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 count to date is 47 species on rod and line!
Hard-fighting C. cataractae and C. ocellaris 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 C. cataractae can reach over 17lbs, with the C.ocellaris getting to 8lbs.
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.
And don’t forget the ever-present Piranhas here. While there are many species of Piranha, the largest is the S. rhombeus/Red Eye or Black Piranha. They can reach over 10lbs with the average fish weighing around 5-7lbs.
There are so many other species for the avid angler who is willing to go that extra mile. Anglers can catch nut, fruit and berry-eating fish like big Red, Black and Silver Pacu, Couti, Aracu and many more smaller 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.
IN SEARCH OF RIVER MONSTERS …… We really do have some RIVER MONSTERS here, with massive Arapaima and huge Cats, from the unusual right 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 armored-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 400lbs and 4m in length! We only use barbless 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. Average weight for lagoon-caught Arapaimas is around 150-200lbs and they can sometimes be seen in the river itself. The males are more colorful than the females, with bright scarlet-red scales along their tails and bellies. *Arapaimas can be caught on lures and flies also.
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.
Flat-Whiskered Cats are always a joy to catch, with their alien-looking whiskers twitching like antennae. They can reach 30lbs but average around 10-15lbs.
The two species of Surubim or Shovelnosed ‘Tiger Cats’ here are both fast, sleek and strike hard. These hieroglyphic-marked predators can also be caught on lures. Growing to over 50lbs, they are powerful fish to catch.
The express train ‘Banana Fish’/Redtail Cats must be rated as the hardest-fighting Cats in the whole Amazon for their size. An 80lb Redtail will take you all over the river, through timber and rocks and strip line in reel-smoking, screaming runs. They can reach over 100lbs.
Jau Cats are the Sumo Wrestlers of the river and dwell in the rocks near or in fast water and will take you deep into their lairs! Brute force is needed to stop them getting into their holes in the rocks and to land these giants. Big fish can reach well over 100lbs, but they average around 50-80lbs here.
THE KING of all our Cats is the Giant Lau/Piraiba (aka Freshwater Shark), growing to over 400lbs. When hooked, it will roar off at 50 miles an hour and it may take you a couple of hours to land one of these huge fish. Average sized have been between 120-250lbs
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