Snakehead
(Channa spp.)
CHANNIDAE FAMILY; also called Channa micropeltes (Cuvier 1821); giant snakehead, cá bong, pa do, pla ai pok, toman and Channa marulius (Hamilton, 1822), great snakehead, ara, pa gooan, saul, saura, trey raws
Snakeheads can be found in Asia: Pakistan to China, south to Thailand and Cambodia; Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Laos, the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. They have also been introduced and estaablished in many areas (including south Florida). They prefer sluggish or standing water or deep pools in rivers or canals, water that low in oxygen. Large snakeheads are solitary fish, which inhabit waters with submerged aquatic vegetation. The snakeheads have developed means of coping with hypoxic (low oxygen) waters they occupy; they actually breath air through a suprabranchial organ.
The largest snakehead, Channa marulius, great snakehead, grows to 66 lb (30 kg) followed closely by Channa micropeltes, giant snakehead or toman, at 44 lb (20 kg). Snakeheads are characterized by elongate, snake-like bodies and protruding lower jaw. The dorsal and anal fin bases are long with no spines. Colour variations in adult snakehead depend on the color of water they inhabit. In alkaline water, they become very pale, but in acidic water, they can become more brightly colored.
All snakeheads are predators subsisting on fish, frogs, snakes, and crustaceans. There are reports of this species taking water birds and rodents. They rarely chase prey, preferring to attack from ambush.
This extremely popular sport fish is avidly pursued in several Asian countries. Noisy surface lures are effective and elicit exciting, splashy strikes by these terrific top-water fighters. These fish have been taken on wet-fly, too. They are strong fighters, pulling hard, resisting vigorously when hooked and are likely for nearest underwater snag.
Snakeheads are important in aquaculture and commonly used in rice-fish farming. The flesh is tasty and much sought by local people
 

Current All Tackle Record

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