large bow wave other fish scattered to get out of the predators path!
Several more heart stopping moments followed with the fish making hard deep runs towards the centre of the lake.
With the fish beginning to tire the anglers tentatively played the fish back towards the waiting landing nets.
On seeing the net the Arapaima made one last violent lunge for freedom almost reaching the sanctuary of the fishing platform.
Skillfully guiding the predator towards the net saw the front section of the fish safely engulfed in the net.
A second landing net was produced and carefully placed over the fish’s tail section as the Arapaima languished in the margins.
Several guides and the Japanese anglers all entered the water carefully cradling the predatory giant and moving it to shallower water for recovery.
A large crowd of onlookers soon began to form whilst the fish was carefully unhooked as the TBS film crew meticulously recorded the spectacular capture.
The Arapaima with a length of well of two metres and a massive girth was truly a giant and required six anglers and guides to successfully raise it out of the water.
Anglers and onlookers alike all began to take photographs of the massive Arapaima as its armoured flanks glowed in the afternoon sunlight with vibrant crimson colouration.
After a few more minutes of filming and photography the Arapaima was gently moved close to a nearby air pump which was situated in the corner of the lake.
The fish was allowed a few minutes to recover whilst the air pumps oxygenated the water allowing the fish to regain its strength after the capture.
With the fish showing signs that it was ready to go the anglers guided it towards open water where with the fish swam away strongly into the murky depths of the lake.
Without wishing to weigh the fish and cause it harm the anglers placed an estimated weight of 160-180kg’s on the Arapaima making it almost certainly a fish of world record proportions.
After the release of the fish the anglers all congratulated each other on the spectacular capture before retiring to the shade of the bungalow for a much needed rest.
The Japanese anglers continued to fish for the rest of the day and landed a succession of Mekong and Striped Catfish.
At the end of the marathon seventeen hour fishing session the anglers had amassed a gigantic seventy fish haul with Mekong Catfish to 22kg’s and Striped Catfish to 12kg’s