A FISHING adventurer’s globe trotting days in pursuit of huge fish have reached the end of the line.
Instead Bruce Dale, whose fascination for the water world began as a three-year-old outwitting newts in a pool on a Tyneside railway station, has become a pioneer in the land of the tigers.
Bruce, 58, now no longer needs to travel the world to catch exotic species because he has set up his own fishery in Thailand and literally has specimens from all around the globe on his own doorstep.
Bruce’s love of Northern Thailand started eight years ago when he began a business exporting furniture, fabric, jewellery and handicrafts from Asia to sell from his then home in Belford, Northumberland.
Six years ago he married Noon, a Lisu hill tribeswoman and together they put down roots.
They bought an undeveloped plot of rough land to the north of Chaing Mai – most of which was underwater, as a pit dug to abstract material for major road construction had filled up.
But that was ideal for their dream and the foundation of what is now an exclusive and beautiful anglers’ paradise and tourist resort called Teak Tree Lake.
Years of hard work followed as they built their own home and two guest bungalows and landscaped and planted the site transforming the plot into their own garden of Eden. And they have now built a future legacy for their five-year-old son Aron.
Meanwhile Bruce’s love of fish saw them stock and grow more than 60 different species from all around the world to establish a pioneering fishery to be the mainstay of their future business.
He said: “The idea was to create a place where people could come to one place and catch unusual and different fish from around the world and in comfort, avoiding what I have had to do over the years, travelling to remote regions in difficult conditions to catch my dream fish. The conditions here make that possible.
“I’ve made mistakes as we’ve started something here that has not been done before. I see myself and a few others in the country as pioneers of something exciting and different.”
Teak Tree Lake is now home to some truly monster fish – with specimens weighing more than 85 kilos (187lbs) being caught – and it is home to several of world record weights.
One of Bruce’s latest fish captures is a massive specimen called a Choa Phraya catfish, the biggest ever caught on rod and line in Thailand weighing more than 100kg (220lb). Fish from all around the world are now bred in Thailand and in the fertile and warm waters they grow at an astonishing rate.
Bruce said: “I would still like to travel to India to catch a particular kind of catfish but really I’ve now created my own ball and chain.
“I’ve a family to look after, we’ve the business to develop and, as many of the fish are predators there are scores of very hungry and very big mouths to feed in the lake.”
In pursuit of specimen fish Bruce’s travels took him to places including Lake Nasser to catch Nile Perch in Egypt and from the Russian Volga delta in Astrakhan and Khazakstan to catch Wells Catfish to Portland in Oregon, North America for Great White Sturgeon.
To find out more about Bruce’s dream destination visit www.teaktreelake.co.uk