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Angler's Guide to Amazon Catfish

A central knowledge base about the catfish species encountered in our Amazon fishing trips

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BarbaChata Pinirampus pirinampu—Spix & Agassiz 1847

Larry Larsen with a barba-chata catfish
Larry Larsen with a barba-chata catfish caught on one of our Amazon fishing trips

Another of the Amazon's sporting mid-size catfish, the barba-chata is a strong adversary and can reach over 15 pounds in weight. The name means flat-whiskered catfish in English, and the long, ribbon-like barbels attest to the accuracy of the name.

Where to catch: Rio Travessao Multi-Species trip

ID Key: Silvery, elongate body. Unique ribbon-like whiskers.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Occasional, irregular black or dark markings ventrally, otherwise fairly uniform coloration. Body silvery above. Abdomen white. Adults: Said to exceed one meter in length and reach 18 pounds Long, flat whiskers  

 

Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Venezuela.

River Basins: Amazon, Orinoco, Essequibo and Parana drainages.
Said to be migratory within freshwater systems. Primarily occupies lotic (moving water) environments in highlands river systems. English: Flatwhiskered catfish

Local: Barba-chata
16 pounds 15 oz. Rio Xingu 2001

Fishing Tactics

In highlands rivers, often caught while targeting jundia.

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