Arawana

(Osteoglossum bicirrhosum)

(Cuvier 1829); OSTEOGLOSSIDAE FAMILY; also known as aruanã, arowana, baiano, sulamba, macaco d’áqua

The arawana belongs to a small family of ancient fishes confined to fresh waters in Africa (1 sp), South America (3 sp), and southeastern Asia to Australia (3 sp). While the arawana reaches a respectable 4 ft (118 cm) and 20 lbs (9 kg) another of the “bonytongues” is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, the Arapaima, which reaches a weight of 200 kg (440 lb). It inhabits freshwater in northern South America throughout the Amazon river system, where it lives in marginal lagoons and small tributaries of large rivers during the dry season and in the flooded forests (idapó) during the wet season.

The distinctive arawana is an elongate and compressed fish with huge silvery scales and is the only scale-fish in Brazil with two sensitive barbels on the lower jaw of its upturned mouth. The surface-swimming arawana feeds on a variety of small animals, including insects, fishes, snakes and birds and can jump out of the water over 3 feet (1 m) to catch prey in trees. It is a hard-fighting fish and an exceptional jumper, putting on impressive aerial displays when hooked. Live baits of fish, shrimp or insects or artificial lures such as surface plugs, spoons and spinner-baits can be used to catch the aggressive arawana. Arawana are fine eating.

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Current All Tackle Record

14 lbs. 8 ounces.

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