Pre-trip Guide: The Fishing

Peacock Bass Characteristics

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

Peacock Bass (Cichla sp.): 'Peacock bass' is a generalized name for a group of large bass-like gamefish native to an extensive tropical range in South America. They are not a true bass, but belong to a genus within the family Cichlidae. (For that matter, the largemouth and smallmouth bass found in North American waters are not bass either - they're sunfish.) Cichlids are a diverse family of tropical fishes found throughout Africa and South America. All peacock bass species are tropical fishes and thus temperature-sensitive, although several smaller species have been successfully introduced in sub-tropical areas from Panama to Hawaii, with transplants swimming in many of the freshwater irrigation channels in Miami and 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' 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.

The species you’ll most likely encounter on our
Blackwater Explorer yacht and Floating Bungalow trips.

The Giant peacock or “tucunaré” (Cichla temensis), also known as 'speckled', ‘three-barred’, ‘acu’ or ‘paca’ is the largest of all peacock bass species, reaching sizes of nearly 30 pounds. This is our primary target. Like all fishes, each successive age-group is smaller, thus fish size is typically described as a pyramid, with fish from 2 to 7 pounds most common. Anglers will encounter a smaller but significant number of fish ranging from 7 to 12 pounds. 12 to18-pound fish are less common, and 20+ pounders are considered the holy grail of peacock bass fishing. Cichla temensis has an unmistakable mottled black patch directly behind its eye. Body coloration and markings vary greatly as they move through their cyclical color and pattern changes (see Peacock Bass Definition for an explanation of their complex color and pattern variation). 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, but the mottled patch directly behind the eye always remains a distinct characteristic. This species has not been successfully transplanted outside of the Amazon (except for Lake Guri, Venezuela) due to its greater temperature sensitivity.

The Butterfly peacock - This name has unfortunately caused great confusion among anglers. In the U.S., the name refers to a species introduced in south Florida (Cichla ocellaris). This smaller Florida transplanted species has variable markings, but consistently displays a single black ocellum (eye-spot) ahead of the usual one on the tail. It is a more cold-tolerant species from the mountain rivers of Guyana. It is not found where we fish for peacocks in the Brazilian lowlands.

In Brazil, Cichla orinocensis is the species called butterfly ( or borboleto — meaning butterfly) hence the great confusion. 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. 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 stubby 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 most of our fisheries.

Several other species of peacock bass may be encountered in our exploratory and variety species trips. All are smaller than the giant Cichla temensis and most have different behavior patterns. For more, detailed information, see our "Peacock Bass ID Guide". The guide will allow you to identify exactly which species you are encountering.

Other Fishes - Although peacock bass are the main attraction in the Amazon lowlands, there are many other jungle species that are also impressive (regarding both physical beauty and fighting capabilities). Depending upon location, matrinchão, pacú, pirapitinga, jacundá, traida, apapá, tambaqui, pirarucú, piraiba, bicuda, piranha, aruanã, suribim, pirarara, trairao and pescada can be taken and enjoyed. See information about our Multi-species lodge for the ultimate in Amazon variety.

Enjoying the fish - Catching a peacock bass trophy is a memory that will stay with you forever. Photograph it, marvel at its beauty and enjoy the pleasure of feeling its power return as you resuscitate and release it. When you return to your yacht or camp, share the experience with your mates; feel free to exaggerate, maybe even lie and boast if you have to, because they'll probably do the same, but you won't be able to resist enjoying the afterglow of landing a big peacock. It's a true fisherman's must-have experience.

CATCH AND RELEASE - To insure the best fishing possible, a strict catch and release policy is in effect in all of our operations. Peacock bass species are very robust fishes. Studies have shown that peacock bass have a very low mortality rate after capture, however there is a higher mortality rate on mishandled or carelessly released peacock bass (mainly due to dolphin and piranha predation). We strongly encourage all anglers to fully resuscitate fish and be patient while guides 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 the fish, the guide will hand the fish to you using a device called a BogaGrip, which does not harm the fish. Please keep your hands out of their gills. Your understanding and cooperation will ensure that all our fisheries remain as productive as ever.

Peacock Bass Angling Hints

peacock bass waters
Peacock bass attracting structure
abounds in the Amazon basin.

