Fish Species in Thailand

Specimen Giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) caught fishing in Thailand on Killer Frog Fishing lure. Specimen Giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) caught fishing in Thailand on Killer Frog Fishing lure

Mega Fishing Thailand - Freshwater fish species identification and taxonomy pages. Here you will find information about the main game fish species that anglers fishing in Thailand may encounter like catfish, carp and snakehead aswell as other native freshwater and brackish water species.

We also have pages dedicated to the many non-native (Invasive) fish species that have been introduced into Thailand's freshwater lakes, rivers and fishing parks. There are hundreds more diverse and interesting fish species in Thailand and surrounding Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam (Mekong Delta), Laos and Burma, our fish index has only really just begun to expand.

Photo of Arapaima caught fishing in Thailand in Hua hin
Arapaima gigas has been introduced to many fishing lakes in Thailand

Thailand really is the land of the giants as far as freshwater fish go and home to some very exotic tropical fish species both small, large and humongous. Four of the largest freshwater fish on earth are all residents in Thailand's lakes and rivers. The largest catfish in the catfish family which also happens to be the largest freshwater fish in the world the Giant Mekong catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) which can grow in excess of 350kg (770lb) is native to Thailand's waters.

Photo of Giant Freshwater Stingray and Giant Siamese carp both caught fishing in Thailand in Bangkok and Chiang mai

The mother of the carp family the Giant Siamese carp (Catlocarpio siamensis) which can grow to or 300kg (660lb) also is native to Thailand. 

Another top contender for the largest freshwater fish on the planet the Giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya) which is reported to have a maximum weight of 350kg (770lb). 

The largest freshwater predatory fish in the world the mighty Arapaima (Arapaima gigas) (Heavily publicized as the largest actual freshwater fish but there is little recorded evidence of fish caught to match the size of the Mekong catfish) which can grow to over 250kg (550lb). The Arapaima is know as Pirarucu in its native South American Amazon and has been successfully imported into a rapidly growing number of fishing lakes, resorts and parks right across the country.

Picture of the worlds largest freshwater fish the Giant Mekong catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)
The world's largest freshwater fish is the Giant Mekong catfish (Pangasianodon gigas). This one is about 80kg (176lb) and was caught fishing in Thailand at Bungsamran lake in Bangkok.

Last but by no means least, the Chao Phraya Catfish or the Giant Pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) are classed as benthopelagic fish. They constantly cruise through the water column searching for live prey, also scavenging on what ever they can find which is edible. Voracious predators also know as the "Dog Eating Catfish", In their natural habitat of the Chao phraya river Pangasius sanitwongsei have evolved to be very strong muscular swimmers in order to survive in such a large deep powerful river. Extremely hard fighting and fast fishes, can be seen sometimes just by the top of their dorsal fins breaking the surface of the water, almost shark like as they cruise around looking for food.

