Chiang Mai Fishing – Fun Day with Kids in Thailand

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Chiang Mai Fishing - Fun Day with Kids in ThailandAs I’ve previously mentioned, there is plenty of things to do in Chiang Mai with Kids. My personal favorite activity was our fruit carving lesson, but if I ventured to guess the kids’ favorite, it would likely be our trip in Chiang Mai fishing.

Fun Day in Chiang Mai Fishing with Kids

These pictures should make that clear. I’m no seasoned angler — aside from catching shrimp in Taiwan, my experience is limited to pulling in a handful of tiny (but tasty) river fish at a Japanese campground.

Chiang Mai Fishing - Fun Day with Kids in ThailandSo imagine my surprise when I see the size of the beasts we’d reel in here: 20 to 35-kilogram Mekong catfish, with golden eyes and sharp bony fins (no whiskers, fortunately — different breed).

Big Game Fishing Adventure

We used the services of Big Game Fishing Adventure Tour, and I’d highly recommend them. Before I continue, however, I should mention that despite the exotic company name, this is essentially the same idea as that Japanese campground where I yanked a few guppies out of the water.

You’re going to a stocked lake, and you don’t have to hack your way through the jungle to reach there — more like a half-hour car ride into the Chiang Mai suburbs.

But what lurks beneath the surface there are no guppies. Some of the fish we caught were almost as big as our girl, and they’re close to pure muscle, so you get a fight when pulling them in.

Chiang Mai Fishing - Fun Day with Kids in ThailandThe family that runs the company was very nice and patient with newbies like us. They baited the hooks and taught us how to cast, hook and reel in the big ones. And we did reel them in — well over a dozen between our kids and I.

Guide helps when needed

Our guide’s name was Ep…at least I thought it was. On their website it says “F,” so maybe we misunderstood him. Anyway, he was great with the kids, helping when they needed help, but also backing off and letting them do all the work when they wanted. He helped us haul the fish out of the water, and then taught us how to get them back in the water safely.

Chiang Mai Fishing - Fun Day with Kids in Thailand

Overcoming challenges

Writer Hanna Rosin recently wrote a great piece in the Atlantic about how children today are not challenged enough. Kids need to experience risk, she says. More importantly, however, is that the child conquer the risky situation on their own.

Whether the risk is actually dangerous isn’t the point. The point is for children to overcome a perceived danger. Something that they themselves feel is dangerous and out of their depth. I think battling a 30-kilo leviathan and wrenching it from the deep — on their own, mind you — might very well qualify as one of these perceived dangers.

Half day of fun

For us, the half-day tour was plenty. Standing in the sun for that long was more than enough. Being there for the sunset really made my day. If you’re in Chiang Mai with kids, this comes highly recommended.

The sun is harsh, though, so bring protection. We brought our own drinks and snacks. If you forget, don’t worry. There is a small snack and drink center there loaded with chips, beer and water. I’d suggest bringing some spare clothes, because after handling a few of these behemoth bottom-feeders, your shirt and shorts will smell like it.

Chiang Mai Fishing - Fun Day with Kids in Thailand