Siamese Giant Carp (Kraho – ปลากระโห้ or Kaman ปลากะมัน)
Identification: The Siamese Giant Carp (also known as Giant barb) is grey/silver through to almost black in colour, with a very large head and mouth and clearly identifiable scales in a regular pattern. In many ways it looks similar to Carp species found elsewhere; it is just on a much larger scale. Younger fish tend to be lighter in colour, and often have orange/red colouring on the fins; older fish can be very darkly coloured indeed. Perhaps it’s not surprising that they change so much, given they can live for over 100 years.
Additional Information: This is the largest Carp species in the world. Some Bangkok lakes have specimens over 100Kgs in weight. There is nothing that large in the Chiang Mai region, but there are still some good fish to be had.
Siamese Giant Carp are not easy to catchy, being wiley in the same way as Carp in popular fisheries are the world over. For people bored of fishing for catfish this is potentially a vary rewarding target species. Their very densely muscled bodies mean that they provide a great fight when hooked.
Unfortunately for the Siamese Giant Carp they are apparently a good tasting fish. This has led to them being overfished and they are now classed as critically endangered in the wild. Stocked fisheries are therefore the only place that most of us will ever have the chance to catch one of these enormous fish.
In its natural habitat Siamese Giant Carp would feed primarily on plants, algae, phytoplankton and crustaceans. They are bottom feeders, so if you are hoping to hook one you should be fishing on the bottom with a feeder “cage” packed with your groundbait of choice, paired with a large “popped up” hook bait. The enormous size and incredible power of Siamese Giant Carp make them a favourite target species with visiting anglers, but they are not wily and not easily caught. They need to be tricked into taking buoyant hooks.
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