Snakehead, Giant (Channa Micropeltes)
The Giant Snakehead is a widespread predator species throughout the Asian continent occurring in the Mekong and Chaophraya river basins in Thailand in addition to Cambodia, Laos the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
The Giant Snakehead is an aggressive member of the Channidae (snakeheads) family of fishes which subsists on a diet of fish, frogs, snakes and crustaceans.
The species is an extremely adept and instinctive predator preferring to attack live prey from ambush favouring areas with submerged aquatic vegetation and structure from which it can launch its deadly and savage attacks.
The Giant Snakehead is an extremely streamlined freshwater predator with an elongated snake-like body displaying various camouflaged colourations ranging from black with purple striping and in many cases black/ green with bold white stripes on its flanks.
The Toman or Giant Snakehead has a protruding lower jaw which is lined with razor sharp teeth designed to inflict instant mortality on its unsuspecting prey. The huge and powerful jaws of the Giant Snakehead are perfectly designed for striking prey fish and are capable of exerting considerable amounts of pressure when clamped tightly shut.
The Giant Snakehead can be described as being the ultimate apex predator which will eat almost anything in its path including other fish, amphibians and even small birds.
This prehistoric looking Snakehead species has an amazing evolutionary adaptation which allows it to crawl onto land. The Giant Snakehead is able to breathe atmospheric air by using a primitive type of lung situated behind its gills enabling the fish to travel short distances over land and to survive in stagnant pools which have become depleted of oxygen.
The Giant Snakehead is an extremely protective freshwater monster fish which lays large batches of eggs in sunken and submerged nests near the shore. Whilst waiting for the young to hatch and during the early stages of infancy, Giant Snakehead are particularly ferocious and guard their offspring ferociously.
The fish in its natural range is a highly prized eating fish which is a popular delicacy throughout Southern Asia. The Giant Snakehead is also revered by local lure anglers and is a highly desirable capture.
Illegal introductions in the USA have seen the Giant Snakehead becoming prolific in some US water systems to an extent that it has been labeled as an invasive species.
Recent high profile TV documentaries most notably by Zeb Hogan from the National Geographic Society, ‘Frankenfish’ on NGC and River Monsters with Jeremy Wade have highlighted this most fearsome species on an international stage.
This fish is found throughout Thailand in the many scenic and remote natural reservoirs and dams in addition to swamps, rivers, streams and ponds throughout Thailand.
Giant Snakehead are also caught from a variety of fishing ponds and lakes throughout Thailand providing anglers with exhilarating Snakehead fishing action on lightweight spinning outfits using a variety of artificial lures such as poppers and propellers.