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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 its banks. Fish from the Mekong is 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 rumored 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 from 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 sports 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 are 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 were 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 Mekon by visiting www.fishing-thailand.com