PREDATORS GALORE… There is such a diversity of predatory species to be caught in these rivers. With lures, flies, jigs, spoons, cut baits and other baits, dozens of different fish will keep the avid angler busy the whole trip. Our top species count to date is 47!
Hard-fighting ‘Yellow’ and ‘Lake’ Peacock Bass are two of the toughest and meanest Cichla species found in the Amazon Rainforest. These amazing predators can be caught on medium-sized walk-the-dog lures like spooks and skitter walks, small poppers, propbaits and on jigs, flies and minnow baits. They will smash topwater lures with abandon and there is nothing like the strike of a Peacock exploding on a lure worked across the surface. The bigger ‘Yellows’ can reach over 17lbs.
The slash-and-grab Payara/Vampire Fish and the Pike-like Bicuda visibly chase surface lures, minnowbaits, jigs and flies in the faster water. They are often seen crashing on baitfish on the surface. Payara will take cutbait/strips too.
Arowana/Monkey Fish grow huge here and also make a regular appearance. They will annihilate topwater lures, minnowbaits, jigs and flies. Giant Black Piranhas and Coby/Pescada can also be caught using cutbait, or small lures, spoons and deep-jigging lures in the deeper pools and runs.
MONSTER ARAPAIMAS AND CATFISH… We really do have some RIVER MONSTERS here, with massive Arapaima gigas and also huge Cats, from the unusual up to big bruising bullies. All can be caught on cutbait, livebait or whole dead fish.
Arapaimas are old, ancient beasts that are very prehistoric-looking, with armoured-plating over their entire bodies, yet they can be so delicate after being landed. They live in quiet backwater and bays, usually in low oxygenated water and grow to over 500lbs and 4m in length! We only use circle hooks for these Giants to avoid any belly-hooked fish. Great care is needed to revive these Leviathans before returning them to the lagoon.
The two species of Surubim or Shovel-nosed Tiger Cats here are both fast, sleek and strike hard. These hieroglyphically-marked predators are also caught on lures. Growing to over 50lbs, they are powerful fish to catch. The Leopard or Jundia Cat is a dynamite of a fish for its size. Averaging 15lbs, they max out at about 25lbs and are one of the tastiest fish in the Amazon.
The express train Banana Fish or Redtail Cats must be rated as the hardestfighting Cats in the whole Amazon for their size. An 80lb Redtail will take you all over the river and strip line in reel-smoking, screaming runs. Jau Cats are the Rottweillers of the river and dwell in the rocks and fast water and will take you deep in their caves! Gentle persuasion followed by brute force is needed to land these giants. THE King of all our Cats, the Giant Freshwater Shark/Lau-lau /Piraiba. This leviathan grows to over 400lbs and when hooked, roars off at 50 miles an hour. It may take you a couple of hours to land one of these huge fish.
There are so many other species for the avid angler to catch who is willing to go that extra mile. Anglers can catch nut, fruit and berry-eating fish like big Red and Silver Pacu, Couti, Aracu and many more scaled species all day long. All these smaller scaled species make for great fresh Catfish bait too! The weird and wonderful are also still to be discovered by many foreign fishermen and we have them all. Plenty of European anglers enjoy what is classified as ‘coarse fishing’, and an angler could easily ‘bag-up’ with sweetcorn, nuts, fruits, potato, fish strips or freshwater snails.