Spotted featherback (plaa krai)

English name: Spotted featherback.

Scientific name: Notopterus chitala.

Thai name: Plaa krai or plaa kai.

Description: The spotted featherback is from a family of fishes that are commonly referred to as knife fishes due to their resemblance to a curved blade. At some angles they also look like feathers, like the spotted featherback for example. Flat and silver with black spots near its rear, it’s quite the pretty looking creature.

Featherbacks are predator fishes that hunt down smaller fishes, prawns and insects.

At full size they usually grow to around 45-90cm.

How to catch them: The spotted featherback has been know to take the occasional minnow or shad lure but this isn’t always the case.

The single most effective way to catch these silver blades of the Thai waters is through live bait. The most popular Thai choice are the goldfishes boat in pet stores.

Tastiness: The featherback is a very popular table fish. Due to their high number of little bones the featherback is best prepared as fish balls or hor mok where the fish’s flesh is grounded up.

Pictured below: Spotted featherback in a fish tank.

  1. Alex West says:

    Not to imply anything here, but have you ever caught one?

    No shame man, I have never caught one, but they are definitely on my “to catch” list!

    Heard that some crazy souls at Bang Phra Resevoir catch them only by night. They take the boat out the whole night and use live bait-fish only (young koy-carps). Usually return with 4-5 catches.

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