A Little History…
Before developing Teak Tree, I had spent many years traveling the globe in the quest for big fish, but here in Thailand it is possible to buy many different species of fish from all over the world. Many of these can grow to enormous sizes, so here it’s possible to have the huge fish that you want to catch swimming around in your own lake, thus reducing travel time! (That’s a joke).
A lot of tropical freshwater fish have the capability to grow to enormous sizes. Given the tropical climate that we have here in Chiang Mai the fish reach their potential here very quickly. The waters of Northern Thailand are rich in food from algae, plankton, shrimp and freshwater crab and other crustaceans as well as an abundance of fish fry, so really a Thai tropical lake is more like a sort of fish soup, feeding on itself – sort of like a living clam chowder.
In February 2006 an existing lake on a piece of land advertised by a Bangkok Bank roused my curiosity. After taking a long look at the land, and researching the area, wheels were set in motion to buy. When the deal was completed the land office finally came to mark the boundaries. It was at this point we found the land on the south shore of the lake did not belong to us!
After the initial shock we had to track down the land owner and make an offer – without seeming too keen. As luck would have it he was happy to sell at a reasonable price, and it was now possible to put a wall right round our property (as opposed to it cutting the lake in two) – to our great relief! At this point we were also approached by the owners of some land at the eastern end of the lake, wanting to sell us another strip of land. This turned out to be a very useful area for building some stock ponds and eventually it became the ideal spot to build our own house.
The existing lake had stood for 15 years, having being created by the landowner stripping and selling the soil – quite a common practice out here. He had managed to get to a depth of 3 metres without problem, but when he went further the groundwater welled up, creating the lake. The abandoned lake then fell victim to the usual fly tipping antics, with locals using it as convenient place to discard their rubbish.
When we took over the lake a huge clean-up job was necessary; mostly by yours truly. Fortunately, water quality was good due to regular inflows from the canals . Over the years water had flooded into the lake from a series of irrigation canals bringing many native Thai fish species direct from the Ping river. Much work had to be done before stocking could take place in any numbers, but of course I could not help myself, whenever passing an aquarium shop something had to come back to the lake, being an avid pike angler in the UK Alligator Gar were my first fish stocked as they resemble pike, but can grow to a huge size.
With the lake mostly cleared the next job was to get a wall built around the area. Hardcore and rubble had to be compacted before wall building could commence, all 800 meters of it… Privacy has a cost!. Construction on the two bungalows and the lake widening were started simultaneously to speed up the development, the whole area looked like ground zero after scrub had been cleared and the lake widened, but once building commenced things started to take shape fairly quickly.
The first real stocking was towards the end of the first year when thousands of fry from different Thai species where introduced. These included Rohu, Small Scale Mud Carp, Common Carp, Silver Carp, Giant Siamese Carp, Black Minnow Shark, and of course Tilapia – as food stuff for the predators. These were followed by a batch of Sorubim, Amazon Red-tails, and Shovel Nosed Tiger Catfish up to 1 metre long. The following year some larger Siamese Carp, up to 20kg, were sourced and introduced, along with some Arapaima.
There has been an on-going stocking program ever since, with ever more exotic species being introduced, including Dorado, Peacock Bass, Goonch, and countless others. Our original stock of Siamese Carp are now in excess of 50lb, we have home grown Indian Carp to over 37lb, Tambaqui 30lb, Ripsaw Catfish 30lb, Amazon Red-tails over 100lb, Sorubim to 50lb+, and Arapaima to over 200lb. Teak Tree Lake is also the home to 5 IGFA world records for some of the smaller Thai fish species. At last count there was some 38 fish species in the lake.
As you can probably see, I am trying to create a mixed fishery with many different species with a balance between predators and prey. So, if you want to enjoy your fishing in privacy, with luxurious accommodation, in a tranquil Northern Thailand setting, and with the chance to catch some very large exotic fish of many different species, you are in luck!
While you are with us you will also be fed some delicious Thai cuisine (Noon, my wife, is a great cook – and I’m not just saying that because I married her!). We’re only twenty minutes from Chiang Mai airport, but truly in the beautiful Thai countryside – the best of both worlds in my opinion; I hope you will agree. If you do come and join us at Teak Tree Lake you can be sure that you will be looked after very well. Come and see us soon…
Find out more about me and Noon by clicking here