Its with great pride that I get to tell this story and I count myself very fortunate to have been a part of this wonderful tale of friendship.
In February 2015, a group of fishing buddies (Ron, Cliff & Paul) decided to go fishing in Thailand at a place called Jurassic Mountain Resort & Fishing Park. I was a regular visitor to Jurassic Mountain and happened to be fishing at the same time as the three friends. We all had the same intentions, catching the biggest Carp in the lake, which at the time was a 154lb Siamese Carp.
This fish is literally the fish of a lifetime and on that fateful day Ron would be the man that put this leviathan into the net. The battle between man and fish would last well over an hour before Ron eventually tamed the beast close enough to the bank to get it in the net.
Once the leviathan had submitted, the three friends got a few trophy pictures and safely released the fish to fight another day.
Pictured above is the 154lb Giant Siamese Carp that Ron caught that day. Look at the happiness in those faces.
If that wasn’t enough, Ron then went on to catch the lakes other monster fish species, the Arapaima (biggest freshwater fish in the world.)
The group of friends fell in love with Jurassic Mountain after having such a fantastic experience and vowed to return the following year.
In the year that passed, a lot would happen at Jurassic Mountain in terms of fish stocking and the owners had invested a great sum of money obtaining one of the biggest Carp in the world, a 180lb+ Giant Siamese Carp.
Sadly in that same time Ron was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and passed away just a few days after the diagnosis. Before Ron passed away the three friends discussed their planned fishing trip to Thailand. Facing the harsh reality that was to be Ron wouldn’t be there to join them this time around, the friends agreed to scatter some of Ron’s ashes into the lake at Jurassic Mountain.
However, this was not going to be the conventional scattering of ashes you might picture in your mind. It was agreed between the three that Cliff and Paul would use some of Ron’s ashes to make boilies and then use those to catch fish in Ron’s physical absence.
Sadly, Ron passed away 3 days before Christmas 2015 and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. True to their word, Cliff and Paul had some of Ron’s ashes mixed into their fishing baits and dubbed them “Purple Ronnies” for their return trip to Thailand in April 2016.
Cliff and Paul had a great time fishing on their return visit to Thailand. Even though Ron was not with them in person, he certainly was with them in spirit. The two managed to catch plenty of fish using their signature “Purple Ronnies” dipped in Krill dip and at the same time spread their friends ashes far and wide across the lake.
However, the two had a very specific goal in their minds while fishing. That was to recapture the lake record Carp for a truly poetic ending to their saga.
Unbeknown to Cliff and Paul was the stocking of an even bigger Carp about 6 months prior to their visit in April. This monster had yet to be tamed into the net and had previously managed to snap the lines of the few people that managed to hook into it.
On their 5th day of fishing, Cliff’s rod screamed off like a freight train and he jumped into action for what would be one of the most epic and enduring battles of his life. Paul came running around from the other side of the lake to see what all the commotion was about and what ensued was over 2 hours of man vs beast as the two friends took turns in fighting the fish.
Video below of Cliff hanging on for dear life as he battles with a 180lb+ Carp
As the day turned to night, the anticipation grew with each passing minute. Nobody was 100% sure what was on the end of the line until we could get a glimpse of the fish.
Over two hours passed by as Cliff and Paul took turns in fighting the fish, the sun completely set and they had to fight in the black of night.
Finally they managed to get the fish into the net and to their complete shock it wasn’t the same 154lb fish that Ron caught previously, it was another fish, the monstrous 180lb+ Carp that had remained uncaught till that moment.
After a few trophy pictures with the new lake record fish, the two safely released the fish (now named Ronnie) back to fight another day. It was unanimously agreed that the two boys had “done Ronnie proud” in his absence.
In memory of Ron Hopper
Rest in peace Ron
Image Credits – Jurassic Mountain Resort & Fishing Park