Piraiba - The Amazon Goliath Catfish
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
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