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Thailand's Fish Species

To find out more about the Freshwater Fish of Thailand, just click on the species in the menu to the left side of this page

Introduction

Some of Thailand's many Fish Species.The Mekong River Basin is home to more species of massive fish than any river on Earth. It is also the most productive fishery in the world, generating $1.7 billion each year in revenue from the thousands of fish farms along it's banks. Fish from the Mekong are the primary source of protein for the 73 million people that live along the river. The Fish species of Thailand start from the tiniest of specimens, similar to the Tetra's that so many avid aquarium keepers of the West are familiar with, right through to the other extreme, the mighty Mekong Giant Catfish, and Giant Siamese Carp, that are the angler's quarry, when they come to Thailand for a fishing holiday. The larger Fish species can grow at tremendous rates, and attain weight's that we find hard to imagine in Europe. The Mekong Catfish is known to reach weight's of over 600LB, and numerous specimens have been caught larger than this. The Giant Siamese Carp can reach weights approaching 300LB, although it has been rumoured that one of 400LB plus was captured by local fishermen some years back.
In addition to Thailand's native fish species, there have been many introduced species especially from the Amazon region. Although most introduced species still reside purely in commercial waters, in 2009 a 100kg Arapaima was captured form a tributary of the Mekong River. It's not known if this was a solitary fish or a member of a local population. Many Amazon fish species find SE Asia's conditions more agreeable to them than their own native habitats, which has consequently resulted in Thailand producing 200kg+ Arapaima as well as 100lb+ Amazon Redtails, and 60lb+ Pacu, so Thailand's sport fishing scene benefits as a result year on year.

Some of Thailand's most popular sport fish

Giant Mekong Catfish - Native Species

 120lb+ Giant Mekong CatfishThe Giant Mekong Catfish has been called a lot of things, some complimentary and some not so complimentary! For those of you who believe the Giant Mekong Catfish is an ugly fish... you clearly haven't been properly introduced to the Wel's Catfish! At SFT we find it hard to fathom why so many European anglers are happy to venture to the Ebro in pursuit of the "tub of lard" (there I said it!) that is the Wel's, yet would find the Mekong Catfish to be an ugly specimen! And then there's the sporting characteristics too consider. So OK a Wel's Catfish puts up a good fight in the current of the Ebro, or indeed it puts up a reasonable scrap in a still-water when compared perhaps to Europe's other freshwater fish species, but that's just Geography! If it where possible to hook up with Giant Mekong Catfish in their native habitat of the Mekong River Basin, it's unlikely you'd ever even see the thing! Let alone land it..  Find out more about the  Giant Mekong Catfish...

Giant Siamese Carp- Native Species

80lb+ Giant Siamese Carp from Cha Am Credit where credit is due, whoever coined the phrase "The mother of all carps" when describing the Giant Siamese Carp was spot on. It's certainly has a maternal feeling about it as a species. It has all the attributes of a  superior species, size, beauty and a wily adversary for the angler. The Siamese Carps appearance changes during the course of it's lifetime. As a young fish its body looks immature but muscular, and colours are often paler with vivid red flashes throughout its fins, as it matures it tends to darken, the body fills out and it starts to take on that mature maternal shape with a full body and weights start to increase dramatically. The Giant Siamese Carp has been poorly represented in much western angling media and on forums as not being a "carp", by those who really have no knowledge or understanding of the species. Find out more about the  Giant Siamese Carp ...

Arapaima- Introduced Species

250lb+ ArapaimaThe Arapaima is at present one of Thailand's most popular targets for sports anglers. This is perhaps due more to the Arapaima's  magnificent features as the planets largest scaled freshwater fish as opposed to purely it's fighting qualities.  The Arapaima boasts magnificent armour like scales up to a couple of inches across, tinted in anything from iridescent olive greens to charcoal blacks and bright silver and with increasing amounts of scarlet red tipping each scale on mature fish it is beautiful creature to observe. It's torpedo like body is somewhat reminiscent of a pike, although it grows some 10 times the size of course! Even its upturned lower jaw resembles a pike. The Arapiama is far easier to target in Thailand, than it's native habitat of the Amazon. Find out more about the  Arapaima...



Amazon Red-tail - Introduced Species

90lb+ Amazon RedtailThe introduction of the Amazon Red-tail into Thailand, first as an aquarium species, then as a sport fish has been a real coo for the Thai Fishing Scene in the last few years, what with its exceptional good looks, excellent sporting qualities, ease of handling it really is lining up against the Mekong Catfish as an exceptional freshwater sport fish. Now in Thailand it is highly likely that several venues have this species to 100lb+, or best is picture left at 90lb+!  find out more about  Amazon Redtail Catfish ...





Barramundi - Native

BarramundiThe Barramundi has long been a popular sport fish for the Australian's in a similar fashion that the Bass is popular with Amercian Anglers. The interest in the Barramundi has extended now well into Asia, and in Thailand there are hundreds of Barramundi Ponds, for the local angler interested in target this agressive predator on the lure or fly. Although the Barramundi can grow extremely large, it is also a fish prized for it's flesh, so specimens bigger than 5kg to 10kgs are rare specimens in most Thai Barra Ponds, as the fish often taken for the table long before it attains it's maximum wieghts. Even so a 10kg on a light lure fishing set up, will give any angler hours of fun, with acrobatic fight and agressive takes. Find out more about  Barramundi... ...