Posts Tagged ‘Guyana’

Fish of the Week: Catfish – Sorubim

September 26, 2011
Sorubim

Sorubim

Our “Fish of the Week” is Catfish – Sorubim, which is a beautiful species sporting an elegant pattern of hieroglyphic black markings on a silver grey background dorsally and stark white ventrally. The common name sorubim is used for several similarly shaped species in the genus. Body markings, typical habitat and maximum size differ. P. tigrinum is commonly encountered by anglers in Amazon lowland, highland and Guyana shield fisheries.

The Sorubim is distinguished by its flattened head, elongate body and large terminal mouth. Its silvery gray upper body with heiroglyphic markings dorsally, and tiger stripes laterally, also set it apart. Sorubim’s fin markings continue from the body, evolving into spots toward margins. The silver gray on its dorsum changes abruptly to white on its ventral sides, as well as its abdomen. Specimens up to one meter in length and more than 100 pounds have been reported. The genus contains eight recognised species, and although all are similarly elongate, many are uniquely marked and have separate ranges. Common names include Barred Shovelnose (English); sorubim, suribim, cachara (local); and Bagre rayado.

This catfish can be found in Brazil, Peru, Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Suriname, Columbia, Venezuela and Argentina, particularly in the Amazon, Orinoco, Essequibo, Corantijn and Parana drainages and river basins. They usually occupy lotic (moving water) environments in blackwater river systems. Primarily feeding on fishes, P. fasciatumis are readily encountered with cut bait on shallow sandbars in river channels. Although mostly an evening and nocturnal feeder, anglers are often surprised by large sorubim attacking artificial lures in open water at any time of day. The current IGFA record is 35 pounds, 10 ounces.

In addition to being a great angler’s target, the barred sorubim is a pleasant adjunct to any fishery. Its habit of attacking artificial lures and then fighting like whiskered tuna, makes it endearing to peacock bass anglers and catfishermen alike. In most high gradient fisheries sorubim can be targeted by anglers at evening time. They tend to congregate and forage at the edges of shallow beaches with nearby drop-offs to deeper water. Small live bait or pieces of cut bait are equally effective when cast onto the beach and allowed to drift naturally to the nearby drop-off. An effective rig consists of a 10/0 to 14/0 circle hook (or smaller J hook) with a wire leader and relatively light sinker (approx. 1 oz.), enough to keep it down while still allowing the current to slowly carry it. The take is usually quite forceful. Once hooked, sorubim will fight in open water with strong runs and surprising stamina.

Pintado

Pintado

Pintado – Psuedoplatystoma corruscans – up to 1.5 meter
This larger catfish is found outside the Amazon in the Pantanal and the Sao Francisco and Parana river basins
(Illustration from “Peixes do Pantanal” – Embrapa – poster)

Pintado

Pintado

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A Natural Jacuzzi

July 27, 2011

The multitude of braids and small waterways formed as big rivers cascade down through rocky defiles in Brazil’s high gradient Guyana Shield region creates wonderful sites like this natural Jacuzzi:

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Fish of the Week – Pescada

May 2, 2011
Peascada

Pescada

Our “Fish of the Week” is Pescada, which are large, silver predators that are well-distributed throughout the Amazon basin and in waters holding peacock bass, making them good alternative targets. They tend to occupy deeper, oxygenated waters often near lagoon mouths and away from the shoreline areas that are often visited by peacocks.

The keys to identifying pescada are its silvery body with a prominent lateral line, long second dorsal and large, oblique mouth. Their bodies are relatively uniform and free of any clearly visible markings except for a large black blotch at the base of the pectoral fin. The pescada have a reflective silver color on their lateral body, while the dorsal area is slightly darker. Their abdomen is lighter and their fins may have a reddish hue. Pescada can grow up to 15 pounds and are distinguished by their prominentlateral line, silver scales and black mark at the base of their pectoral fin. While there are several species of Plagioscon in the Amazon basin, none reach the size of P. squamosissimus (featured).

The best locations for anglers to find pescada are in Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, Guyana and Fr. Guiana. Specifically, the Amazon, Orinoco, Parana, Sao Francisco and Guianas river basins are key locations holding pescada. As with other Sciaenids, pescada make underwater sounds, helping anglers locate them. Pescada also make migrations that may combine feeding and spawning purposes. They are often found in deeper waters within lowlands river systems and in slower waters and deep pools in high gradient rivers. Anglers may also know pescada by their common names “silver croaker” and “corvina.”

Russell Jensen with 11 lbs. 4 oz. Pescada Caught on an Acute Angling Trip, an IGFA World Record

Russell Jensen with 11 lbs. 4 oz. Pescada Caught on an Acute Angling Trip, an IGFA World Record

Pescada are relatively aggressive feeders and will hit a variety of artificial lures, cut bait and live bait. They can be targeted in lagoon mouths in lowlands rivers that are wide open to river channels. You can access them with deeper running swimming plugs or lipless baits such as rapalas, rattletraps, shad raps, jigs and so forth. In high gradient areas, pescada will take CD 11 and CD 14 rapalas, spoons and even flies when fished deep in quiet pools. They are often caught on cut bait when fishing for catfish. They are good fighters and tend to run deep, rarely jumping like some other exotic species do. And, while Acute Angling practices catch and release in all of our fishing, pescada do make delicious meals.

Pescada

Pescada

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