Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Goliath Tigerfish

Found only within the Congo River and a few lakes in the same vicinity in Africa swims the Goliath Tigerfish - a fish that for all the world looks like a giant white bass with very large and very cruel teeth. The Goliath Tigerfish can swim very powerfully, bite a sixty pound catfish completely in half without slowing down, and itself can weigh as much as 150 pounds. Now considered one of the world's top freshwater gamefish, here is some more information about the Goliath Tigerfish.

The Goliath Tigerfish - A True River Monster.

Far far away from the sleepy town of Kaufman, Texas; and swimming somewhere in African rivers are some true river monsters. I don't know if people swim in the Congo river that winds through several African nations, but I know that such activity couldn't possibly be wise. Not only is the river thought to be the deepest in the world, it is also the home of crocodiles the size of which could eat several humans at once, but also the Goliath tigerfish.

Not only is the Congo the world's deepest river - it also has extraordinary depth and current changes. Melanie Stiassny, a fish biologist at the American Museum of Natural History.described the environment as "evolution on steroids."

The Goliath Tigerfish


The Goliath Tigerfish, River Monsters, and The Imagination.

There is a very well known bluegrass/folk tune called The Fisher's Hornpipe. In one of flatpicking guitar guru Steve Kaufman's monthly newsletters I received a nice tab arrangement for the tune, and Mr. Kaufman described the tune as being arranged in the key of DNA. There is a lot to be said concerning the truth of this - fishing goes back into the roots of humanity for millions of years, and it is a very natural "high" to have one on the other end of a rod and reel, and to immensely enjoy bringing in the catch. By the same token, river monsters, the Nessie, Jaws, and other sea monsters from literature and folk legend are also very much a part of human culture - for very good reasons.

Little wonder then how we are fascinated by Jeremy Wade and his River Monsters show. I never get to see it except for on computer, but believe it or not - I'd love to go fishing with the man, just so long as I was well armed and nowhere too much in the range of those monster crocodiles and super aggressive snakes. Well, I think I'd best just stay here. In any case, I'd certainly go G. Gordon Liddy in the metaphorical sense, and eat some of that Goliath tigerfish, I'm down for some giant crocodile tail too, of course.

Jeremy Wade and His Goliath Tigerfish


Predator - The Goliath Tigerfish

Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but the Goliath tigerfish is a predatory fish that eats other fish, and this includes smaller Goliath tigerfish. All tigerfish are known to be very powerful swimmers that can move very fast in the water, and the Goliath tigerfish is the largest of the tigerfish.

The tigerfish in my eyes looks shaped somewhat like a bass is shaped, and this accounts for it's ability, in a very roundabout way, to swim so swiftly. It is reported in the Congo that the Goliath tigerfish can chomp a sixty pound catfish in half without slowing down. These Goliath tigerfish can reach sizes of over five feet in length and over one hundred and fifty pounds - roughly twice the size of the one we've all seen Jeremy Wade catching and holding on River Monsters.

The Goliath tigerfish is a very practical hunter - yes despite it's teeth, these fish like things to be easy, and don't we all? The Goliath tigerfish prefer turbulent waters because they are such strong swimmers and other fish are not. They have some sort of weird sensory deal where they can sense low frequency vibrations from prey, and then pounce on them as they are vulnerable in swift currents. The Goliath tigerfish seems to have the heart of a capitalist.

The Goliath Tiger Fish - I'd let him keep the hook and the bait, wouldn't you?

Lake Tanganyika - Home of the Goliath Tigerfish


Lake Upemba - Home of the Goliath Tigerfish

Hydrocynus goliath - The Greatest Freshwater Game Fish In The World

The Goliath tigerfish, thanks to our friend Jeremy Wade, has attained a mythical status among anglers - it is now thought to be the world's greatest freshwater gamefish. Fishermen of the Goliath tigerfish, however, had best keep in mind that it is the only freshwater fish in all of Africa that does, in fact, attack humans.
I can't help but wonder what it tastes like grilled, or battered and fried.

Mainly found in the Congo River Basin, Lualaba River as well as Lake Upemba, and Lake Tanganyika - I'll add this fish to my reasons for staying out of those areas.

The tigerfish of the world are all thought to have a common ancestor with the dorados of South America -which is another large predatory fish with teeth. While all tigerfish are a brilliant silver in colour, the dorados are typically golden. While the South American dorados has been called "the tiger of the river" in it's continent, in Africa there are several other species of fish that are also sometimes referred to as tigerfish, but are very different fish from Hydrocynus genus of fish that contains the species of the Goliath tigerfish.
For obvious reasons the African tigerfish of the Hydrocynus genus are reminiscent of another South American fish, the piranha, but these fish are absolutely unrelated - just similar in that they have very sharp teeth, attack humans, and are ferocious predators of rivers and lakes.

The following paragraph from Wikipedia:

A school of juveniles can tackle animals of almost any size, including any land animals that stray too close to the water's edge. Adults tend to travel in smaller groups of four or five, but they are no less dangerous. Even an individual can take down prey as large as itself. When food is scarce or the competition for food is too great, tigerfish may resort to cannibalism. This is particularly common in the dry season. Tigerfish have also been known to attack humans, these attacks can be devastating owing to their sharp teeth and aggressive hunting tactics. There are a few recorded death cases.
I've never so much enjoyed not living in The Congo of Africa as I have since learning of this fish.

The Goliath Tigerfish


Salminus brasiliensis - a possible South American Relative To Tigerfish


Hydrocynus vittatus - A Southern African Tigerfish Relative To The larger Goliath Tigerfish


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