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Piraiba - The Amazon Goliath Catfish

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Joined: 02/Jun/2009
Location: Brazil
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    Posted: 28/Aug/2013 at 4:38pm

Piraiba - The Amazon Goliath Catfish

Brachyplatystoma filamentosum

The largest of the Amazon catfish, piraiba have been described as attaining weights in excess of 450 pounds. Interestingly, for such a large catfish they are very athletic and readily venture into open, running water. Overnight campers on riverbanks have been shocked awake at the crashing racket occurring when 200 or more pounds of leaping piraiba slams back into the water after a nighttime aerial exploit.

A favorite tactic of catfishermen is to catch a small piranha for live or fresh cut bait. Using a large (14/0 to 20/0) circle hook, haywire twisted to 18 inches of strong (180 lb. test or greater ) wire then twisted to a heavy (180 lb. test swivel creates an easily made, replaceable rig. A 2 ounce (or heavier - as current demands) egg sinker is allowed to run freely on heavy line (65 lb or greater) braided line. This wire reinforced "Amazon" rig helps keep piranha away from the running line and minimizes the loss of hook, line and sinker. Correctly selecting a hole that holds a piraiba is not a given. Anglers will typically try spots that provide some turbulence or back current over a deep hole. Generally, if other, smaller, catfish like jundia are present, you probably haven't found the monster's home. Enjoy the smaller but spunky, and superbly tasty jundira and then move on to the next hole.

Once the behemoth's home is found, the "take" is often surprisingly subtle, not screaming like a redtail. With an open bail (or clicker on) allow line to be taken until the fish is moving away and has had a chance to engulf the bait. Point the rod tip upward, engage your reel, then let the rod be pulled downward until it points at the fish. Sensing resistance, the fish will usually react by running and hooking himself with the circle hook. This method is highly recommended because it will unfailingly result in a safe hookset in the corner of the fish's mouth, never in its gullet or stomach.

Once the fight is on, the rest is up to the angler, because with a fish this large that likes to run rapids wind around logs and is agile enough to heave its bulk out of the water, the rest is unpredictable.


Edited by Acute Angling - 28/Aug/2013 at 6:59pm
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