Giant pangasius caught at Bungsamran

English names: giant pangasius, Chaophraya catfish and dog-eating catfish.

Scientific name: pangasius sanitwongsei.

Thai name: ปลาเทพา.

Description: The giant pangasius is called the dog-eating catfish by some thanks to it being once caught with dog meat as bait. Yes, we are aware of the levels of ironies involved in calling a fish a dog-eating-catfish.

Like other fish from the shark catfish family, the giant pangasius is a scale-less fish with a shark-like body. It has a silvery colour and a black prominent dorsal fin that extends far above its back. Like its siblings in the pangasius family, the Chaoprhaya can grow into behemoth proportions as well with some reports sighting specimens of three metres in length and weighing as much as 300kg.

It is a carnivore and hunts for small fish, animal scraps and crustaceans. It has little jagged teeth and one should take caution when handling this fish.

Once a fish that was easily found in the waters of South East Asia, the giant pangasius is now a critically endangered species from over fishing.

How to catch them: Well… the old-fashioned method called for bottom fishing with dog meat but chicken works just fine. A stiff carp rod and a strong reel is definitely required to fight them.

How do they taste: reports suggest that they taste very similar to the fatty meat of the Mekong giant catfish.

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