The Mekong Catfish is a freshwater fish species in the Shark Catfish family, native to the Mekong River basin in Thailand, Southeast Asia and adjacent China. They live primarily in the river’s main channel, where the water depth is over 10m and are found in isolated pockets. They are distinguished from other large catfish species by the near-total lack of barbels and the absence of teeth.
Sadly, the species is considered critically endangered due to accelerating habitat loss; being highly migratory, they travel considerable distances to spawn, so infrastructure development such as dams have blocked migration routes and isolated some populations. Scientists estimate that the total number of Mekong have decreased by around 90% in the last decade. To help protect them, they have been stocked into a wide range of man-made lakes across Thailand and have thrived in such environments.
The Mekong Catfish are one of the biggest freshwater fish globally and are considered the true heavyweight champions. In fact, in 2005, they held a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest freshwater fish ever recorded, with a nine-foot-long individual caught in northern Thailand, weighing in at an astounding 646lb. Thanks to the stocking in places like Bungsamlan and Ghillams resort, anglers still have the opportunity to do battle with this unique species.
Below are the top destinations in the world for Mekong Catfish Fishing.
The beautiful Gillhams fishing lake resort is located in the stunning area of Krabi Southern Thailand and is surrounded by limescale Karsts which are covered in a protected tropical rain forest. The resort can cater for single anglers, pairs, groups and we can also arrange full lake exclusivity.
Exclusive to Sportquest Holidays, we have teamed up with our guides in Thailand. We are very pleased to offer you this unique chance of fishing for lots of different species from different lakes around the magnificent city of Bangkok. One day you could be fishing for 140kg Arapaima, the next Alligator Gar to 30kg.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 94%
"Just stayed 10 nights at Gillham's and could not have been happier. Thank you Stuart, Sean, and the rest of the crew for all your help. Best place in the world for an opportunity to catch (and photograph) your favourite big fish. Arapaima, giant Siamese carp, Mekong catfish to name just a few. 48+ species, several over 100lbs, and a few world records all at one location. Scenery, food, staff, and accommodation all excellent. Free wi-fi. And only a few kms to some of the most beautiful beaches in the planet. Spend a few minutes on the website to learn about the resort, amenities, fishing guidelines, species, etc. If you enjoy fishing, go to Gillhams!"
"What a great place, people so friendly. fishing guides the greates, pool to relax after(you will need it after you catch a mekong). beutiful setting, great for me and the wife who does not fish, every one so helpful. Ended up the highlight of my 21 day Thailand trip, if you love to fish give it a go, i will return, the big one awaits me. caught fish up tp 300lb, so cool, listen to guides they help so much, words can not explain what you get. the addrenalin rush when your line takes off."
"This place is amazing!! This is a paradise for every angler!! my boyfriend and i stayed the for 3 nights last week and we can't complain. He caught 13 fishes in 3 days including 80-85 kg Arapaima. People who work there are so friendly and they are always there for you. I'm not fishing but you can use infinity pool and free wifi plus you can enjoy watching your man fishing many different huge fishes. We definitely coming back next year. Thank you very much Sportquest!!"