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Also known as the Vampire Fish, and with good reason, the Payara (Hydrolicus armatus) or Pirandira in Brazilian, are a truly ferocious, fastwater, migratory sportfish. Payara are better described as silver missiles with an attitude. They literally hit any bait and keep running like an express train on steroids.


They have a salmon-like body, complete with an adipose fin, but a stronger demeanour and a face full of impressive daggers for teeth, in particular two huge fangs growing from their lower laws that fit into conical nasal slots in their upper jaws.

Payaras or Vampire Fish sport a uniform, bright silver colour along their flanks with an olive back and an orange and black tail. They are also called Dracula Fish, Dog Fish or Wolf Fish and normally impale their victims with their over-sized bottom canine teeth and streak away. Their usual prey are anything from a third to a half of their own length. They are found wherever there is current, either along a bank, off points, on the main rivers or even in submerged trees.

Payara - aka The Vampire Fish

Payara or Vampire Fish- Amazon Fish

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Payara receive way less press than Peacocks as a sportfish from the same waters, but they are truly underestimated. Their brute strength, stamina, screaming runs and acrobatic jumps make them a truly strong adversary for any angler.


If you want to try fishing for Payaras or Vampire fish, huge trophy fish can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia but some of the best places, without doubt, are in Lake Guri and its Rio La Paragua, in some of the Highland rivers of the Guyana Shield in Brazil and in a few of the Southern Amazon watersheds.


They can get to over 40lbs with the current record at just over 39lbs.

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Amazon-Angler.com | Amazon Fishing - Payara / Vampire Fish

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