They are finally here! The Mekong giant catfish and striped catfish have escaped from the farms and reservoirs. Some of them have somehow made their way into Saen Saeb canal that cuts through Bangkok.
Growing up and studying at the New International School of Thailand (NIST) located right next to the canal, I’ve seen and heard about some seriously nasty shit coming out of those black waters. One of the teachers at my old school once fell in for a few seconds and had to be hospitalized due to the bacteria in the water. I’ve actually seen dead dogs float in the black waters a couple of times and it’s a pretty nasty sight!
Then things started changing, water controls improved enough for some forms of catfish to survive but that canal still stinks. People were fishing a bit but they usually ended up with really dirty looking walking catfishes.
Now, thanks to this flood, some of the big catfish are now swimming around. Opportunists have gathered with their spearguns and fishing rods to catch a fish big enough to feed them for several meals at a time.
The majority of these fishermen are fishing the “cheating way”; they are deliberately putting on about six bare hooks on their line to intentionally foul hook the fish in. As a fisherman I do not approve of such method but oh well, I fish for sport.
Check out these pictures that my family friend, Uncle Steve Santikarn, has taken from the Saen Saeb Canal at the end of Sukhumvit soi 11. There have been reports of the Mekong giant catfish getting caught too but I have yet to see any pictures. These pictures feature only striped catfish but sooner or later someone’s going to pull out a giant and get it photographed!