Bungsamran will need no introduction to keen fishermen, tucked away in North-Eastern Bangkok, opened 6th April 1984, it’s the best known fishing park in Thailand. They claim they have Mekong giant catfish exceeding 330lb and giant Siamese carp pushing 350lb. It’s not cheap for foreigners to fish here, foreigners pay five times the price that Thai nationals pay.
You will need some strong tackle to fish Bungsamran, the fish have a reputation for breaking line, snapping rods and destroying reels. I recommend minimum 50lb tackle, 60lb-80lb or PE6 – PE8 is optimum. The reason for the very strong tackle is that there are many support pilings for the pier and bungalows and you may need to apply considerable force to persuade fish away from these underwater hazards.
For your first visit I would recommend hiring a guide, the technique for fishing Bungsamran is quite specific and you are unlikely to catch many fish without one. If you don’t employ the services of a guide, the preferred set up to catch Mekongs is as follows. A large float on the main line, an elastic band or float stopper 6′-10′ (2m-3m) above the float, a large feeder and 4″-6″ (10cm-15cm) braided hook link with size 17 hook. In the absence of any bait on the hook polystyrene balls can be used to make it neutrally buoyant.
If you are after Mekong catfish or Siamese carp it’s probably best to use rice husks as bait. Using breadskins, will probably hook you more fish, but a higher proportion will be striped catfish and you are less likely to catch a Siamese carp. We have tried many different bait flavourings added to the rice husks but none appear to make much difference. The flavourings do seem to make a difference with breadskins, buttermilk being a perennial favourite.
Update 17th January 2017. Bungsamran is closing on 30th March 2017. The owners are opening a new fishing park approximately 30km East of the current location on 31st March 2017. The location of the new Bungsamran is 13.81875 N, 100.93955 E. For further details see the New Bungsamran page.
Location: 13.79913 N, 100.66333 E (see below for map)
Cost: Foreigners ฿2,000, Thais ฿400 per 12 hour session (9am-9pm or 9pm-9am). Bait (ground rice husks) large bag (25kg) ฿620, small bag (approx 2.5kg) ฿60. Ready prepared and highly scented (approx 10kg) bucket of rice husks ฿520. Bag of breadskins or breadcrumbs ฿60. Bottle of bait flavouring ฿30. Rod rental ฿600 (deposit ฿1,000). Net rental ฿60 (deposit ฿200). Bungalows ฿600-฿5,000 per 12 hours (9am-9pm or 9pm-9am). Foreigners can fish for the Thai rate of ฿400 if they can show a valid work permit or have a Thai driving licence. Bungsamran operates a member card system whereby foreign residents can pay ฿10,000/year then pay ฿400 per session to fish. The card also gives 10% discount on bungalow rental.
Size: approx 200m x 250m
Guides: yes ฿1,000, beware they only work until 5pm
Species: striped catfish, Mekong giant catfish, Siamese giant carp, Chao Phraya catfish, alligator gar, pacu, giant gourami, featherback, Nile tilapia, arapaima, silver barb.
Food and drinks: Available, pleasant restaurant area, also delivery to the pier and bungalows. There is a shop at the entrance selling very reasonably priced drinks and snacks e.g. Gatorade ฿25, 1.5l bottle of water ฿15.
Other facilities: bungalows for rent (฿600-฿5,000), pool tables, massage parlour, small tackle shop.
Opening hours: open 24 hours
Telephone: 02 734 9272, Fax: 02 734 9271
Bungsamran guided tours from Pattaya
Bungsamran latest catch reports
Also see Bangkokhooker’s excellent guide to catching Mekong giant catfish.