The silver arowana is a great fighter pound for pound.
South America is filled with amazing freshwater fish species throughout the greater Amazon River Basin. These waters draw anglers from all over the world every year to pursue giant peacock bass, arapaima, giant river catfish and more. One of the more overlooked South American species is the silver arowana or Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, as it is known in scientific circles.
The fish looks like a conglomeration of several different species with its barbels on the jaw, bony tongue, and long dorsal fins and anal fins that give the body a shape like that of a snakehead.
This species does not grow to giant sizes, but it is a ferocious fighter capable of some spectacular runs and leaps above the surface of the water. Do not take our word for it, this footage highlights what it is like to capture one of these carnivores in its natural habitat.
You could hear the surprise in this angler's voice when that tropical fish started to peel a bit of drag. That long muscular fin is not just for show, it has a lot of power behind it too. The silver arowana is not a picky eater and will eat everything from small fish, crustaceans, insects, and even birds. This fish has a reputation for jumping out of the water for its prey on occasion, earning the nickname "monkey fish." You will also sometimes hear them referred to as "dragon fish." They do look a lot like the mythical creature thanks to that strange mouth and the large scales. South America is also home to the similar black arowana (Osteoglossum ferreirai).
In addition to proving popular with anglers, the arowana is also a popular freshwater aquarium fish. Although they are recommended mostly for experienced fish keepers, and for those with room for a large tank to keep them alone. They are known for eating their neighbors in crowded fish tanks.
The silver arowana is an unusual fish, but one that every angler should add to their bucket list for that once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip to South America.