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Bowlers Thai Fishing

Firstly, and for the record, I have absolutely no association with Martin Bowler( unfortunately).
But just returned from a 2 week trip to Thailand that I booked through Martin Bowler/ Bowlers Thai fishing and credit where it's due the whole thing was excellent, with his wife Jo doing most of the admin side and an absolute pleasure to deal with. Went with the missus( coals to Newcastle and all that..) who's not remotely interested in fishing so had to be balanced re fishing time but managed to get 7 1/2 days in 14 so that was a result!
Stayed at Jurassic Mountain and as a resort it was superb - beautiful place, well run and maintained. Accommodation is excellent, food & beer great and OK you pay a bit more but still reasonable - pint lager about £4 and a Thai meal about £6 - get into the local towns and you can half that and some, but it worked for us, but taxis are cheap and easy to arrange at the resort.
Fishing was harder than I thought it would be but I'm not a carp angler, I'm a river man so used to a challenge.
Gear was pretty good and mostly provided although MB did advise me to take some stuff of my own e.g. wide PVA-you go through a lot and expensive at the resort
I was lucky enough to hook and land 2 arapaima, one was 150lb, other 250lb
this is brutal in 30degree heat, the biggie took over 2 hours to land
Also had a reasonable amount of siamese carp and red-tail catfish that all pull like mad
It was our first time in Thailand so nothing to compare against but heard a lot of good things about other venues such as EFT, Gillhams, Palm Tree Lagoon, Top Cat etc - it seems they all have slightly different niches but could not fault Jurassic and it was very reasonable doing it through Bowlers for what you got. Jo is very approachable and really did nail the little details that can make or break a trip. Martin did call me just before I left the UK and was happy to chat for an hour about tactics/swims and honestly he put me on that big fish with some critical advice that I didn't get off the ghillies.

We're often quick to criticize and slow to praise but I thought I'd put this up here just in case anyone is thinking of a trip anytime soon as from my experience it was just perfect and I really can't praise Bowler fishing enough and would recommend giving them a try.

Finally they managed to get me a day and a half with John Wilson on his private lake. He is my angling hero having been brought up on 'Go Fishing' and I was bricking it meeting him. What an absolute legend - there was just me, my missus, JW and his dogs - he put me on a load of fish, was happy to talk fishing( not a fan of otters:D:D) and was just a great host and a really good laugh and very , very interesting man who couldn't seem to comprehend just how big an influence he is on generations of UK anglers.
Unfortunately he's packing it in as he's 74 and just wants to chill out, so we were very lucky.Still can't believe it.
And his favourite ever programme he filmed was the same as mine " Weirpool Magic" - who'd have thunk it?
Excellent write up Paul. I have an older borther living in Thailand who keeps asking me to go over, I have looked at MB's place a few times and have been temepted though the wife is not keen, hates the heat and fishing :(
Thanks guys, glad it's been useful
Re the wife thing - my wife is the original fishing widow but knows I'm a better person for going fishing;she has no interest whatsoever in my angling. However when she got to Jurassic Mountain she absolutely loved it and claimed she had never been so relaxed. I was up at 6.30 -fishing at 7 - she wouldn't appear til 10ish( and this is out of character for her), come up to the peg, have a cuppa then go back for a 1 hour massage. There were other wives there and they soon formed a coven and that was that. I'd see her after fishing at 6.30, have a shower then drinks,meal,trip into the local town etc..just like any other holiday
Put it this way , she was so relaxed she actually told me to book another day's fishing when the itinerary was day-off/ go shopping, visit a temple etc..needless to say I didn't need asking twice
re the heat - it was high 20's/30 degrees in December but all the pegs have salas( teak shelters) where you can keep cool
The resort bit has loads of shade from banana/coconut trees and a lovely pool.Beautifully maintained and manicured.
Even though there were lads in groups, it never got lairy and the banter in the bar was good
I heard that Gilhams is excellent but is a bit more 'carpy' with it's clientele, and can get a bit livelier if that's what you're after.
it sounds too patronizing to describe the fishing but we all love the buzz of a barbel and screaming clutches..but the big arapaima destroyed the clutch in a baitrunner and they replaced it after I landed it. Need I say any more.
you need to experience it as you-tube and me blabbing on doesn't come close.
It's all true Gavin, her crowning glory was drinking for most of the day with JW and chucking up in the hotel room afterwards, claiming she was allergic to white wine - the 10ltrs of chardonnay they quaffed had nothing to do with it!
You can take the girl out of the North East.....
We are seriously considering booking again, and Mrs R is behind it, but need to see how the bank of ricko looks
Only negative is long-haul in cattle class when you're big boned like me.