Are there other gamefish?
You wouldn't believe how many! Over 3000 species of fish are found in the Amazon basin. Ichthyologists have identified about 1000 species of freshwater fish in the Negro River system alone. In the quiet backwaters and shallow lagoons, you can see dozens of small, brilliantly colored species that brighten aquarists home aquariums; tiny corydoras, strange flying hatchetfish, neon tetras, even the elegant and beautiful discus. In the deep holes and off-channels of the rivers, weird and rarely seen species such as electric eels and armored catfish lurk. Many species as yet unknown to science undoubtedly remain to be discovered in the Amazon.
There are also dozens of other great gamefish throughout the Amazon, depending on the specific fishery. Many rivers in the Amazon system have their own particular mix of game fish. Among the more notable Amazon denizens are the huge arapaima (pirarucu) and the silvery, prehistoric- looking ‘aruana’. The arapaima must come to the surface periodically to gulp air in order to survive. Picture a 100 pound plus scaled giant surfacing near your boat in a glass smooth lagoon!
Many of the rivers contain giant-red-tailed catfish ('pirarara'), sometimes exceeding 100 pounds. These monsters can be caught using a piranha as bait (you'd better have stiff gear or be prepared to follow these leviathans down the river).
Some fisheries contain the fast and acrobatic 'matrincha'. ‘Sorubim’ are large, aggressive catfish that happily strike a plug. Amazon rivers are also home to beefy 'pacu', bony-mouthed 'bicuda', streamlined 'pike cichlids' (Crenicichla sp.) and lots of small but feisty piranha.
Some of the best trophy peacock bass rivers do not offer a wide variety of ‘incidental’ species. If you’re after a mixed bag and not specifically seeking trophy-sized peacock bass, consider some of the rivers on the Amazon’s high-gradient fringe, with, payara, pacu, giant catfish and smaller peacocks, all accessible from one variety species camp, on northern Brazil’s Rio Travessao.
For more information on other Amazon species, see our Amazon Gamefish Encyclopedia.