Texan Fisherman Pulls in a 300lb Giant River Monster

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Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Arapaima Close Up
© pianoman555/Shutterstock.com

Key Points:

  • One of the most challenging fish to capture is the Arapaima.
  • When on the move or hunting, they are easy to locate and must be followed quietly.
  • This video shows fisherman Ty Kleeb catching a huge arapaima weighing around 300 pounds.

On a recent trip to Guyana, a country in the north of South America, an American fisherman caught an amazing monster. Ty Kleeb filmed his magnificent Arapaima capture and uploaded a video of it to his well-known Ty PigPatrol YouTube channel.

In the gloomy waters of what he refers to as a “hidden lagoon,” the footage depicts Ty fishing from a tiny boat with a local guide. Before hooking up, he casts a tiny bait into some formation and up against banks. The first fish isn’t particularly large, but it’s still a great catch. 

“This is one of the coolest fish ever,” he mentions. “These are known to eat bats. You can tell it’s a topwater-oriented fish.” His second fish in the video is considerably bigger than the first. In addition to switching from retrieving a tiny lure to employing bait, the fisherman goes from a light baitcaster to a larger spinning rod and reel set.

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It doesn’t take long for Ty to catch this beast. “I watched a huge fish come to the surface, and I put my bait right in front of it,” he says. “I felt the fish inhale it with a massive jolt, and that’s when I turned my camera on.”

The creature keeps taking the line out of the reel. The large fish is finally brought up to the boat by Ty, where it dives back below after a series of furious head jerks. The fish eventually pulls him and his boat into the brush.

Ty ultimately defeats the monster there, a massive arapaima that he calculates to weigh 300 pounds. He and his guide hold it in the water for a few minutes to give his subscribers an incredible view. During this, he takes in the crimson color of its scales. The two men then throw the magnificent catch back into the gloomy water.

Is It Easy to Catch an Arapaima?

Arapaima (Sudis gigas), also known as the pirarucu

©Tatiana Belova/Shutterstock.com

Fishing for Arapaima, when and where allowed, is challenging as they can be stubborn and lethargic. When on the move or hunting, they are easy to locate and must be followed quietly. To catch Arapaima, you need to be fishing between around 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. That means early morning or late afternoon and evening are the best times to catch Arapaima.

They exhibit a high level of aggression, even towards members of their own species. When they are not actively swimming, they can be observed either resting on the seafloor amidst vegetation or floating near the water’s surface. In terms of their diet, these predatory creatures primarily consume crustaceans and other fish.

Is Arapaima Normally This Big?

According to Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Biology Institute, the fish are among the biggest freshwater fish species in the world and may grow up to 440 pounds in weight and taper out to 10 feet in length. 

Arapaima Close Up

Arapaima can grow up to 10 feet long.


Where Do Arapaima Live?

Arapaima fish live all across South America’s Amazon River basin. In addition to eating other fish, they also consume fruits, nuts, insects, fowl, and small animals that are present at the water’s surface. They can breathe air, and it has been reported that they can go without water for up to 24 hours.

Amazon rainforest in Brazil

Arapaima live in the Amazon River basin in Brazil.



Arapaima live for up to 20 years. They are sexually mature and reproduce at four or five years old. They lay thousands of eggs per year in hollowed-out nests that they dig in the sand. The eggs hatch in the fall, and the babies immediately start gathering food. The father Arapaima protects the young fish by holding them inside his mouth to move them to safe locations when he spots a predator.

Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) largest freshwater fish and river lakes in Brazil

Arapaima can live for up to 20 years.


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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