When you go fishing in the jungles of Guyana, you can expect to catch some extraordinary creatures but this fisherman got a whole lot more than he was expecting. We hear him share his hopes to catch something “around 150-200 pounds” but he was in for a big shock! Although, he and his companions do acknowledge that there are fish bigger than catfish in this river. Blue catfish are the largest catfish species in the US and are typically 2-4 feet long with an average weight of 30-50 pounds. Having said that, the Mekong giant catfish is a lot bigger – the largest was 646 pounds. But they are only found in a few parts of Asia.
Fishing Trip of a Lifetime
First up, the fishermen need to catch their bait. So, they cast their lines near the banks of the river around the submerged trees to catch some peacock bass which is known for putting up a fight on the line. Then, the boats are hauled out of the water and dragged through the trees to reach another body of water.
Eventually, they make it into open water and wait for a large fish to come to the surface and gulp air but nothing shows. Just as they are about to leave, a huge fish becomes visible. The suspense in unbelievable, then we hear cries of “I’ve got him”. From then on, things escalate pretty quickly. Fighting against attempts to reel it in, the giant fish heads for tree cover near the river bank, and the fishermen follow.
Amidst cries of “he’s gone” and “it’ll be a miracle if we can get him”, the boat is pulled into the trees. The line gets tangled in some smaller branches and as one fisherman tries to release it, we get a first glimpse of the huge fish thrashing around. There follows several breathless minutes of man vs fish footage! Eventually, with two of the fishermen in the water, the fish is captured, poses for photos, and then released. It takes 23 minutes in total to catch her – she turns out to be an adult female.
The Arapaima are also known as pirarucu or paiche and are a freshwater fish found in tropical waters throughout South America. They are the largest known freshwater fish and typically weigh hundreds of pounds. They actually have oxygen bladders and breathe air and mostly eat other fish using their rows of hard teeth.
These fishermen describe the arapaima as “a dinosaur mixed with a whale” which we think is a pretty cool description!
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