Mae Klong & Bang Pakong River Fishing Thailand
The Mae Klong River at Samut Songkhram province of Thailand & the Bangpakong River at Chaochoengsao province holds freshwater stingray to unimaginable sizes. Reports of 250Kg (550lb) freshwater stingray are not myths; and are known to grow in excess of 500Kg (1100lb). It is on this river that we invite you to join the Fish Thailand Team in search of the biggest freshwater fish on the planet.
Mae Klong & Bang Pakong River Freshwater Stingray Fishing in Thailand
THE MIGHTY FRESHWATER STINGRAY
The fighting characteristic of a hooked freshwater stingray is like no other freshwater fish. Being exclusively a bottom feeder, it instantly has the ability to 'suck' onto the river bed. The morphology of the freshwater stingray allows it to use it's giant, flat body shape to remain in this unshakeable immovable state. The fight at this point has not really begun at all until the angler manages to assert enough pressure on the fish resulting in it breaking it's hold on the bottom, forcing the fish to adjust it's position. In making this adjustment a short opportunity is created to started pumping the fish up off the river bed.
PLAYING TECHNIQUES - PULL, TUG, HEAVE & PUMP
There is of course more to playing a freshwater stingray than the above but the above must at all times be included! No other freshwater fishing for any other freshwater species requires this much force to be applied to the fish. Once the fish has attained it's powerful suction on the river bed the next stage is to pump rod and reel under immense strain until the entire paraphernalia is locked; it will seem that no more strain can possibly be exerted - now pull harder. At the point of exhaustion under maximum pressure, the fish will be forced to adjust position as described in the above paragraph; now the pumping technique is executed. All anglers will know the repetitive technique of reeling the rod down and pumping the fish up, this is no different, only unimaginably tiring under unthinkable physical strain. Small freshwater stingray under 100lb could then be pumped to the side of the boat and the battle won; however with anything larger and on occasions smaller than 100lb - the angler will most likely be beaten into submission and the fish will beat it's way back to the sanctuary of the river bed; the fight begins again from stage one unless a guide or fellow team member takes over.
FRESHWATER STINGRAY FISHING TACKLE
Sponsored by Penn Fish Thailand have the very best big game rods and reels for the job. The very best quality swivels are crimped to one end of the trace and a size 6/0 Kudako hook is crimped to the other. A smaller swivel is added above the wire trace, free running up and down the braided mainline; to this our 1kg iron weights are tied using elastic bands or 10lb monofilament. The weight will therefore be broken away during the fight reducing the danger of flying weights as the fish is played to the boat. 5ft 80lb-100lb class rods balance the setup perfectly, it is scary how much pressure can be applied to this setup. Each of Fish Thailand's freshwater stingray rod setups is staggeringly expensive - because it has to be. Anything of less quality will simply not land freshwater stingray over 200lb - without being played through both day & night. With the exception of truly gigantic fish weighing several hundred pounds, there is no need to play freshwater stingray for 10 hours or more with correct & quality tackle.
GUIDES & SAFETY
A thorough risk assessment has been undertaken by Fish Thailand to identify and reduce all the risks associated with freshwater stingray fishing. Our skipper continually maneuvers the boat during the fight to keep the angle of tension between the fish and boat at 90 degrees, therefore with the angler sitting in the center of the boat facing the side; the direction of pull between fish and angler remains straight. This is critical to prevent the rod butt being pulled out of the fighting belt and twisting the angler around. Our fighting belts are large padded waist belts for the rod butt to align into the cross section preventing the rod from twisting around. The angler is in no way ever fixed to the rod or reel nor is the rod fixed to belt - at any point the rod can be 'released.' Two more Fish Thailand guides will sit either side of the angler supporting the rod if requested and at points of immense pulling one guide will sit directly behind the angler giving support. Our heavy leads used to hold bottom on the river bed are attached to the main line either with elastic bands or light monofilament, causing the lead to break away in the fight and not become a hazard. The barb of the stingray is secured safely by our guides as the fish comes close enough to the boat; all handling of the fish until it is safely secured is carried out by Fish Thailand guides. All these procedures also ensures the safety of the beautiful freshwater stingray - all our captures without exception are returned alive.
FRESHWATER STINGRAY FISHING BOAT
Powered by a Toyota Camry 1.5 litre engine adapted to a long-tail propeller, our boat is more than steady enough for these heavy duty fish fights. Strong & stable with plenty of padded seating aboard the boat also has a collapsible roof creating relief from Thailand's strong sunshine; easily becoming a 'convertible' when a fish is hooked.
TIDES, TIMES & CONDITIONS
Moon phases have a direct and significant effect on tides which in turn have an effect on freshwater stingray fishing. Wind, rain & temperature plays a surprisingly small role on the fishing but the tide is the primary determining factor for successful fishing. From low tide a slow turn to incoming tide followed by a drawn out run of water will allow for a good 6-7 hours of fishing before high tide - this is perfect - refered to as 'good water.' To have 4-5 hours of 'good water' is deemed fishable but if there is less than 4 hours of 'good water' the chances are slim. Fish Thailand guides and boatsmen will know upto 5 days in advance what the conditions and therefore chances of a hookup are going to be. Flexibility is the key to success when booking a fishing trip and if the tides are not favourable for the proposed day then a substitute day is strongly advised to have available.
Contact us if you like to discuss any details of the fishing tours with us or if you like to book with us right away. We'll contact you back immediately! For informative and detailed booking, look here.
Target Fish Species In Mae Klong & Bang Pakong River
© Copyright 2006 by Eddie Mounce.
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TAT Licence No. 11/3447
Fish (Thailand) Co., Ltd.