Bung Samran Fishing Park is located in Bangkok district Sukhapibahn 1 on Nawamin Road Soi 42 Bung Samran is top of the list for places to fish for Giant Mekong and Striped catfish and Siamese Giant Carp. It measures at it's largest dimensions approx 300m long by 225m wide with a central pier with over 200m length reserved for fishing, the first 20m being a coffee bar and restaurant area.
GPS Coord 13.79858 N, 100.66373E - Google Earth KMZ file is available Here
Cost per Rod is THB 1000 for 12 hours for non-Thai anglers
Cost per Rod is THB 400 for 12 hours for Thai Citizens only
Local Guide is THB 1000+ for the day
Bungalow hire is from THB 800 to THB 5000 - No Charge for Central Pier
Fishing Equipment (Rod, Reel, Line & End Tackle) Hire THB 500 with THB 1000 Deposit
Landing Net Hire THB 60 with THB 200 Deposit
No Rod Licence is required anywhere in Thailand
Bait - 30kg sack of Lam (Rice Bran) is THB 500 and should last at least 2 rods for 12 hours fishing for catfish
The cost for 1 Non-Thai fishing with a guide for a full day on the pier with a Guide would cost over 3000 Thai Baht including 30kg of bait. Very expensive by Thai standards.
I have seen visiting anglers try it alone and come away from Bung Samran without catching any fish at all. The techniques and baits used are fairly specific and get it wrong and the fish will not come near. Although you will pay for the service with a Fishing Guide or Tour Company you will most likely be given the best days fishing you ever had.
All staff can speak enough English to communicate without confusion and all the guides speak enough english to ensure you are looked after. More Info at Bangkok Hooker Fishing
I have included a few photographs (old and new) and a 360 degree panoramas of Bung Samran since the update.. The bungalows and facilities are good enough for the non-angler to have a reasonable time and if you pay a little extra and go for the THB 2000 bungalow/house you get satellite TV, refrigerator, comfy chairs and a bedroom with AC - unbeatable luxury for a fishing park. One point that is worth a mention is the very clean and modern toilet blocks around the lake for ladies and gents - excellent!
There are a lot of female anglers and one tour company has a female guide so the wife or girlfriend will not feel out of place. Click on the bungalow panorama movie below for a look at a THB 1000 baht bungalow - you will notice the amount of space and seating available.
The other panorama movie is a 360 look at Bung Samran from the pier - the pier is free of charge and I have seen some of the biggest catfish caught from here
Bung Samran has the 7 Seas Pro Shop on site and they provide equipment hire, tackle and a wide range of Equipment, Rods and Reels for freshwater and Sea fishing
These clips where filmed at Bung Samran over a couple of fishing trips on my day off . There is a mix of video and photographs which should give an idea of the location and fish you would expect to catch on a trip. There are more videos below on this page to explain some of the techniques and bait preparation and presentation for the various species of fish usually caught at Bung Samran including Giant Mekong Delta Catfish, Giant Siamese Carp and Arapaima.
The local name for this fish is "Pla Buek" and in the wild is a protected species growing up to 300kgs or more. The Giant Mekong Catfish are fished on a catch and release basis without exception and there are several confirmed weights of fish over 120kgs in the lake. The fish are not given names by the locals as in some English and European lakes but any catfish approaching the 80kg plus mark is referred to as "Willie" after the film about the whale "Free Willie"
The Giant Mekong Catfish in the wild is thought to be a bottom feeder but in Bung Samran the majority of these fish are caught in mid water fishing at 2 to 3 meters in depth - Bung Samran is up to 12m in depth at places. The catch statistics from the guides show that with bottom fishing you have a better chance of catching a very large fish but it may not happen all day whereas fishing mid water you will have a full days fishing and still have the chance for a "Willie"
Bait used for the Giant Mekong Catfish is "Lam" or Rice Bran which is the product of the second stage of rice milling where brown rice is milled to white rice after the husk has been removed. This bait has subject to lots of myths about secret recipes, additives and flavours perpetuated by some tour companies. The "Mythbusters" have been in and the truth is that additives and flavours do work sometimes but nobody knows which one will work or when, it is a matter of chance and choice on the day - another reason to have a local guide on the day. The base mix for all recipes is a mix of Lam and water from the lake, often mixed with a little Coconut Cream (shredded coconut and water) or "kati" as the locals call it.
A major part of the mixing of this bait is the texture and liquid content - too wet and sticky and the ball will not break down in the water and will resemble a concrete ball that still looks the same after 3 casts. Too dry and the ball will disintegrate into a dust cloud on casting. Even with the correct mix, the catfish change their preference on tightly packed or lightly packed bait balls - again it is second nature for the local fishermen and guides to run through the known presentations until they hit the one that is working better on that day.
Mekong Catfish Rig Video by Jean Francois Helias
How To Catch and Play A Giant Mekong Catfish by Jean-Francois Helias
The local name for the Giant Siamese Carp is "Pla Kahoe" and is regarded as one of the more difficult of the large fish to catch at Bung Samran. I have seen a few different baits used to catch Siamese Carp, the most successful being:
Lam (rice bran) and Coconut Cream and water from the lake - a damp heavier mix than used for Mekong Catfish.
Lam and water from the lake - This is the standard benchmark mix, quite often the most effective.
Lam and Sugar Cane Juice and water from the lake - This was very effective (Aug - Sept 2008)
Lam and sweetcorn with baby milk feed and flavours - This was very effective (Jan - May 09)
Bread - Tends to be eaten by the smaller residents but Siamese Giant Carp are often caught on bread.
As shown in the video below, size is an important part of the presentation. The problem being that the bigger the ball the harder it is to cast out - a lot of practice is required to achieve a suitable cast - One exceptional guide at Bung Samran is Mr Boonsong who has been seen casting melon sized bait balls out to 30m or more and achieves great results. My first Siamese Giant Carp catch at Bung Samran was down to Mr. Boonsong who guided me through the operation without fault. The current world record for any Carp is for the Giant Siamese Carp.
The IGFA record is held by Terry Robert Mather from the UK and the fish was caught in here at Bungsamran Lake on March 12 2004
The record weight is 52kg or 114.6 lbs. I have seen an 80kg Siamese Giant Carp caught at this lake but as person other than the angler touched the rod and line while the fish was being played it did not qualify for an IGFA record
To be continued - picture of Mad Barb
Some of the gear we where using on our last trip to Bung Samran - I have found the Twin Drag reels to be useful when dealing with the number of large hard fighting fish you get on nearly every trip to the lake. I use the Boss Magnum 870 on the 5 ft catfish rod and a Shimano Baitrunner 6500 for the 6ft carp rod.
More details available at Bangkok Hooker Fishing
A predator fish which is very common in Bungsamran due to the abundant food source of Nile Tilapia. Although great in numbers they are seldom caught as they will not take the baits used for Mekong and Carp. If targeting the species specifically you will more than likely be using lures or live bait but you can get a few takes on chicken fillet.
See my catch reports on My Blog
By John Tomlinson