The huge 160sq km lake was created when the dam was built to generate electricity in 1987.
The scenery is breathtaking with picturesque jungle-covered mountains surrounding the lake. The dense rainforest provides a home for some amazing wildlife, including wild elephants, otters, monkeys, bears and countless bird species. This really is pristine jungle at its best.
Fishing is done from long tail boats piloted by local guides who know the waters like the backs of their hands. There are no hydrographic maps here; local knowledge is essential as you definitely wouldn’t want to run into an underwater hazard in such a remote area.
A two- or three-day trip is suggested because a two-hour car ride from Phuket airport, then a lengthy boat ride to prime fishing areas, doesn’t make a one-day trip worthwhile. Local accommodation is available, ranging from Thai style bamboo huts to a recently added air conditioned bungalow resort.
There are many fishing opportunities available. Lure fishing using top water baits to structure or balls of fry is probably the most exciting and productive method. The snakehead guard their fry with a vengeance and will have no qualms attacking a lure they think is a predator trying to devour their young.
Accurate casting is paramount when it comes to catching these fish. Repeated casts to the same target until the fish finally reaches a breaking point make the difference on the catch report at the end of the trip.
Toman as they are also called put up an extremely strong and acrobatic fight and will test any medium- to heavy-action bait casting or spinning equipment. If you’re lucky enough to subdue one of these brutes. then a word of caution when removing hooks: these fish have no qualms about taking a chunk out of your hand or a finger. A Boga grip and long nose pliers are a must.
Another common predator caught on just about any lure is the Hampala Barb, or more aptly named Jungle Perch. They also take top water baits but will take crank baits spoons or just about any minnow-imitating lure.
Remembering the fact that 90 percent of fish come from 10 percent of the water fished makes fishing with a knowledgeable guide essential. If you want to put the odds in your favour, I strongly recommend contacting Neil Robinson www.fishing-khaolak.com, who has fished these waters for years.
This vast area is truly a lure fisherman’s paradise and should not be overlooked by any serious lure casting enthusiast.