Mega Fishing Thailand fish species identification page Big Head Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis scientific picture Big Head Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) was introduced from China hence the name Plah Jin, Jin being a colloquial term for China in Thai language. Now well established all over the country and known to be breeding in the Mekong river. The origin of the common name comes from is its very large head...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand fish species identification page Black Shark Minnow scientific picture Black Shark Minnow (Labeo chrysophekadion is native to Thailand and common in the wild and in fishing parks and stocked lakes. They will take a range of baits including flies. Labeo chrysophekadion are very beautiful looking fish with stark dark grey to black bodies and lorage dorsdal fins ...more>>
common_carp_title Catla catla (Catla catla). Also known as the Indian carp this species is fairly common in fishing parks and resorts. Can be caught using bread mixes and rice flour mixes or worms are always effective. In Thai style lakes where there is catfish chaos going on then it may be more effective to try the quieter areas of the lake if you want to catch one of these....more>>
common_carp_title Common carp (Cyprinus carpio). The original Common carp was native to the inland delta of the river Danube down to the Black sea. Since then it has been introduced on purpose for food and sport or by accident to every continent except Antarctica and near every country in the world. The Romans bought Cyprinus carpio to Western Europe as a food fish and later spread all the way across Europe to Britain by monks. Cross breeding has...more>>
Giant Siamese Carp Information page header image link Giant Siamese carp  (Catlocarpio siamensis) is the largest carp species in the worldThe mother of all carp, Plah Caho (กระโห้) in Thai language is a native to Thailand and the Mekong, Chao Phraya rivers. These Mega fish can grow to gigantic proportions. Fishing tactics are quite different to what European carp anglers may be used to...more>>
jungle_perch Jungle Perch (Hampala macrolepidota).  Great sporting fish, not usually found in fishing parks. To target the Jungle perch you need to get out into the rural and natural areas of Thailand. Most reservoirs have either natural or introduced populations. Quite an aggressive predator which hunts mainly in packs...more>>
Jullien's Golden Price carp (Probarbus jullieni) is a rare Asian carp species which is native to Thailand preferring habitat with sand or gravel bottom. It has very distinctive dark lateral stripes on white/gold underneath. Very hard to find and catch in the wild it has been stocked in many fishing lakes around Thailand...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand fish species identification page Mrigal carp (Cirrhinus cirrhosus) scientific picture Mrigal carp (Cirrhinus cirrhosus) are found in many fishing parks but are not easy to target specifically for travelling anglers. These smaller size carp have been introduced to Thailand from their native range in India where they are endangered considered on the Red list...more>>
Fish species Identification Taxonomy Rohu Labeo rohita Indian carp The Rohu (Labeo rohita) or Indian carp is common in Thailand's reservoirs and stocked in many fishing parks and resorts. Can be caught using worms and conventional carp fishing methods that are effective in Thailand such as method feeder with rice flour and ground bait mixes with pop ups...more>>
Stracheyi Mahseer (Neolissochilus stracheyi) is found in the mountain rivers of Thailand in clear fast flowing waters. To target them is off the beaten track and you will most likely need a guide to help you. Max size of 3kg they are hard fighting on light spinning tackle or with a fly rod...more>>
Chao Phraya catfish species page title graphic image Chao Phraya catfish (Pangasius santiwongsei) is named after the river which flows through Bangkok. This predatory catfish is very striking looking with its long fins and shark looking shape. Chao Phraya catfish can often be seen circling in lakes, their position given away by black fins protruding from the waters surface...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand Fish species pages Giant Mekong catfish title image Giant Mekong catfish (Pangsaianodon gigas) is a member of the shark catfish family and reaches enormous proportions. This native Thai fish is currently recognized by the Guinness book of records as the largest freshwater fish species. This is the true king of fish and is recognized and well respected for its immense fighting power...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand Fish species catfish pages Striped catfish title Striped catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) is found in Thailand in the Mekong basin as well as the Chao Phraya river. Also called the Iridescent and Siamese Shark It is heavily stocked in fishing parks and reservoirs throughout the country. Its main interest is as a food fish aswell as to anglers fishing in Thailand...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand Fish species catfish pages Suckermouth catfish title Suckermouth catfish (Hypostomus plecostomus) is an armoured catfish found in Thailand in many fishing parks. Its a shy bitter and many times only caught by accident using lam rice flour bait mixes. Larger specimens will take worms....more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand species identification pages Asian Redtail Thai Redtail catfish picture Thai Redtail catfish (Hemibagrus wykioides) is a predatory catfish which feeds mainly on fish. Known in Thai as Plah kot Haang Daeng can be found in many natural lakes and rivers around Thailand but is a rare catch compared to the Amazon Red tail...more>>
