Where are the biggest fish?
From mid-October on, falling waters make the Rio Negro basin the location of choice. A score of blackwater rivers, such as the Araca, Urubaxi, Caures and the mighty Rio Negro itself become the optimal destinations for anglers right through February and into March. This is where the biggest peacock bass on the planet are found, ranging in size up to nearly 30 pounds. The heavily tannin-stained and austere waters of this basin support less biomass, hence daily catch numbers are lower than the southern fisheries, but anglers can still realize plenty of fish each day; and of course the world-record peacock bass may very well explode on your lure on the very next cast. For more about trips in this area see our: Interactive Trip Finder
Of the fifteen recognized species of peacock bass, Cichla temensis is by far the largest, commonly reaching weights well over 20-pounds. This giant species does not thrive in waters that can't maintain a minimum temperature of 75 degrees. While several other species of peacock bass, notably the much smaller C.ocellaris and C. monoculus have been successfully transplanted to Florida, Mexico, Central America and Hawaii, the giant Cichla temensis has, been unable to survive outside of its native Amazonia.
Giant Amazon peacocks, called tucunaré in Brazil, can be identified by the black markings on their gill plates, absent in other species. Cichla temensis' body markings are changeable and can vary significantly even within the same population on the same river. Markings range from their brilliant spawning colors, a yellow-gold background with 3 distinct vertical bars to their non-reproductive colors, an olive-brown body with white horizontal speckles. Spawning C. temensis display brilliant blue and red fin colors. Perhaps the single most enjoyable identifier, however, is the nerve jarring crash when a giant peacock bass explodes all over your bait.
For more information see our: Peacock Bass Species Guide - a descriptive guide to the species of peacock bass.