The Giant Siamese Carp is a beast of a fish!
While most anglers know all the usual jumbo freshwater fish, things like the Mekong catfish, the arapaima, the alligator gar, and the sturgeon, there are some river monsters out there that are still somewhat obscure. One of those fish species is "Catlocarpio siamensis," or as it is better known by its common names, the giant barb or Siamese giant carp.
This rare fish is only found in a handful of river systems in Thailand and is the largest carp species in the world. Siamese carp fishing is a bit of a niche pursuit, but for dedicated carp lovers, there are plenty of guided fishing services that will help you land one of these giants.
Today's video comes from the famous Gillhams Fishing Resort in Thailand, one of the last places on Earth to land a carp that is almost too big to hold. This one weighs in at a whopping 128 pounds!
What a beast of a fish. Looks like a good reason to plan a Thai fishing trip to us. If you have never heard of the giant barb before, it is probably because this species is considered critically endangered. The Siamese carp is on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Mostly due to overfishing in places like Cambodia, and extreme habitat loss and pollution. They have been bred in captivity and attempts and have been made to re-introduce them to parts of Southeast Asia like Vietnam. Sadly, many of the attempts have been met with failure.
Today, the species can only be found in a few river basins like the Mae Klong, Chao Phraya, and Mekong. This species is mostly vegetarian in nature, feeding on algae, water plants, phytoplankton, and fruits dropped from trees. It does not appear the IGFA keeps records on this species, but the Gillhams resort website reports fish between 70 and 90 pounds are common and that they have seen at least six specimens go over the 200-pound mark. That is one giant carp!
We only hope that awareness of this species' plight will make more anglers aware and greater efforts can go towards their conservation. They look like a fun species to catch and release