Mega Fishing Thailand fish species pages Walking catfish title image Walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) could be the most commonly encountered fish in Thailand. On any day they can be seen on barbecues all around Bangkok city. Plah duk as its known in Thai is stocked in every fishing lake and park in Thailand as default. They can also be found in about every water body in the country...more>>
Spotted Featherback  (Chitala chitala) are very popular is Thai fishing parks and also as a food fish throughout Thailand. The name Featherback actually originates from its protruding thin dorsal fin, they are also known as the Spotted or Clown Knifefish...more>>
Royal Knifefish or Indochina Featherback  (Chitala blanci). is a rare catch in Thailand and its native range is very constricted to the North East of the country and the Mekong river. Its stocked in some fishing parks and private fishing lakes in Thailand and can grow to 5kg+ (11lb) and will readily take lures, flies and fish baits...more>>
Ghost Knifefish  (Notopterus notopterus) is the smallest and most common of the Knifefishes in Thailand, Thai language it's called Plah Chalat (สลาด) and a very popular food fish served up fried, curried or in spicy soups. Can be caught on light float fishing or Thai traditional bamboo tackle...more>>
Fish species introduced to Thailand Alligator gar title image Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) gets its English name from the Alligator like teeth, snout and head shape. The large interlocking scales on the Alligator gar also add to its reptilian appearance. Often Brown to silver and Olive in colour with a light cream to white ventral surface. This species of gar fish can grow to 3m (10ft) in length and attain weights of over 100kg (220lb). Introduced in Thailand to lakes and fishing parks by sport fishermen and people who found their pets quickly out grew their fish tanks...more>>
Fish species that have been introduced to Thailand the Arapaima gigas Pirarucu Arapaima gigas  (Arapaima gigas) is a tropical fish of the Amazon basin. It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Arapaima reach sizes of up to 4.8m (15ft) in length and are one of the rarest large freshwater predatory fish left on this planet, these fish can be fussy feeders but for an exciting fishing experience are well worth the effort for any angler who wants to catch a large specimen of the world's ultimate freshwater predator...more>>
Fish species that have been introduced into Thailand the Peacock bass Cichla temensis Peacock bass are not truly bass but actually Cichlids. There are more than 15 different species referred to as such which are native to the Amazon river basin and also introduced now into many other countries around the World's tropical regions including Singapore, USA, Hawaii and Thailand. The species most of interest to anglers in Thailand is the Speckled Peacock bass (Cichla temensis) which is stocked in fishing parks as-well as now to some small reservoirs by local Thai anglers...more>>
Fish species that have been introduced to Thailand the Pacu Red Bellied Pacu (Colossoma brachypomum) are Omnivores and will eat a wide range of food. Their favoured natural diet is vegetation, nuts and seeds but will also take most other offerings like small fish, vegetable, insects, meat, rice or dead baits. Pacu teeth resemble human teeth as you can see in our photo's and are used to crush nuts and seeds that would fall from the Amazonian forests into the Pacu's water...more>>
Fish species introduced to Thailand the Red Tail catfish Phractocephalus hemioliopterus Redtail catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) is a long whiskered catfish named for it's distinct Red caudal fin. It originates from the Amazon Orinoco, and Essequibo river basin's. It is known in Brazil as the Pirarara. Redtail catfish can grow very large to over 40kg (88lb) and more than 1.2 m (4ft) in length. They are active predators and will take fish, meats, insects, flies and lures. Stocked in many lakes in Thailand the Redtail is a popular sport fish and very strong fighter...more>>
sharptooth_catfish Sharptooth Catfish (Hybrid Clarias macrocephalus and C.gariepinus). These catfish over the years have been introduced mostly from Africa and Russia and interbred with other native species. Locally known as Plah Duk Russia in Thai the name can relate to a few of these hybrid species. They are very easy to breed and flurish in small ponds and the shallowest puddles. Very popular as a food fish right across Thailand...more>>
