Learn more about the incredible arapaima.
With scales like armor, the ability to breath air, and reaching lengths and weights well over 8 feet and 200 pounds, the prehistoric-looking arapaima certainly qualifies as a monster fish.
Bill from Bill's Channel and Steve Townson of Amazon-Angler take a small boat up a beautiful, boulder-strewn section of the Amazon in search of the torpedo-shaped beast. After a thunderstorm forces the crew to change plans they move into the kind of muddy creek you might see in an old jungle movie.
Townson spots air bubbles from arapaima and tosses an unidentified bait with a bratwurst-sized float at the spot. It doesn't take long before he hooks the monster and begins losing line in the fight.
Townsend and his partner lift the arapaima from the water and estimate its weight to be around 200 pounds. They wait for the fish to take a gulp of air before releasing it back into the murky water.
There is some concern over the status of arapaima because they are highly desired as a food fish and their tendency to stay near the surface makes them vulnerable to predation my man.
The largest recorded weight and length of the arapaima is 440 pounds and 15 feet, although there are stories of them growing even bigger. In Malaysia, where the fish are also found, some locals refer to them as "dragon fish" and claim a large arapaima was responsible for the death of two men several years ago.
Arapaima have also become a desired game fish for "extreme" or exotic species anglers.