There are many varied fish species in Thailand and therefore many different baits and tactics used to catch them. Here are the some of the more common baits, It is by no means a comprehensive list but it is at least something to think about and a good starting point for anyone who wants to experiment with different combinations and mixtures when fishing in Thailand.
BREAD (Thai – Kanom bang): There are two main types of Bread you can buy in Thailand both are usually mixed with powdered, ground baits or something to add attraction:
The first , which can be bought from most supermarkets is normal sandwich bread which is edible for humans. All the varieties are available, white, wholemeal, rye, thick sliced, thin sliced, no crust, added vitamin aswell as chocolate bread, coconut bread, bread with jam and banana bread.
The second type which is not edible for humans is smell-enhanced bread .This is special bread made to use as fishing bait. It has flavour enhancers mixed into it that make it very potent and not suitable for human consumption. You can buy this bait from any fishing tackle shop aswell as at fishing parks. There are 4 common flavours : banana, vanilla, strawberry and pandan. Its quite easy to tell which is which by the colours.
GROUND OR POWDERED FISHING BAIT ( lam or Lum): This bait is very similar to European groundbait or method mix, can be used alone or mixed with bread and is packed around a feeder and cast into the water. Again they can be purchased from any tackle shop or fishing park. The four main flavours are Banana, Vanilla, Strawberry and pandan but there is also a flovour called Nom meow in Thai which basically translated means Cats Milk. Now.
Fruit baits can be a very good bait to use for certain fish species, obviously very easy to buy as most street corners will have a fruit stall. They need to be chopped and mixed by you. The fruit is then usually mixed with normal unflavoured Sandwich bread. Getting the right mix is important so it will produce a very strong smell that will last a while when submerged in the water. Some popular fruits used are: Raisins, Bananas, Mangoes, Grapes, Apricots, Pineapples, Durian, Jackfruit and Papaya. Experimentation is the key and some will work better than others in different locations or at different times of the year when certain fruits are in season.
SOFT FISHING BAITS : These are easily purchased from markets, they need to be mixed by you into a dough together with normal un-enhanced bread . Some good ones to try are : Coconut milk, Chocolate milk, Creamy Cakes, Eggs, Milk Powder, Butter, Cocoa, Coffee, Cheese, Condensed Milk.
FLOUR FISHING BAITS : Include – Noodle flour, Tapioca flour, Yam flour and Rice flour. These need to be mixed into a dough together with Bread or Powdered bait.
FLAVOURED LIQUIDS FOR MIXING WITH OTHER FISHING BAITS
These small bottles of very strong flavourings can also be bought from most Fishing tackle shops and Fishing parks, although very cheap to buy and come in numerous flavours its easy to get overexcited and add too much of this stuff. Adding to much will distract the fish and will not have the desired effect. If you don’t know how much to use, its best to ask somebody nearby. If there is no one around you can experiment but this could be very hit and miss and leave you will mounds of useless bait. Its usually 1 bottle of flavour mixed with 1 container of bait. Most places have different sized containers so that formula is not always good to follow. The bottle pictured is Nom Meow (Cat’s milk).
When mixing your own baits it really helps if you can leave them mixed inside a sealed container like a bucket for about 7 days so the smells and flavours really soak into each other to enhance the whole mix.
So far the baits described are mainly for Catfish, Carp and Barb species. Its not that those species only eat Bread, Fruit and Groundbait, but as Thailand also has predatory species there is one last group of baits that are very effective, these are the FREE Found Baits. I have called them FREE found baits as they are all either collected, dug from the ground or caught.
FREE FOUND FISHING BAITS : Free found fishing baits are very varied and as 90% of fish are in some way predatory you could really try anything you can get your hands on. Some of the more common baits for species such as Snakehead are Frogs (both live and dead), Crabs (both live and dead), Prawns (both live and dead), Small Fish (both live and dead), Mussels, Worms and Grubs. Worms are always a dead cert and pretty easy to find in the garden. A classic bait that seems to be guaranteed all around the world.