Mekong giant catfish & giant Siamese carp fishing in Bangkok
Bungsamran unquestionably offers the most prolific freshwater fishing in Thailand, certainly the most prolific freshwater fishing in Bangkok.
Fishing in Thailand at Bungsamran Lake
Who would have thought? That right here in Bangkok, sits one of the world’s most prolific freshwater fishing venues. Lurking beneath the murky depths are the world’s largest freshwater species – the Mekong giant catfish, the giant Siamese carp & the arapaima all of which grow in excess of 100kg (220lb) at Bungsamran. In June 2007 the world's biggest carp ever caught on rod & line was landed estimated to weigh 120kg (264lb). Bangkok is The City Of Angels for tourists, but for fisherman it is The City Of Giants!
Bungsamran Lake History
This fishing venue’s whereabouts seems to be Bangkok’s best kept secret, mostly only known by Thai locals. Bangkok is undoubtedly a huge maze of roads, streets & canals networking amongst the diversity of modern offices, wooden houses, ancient temples, markets, street vendors, Thai communities and so much more. Yet this 20 acre lake converted from a swamp 18 years ago, now full of amazing natural beauty and serenity, somehow doesn’t seem out of place.
Certainly the reaction from every single fisherman & non-fisherman alike is firstly scepticism that a lake so peaceful could exist in Bangkok – and even more surprised that the fishing in Bangkok at Bungsamran produces so many enormous fish.
The tranquil & idyllic setting of Bungsamran is situated in the suburban outskirts of Bangkok only 40 minutes from the fast moving city centre. Bungsamran boasts numerous IGFA world records, making it one of the best still water venues in the world.
"I was in disbelief when I first arrived at Bungsamran Lake; that such a lake situated so close to the city could both seem so far away, and could hold three different species of fish that may grow to over 200lbs (or 100 kilos). I was quickly convinced of the latter by the time I had hooked up for the first time, and had landed a Mekong catfish of about 30 lbs. Even if I hadn't called it quits after at least 15 more fish; even if I collapsed from exhaustion and tore several muscles in my body straining to reel in just one more, I would still consider Bungsamran the fondest fishing experience of my life.”
-- John Demarest [USA]
Bungsamran alone is a reason to come fishing in Bangkok, the fishing is so prolific & our guides are so experienced that Fish Thailand offers anyone a 50% refund who fails to catch a 30lb plus Mekong giant catfish in a 1 day session. There are not many guides and even less venues that would dare guarantee such a bold statement, so we challenge you to challenge us!
Fishing In Bangkok
The Mekong giant catfish & giant Siamese carp are the two most powerful species in Bungsamran which are capable of relieving your spool of line on their first run if the local techniques are not employed quickly. The power of these fish and the pain they put anglers through really can’t be matched by any other freshwater fishing in the world, certainly no other fishing in Bangkok.
Bungsamran has depths ranging from 10 to 25 feet. The main features comprise of bungalows, bridges and stages. There are very few underwater features other than the wooden bridge and bungalow supports, though these features alone create a considerable challenge. Every fish will instinctively use the maze of underwater posts, supports & struts present beneath each bungalow & bridge to their full advantage.
There are special techniques Fish Thailand guides will teach you to dissuade fish from entering these danger zones and the techniques employed for fishing in Bangkok at Bungsamran are unlike any European techniques.
Fish Thailand Provide Anglers With The Best Services, Guides & Catches
Thailand's Leading Team of Guides
Of course there will be fish that despite our efforts make it into their safe haven, stripping line through a network of submerged bungalow & bridge supports. Usually this would be game over as the line is shredded against the snags, but not when Fish Thailand guides are with you. They will demonstrate & teach you how to coax a fish out using minimal line tension. If this fails then it is time for the guides to get wet! They will simply follow underwater the line until they locate where the fish is laying, then a complicated & highly skilled tactic is employed where by they cut the line above the fish & re-tie it directly to your rod – the battle between you & the fish of your lifetime re-commences!
Bungsamran Fishery Management
Stocked with a huge density of over 50 different species of fish, most of which are averaging 14kg (30lb) – the water quality & fish management team are without doubt absolute experts in their field. Creating the world’s most prolific, most densely stocked stillwater with huge average size fish is not just simply a case of ‘dig a pond and fill it with fish.’
Many factors would have to have been carefully considered in order to create a venue of this stature. In a natural environment such as a river or lake which has not been interfered with by man, the fish and water quality are controlled perfectly by nature. There will be a balance in the ratio of predatory fish to prey fish, number of fish will be balanced to the size of the water body & specific fish species will be in balance with how much oxygen they require to how much oxygen the water body absorbs.
Without going any deeper into the sciences behind water quality, specific fish requirements & ecology – you don’t have to be a water or fish biologist to now understand that as soon as humans interfere with just one aspect of these natural balances – they then have to alter every other natural balance to compensate. Playing God with nature in this respect is extremely difficult to pull off without killing the entire fish population, hence why Bungsamran is such a unique mixture of rare & unequalled fishing pleasure.
108lb Giant Siamese Carp
Fish Species in Bungsamran
The most predominant specie in Bungsamran & perhaps what makes the fishing in Bangkok so enjoyable & unique is the Mekong giant catfish. There are far greater numbers of this specie than any other in Bungsamran due to a number of factors. This hardy fish has low oxygen requirements, can live contently with an over stocking of fish, can put up well with being caught & returned and pound for pound is one of the most powerful freshwater fish any angler will come up against.
There are less numbers of giant Siamese carp in Bungsamran mainly due to the more particular water quality & habitat requirements of the giant Siamese carp. To learn more about these & other incredible species found in Bungsamran & other fish species of Thailand look at ‘ freshwater fish of Thailand ’ section of this website.
To summarise Bungsamran & fishing in Bangkok: Bungsamran unquestionably offers the most prolific freshwater fishing in Bangkok, certainly the most prolific freshwater fishing in Thailand, probably the most prolific freshwater fishing in Asia and maybe the most prolific freshwater fishing in the world!
Bungsamran means 'luxury lake' - 'Bung' means 'lake' & 'sam ran' means 'luxury.' However you are likely to see Bungsamran spelt Bungsamlan or Bung Sam Lan or Bung Sam Ran. When written in Thai there is only 1 correct spelling, however when writing Thai names or words in English there is no 1 correct version. This is because Englsih has a different alphabet system and characters to Thai; therefore we have to spell it as it sounds. The most correct version which is not often seen would actually be Beung Sam Ran. The reason why 'ran' is often mistakingly written as 'lan' is because in every day Thai - the 'R' is pronounced as 'L.'
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Target Fish Species In Bungsamran
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