Fish species Introduced to Thailand the Arowana Silver Arawana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum Silver Arowana  (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), also spelled arawana has been introduced to Thailand from the Amazon basin in South America. Stocked in small numbers in some Thai fishing lakes as a sport fish it can thrive is good conditions and can grow to 1m (3,2ft) in length. Primarily surface feeders arowana's can be found constantly on the lookout for prey items floating or falling into its range. An arowana is a a prized catch for any angler visiting Thailand and can be caught using lures, flies and baits...more>>
Fish species that have been introduced to Thailand Tambaqui Colossoma macropomu Tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) or Black Pacu is a native freshwater fish of the Amazon basin, it is also known as the Black-finned Pacu, Giant Pacu, Cachama and Gamitana. Black Pacu are Omnivores and will eat a wide range of food. Their favoured natural diet is like the Red Bellied Pacu is vegetation, nuts and seeds but will also take most other offerings like small fish, vegetable, insects, meat, rice or dead baits. The Black Pacu can grow larger than the Red Bellied Pacu, it is quite rare in lakes in Thailand and large specimens are expensive...more>>
Fish species introduced to Thailand the Tiger Catfish or Sorubim Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum Tiger Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) is found naturally in South American rivers such as the Amazon or the Orinoco. They have been successfully introduced into some fishing lakes in Thailand and are considered by most a very beautiful and prized catch. When hooked this fish will stick to the bottom for as long as possible and have you wondering if you caught up with a mini jet powered submarine...more>>
Thailand Fish species other Barramundi Lates Calcarifer The Barramundi  (Lates calcarifer),is also known as the Asian Sea bass and White snapper. They are a very popular fish in Thailand. Both with sport fishermen who mainly target them with lures and large streamer flies and as a food fish by large proportion of the population due to it's delicious firm, white, fine-grained meat and appeal as a table fish...more>>
climbing_perch_title Climbing perch  (Anabas testudineus) are common in Thailand Handle with care! They are small but pack a punch. every fin and the gill plates are very spiny and sharp. Once caught the gills flare out, start flipping around with fins at the ready, can be like holding a spikey hot potato...more>>
Thailand fish species information and Taxonomy for Giant Freshwater Stingray image Giant Freshwater Sting Ray  (Himantura chaophraya). Not a great deal is known about its habits and life cycle in its native habitats. Its thought to be endangered and the main threats come from destruction of its natural habitats and blocking of its breeding routes. Another big threat is from deforestation...more>>
Other Fish species in Thailand the Giant gourami Osphronemus goramy Giant gourami (Osphronemus goramy) can grow to quite large sizes of up to 7kg and can be caught by anglers fishing in Thailand by using corn and nuts presented on hair rigs in European carp fishing style. Also possible to take on small dry flies with extreme accurate casting and lots of patience...more>>
Fish Species other marbled Sand Goby information graphic image Marbled sand goby (Oxyeleotris mamorata) is a native species in Thailand. It is the largest of the goby like fishes. Sand goby's prefer sluggish or standing fresh and brackish estuarine waters. Diet is small fishes, shrimps, aquatic insects, and crustaceans. Prized as a food fish and considered a delicacy in much of South East Asia...more>>
Snakehead fish species pages Cobra snakehead Channa marulius Cobra snakehead (Channa marulius) or Great snakehead is an elusive fish that inhabits waters from Thailand and Cambodia through Burma all the way to India and China. Its known as Cobra snakehead because of its resemblance to the Cobra. Its name in Thai Plah Chon gnu hao translated literally means cobra snakehead...more>>
Snakehead fish species information graphic Emperor snakehead Channa Marulioides Emperor snakehead (Channa marulioides) is limited in it's Thailand range to the southern regions and is considered a rare catch due to its remote locations. In Malaysia it is know as Toman bunga which roughly translated means flower snakehead...more>>
Snakehead fish species Giant snakehead Channa micropeltes image title Giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) is well renown across the world as a sport fish. It is the top predator in its natural habitat and it is a perfectly developed hunter who will defend its young against pretty much all comers. Read on if you want to know more about this beautiful fish...more>>
Snakehead fish species information Striped snakehead Channa striata image graphic Striped snakehead (Channa striata) can grow to almost 1m (3ft) in length and up to 6kg (13lb) in weight although it is very uncommon to catch such a fine specimen in the wild. This is mainly due to the fact that it is so prized for its tasty almost boneless meat...more>>