I must admit that I have a bit of an obsessive personality and it has on occasions gotten the best of me in fishing as well as other areas in life. But sometimes if the signs are there, it does pay to be a stubborn bastard once in a while. The day was the 11th of September 2012. I was in Kaeng Krajan Reservoir again. In the past four months I have spent at least a day or two there almost every single week with the exception of maybe three weeks in total. If you haven’t noticed I’m a little obsessed with fry stalking for giant snakehead trophies.
It’s quite funny when you think about it: as a fisherman I spend all this money and so many hours of my life driving across provinces, hours upon hours in the sun, rain and storm, for what? To catch a fish that I wouldn’t even keep. Of course people would think us sports fishermen are a crazy bunch; we probably are but hey, it makes us happy somehow. I guess it is a whole lot of factors and in a way an analogy for life. Happiness is proportional to the amount of effort you put into something and then succeed.
On this past 11th of September 2012 I was out in Kaeng Krajan with Ae again. This time round I was accompanied by cousin Wize. Fry stalking season is still happening in full force so that was on the agenda as per usual. I can’t help it, the enjoyment of just knowing that any of the casts can be the one really is something that gets the heart rate going.
The amount of time spent fry stalking varies according to how experienced the parents are and whether they have been caught before. I’ve been lucky enough to get a bite once within the first minute of the stalk but my longest was an hour and a half.
The stalk started closer to the shallows but ended midwater about 500 meters from where the stalk had started. Usually we’d give up after an hour but for some reason the parents kept showing positive signs of striking so we followed. To make matters worse there was barely any cloud cover and the Thai sun was piercing down its hot unforgiving rays. It was a little rough but at least there was no wind so we had good visibility of the fry.
By three hours and fifteen minutes the fish finally took the lure. The entire boat was ecstatic and surprised. My cousin had already lost hope after the first two hours. Ae was getting ready to take us back to shore for lunch. I too was a little surprised. It was a male giant snakehead, significantly smaller than its mate. It definitely was not the biggest snakehead I’ve ever caught but after over three hours of stalking I was as happy as I was when I landed my first ever trophy several years back. After taking some photos and then releasing the chado, I turned to Ae and asked him, “so, what’s the longest successful stalk you’ve ever witnessed?” To which he replied, “that”.