Mae Kuang Reservoir

Size: Enormous – many hectares
Species: Principally fished for Giant Snakeheads and Hampala Barb (Jungle Perch), but also contains other species including Giant Mekong Catfish, Rohu, and Great White Sheatfish..
Opening Hours: 24 hours; it is a huge open reservoir
Cost: Unless you are experienced at fishing these waters and have a boat you will need the services of a guide with a boat. For the various options open to you see our guided tours page here
Google Maps linkhere

Mae Kuang Reservoir is to be found about 30km northwest of Chiang Mai centre and is set within breathtakingly beautiful mountain and tropical jungle scenery. It is one of the most popular reservoirs with Chiang Mai anglers and contains some very large Giant Snakeheads, to over 10kg; these are the main quarry of most visitors. Most snakeheads caught are in the 1 to 3kg range.

As with the other large reservoirs that surround Chiang Mai this is not an easy venue for the novice angler and the services of a guide are needed for most people. You will most likely be lure fishing, casting close to the snags and weeds where the snakeheads and Jungle Perch lay in wait to ambush unsuspecting prey fish. Being able to cast accurately with a variety of lures (including frogs), coupled with a good guide to provide direction, is the key to success. Strong tackle is needed to cope with the explosive power of the snakeheads, but for the well prepared angler this is Chiang Mai fishing at its exciting best. 

Fly fishing is another, less popular, option. If fly fishing is your thing, and you have appropriately strong fly tackle, then you could have great fun with this out on the reservoir.

The best time to visit for fishing succes is July through September. At this time of year the Chiang Mai region is in the rainy season and lots of food is being washed down into the lake and the fish are feeding voraciously. After October the rains stop, the water temperature drops and fishing becomes increasingly challenging – but far from impossible.

Read all about Giant Snakeheads.


 Mae Kuang Reservoir


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There are 3 comments

Posted by Zigma on


I am french fisherman (so please excuse my approximative english) and i plan to stay near from this lake during my holiday. I am glad to see your article, now i know that there is lot of fish in this lake.
You speak mainly of lure fishing but i am wondering if it’s possible to catch some big cyprinidae by baiting with maize or something ? I think about mekong catfish but i know it is unlikely to catch one. So what is my chance to catch an other kind of cyprinidae ?

Have a nice day,


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Posted by Danny on

Hi Ben,
I’ve fished Mae Kuang Dam a couple of times before with the lure and like you say I have only had a couple of very small snakeheads. I am planning a trip out the Dam in the near future and it would be nice if I could meet up with you and pick your brains about this fishery, as it sounds like you have great knowledge of good places to fish there.
When would be a good time to meet up?
Regards Danny

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Posted by ben on

I live next to Mae Guang and have my own boats. Most of the time, the Giant Snakehead in Mae Guang do not take notice of artificial lures, at all. I would go as far as saying that lure fishing in Mae Guang is a waste of time. Locals are scattered all around the dam using fresh baits and the fish are feeding on that stuff heavily. There is heavy baiting going on using ram drenched in cow’s blood. Fishing chicken liver, fish fillets or fish guts on a float or on the bottom yields extremely good results regularly. The number of snakeheads there is staggering, and 10-30 fish days are rather common with 3-6 rods. The key is to bait an area for several days (many kilograms of feed per time, about 12meters from the bank) and then go ahead and cast your baits in there, but dont veer to far from your rods. Hardly any fish smaller than 4kg. You can go to around the entrance of the reservoir and buy snakehead that was fished in there.

Good luck

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