English name: Spotted featherback.

Scientific name: Notopterus chitala.

Thai name: Plaa krai or plaa kai.

Description: The spotted featherback is from a family of fishes that are commonly referred to as knife fishes due to their resemblance to a curved blade. At some angles they also look like feathers, like the spotted featherback for example. Flat and silver with black spots near its rear, it’s quite the pretty looking creature.

Featherbacks are predator fishes that hunt down smaller fishes, prawns and insects.

At full size they usually grow to around 45-90cm.

How to catch them: The spotted featherback has been know to take the occasional minnow or shad lure but this isn’t always the case.

The single most effective way to catch these silver blades of the Thai waters is through live bait. The most popular Thai choice are the goldfishes boat in pet stores.

Tastiness: The featherback is a very popular table fish. Due to their high number of little bones the featherback is best prepared as fish balls or hor mok where the fish’s flesh is grounded up.

Pictured below: Spotted featherback in a fish tank.

4 Responses to Spotted featherback (plaa krai)

  1. Alex West says:

    Not to imply anything here, but have you ever caught one?

    No shame man, I have never caught one, but they are definitely on my “to catch” list!

    Heard that some crazy souls at Bang Phra Resevoir catch them only by night. They take the boat out the whole night and use live bait-fish only (young koy-carps). Usually return with 4-5 catches.

  2. Charles Marden Fitch says:

    Your WWW has excellent photo + Thai popular name transliterated to English AND genus/species info. Can you help me locate a site OR book that will show most common fish of Thailand with Thai popular name and correct genus/species? In the Thai markets and fishing piers I ask for Thai popular (common) names but often can not get genus/species from any of my books. Many thanks for any help you can offer.
    Charles Marden Fitch
    Talisman Cove
    1120 Cove Road
    Mamaroneck NY 10543 U.S.A.

  3. Charles Marden Fitch says:

    Appreciate the info. Will try wikipedia & looik forward to any notes you can send that show a book with the Thai/English/Genus Species info. My main experience is with PLANTS so several books in my library help by listing Thai popular names + Genus.Species of food & ornamental plants but now I’m searching for same type with FISH info.

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