Piraiba Catfish – The piraiba catfish, a member of the family Pimelodidae, is the largest catfish found in the Amazon river. The members of the pimelodidae are more commonly known as goliath catfishes, because as the name suggests, members of this family grow to enormous sizes, usually reaching about 3.6 meters or 12 feet in length.
The piraiba catfish are known to reach about 9 and a half feet or so in length and weigh over 500 pounds. Except for its long whiskers, it has a long grey body which resembles of a shark so people also call the piraiba as the freshwater shark.
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The truth About the Piraiba Catfish
Locals call the piraiba catfish as a Filhote when it weighs less than 200 pounds. If the fish weighs 200 pounds of more, then the locals call it a Piraiba.
This type of catfish is born having light to dark Grey skins with small spots on the dorsal and lateral sides. When they reach maturity, their skins turn dark Grey on the top and light Grey on the bottom.
This coloring helps them camouflage themselves when they go hunting for food on the Amazon. It is notorious for its monstrous appetite. Their diet consists of anything from live animals to dead creatures found underwater.
Fairy Tales on the Piraiba Catfish
Stories also claim that they have feasted on humans, but this story is yet to be proved by solid evidence. Fishermen however, have found many remains of monkeys, dogs, cats, large birds and other catfishes inside of the piraiba so there is a small chance that the story may become the truth, if someone is foolish enough to provoke it.
Is it Hard to Catch a Piraiba Catfish?
The piraiba catfish is also known for its amazing strength and speed, and that’s why it requires different catfishing techniques then the usual. It is very hard to catch as most anglers wrestle for a long time before they are able to make it surrender.
It is strong enough to drag and drown a fisherman to the bottom of the Amazon river if it is not properly handled. Because of its strength, Many experienced fishermen consider it the best challenge they could go into, it lives off on almost anything, but it does not necessarily mean that it preys on live humans.
If one plans to catch a piraiba catfish, it best to come prepared and never go alone. They are mostly active at night and they also play a crucial role in the thriving ecosystem of the Amazon river by scavenging off the carcasses that are found at the bottom of the river.
If you’re an adventure guy who likes to catch a monster piraiba catfish, make sure to consider your safety above everything.