Wallago attu is a species of catfish in the family Siluridae, or sheatfishes.

It is found in large rivers and lakes in much of the Indian Subcontinent and in parts of Southeast Asia.

The species can reach 2.4 m (8 feet) total length.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, the wallago is known as Ikan Tapah, and this name is the origin of the name of a Malaysian town, Tapah.


In search of an elusive monster

  • Focus
  • Thursday, 15 Jun 2017




THE hunt for the elusive rare monster Tapah catfish has taken many serious anglers deep into Malaysia’s rainforest.

But not many fishing expeditions to find the so-called mystical fish, that can weigh up to a whopping 100kg, have been successful.

If you ask Partick Erler, a Zimbabwean who has called Malaysia home for the past 12 years, he would say that it took him almost a decade to find his prize catch.

His quest to locate the giant species took him around Malaysia.

During one expedition into the peninsular Malaysia rainforest, located in the east coast states, he got what he wanted – a 50kg Tapah.

But his success was not revealed openly, only to close friends, until months later as Erler was worried that fish poachers would get wind of his fishing location, swarm the place and fish the Tapah for commercial purposes.

Giant Tapah is a common species still found in large rivers and lakes in the country.

Nowadays most weigh between 1kg and 3kg.

But the giant Tapah are rare now.

These big species are almost extinct due to river pollution from excessive logging and commercial fishing by greedy anglers and fish poachers who sell their catch to Chinese restaurants as exotic dishes.


17 June 2013| last updated at 11:55PM

A 78kg monster

BASIC GEAR: Fisherman catches 2m ‘tapah’ using a fishing rod, artificial lure and his bare hands

PEKAN:   VIEWERS of   fishing show River Monsters  would be familiar with the sight of  its host, Jeremy Wade,  using the latest  gear to land a giant fish. But a rural fisherman near here  caught a 2m tapah, or wallago, at a Sungai Pahang tributary using a normal rod on Saturday.

Zulkifli Abidin, 36, of Felcra Seri Makmur, said it took him more than two hours to land the 78kg catfish.

“I had to conserve my energy as the fish was very strong. It felt like pulling a buffalo,” said Zulkifli, who made the whopping catch at Sungai Lengkur.

Although he had heard of giant tapah before, Zulkifli never expected to catch one.

He admitted that he was initially scared when he remembered a rural legend that the predatory catfish could grow into a monster and eat other animals, including humans.

“But I told myself that I must catch this fish as it is a sought-after species,” said Zulkifli, a full-time fisherman for the past five years.

Zulkifli said he went to the river about 7.30am and as usual used his fibreglass boat to catch fish using a fishing rod and an artificial lure.

“Around 9.30am, the big fish suddenly bit the lure and dived. To ensure that my boat did not capsize, I had to ‘play’ with the fish, allowing it drag my boat before pulling back the line several times.”

The strategy paid off. After two hours, Zulkifli dragged the exhausted fish nearer to the river bank before catching it with his bare hands. He then took the fish home and showed it off to family members and neighbours.

Tapah belongs to the siluridae family of catfish. Commonly known as “sheatfishes”, they can be found in rivers throughout southern Asia.

It took Zulkifli Abidin two hours to land the giant ‘tapah’ catfish in Sungai Lengkur on Saturday. Pic by Mustaffa KamalRead more: A 78kg monster – General – New Straits Times——–Wallago attu, Catfish, pathen caught at Nizam Sagar


Wallago Attu (Tapah) Catfish at Tropiquatics!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s