Striped Eel Catfish ( Plotosus lineatus )
Common Name: Catfish,
Local Name: Patuna, I-ito, (Tagalog) Ito (Cebuano)
Max Size: 32 cm
Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef-Associated
Depth: 1 – 60 m
Fishing Season: All Year Long
Minimum Size Limit: None
Recommended Bait: Shrimp, Squid and Fish
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)
This is a unique species of catfish found in the ocean and occasionally in estuaries. Their eel-like tail fish are where they get their name. These catfish are usually quite small though bait anglers may catch some up to the max size. There is a related species that grows quite large and makes more of a prize than these little guys. It is not uncommon to see schools of these catfish swimming in dense balls around reefs where they feed.
Like most catfish in the Philippines the spines on the eel-catfish venomous. They leave a very painful sting that lasts for a while. Anglers should exercise care when handling these fish. These fish are edible though they are not a sought after fish.