Snakehead Fishing Cheow Lan Lake

photo of snakehead fishing scenery southern ThailandOne of the most pristine fishing lakes in Thailand is the Cheow Lan reservoir. The lake is huge and the scenery is truly spectacular. The location is out of the way and to get to the best spots its important to use local guides unless your time is unlimited and you can explore at your own leisure.

Most of the lake is within the boundaries of a national park and private boats are not permitted. To get anywhere other than the dam wall or the boat pier you will need to hire a local boat and guide. Our customer Flemming had only 1 night to spare on his family holiday to Phuket and we arranged to bring him to the lake to try for his target species of Giant snakehead.

Casting lures for Giant Snakehead at Cheow Lan lake in Southern Thailand

Hard constant casting is needed for snakehead fishing. There is never any guarantee with snakeheads and they are notoriously un-predictable. On slow days it can almost seem pointless until “Blam” startling explosion on topwater, your into a fish. Patience and concentration are both as important as casting accuracy

An early start out from Phuket, a couple hour chauffeured drive up to the boat pier at Cheow lan and a hop to the best raft venue on the lake left just time for lunch before setting out for the afternoon session.

Flemming being an experienced lure and fly angler did not take long to settle into topwater lure fishing. Casting the Toxic Toad with buzzblade attached he hooked into a nice Giant Snakehead in the late afternoon.


Guides will always help and direct the best lure choices, its important to take into consideration local knowledge of what lures work best. The terrain around the edges of Cheow lan lake are so widely varied that you may find your self wanting to change from frog to popper to diving to buzzbait and so on at each new spot. Choosing a lure a sticking with it so as to get comfortable and in “the casting zone” can greatly increase your catching chances. Constantly changing lures on a whim takes time and time out of the water is wasted. Many visiting anglers bring boxes of favourite lures which are effective in their local waters. Hoping that the Thai fish will jump at them it can be a bit dis-heartening when the first few casts don’t get a strike. A note here is to always be prepared to try your own thing but listening to locals and guides is usually the best start any visiting angler can make.

The fishing is non stop once your out on the water. The boatmen will usually move from spot to spot quickly usually with only one pass. If your not tackled up and on point the cast you were eyeing up is missed. Unless there is obvious fish activity in the area its on to the next spot. Fishy looking spots are never ending and just around every corner. The lake is vast and really takes days to get a bearing of what is where. The mountains and jungle constantly shift in shades of beauty through the light of the day. Dawn and dusk are usually the snakeheads favourite feeding times and also the most spectacular times out on the lake. Sun rise and sun set brings bursting colours  making the scenery even more spectacular.

Amazing sunset at Cheow Lan fishing lake Thailand

Cheow Lan lake is a place of stunning natural beauty. Thick jungle surrounds you on all sides of the water. wildlife is plentiful and many interesting species can bee seen.

Jungle Perch caught fishing with Monster Catcher popper lure

The shore line of the Cheow lan lake is a mix and muddle of sunken snags like fallen trees and bamboo, Muddy banks and sandy shingle shore, limestone outcrops , rock slides, thick blanket weed beds and huge patches of water vegetation all intermingling to a never ending view of coves, gullies and bays.

Flemming did everything right and combined spot on casting skills using a Thai handmade Toxic Toad lure to bag his Giant snakehead. After that switching to popping with a Maniac Monster catcher dodging the thick weed beds giving good sight to the Owner treble hooks. He landed a nice Jungle perch to finish off his whistle stop fishing tour of Cheow Lan lake.

Jungle Perch caught with Maniac Monster Catcher Lure

Jungle Perch caught on topwater lure. Maniac Popper Monster Catcher at Cheow Lan lake Southern Thailand