Threadfin, giant African

(Polydactylus quadrifilis)

(Cuvier, 1829); POLYNEMIDAE FAMILY; also called barbo, barbudo, capitaine, ntsena.

This species occurs in the shallow and often muddy waters of estuaries and lagoons or along beaches in the Eastern Atlantic from Senegal to Congo.

It is relatively elongate somewhat compressed fish with an inferior mouth overhanging blunt snout. The maxilla reaches past the eye, it's posterior edge greatly expanded. There are 4-5 detached threadlike lower rays on the pectoral fins, which are only slightly longer than the upper pectoral rays. Coloration of the giant African threadfin is dull silvery gray or brownish on the back shading to whitish ventrally; a dark smudge sometimes is present on the gill cover.

The giant African threadfin is a carnivorous feeder with a main diet of small fish, crabs, prawns, squid or octopus. The long "threads" in the pectoral area are thought to be used in finding food in the muddy water where they are frequently found.

This species is highly respected for the strong tackle-testing fighting abilities. Threadfin can be especially difficult on fly, where an accurate presentation is often necessary to elicit a strike. Once hooked, threadfin are unpedictable, erratic fighters.

Like other members of the Polynemidae Family, the giant African threadfin is excellent table fare

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Current All Tackle Record

122 lbs. 2 ounces.

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Threadfin, king