This Jungle food photo feature just shows another side of fishing in Thailand. For local people there’s no catch and release here, everything is for the pot or sold at market. This kind of food is very healthy but not so pleasing to the eye as your average farrang westernised thai food. After sharing this food around its surprisingly delicious so we decided to take a day out to go gathering with the locals in the marshlands and flooded areas arond the homes. In this land the baits are free if you can find somebody to climb up a 40ft Tree to grab a 7 foot long bees nest in the middle of the night after a couple bottles of Thai whiskey. The same as in Europe the grubs from wasps or bees are a very effective fishing bait, its quite messy and hard to use this kind of bait, a tip here is to get them down to the bottom fast with a sinker weight because the small fish at the top will take apart very quickly.
Another good free found bait which is a favourite of the Plah Chon (Striped snakehead) is a giant snail called Hoi Cjherry. This Snail species lives in the shallow waters around fields, ditches and swamps, just basically anywhere Snakehead are residents. In the mid wet season they are everywhere with many birds feasting on them along with water mammals these can be chopped and used in small pieces or whole on a single hook.
Big record size snakehead like this are usually 4 years old at a maximum. They do live longer and have nbeen known to grow to 7kg but this is rare due to over fishing. The meat from Striped snakehead is supposed to have some medical properties. That however is not always the main reason it gets eaten. The reason being is that it is very tasty, The fish can be made into many well known fish recipes and some not so well known. The meat is very similar to European Pike meat in texture and structure and can be eaten Barbecued in banana leaf and served off the bone with a very hot spicy dip ( Nam jim). The results from using these found free baits are clear to see below and really fun fishing with traditonal Thai Bamboo rods.