Headwaters Adventure Trips

Peacock Bass Fishing in The Headwaters of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest Tributaries

Trip Summary

Destination Rio Negro and Rio Madeira tributary headwaters, Amazonas
Country Brazil
Season July - September/October in our Southern fishery and October/November - February in our Northern fishery
Trip Type Floatplane Fly-In Jungle Adventure Peacock Bass Fishing Trip
Species 3 species of Peacock Bass ~ Suribim ~ Traira ~ Bicuda ~ Dogfish ~ Jacunda ~ Catfish ~ Pescada ~ Arowana ~ Piranha
Description Luxury Houseboat accommodation deep in The Amazon Jungle in the headwaters of our chosen river, targeting Giant Three-Barred Peacock Bass in our two fisheries in exclusive areas.
Cost $4650 per angler (all costs are in US dollars)
Duration 9 Day Trip with 6+ Days’ Fishing

Watch the Headwaters Video

Trip Introduction


Amazon-Angler’s fly-in (by floatplane) Headwaters Peacock Bass trips in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest is THE trip for Giant Three Barred Peacock Bass fanatics or newbies alike.

Our 'all inclusive' floatplane fly-in jungle adventure trips are based from a modern luxury Houseboat in exclusive Reservation areas. As well as awesome Peacock Bass, our anglers will catch many other species that hit lures and flies too.

In our Southern fishery, from May, water levels start to drop quickly and the rivers recede out of the flooded jungle and our season here runs from July - Sept.
In our more Northern fishery, water levels start to drop quickly from July, and our season here runs from October to end February.
These times in the season are prime times to target Giant Peacock Bass and other species as the water levels have dropped and the fish are easier to target. Most Cats can be found also, depending on water levels at the time.

The Fishing

The headwaters of these tributaries have lagoon after lagoon filled with hard-fighting Three-Barred or ‘Speckled’ Peacock Bass (Cichla temensis) that can reach over 28lbs. Fish hold up in fallen trees and tree stands, drop offs, points and sandy beaches as well as in the thick structure of the huge lagoons and river points.

Our fishing boats are 17ft skiffs with raised decks, fishing seats if needed, 25Hp engines and electric trolling motor. Each boats will have an ice box filled with ice and drinks of your choice. Two anglers share a boat with a guide. These boats are light and can easily be carried and dragged into landlocked lagoons and lakes if needed.

Peacock Bass anglers will tell you, that once you have had a big Peacock blow up on your surface lure, you’ll be hooked for life! There is nothing more exciting and exhilarating than seeing that big fish explode on your Propbait, Spook or other surface bait. The strike is nothing less than awe-inspiring, loud, aggressive, fast, furious and shocking all in one.

Our three main target species here are the Giant Three Barred/Speckled Cichla temensis which are the largest at over 30lbs, Butterfly Cichla orienocensis to 14lbs and ‘Popoca’ Cichla monoculos to 9lbs. Temensis starts off life as ‘Pacas’ or Speckled Peacocks and will morph into the full-blown Three-Bar ‘Açu’ breeding uniform for its spawning mode. Peacock Bass are structure-loving fish, although spawning fish are often seen with their young dimpling the flat mirror glass surface of a quiet lagoon. If they don’t want to eat a bait, they’ll want to kill it with explosive strikes and that’ss NO exaggeration. Baits have to be worked fast here in the Amazon. Nothing slow swims in the Amazon and stays alive for long.

In the rainy season, the waters rise incredibly. A river that is only 100m wide within its banks in the dry season, may be 20 or more kilometres wide in the rainy season, spread way out into the flooded jungle. Fishing during that time is like finding a needle in a haystack as the predators have followed the baitfish far back into the jungle. Once the rains stop and the levels recede back out of the jungle and into the river banks, this is prime time to catch this magnificent adversary.

Key structures that Peacock Bass love to inhabit are entrances to lagoons, points of beaches and trees, shoulders between a bank and an island, blow-downs and lay-downs, stands of trees and individual trees, drop-offs and sand bars. Best surface baits to use are Klures propbaits or similar propbaits, poppers, walk-the-dog stick baits like Spooks and other cigar-shaped lures. Best sub-surface lures are lead-head jigs, minnow-style baits like Rapala X raps, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, Cotton Cordell or similar. Bucktail Jigs with extended tails can catch you over 150 fish a day, although many will be smaller than when using the larger baits. Fly fishing is a great way to fish in the right conditions, off sandy beaches, in lagoons and in the many river systems. You can catch plenty of Peacocks a day with large, flashy streamer flies and poppers.


