Fishing in Thailand – Options To Consider

Thailand is an incredible holiday destination known for its tropical beaches, luxurious royal palaces, ancient ruins and temples as well as some exceptional freshwater fishing opportunities such as Giant Snakehead and Hampala Barb (Jungle Perch). For visitors with an interest in fishing however, Thailand also provides exceptional freshwater angling experiences with species like Giant Snakehead and Hampala Barb (Jungle Perch).

Visitors can experience both native and exotic fish at various specialized fishing parks and ponds that provide upkeep services while assuring high levels of quality.


Marine waters throughout contain an array of exotic species that will delight anglers of all skill levels. For an exhilarating experience, seek out one of many specialized fishing parks or lake resorts which feature exotic species like Barramundi, Siamese Carp, Julien’s Catfish or even world-famous Arapaima fish ponds – for added challenge try heading there instead of to fishing spots!

Lake resorts typically offer packages that include accommodation and the chance to fish for various species in their ponds. Many even provide fishing guides so you can make the most out of your trip, while depending on which package you select they may also provide transport directly from and to their lakes.

If you’re seeking an easier fishing experience, consider targeting one of Thailand’s many saltwater species – Sailfish and Mahi Mahi are popular choices, while Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, etc. can all be found around Phuket and throughout southern Thailand.

Marine fish stocks have been depleting due to overfishing and other factors like illegal fishing and human trafficking. Since 2015, government reforms have been put in place in an attempt to address this problem, including downsizing vessels and replacing maximum economic yield with maximum sustainable yield.

One major challenge facing Thai marine fisheries is the widespread use of bottom trawlers, which scour the seabed for large species while simultaneously damaging coral reefs – this practice has been blamed for mackerel population decreases and coral destruction, among other damage.

Thailand’s oceans and wildlife appear to be benefiting from years of stricter fisheries management practices, with dolphin numbers increasing near shore in Songkhla and mackerel catches beginning a rebound. Furthermore, Thailand has implemented a ban on new trawlers while attempting to buy out existing ones, banned purchasing undersized seafood products, as well as calling for truthful labeling of marine products.

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There are lakes and ponds all across the country that teem with life ranging from tiny fry to giant freshwater fish, migrating between various ponds or rivers depending on the season. Some lakes are deep and sheltered enough to provide an oasis of solitude where earthworms and simple rigs may be all that’s necessary to capture some quality specimens.

However, Thailand’s famed inland lakes truly draw anglers in. Some have become world-famous for the exotic species they contain and offer an unforgettable fishing experience. Some notable lakes such as Bang Pakong River and Nakorn Nayok boast great populations of Giant Freshwater Stingray that provide anglers with some incredible fights – all year long though March to May is generally recommended as optimal hunting seasons for them.

Lakes also host Siamese Carp, Juliens Carp and Snakehead fish that can all be targeted with lures or fly rods. Some shallow bodies of water provide easy visibility of fish while others are deeper and hidden among vegetation; either way there’s plenty of variety here to choose from and experience! Having said that, just go out there and test your luck!

Thailand trips with our company come equipped with all of the fishing tackle, bait and lures necessary to catch whatever species of fish are on your list. That way, all you have to worry about is fishing while we handle trip planning for you. However, should you wish to bring in your own gear (rigs/lures), we welcome this however our guides are experts in their fields and can offer helpful advice as to which pieces might work best.

Thailand is home to some acclaimed freshwater resorts, many of which can be found around Bangkok and Phuket in the south, but there are numerous others which receive far fewer visitors and provide an unspoiled wilderness experience, often closer to Laos or Myanmar borders and tend to be slightly more costly but may provide you with an opportunity for something truly spectacular to land!

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Lake Resorts

Thailand boasts miles of coasts and numerous lakes, making it the perfect backdrop for floating or over-water accommodations. Keen anglers looking for the thrill of sleeping with water lapping beneath them should visit Rungaroon Fishing Resort in Singburi – wooden bungalows built directly onto lotus-filled lakes provide guests with easy access to rent equipment directly from their balcony and fish directly.

Khao Sok Smiley Lake House, an innovative resort on Cheow Lan Lake in southern Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park, features rooms that resemble vintage train carriages with dramatic paneling adorned with scenic wallpaper, lake-view balconies, and a small pool – not forgetting Somying restaurant and Terminus Bar with interiors inspired by classic railcars!

Near the impressive Kaeng Krachan National Park is this boutique resort which provides an exciting floating accommodation option. Safely docked, its roomy antique boathouses evoke pirate ships with decor such as oars, tillers, compasses and lifebuoys as decor reminiscent of pirate ships. There are different room types available – some come equipped with private bathrooms and even Jacuzzis! During your stay you can swim, kayak and join trips through lush rainforest regions while dining on board at its raft restaurant-cum-bar!

An exceptional feature of this resort is the small lake within it that boasts 27 different fish species weighing up to 45lb, providing the ideal place for light fishing after tackling Gillhams Lake in the north. Explore nearby rainforest on foot or by boat; visit coral cave; or head off on an outing to a waterfall – for an aquatic escape that will certainly put a smile on your face – it truly makes for an incredible aquatic getaway – an unmissable hidden gem!

Fishing Restrictions

Thailand is an attractive fishing destination with numerous opportunities. Ranging from recreational rod fishing to specialized fly-fishing tours, with plenty of ponds, rivers and seas providing ample fishing spots and services supporting this sport. However, it is vital that visitors adhere to local regulations in order to sustain healthy populations of fish populations as well as protect sensitive areas and species.

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Recreational fishermen must obtain a valid fishing license, available from specific stores. Rod fishing isn’t allowed in national parks or marine reserves and the capture of endangered species is strictly forbidden. Seasonal restrictions might also be in place as well as size limits on some species – for safety, it’s wise to always consult up-to-date information before heading out, in order to avoid penalties or fines that might come their way.

Fishing in Thailand is an integral component of its economy, supporting over 174,000 jobs directly within its fisheries sector and an estimated total of half a million others involved in supporting industries, such as processing or other related activities, who together make a contribution of 2.4 billion Thai Baht to GDP each year.

Thailand has made great strides toward creating a legally sustainable and ethical seafood industry, which deserves applause. Reversing these reforms would set Thailand’s fishing industry back decades at a time when global seafood trade is increasingly moving toward greater transparency and accountability.

Reintroducing at-sea trans-shipment would greatly undermine transparency, making it harder for enforcement and monitoring agencies to verify whether the fisheries sector complies with international labor standards such as those outlined by ILO Convention No. 188 (C188). Migrant workers would become vulnerable to being exploited under substandard working and living conditions; major international seafood companies might opt out of purchasing Thai produce altogether as a result.

To avoid negative impacts, any revisions to laws and regulations governing fisheries should be carried out through a participatory process with substantial involvement of all relevant parties including commercial fishermen, artisanal fishers, seafood producers, civil society organisations, trade unions, migrant worker representatives and their families. Doing this will allow Thailand to retain its standing as an internationally respected producer both for quality produce but also in terms of ethical business practices.

About the author


I love to travel and explore new places around the world. Meeting different people from various intercultural background and spending time with locals is something that makes me feel great. You can connect with me at Google+ or follow me on Twitter.