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Spotted Sorubim

november2009_0030_spotted_sorubim_DeaneName: Spotted sorubim.
Species: Pseudoplatystoma coruscans.
Thai name: Pla sira dang.

Max length: 1.5m.
Max weight: 70kg.
IGFA record: 53.5kg.
Diet: Fish, squid, frogs, earthworms, crustaceans, shrimp.

To fish for our spotted sorubim we recommend you try sea fish dead baits cut in half or squid fished on the bottom in conjunction with a cage feeder filled with minced fish and fishmeal mix. Fish close to the margins tight to the water hyacinth beds. These fish hate bright sunlight, so your best times to fish for these tough fighting fish is on overcast days, especially in the rainy season. During the hot dry season the sorubim only feed at night, feeding best for the first two hours of darkness. In this period they feed ferociously as if the world is about to end, and it is not uncommon to catch the same fish twice in a couple of hours when they are on their feeding frenzy, but after this time the fishing slows down.

Another way to tempt these fish is to fish tight to the fishing platforms after dark, as they have learnt that most fishermen, when changing their fish baits, throw the discarded bait into the margins, and the sorubim, being opportunist feeders, have cashed in on this prebaited situation. Expect takes to be savage and fast, and the spotted sorubim fight hard making repeated long, fast head-shaking runs. They give their all in the fight and for this reason must be given time to recover. As with all our catfish they will be injected by our guides then given time to recover before a quick picture and release. When handling these fish be aware they have sharp pectoral and dorsal fins which can inflict a nasty spike to you. Other than these features there are no other parts to worry about, and they do not posses teeth – as with most catfish they just have tough pads in their mouths.

General facts on the spotted sorubim:

Spotted sorubim are also known as the shovel nosed spotted catfish. As with many species in Thailand they were introduced here for the aquarium trade. Their heads are three times longer than they are wide. The eyes of the spotted sorubim are set to enable them to see up and down, and coupled with extremely long whiskers they are adept at hunting out food items in all conditions. They have a brown upper body with a cream coloured belly, and their upper body and fins are covered in black spots and lines, This colour pattern allows the fish to blend in whether you’re looking up at it against the sky or down at it towards the bottom.

They spend most of their day hiding among tall reeds or tree roots, where they rest vertically to blend in with their surroundings. They use their camouflage to wait for unsuspecting prey to pass by, and also to hide from bigger predators. When these fish are active they swim in a normal horizontal position. The spotted sorubim is a social fish that lives in groups, and they are mainly nocturnal. They can adapt to life in fast, slow or still water, and they prefer a sandy bottom and seem to avoid silted areas. They are a slender fish from the rivers of the Amazon, Venezuela and Paraguay. The body is very elongated and built for speed. They breed after floods as the waters recede and are thought to spawn more than once a year if conditions allow. They have been observed excavating a small pit as a nest and guarding newly hatched fry, but as they need constant running water to breed and hatch their young, they will not breed here at Gillhams.