English names: Siamese Giant Carp, giant barb.

Scientific name: Catlocarpio siamesis.

Thai name: Kraho (กระโห้) or Kaman (กะมัน).

Description: The Siamese giant carp is a solid looking fish armed with an armour of black scales. It has an unusually large head and big bulgy eyes. The fish generally live in pairs so bites usually come in pairs. Due to their muscle density they can be very heavy and very strong swimmers that provide a very good fight when hooked. Due to their density, the Siamese giant carp are very fragile when on land. Precaution should be taken when handling them. They can grow up to 50kg or more in fishing ponds. The world record for the largest Siamese giant carp was broken and landed at Bungsamran, weighing in at over 120kgs.

The Siamese giant carp is usually a slow moving bottom feeder that feeds itself on plankton and aquatic vegetation. They are also critically endangered according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Thankfully, they have not become extinct mostly because of their popularity as a game fish at stocked fishing ponds.

How to catch them: Well, don’t count on trying to catch one of these in the wild since the Mekong River Commission only recorded ten of these critically endangered fish were caught in 2000. So the only way to land one within a lifetime would be to head to a stocked pond. A bottom fishing rig armed with a large coil feeder baited with plenty of sifted wheat germ is the way to go for these bottom feeders. Be sure to arm yourself with a heavy tackle kit that could handle at least 30lb+ line because you’re in for a big fight.

Tastiness: Apparently the reason why they were over fished in the wild was due to their value as a table fish so I guess they taste pretty awesome.

A "small" Siamese giant carp covered with some dried grass.


A "small" Siamese giant carp covered with some dried grass.

8 Responses to Siamese giant carp (plaa kraho)

  1. andy says:

    First fish i ever caught in thailand was quite a large siamese carp….night fishing at gnau nam, All the thais around seemed to be congratulating me and indicated how lucky i was which at the time i found confusing as i had only been there 15 minutes and it was my first cast, Only later was i to understand as it seems they are very difficult to target but to be honest when i seen this carp on the hook and steered it into the net i felt a wave of disappointment…my target was a willy (giant mekong) the rest of the night i only caught plaa sawai,

    • Bangkokhooker says:

      haha wow, that’s pretty awesome. You easily caught the fish that most local fisherman wait hours and hours to catch! Well done!

      Mind if I add your photo to the album?

      • andy says:

        Sure feel free ;-)

        • Adinna says:

          Nice video. I am new to kayak fishing. I live in Calgary. I wade the bow and relaly enjoy it. I rented the coosa. I can t believe you can stand. Tried it on still water and flipped before I knew what happened. Hahaha. I went with the Ride 115. I seen some one on a Coosa the other day April 6th in the afternoon was that you? Cruising by Lafarge. You make it look easy. Keep up with the videos they are fun to watch. Hopefully I will try the bow on the kayak soon for now getting used to it on stillwater. Take care.

  2. daz says:

    lam and 2 poly balls on the hook on the bottom the best way to catch carp if thay feed its a waiting game

  3. Cant wait to get over to bangkok in jan and start catching some of these beasts!

  4. Gus says:

    I have been thinking of catching the siamese carp for almost a year after the last trip fail waiting the whole day and learn from the rest that i make a mistake of using one rod for carp and another for mekong by doing that chances are i will spook the siamese away.

    Last week I’m back to BSR using both rod for siamese and blessed to have fullfill my christmas of nail a 50 kg carp and i dive into the lake togather with the carp while release it, like what you have said all the thai came over and congrat me…. It’s so Beautiful the Siamese carp really worth for the waiting.

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