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Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing Trips with the World's Leading Authority

1 (866) 832-2987 · 1 (866) 431-1668

Peacock Bass Pre-Trip Guide


Peacock Bass Characteristics

Peacock Bass (Cichla sp.): 'Peacock bass' is a generalized name for a group (genus) of large bass-like gamefish native to an extensive tropical range in South America. They are not a true bass, but are a grouping within the family Cichlidae. (For that matter, neither are the largemouth and smallmouth bass found in North American waters.) Cichlids are a diverse family of tropical fishes found throughout Africa and South America. All peacock species are tropical fishes and thus temperature-sensitive, but some smaller species have been successfully introduced in tropical areas from Panama to Hawaii, with transplants swimming in many of the freshwater irrigation channels in Dade County, Florida. There are significant color and pattern variations within many of the species and there is much confusion about common and local names. Until 2006, only five separate species of peacock bass were recognized A new revision of the peacock bass' taxonomy in 2006 has added 10 additional recognized species to the group and greatly aided anglers's understanding of their identification. Peacock bass are called tucunaré in Brazil, while other Spanish speaking countries use the term pavón. For more detailed information, see our peacock bass species guide.

peacock bass markings
The giant peacock's (opercular) cheek markings are a distinctive identifying characteristeric.

The Giant peacock or tucunaré belongs to the species Cichla temensis. Better known as 'speckled' or '3-barred' peacock in English, and 'acu' or 'paca' in Brazil, it is the largest of the peacock bass species, reaching well into the 20 pound class. With an average weight of about 6-pounds, 10-18 pound fish are common, while 20+ pounders are generally taken each week. This species has an unmistakable mottled black patch directly behind its eye. Body coloration and markings can vary greatly. Three vertical black bars are usually visible (intensity varies from fish to fish) beginning just behind the pectoral fin and ending underneath the soft portion of the dorsal fin. Often, horizontal white spots are present (running along the top two thirds of the fish's body). On rare occasions, there are neither black bars nor horizontal speckles, however the mottled patch directly behind the eye remains a distinct identifying characteristic. This species has not been successfully transplanted outside of the Amazon Basin (except for Lake Guri, Venezuela) due to its greater temperature sensitivity.

The most common of the secondary species in the regions we fish is Cichla Orinocensis. It has three black, ocellated spots (about the size of a half dollar depending on the size of the fish) running along its lateral line. This fish is called "borboleto (meaning butterfly) in Brazil, causing visiting anglers to confuse it with another species transplanted to Florida and locally called butterfly peacock (see below). Average "borboletos" run about 2 - 3 pounds and top out at about 12.

Cichla Monoculus, also known as the Red Bellied peacock is called "papoca" in Brazil. It exhibits three black stripes down its sides, with a distinct ink-blot horizontal stripe pattern running above the bright red belly. The most beautifully colored of all peacocks, it is common in the southern part of our fishery.

The Butterfly peacock is a name used in the U.S. for Cichla ocellaris, a species naturally naturally in rivers of the Guyana Shield. Much more tolerant of colder water, this smaller species has been successfully introduced in the U.S. It has variable markings, but displays a single black ocellum (eye-spot) ahead of the usual one on the tail. It is not found in the Amazon lowlands where we fish for giant peacock bass.

The least common of the five species described in the 2003 checklist is the royal or black-stripe peacock (Cichla intermedia). This species is not encountered in lowlands Amazonian Brazil, since it prefers fast water in a rocky habitat. The royal's distinguishing features include a distinctive, narrow, serrated, horizontal black 'band' that runs from just behind the gill plate, past the soft part of the dorsal fin.

The 2006 revision named 10 additional species found in other Amazon locations. For more information on these species, see our peacock bass identification guide.

Other Species - Although peacock bass are the main attraction in the Amazon, there are many other jungle species that are also impressive (regarding both physical beauty and fighting capabilities). Depending upon location, matrinchã, pacú, pirapitinga, jacundá, traida, apapá, tambaqui, pirarucú, piraiba, bicuda, piranha, aruanã, suribim, pirarara, trairao, payara and pescada can be taken and should be enjoyed whenever available.

CATCH AND RELEASE -- To insure the best fishing possible and to comply with conservation policies and the terms of most of our access agreements, Acute Angling maintains a careful catch and release policy. Studies have shown a very low mortality rate when peacocks are carefully released. To minimize dolphin and piranha predation we strongly encourage all of our guides and anglers to fully resuscitate fish and release them in a secure place near structure. Our guides are well trained in fish handling and care. If you want to photograph, measure or weigh a trophy fish, have the guide hold the fish or use a device such as a BogaGrip which does not harm the fish. Your understanding and cooperation will ensure that all our fisheries remain as productive as ever. During your stay, your guides may bring back piranha, smaller peacocks of secondary species or other fish for the table. Only at this time should any fish be kept.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us, toll-free or E-mail us.
Thanks for fishing with Acute Angling!

Paul Reiss: - (866) 832-2987 - E-Mail Paul Reiss
Garry Reiss: - (866) 431-1668 -E-Mail Garry Reiss

We are pleased to be able to arrange trips to the right place at the right time, anywhere in the world, with the most reputable, professional outfitters. References are available upon request.


When you Travel With Acute Angling, It's Much More Than Just Fishing

Imagine casting your line into the mysterious and beautiful black waters of the Brazilian Amazon. Then imagine the explosive strike of one of the biggest Peacock Bass you've ever seen. Then picture yourself fighting and landing the world's greatest freshwater gamefish and the trophy you've been dreaming of. Imagine doing this for days on end, without intrusive interruptions, or hurrying off because you've run out of time.

With Acute Angling, you can experience the ultimate in peacock bass fishing trips. For over fifteen years, Acute Angling has been providing the very best fishing excursions in South America.

We've done all the research so you don't have to. From start to finish, we are there every step of the way to make sure you have the best sportfishing experience of your lifetime. We are there fishing with you and we'll help with techniques, tackle tips, and a full array of extras not found with run-of-the-mill fishing travel agencies or other outfitters.

We've investigated and studied the regions we'll be taking you to, so our knowledge will help you have an unparalleled experience. Acute Angling handles your complete travel program…from air travel, to entry visa, to pre-trip preparation and even travel insurance. Combine that with our specialized tackle packages and you'll have nothing to worry about except catching trophy peacock bass. Let us handle the details.

Now, just imagine it one more time: Holding up that incredible peacock bass that YOU wrestled out of the wild jungle-framed waters. Taking the photo and then releasing the beautiful animal back to the wild. Doesn't that feel good?

Let Acute Angling take you on the fishing trip of a lifetime!

Acute Angling is a member of the Peacock Bass Association

For more information about fishing trips for peacock bass and other exotic species, contact us;
by E-mail; Paul Reiss, Gary Reiss or, join our Mailing List

Telephone—Toll-free: Paul Reiss (866) 832-2987 or Gary Reiss: 866 431-1668

Mail: Acute Angling, 9 Powelson Dr., Hillsborough, NJ 08844

References are available upon request.


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