Species: Pangasius sanitwongsei
Thai Name: Pla Taypa
Grows to weight/length: 175kg+/2m.5+
Stocked at Hookers: to 35kg, Caught at 50kg (est)
Along with the Mekong Giant Catfish, the Chao Phraya catfish is one of the most iconic (and largest) native species of freshwater fish in Thailand and consequently chosen as the fish in our logo. It is a stunning predator and recognisable by a filamentous ray that extends from each of the pelvic, dorsal and pectoral fins. The Chao Phraya has earned the nickname the “dog eater” reportedly being seen feeding on the carcasses of dead dogs (sometimes also used for bait in the wild) and has been observed hunting in packs, although we have not witnessed that behaviour with our fish.
You will know when a Chao Phraya is hunting as you will often see a large bow wave appear on the surface as the fish hones in on its target – this is often followed by a big splash as it snares its meal. Fishing for them is relatively straightforward: they prefer a larger livebait (500g up) fished under a float set at a depth of around 1-1.5m, although we have had fish caught on ledgered live and dead baits. Be prepared for a long hard fight aswell – the Chao Phraya will go on long surging runs, often turning sharply and its strong powerful fins certainly test the drags on the reels. An exciting fish to target because of the nature of the take and the hard fight and our fish have packed on the weight since they were stocked, touching 50kg largely because of the abundance of bait fish in the lake.