English name: arapaima.
Scientific name: arapaima gigas.
Thai name: plaa chon Amazon.
Description: Capable of growing up to 2.5m and weighing over 100kg, it is of no surprise that this long dragon-like freshwater predator has garnered itself international acclaim amongst the world of sports fishing. When popular fishing shows River Monsters, Monster Fish and Extreme Angling With Robson Green featured this fish, the arapaima became even more famous.
With this popularity, more and more fishing parks started stocking the arapaima. In Thailand, they are raised primarily for ornamental and sports fishing purposes despite them being farmed primarily as a food fish in other parts of the world. (Read more here).
The Thai name for them is “plaa chon Amazon” because it not only looks like a gigantic green and red version of the local striped snakehead (the plaa chon) but it also surfaces in the same manner. Because of its ability to breathe air, the Amazonian giant is capable of surviving in waters with low oxygen levels.
How to catch them: Even though they are incredibly big, the arapaima usually goes after small fish, crustaceans and other small animals. That’s because they don’t have long sharp teeth like the giant snakehead. Swim baits of no more than five inches work well while many people find success using a streamer fly or even a popper-fly set-up.
Even with its big size, the arapaima has surprisingly low stamina. Once hooked, they will do a few runs on the line before tiring out and becoming deadweight. Be sure to have plenty of fishing line as the first runs can take the lure out quite far.
Deliciousness: Apparently they are supposed to be very delicious.