Game Fish Identification Reference Guides

Catfish, redtail (pirarara)
(Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801); PIMELODIDAE FAMILY; also called bigoril, pirarara, guacamayo, pez torre, peixe-arara
The pirarara or redtail catfish is one of the most colorful of the large catfishes found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. In its natural habitat, the redtail catfish is found in larger rivers, streams and lakes. During high water, it ventures into the flooded forests.
The pirarara is a very distinctive species. The brownish back, yellow sides and red-orange dorsal and caudal fins make this catfish very recognizable. Three pairs of barbels are present, one pair on the upper and two pairs on the lower jaw.
The redtail catfish is omnivorous in its feeding habits with a diet that can include fish, crabs and fruits. This species, which grows in excess of 4 ft (121 cm) and 100 lb (45 kg) is considered to be the one of the best fighting of the catfishes with strong and determined runs. Pirarara are most often caught with natural baits and pose a challenge to anglers using artificial lures or flies.
It is used as a food fish throughout its range and is said to be excellent, if somewhat dark meat

Current All Tackle Record

123 lbs 7oz ( 56 kg)

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