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Their habit is also their downfall as Arapaima are air breathers.  They can live in water with next to no oxygen. As they have to come to the surface to gulp air and fill their air bladders, they give their position away to hunters who either harpoon or net them.


With their ridiculously small heads and tails for such a huge body and bright scarlet red tail markings, it’s easy to see where they get their immense fighting power from. When caught, many an unsuspecting angler has been knocked out with a smack to the face from the hard, bony head of these big fish.

Their meat is succulent, white and flaky and is one of the most delicious fish you can find to eat in the Amazon. Arapaima can be caught using deadbait, livebait, cutbait and even lures and flies.


The large scales are used for nail files, decorations and hair clips. Arapaima mouth brood their young and while protecting them, the small fry ‘frizz’ on the surface of the water above the father while the mother circles on the outskirts.


Arapaima - Amazon Fish

Fishing for Arapaima, when allowed, is not easy. Arapaima are difficult to find and catch and when located, can be stubborn and lethargic. When on the move they are easier to locate and must be followed quietly. One bang from an oar or rod on a gunwale and they’ll disappear for half an hour or more. If a carefully placed bait is put right in front of their noses, they will literally gulp it down and take off like a jet plane.

Arapaima - Amazon Fish Arapaima G2
Arapaima G1
Arapaima G4

Large capacity reels and strong rods are needed if you want a chance at landing these giant, prehistoric leviathans.

The mighty Arapaima or Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) is believed to be the largest freshwater fish species in the world and have been caught to over 600lbs and 4m long. They are scarce and protected by Brazilian law, but can be caught in approved areas only and stocked fish ponds.

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Amazon-Angler.com | Amazon Fishing - Arapaima

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