Name: Asian red tailed catfish.
Species: Hemibagrus wyckiodes.
Thai name: Pla kot dang.
Max length: 2m.
Max weight: 80kg.
IGFA record: Vacant.
Stocked to: 40kg (85lbs).
Diet: Fish, frogs, shrimp, squid, scavenger of almost any food item.
To fish for our Asian red tail catfish, we recommend fish baits or pellet fished on the bottom, although as an opportunist scavenger they will take any bait; we have even had them taken on fly in fry type patterns. These catfish feed anywhere any time but they do seem to prefer midday feeding in the gullies especially around the stones exposed by the lake’s natural springs. Preferring depths around 6m, they are not a shy feeder and will take even rigs with heavy weights. As with all rigs using fish baits, use a minimum 80lb hooklink, and size 2/0 hooks seem the perfect size.
You will find that using a Richworth type feeder with a method mix heavily impregnated with a fish type attractor will bring these inquisitive catfish to you, and takes are normally indicated by a few short tugs followed by a slow, positive run. As with all our catfish they must be injected by our experienced guides prior to handling. There are no dangerous areas on these fish so you can handle them with ease, and they are an easy fish to photograph, because as with most catfish they seldom struggle. However, as with all our fish remember you are in the tropics, and the temperatures will affect them, so a couple of quick photos and return them ASAP.
General facts on the Asian red tailed catfish:
Some people regard the Asian red tail catfish as the Amazon red tail’s poorer cousin. Although they are both members of the catfish family, the Asian red tail is, as its name suggests, an Asian species in fact they are the largest bagrid catfish in Asia. The upper body is dark grey/brown with a cream/light grey belly, and the fins start off in juveniles with a white outline, changing in adult fish to tinged with red. Their tail is bright red; it also looks like the tail has been shredded by a sharp object, but this characteristic is unique to this fish species. They have extremely long whiskers attached to a flat head. They are native to Asia in the Mekong, Chao Phraya and Xe Bangfai basins through Thailand, Cambodia, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java.
In its natural environment the Asian red tail catfish prefers rock strewn areas in slower sections of large rivers, and they spawn between July and October in wooded areas in flood conditions. The males are easily recognized by a genital papilla in front of their anal fin, which shows more in the spawning period. The Asian red tail is believed to only spawn in river systems, but our suppliers inform us that they do spawn in still water around bushes with a sandy/stone bottom. However because they are regarded as one of the most aggressive freshwater fish in the world, unless separated immediately they will eat their own. In Asia the red tail catfish is an important food source; they are hunted in the wild and farmed in captivity for their superb, firm flesh.