We catch many other species that hit lures intended for Peacock Bass too. All great sportfish in their own way, each has its place in our fishing agenda. Most can be caught on the usual Peacock Bass lures, but many anglers like the variety that these great fish give, so will often bring a few different lures in the tackle box to target them.

Arowana/Monkey Fish, due to its jumping prowess in high water and feeding of birds, spiders and other insects up in the higher branches of submerged trees. Great sport on medium tackle and reaching over 12lbs, they take stick baits, jigs and minnow baits and flies. Traira/Wolf Fish are usually found at the back end of lagoons or in any oxygen-depleted water. They readily take spooks and other stick baits and love jigs, flies, minnows etc. They max. out at around 7lbs.

Bicuda is a fast-water species that can grow to 10lbs here but average 2-3lbs. Lightning-fast and acrobatic too, these long pike-like fish will hit most topwater and small subsurface lures, jigs and flies. Dogfish are great fun on ultra-light tackle and will inhale flies, small jigs, mini-rapalas etc. They look like a small freshwater Barracuda and have a set of teeth only a Rottweiler would love. A nasty little predator with an elongated body and getting to a max. 3lbs.

Jacunda is one of the prettiest fish in the Amazon and a shame that they don’t grow larger. Reaching 2-2.5lbs, they will take most small lures, flies and jigs. There are the ever-present Piranhas, which will take a chomp at anything small or big enough! Any jig, soft plastic or wooden lures can be ‘Piranhavized’ at any time. They are a real pain in the A$$. My advice to fly and jig tiers, go simple, no elaborate designs, or you’ll be spending lots of cash on new ones!

Surubim/Shovelnose Cats are great on lures also, often taking jigs, small minnow baits and flies and roaring off at a rate of knots. They grow to over 30lbs in the Rio Negro Basin and can be seen on submerged sandy beaches and in lagoons slowly swimming along. And of course we have bigger Cats for those who want to chill out in the shade with a cold drink and wait for a reel-burning experience. Redtails and Piraiba are here in the deeper holes and gullies.This is a great trip for those who would like not only some amazing lure fishing for the hardest fighting freshwater fish on the planet, but also plenty of comfort at the end of the day and during the night. The perfect trip for couples, families, partners or even solo anglers.

The Accommodation

Our ultra-modern luxury Houseboat is the only boat of its kind with great lines, modern furnishings and four double cabins with smoky-black windows. Each cabin has its own private bathroom with hot and cold water showers.

Our anglers will arrive by floatplane on the headwaters of our chosen tributary and onto the same fabulous 5* luxury houseboat that we host our guests on the Rio Abacaxis in our Southern Amazon fishery. This area is so far away and remote that other fishing boats cannot reach there.

We have a Jacuzzi, bar area, dining room, a large living room and outside seating areas front and back, and all inside areas are fully air-conditioned.

The bar is open 24/7, the beers are always ice cold, cocktails flow in the evenings and delicious and sumptious meals are prepared by our in-house chef.

Travel Plan

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS – arrival in the city of Manaus and transfer to the hotel and overnight.

DAY 2: Early morning floatplane from Manaus to the river and start fishing when ready! Overnight on the Houseboat for the next 7 nights.

DAY 3 – 8: Six full days of guided fishing.

DAY 9: Floatplane back to Manaus by late morning and transfer to international airport for onwards journey home – TOUR ENDS.

What Does it Cost?

DURATION 9 Day Trip with 6+ Days’ Fishing
COST $4650 per angler (all costs are in US dollars)
OCCUPANCY Single anglers, partners, families (with children 9yrs and above), small groups all welcome. Rooms are based on double occupancy.
INCLUDED All transfers on arrival day before trip and overnight at hotel in Manaus, return floatplane flight in and out of the jungle, all food and beverages while at the Houseboat and while fishing, daily laundry and 6+ days guided fishing.
NOT INCLUDED International and domestic flights to and from Manaus, meals and drinks while in Manaus, tips, hard liquor, wine, fishing tackle, rods, reels, lures, jigs etc. Visas - N.B. European, American, Canadian, Australian and Japanese citizens do NOT require a visa for entry into Brazil.
  • Terms and conditions of payments: 50% as deposit on reservation, 50% due 90 days before arrival in Manaus.
  • A strict 15kgs must be adhered to for all floatplane flights. Anyone with overweight luggage will be required to leave items in Manaus until their return at the end of the trip.
  • A complete and comprehensive list of gear, clothing and tackle suggestions will be provided once reservation and deposit payments have been made.
  • Tips – we suggest $150pp for your guide and $150pp for the remaining houseboat staff.
  • Through our travel agent associates, we are able to secure excellent rates for all your international and domestic flights and health/travel insurance that are not included in our packages. Please ask for Details.
  • Inquire with your doctor for any medications or vaccines needed.


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