August 26, 2005
A Man, a Boat, and the God of Catfish
Back in May, Thai fisherman caught a 9-foot, 646-pound giant catfish in the Mekong River. It may be the largest freshwater fish ever recorded. However, it was the following bit of the story that really caught my eye:
The monster fish was one of just three giant catfish caught in Thailand this year.Not only is there a god of catfish, but there's a shrine to the god of catfish. And the boat did its part in helping the men make their big catch.
Before he headed out on May 1, one of the men who caught it, Thirayuth Panthayom, 29, made sure luck would be on his side. He said he prayed at the shrine of the God of Catfish and begged his boat to help him, "Please, Miss Boat, let me catch something today and I'll sacrifice a chicken for you."
He said he had only been out for 15 minutes when he saw the fish smack the water four times with its tail - "Pung! Pung! Pung! Pung!" It took his crew an hour to pull it in.
I imagine that "Catfish God" probably sounds more poetic in Thai.
Hat Khrai Journal: Truly, It Was a Whopper, but Are There Bigger Fish? [NYT]