great white sheatfish

English name: great white sheatfish

Scientific name: Wallago attu.

Thai name: plaa kao khaw (ปลาเค้าขาว)

Description: Long, white and  scaleless the great white sheatfish is a predatory fish found in the rivers of Thailand and Malaysia. In Malaysia they are known as ikan tapah. They are usually 60-70cm in length but records show that they can grow up to 2 meters. They have a wide mouth armed with plenty of sharp teeth. They eat just about anything. Frogs, small fish and other random aquatic animals have been found in their stomachs. Unlike the snakeheads, the great white sheatfish prefers flowing water and migrates upriver during the monsoon season to lay its eggs then returning to the depths when they are done. They are ferocious fighting fish and are becoming harder and harder to find due to commercial fishermen putting out nets in the migration paths during spawning season.

Because of their scarcity, catching one with a lure is quite a triumph.

Yup, don’t put your hands in there.

Lure fishing as well as baitfishing works. They have been known to take almost all sorts of subsurface lures. Live baiting is a popular option too.

Tastiness: Very tasty



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