This is the largest of the Hoplias species with specimens caught at a length of 120 cm, the largest rod and reel record stands at 101 cm. They can weigh as much as 40 kg (88lbs).This species has an elongated cylindrical shape. the colour is basically brown with a lighter base colour, although shades can vary, with a number of vertical patches or stripes. There are normally small spots visible on the upper anterior part of the body including the head, the patterning can vary geographically. The colour can be almost solid black through to pale brownish gold colour with marked dark stripes.