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Name The South African Sharptooth Catfish, also known as: Barbel, Skerptand Barber
Scientific Name Clarias Gariepinus
Description The Sharptooth Catfish is found in many various colours of the spectrum, depending on the condition of it's required habitat. They can come in shades of olive green, brown and even almost completely black. This fish has a physical appearance of a large, heavy boned, flat headed species. They have pointed teeth and long barbs on their heads. Colour varies from black to a light brown with a light, white coloured underside.
Weight Average weight of about 8 KG and can weigh up to 60 kilograms.
Length Has been known to grow up to 2 metres.
Habitat This interesting looking fish is commonly found in a lot of rivers, dams, lakes and other bodies of water in the country.A widespread species, can be found throughout Africa. Located in a number of rivers such as in Southern, Eastern and Western Cape. Internationally they can be found in Israel, Turkey & Lebanon... The Barbel can also move over land when damp conditions are present. They can live for about 10 years and can survive in the harshest of conditions. They eat almost anything that presents itself... Frogs, birds, mammals, invertebrates and even seeds and fruit. The Sharptooth Catfish also has the ability to bury itself in the waters bottom when a decrease in water or drought is occurring. They will re- emerge at the first sign of water.
Fishing Strategy When looking for the larger members of the Barbel family it is recommend to fish with dead or alive fish such as Kurper, Carp, Papermouth or Blue Kurper Also don't forget about fishing with worms, insects, mealies or bread: these all work. Remember South Africa's Sharp Tooth Catfish will eat almost any bait and other baits like braai meat, chicken livers, frogs (Common Platanna), rats and day old chickens work extremely well. This species is extremely aggressive and is very strong.Sharptooth catfish have a reputation of pushing anglers and tackle to their limits. Sharptooth catfish can be regarded as freshwater sport fish. The South African angling record is about 35 kilograms.