Myanmar Name(s): none
Description (Source: Wikipedia)
Although they have no spines, they do have several soft rays. About 23-26 rays are on the dorsal fin and 24-28 are on the anal fin. They have 86-93 vertebrae. Dorsally, flat needlefish are blueish, white ventrally, with dark blotches and 12-14 vertical bars in the middle of their bodies. Flat needlefish have elongated bodies, with scythe-shaped pectoral and anal fins. They also have a dark lobe on the posterior part of their dorsal fins. The longest recorded flat needlefish measured 140 cm. Measurements for flat needlefish body length do not include their caudal fins and heads because the fish's long jaws are often broken off. The largest recorded weight for a flat needlefish was 4.8 kg.
Biology / Diet / Behavior (Source: Fishbase)
Inhabits neritic and oceanic waters but more often found near islands. Found in estuaries, and coastal rivers. Sometimes forming large schools. Feeds mainly on small fishes. Oviparous. Eggs may be found attached to objects in the water by filaments on the egg's surface. Since the jaws are frequently broken, the maximum length is given as body length excluding head and caudal fin. Usually caught with the help of artificial lights. Marketed fresh and salted; smoked or frozen. Market limited due to the green-colored flesh. In females, only left gonad is developed, and in males the right gonad is small or absent.
Fly Fishing For Needle Fish In Myanmar: What We Understand & Know So Far...
With very narrow and bony jaws featuring long teeth, a single hook hardly gets any grip. They chase and attack any streamer pattern and will come back to the same fly many times before swimming away. The way they attack looks like they bite on the tail of the fly behind the hook, as if they were trying to disable their prey before eating it.
As they are usually in schools, feeding competition may also make them attack flies more easily; fishing a school of needle fish can be very entertaining, but also very frustrating. it is very common to have many bites and not hook any. Once hooked, they fight decently and sometimes jump.
We are testing different flies' patterns, but we are still to find one that hooks them efficiently and consistently.
Beside streamers, they also seem to appreciate poppers.