Goliath tigerfish’s scientific name is Hydrocynus goliath and they are also known as giant tigerfish, or mbenga, is a very large African ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀʏ freshwater fish of the family Alestidae. They is found in the Congo River Basin (including Lualaba River and Lake Upemba), and Lake Tanganyika. They have a ꜰɪᴇʀᴄᴇ appearance and an even fiercer reputation.
The goliath tigerfish looks like a regular fish on steroids. It’s four times the size of a piranha, and it has a series of sharp, jagged fangs that stick out of its mouth. They is a large and heavily built fish, with the largest specimens reaching a length of 6 feet, and 100 pounds in weight, although there have been reports of individuals weighing 150 lbs or more. The largest documented catch for the goliath tigerfish was 4.9 feet long and 154 pounds (70 kg). That’s the size of a small adult!
This fish has long crocodile-like teeth, specially evolved to tear chunks of meat out of other fish. An adult will eat any other fish it can overpower, such as small Nile perch. And, it’s the only fish that doesn’t fear crocodiles, perhaps because it will eat small crocs —using its 32 razor-sharp teeth that can each measure about an inch long. The Goliath’s teeth are set at the edge of the jaw — the monster has barely any lips.
When hunting, this fish uses the calmer eddies of the rapids to ᴀᴍʙᴜsʜ its ᴘʀᴇʏ, using its keen sight to detect ᴘʀᴇʏ. When a target is noticed, the fish accelerates to chase it down. The Nile crocodile is the only known ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ of mature goliath tigerfish.
A number of incidents have been reported in The Congo of this fish ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ humans. This reputation, combined with its strength, has earned it an almost mythical status among anglers, and it has been called the “greatest freshwater gamefish in the world”. Their size makes them a brag-worthy catch, and their bulk can feed an entire village in rural parts of Africa. They can be fried, filleted, baked and grilled. It’s said that they have a similar taste to tilapia.
In captivity, they live for 10-15 years. There hasn’t been a lot of research into the goliath tigerfish, so we don’t know how long that they can sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ in the wild. As apex ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs, goliath tigerfish have no known ᴇɴᴇᴍɪᴇs in the wild. They might fall ᴠɪᴄᴛɪᴍ to big creatures like crocodiles, especially when they’re young and small, but this hasn’t been caught on camera yet.