Chandler’s Ford angler Stuart Rawlings was desperate to catch a freshwater fish over 50lb on his 50th birthday.

He headed out to Thailand on a family holiday and booked two days fishing at Gillhams Resort near Krabi. Fortunately for Rawlings, Echo reporter Mark Simmonds had already been at Gillhams for nearly a fortnight when he arrived and had built up a swim by introducing more than 150 kilos of bait.

Simmonds had been tipped off by Rawlings’ brother Graham back in England about his 50th birthday, and invited Rawlings to fish his swim. Within an hour of starting, Rawlings had hit his target with a 55lb Siamese carp and then bettered it with a 65lb carp.

He went on to land Mekong catfish of 150lb and 180 lb.

The fun didn’t stop there with Simmonds also helping Stuart’s two teenage sons, Adam and Sam, to monster fish.

Freshwater fishing spotlight in today's Daily Echo