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Peacock Bass ID Guide

An Anglers Guide to the
Recognized Species of Peacock Bass

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Cichla vazzoleri

Cichla vazzoleri - fast water peacock bass
Cichla vazzoleri

Cichla vazzoleri is one of the newly described (2006) species of Cichla.

Where to catch: Rio Travessao Multi-Species trip

ID Key: Large ocellated blotches replace vertical bars in adults. Blotchy to speckled cheek markings present. Yellow lower torso, shading to gold above. More brilliantly colored when spawning. Large adults present a very stocky torso.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Large ocellated blotches replace vertical bars in adults. Blotchy cheek markings present. Yellow lower torso, shading to gold above. Yellowish green to reddish cast to lower fins, blueish cast to upper fins. Juveniles:
< 2 lbs.
from 3 to 14 lbs. in river
Depth to length ratio: approx. 27%

Lateral Line Scales: approx.105
Most similar to
C. pinima
C. temensis
C. thyrorus
C. jariina
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil .

River Basins: The mid-upper, middle and lower Rio Trombetas and the middle Rio Uatuma
Wildly territorial in spawning areas. Feeds aggressively in river structure. We encountered smaller specimens in creek mouths and backwaters. Adults were located in protected, lagoon-like spawning waters or behind current blocking rocks in the main river. Named in honor of Gelso Vazzoler, a collector of the species' reference specimens None

Fishing Tactics

This is a powerful and pugnacious fish. Short and stumpy they attain sizes at least up to 15 pounds. When water conditions are somewhat high and less clear, they aggressively take zara spooks, small woodchoppers and a variety of subsurface lures. As water drops and becomes clearer, success diminishes with topwaters, but improves with subsurface lures, particularly peacock bass rattle jigs and streamer flies.

In the main river or larger braids, anglers can consistently find them behind large, current diverting rocks or stands of macrophytes. Here, a lure presented at the edge of the structure, where the current flows around it, will elicit aggressive attacks. And, if by chance there isn't a peacock present, then the angler is often reward with the violent strike of a big trairão (wolfish). Submerged rocks near shorelines and rocky outcroppings hold fish as well. Here, they hold in between submerged rocks and will come up to take a tempting surface lure or well-placed subsurface presentation. These are their primary stomping grounds.

They can also be found in creeks and protected back-waters which tend to hold either very small specimens or large, fry-guarding spawners. As with other species of Cichla, fry guarders will ultimately attack anything they perceive to be a threat to their offspring. Cichla vazzoleri can also be found feeding in fast water and they are often taken while using deep-running lures for payara.

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