Payara (Hydrolycus scomberoides)
The Payara is a highly sought after freshwater game fish from South America which is found in Venezuela and the Amazon basin which belongs to the Characidae family of fishes and is now present in some Thai fishing ponds.
The Amazonian Payara has been dubbed the Vampire Fish for very obvious reasons due to its vicious looking fangs which protrude from its lower jaw.
The Payara is a streamlined predatory freshwater fish with a elongated flat body and large hinged jaw which is armed with two extremely large fangs which it uses to impale prey fish.
These impressive fangs have been recorded at lengths of up to six inches and give the Amazonian Payara a fearsome almost monstrous appearance.
This species is an extremely aggressive predatory fish species which favour rapids and fast moving waters which are capable of reaching lengths of 120cms and weights of 18kgs. It has been said that Payara are capable of eating fish which are half of their size.
The Payara subsists mainly on a diet of Piranha and other native Amazonian fish which it aggressively hunts in the turbulent waters of the Amazon River.
Fishing in Thailand for Payara has recently become possible with introductions to several of Thailand’s commercial fishing lakes including Palm Tree Lagoon where they can be caught whilst lure fishing or using float fished livebaits.