Name: Siamese carp (giant barb, cahoor).
Species: Catlocarpio siamensis.
Thai name: Pla cahoor.
Max length in excess: 3m.
Max weight: 300kg.
IGFA record: 60kg (134lb) caught here at Gillhams Fishing Resorts.
Diet: Shrimp, plankton, plants, fruit, maize, and cereal-based baits.
To fish for our Siamese carp we recommend the use of maize and boilies (bottom baits or pop-ups). The best flavours are fruits or shellfish, used in conjunction with method feeders with accurate casting to a set spot to get the best results. Siamese carp, as with their European cousins, love to follow a new wind, so fishing into a headwind brings the best results. Our fish seldom feed off the top, and seem to prefer depths around 3 to 5m on a sandy bottom.
Siamese carp are very hard fighting, making sudden lunges, so be prepared for their second wind when you think they are beaten. As with all species in the tropics, they do need a little time to recover once in the net, so while they are recovering get your camera ready, remove all watches and jewelry, and enter the water for your photo. They are a very hardy fish, but due to the heat and exhaustion from the fight, we insist on a brief time for photos.
General facts on Siamese carp:
The Siamese giant carp is the largest species of carp in the world. These migratory fish are found only in the Mae Klong, Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins. They are a desirable food fish, which has caused a serious decline in their numbers. They are usually found in the big pools along the edges of large rivers, but will seasonally enter smaller canals, floodplains and flooded forests. Young barbs are usually found in smaller tributaries and swamps, but can acclimatize to living in ponds, canals and swamps. These are migratory fish, swimming to favourable areas for feeding. They breed in October, and they do not spawn in still waters. Their head is rather large for the body, and they have huge mouths.
There are said to be no barbules, however if you look closely some do have tiny single barbs on either side of their lower lip. The Siamese carp are among the largest freshwater fish in the world, and are probably the largest fish in the family cyprinidae. Large examples of this species can be 3m (10ft) and 300kg (660lb). Among the carp family only mahseer have reached comparable dimensions, but large mahseers have only been recorded in centuries past. Cyprinids are highly important food fish, and they are fished and farmed across Asia. In certain places they remain popular for food as well as recreational fishing, and have been deliberately stocked in ponds and lakes for centuries for this reason. It is the largest family of freshwater fish, with about 2,420 species of cyprinids in about 220 genera. The family belongs to the order cypriniformes.