How do I catch peacock bass? —Well, first, you have to get at them. To the peacock bass novice, every inch of the Amazon looks like it holds fish. But, ever-changing conditions, such as water level, temperature, oxygen, food availability and spawning cycles all impact where peacocks can actually be caught. Too much water ... baitfish (and the peacocks right behind them) will simply go into the jungle ... we just can't catch peacocks there. Too little water ... they'll head for the river channel ... it's pretty tough to catch them here also. But, as water levels drop just below the river's banks, peacocks become concentrated in back waters, lagoons and riverbank structure ... we love to fish for them here. This is our single most important function; to know where peacocks can be found in water where they can be caught; and to take anglers there.

That being said, let's assume you've made it to the holy grail of peacock bass fishing ... optimal water levels. You still have to get them on a hook. Peacocks make it interesting because there are two ways to do that ... get them to eat your bait ... or get them to kill your bait. See our Peacock Bass Primer for detailed information on tactics and techniques.

Peacock bass are important ("keystone") predators in the waters they occupy, to the extent that they can change the ecological balance of an aquatic system. Like largemouth bass, peacocks often prefer 'structure' of some sort. Rocks, fallen logs, points and sand bars are where peacocks will usually be lurking. Larger peacocks, however, may often be found feeding or baby-sitting in open water, so it is wise to heed your guide's recommendations on where to cast. If there are dolphin or other large predators in the area, peacocks will tend to hold tightly to structure. Make sure to cover productive water as thoroughly as possible. Sometimes, the difference of a few inches in your cast can be the difference between an immediate strike or complete disinterest. During spawning periods, peacocks vacate 'structure' and nest on sandy bottoms in three to six feet of water.

Peacocks often roam about in small schools hunting baitfish, periodically bursting into a frothing feeding frenzy. When this situation is encountered, get your lure or fly in front of feeding fish as quickly as possible. This may sound easy, but peacocks tend to move fast as they tear through baitfish. The sooner you can cast to them after they've been spotted feeding, the better your chance of a hookup. Peacocks are greedy and highly competitive when in a group. Always cast a free lure or fly right next to any hooked fish (unless your partner is hooked up to a giant, when it's best to reel in and get out of the way). Another peacock will almost always be close by (often attracted by the commotion). If no strikes result, probe the surrounding area thoroughly before moving on.

During extended periods of very hot, dry weather, high water temperatures combined with low oxygen levels may force peacock bass out of the lagoons and into the main channel of the river. Here, they will tend to locate themselves around rock piles, bushes, sand bars, points, and log jams, which offer both protection and ready access to hunting grounds. The mouths of lagoons are often extremely productive also.

Techniques

Set the hook - in the fish. First time peacock anglers, when fishing topwater lures, instinctively react to the startling strike of a peacock by triggering a hook set, even though the peacock may not actually have the lure. Often peacocks will swirl at or slap a lure and then come back around and firmly grab it on the second pass. It's hard to remember at first, but don't reflexively set the hook or jerk the lure away on the strike. Wait until you feel the fish's weight, then set the hook, hard. Big peacocks have tough mouths. Don't be fooled into thinking you are hooked up just because a fish is taking line. Even if not hooked, they'll often hold on to a lure or fly and run for quite some time before spitting it out.

If the fish doesn't actually take the lure on the first strike, keep it moving. Peacocks will almost always lose interest in a lure or fly that just sits on the surface. If you continue to patiently work it however, the fish will often follow and hit the lure a second or even a third time, sometimes following it right to the boat.. If they do lose interest, quickly cast a jig or subsurface lure or fly in the immediate area. This often elicits another strike.

Never try and 'horse' a big peacock; Don't underestimate their power. Even moderately-large peacock bass are powerful enough to break heavy line, pull screws out of plugs, straighten saltwater hooks, and mutilate split rings. If a big fish is headed for structure, apply side pressure to the rod trying to 'steer' the fish in another direction. If you crank your drag down too tight, they'll almost always snap the line, or pull off. If a fish does make it into cover, don't give up. Back off on the pressure, drift over the fish and wait for the boat to spook the fish out of its hiding place -- they'll often untangle themselves. If your drag is set too tight when they bolt, a break off is usually inevitable. Even when a fish comes to the boat, never assume it's ready to give up. Always keep a properly set drag to absorb a last minute run.

Like all fishing, lure and fly selection can be a complicated matter due to variable fishing conditions. Water clarity, weather, brightness, and time of day will all dictate what type of lure or fly you should choose. Some argue that lure size is essential. Usually you will catch more fish with jigs, smaller lures or flies, although a high percentage of trophy peacocks are caught on larger baits. Lure or fly color doesn't seem to be as important as lure shade. If it's bright out, use a light-colored lure or fly. Dark shades can be more productive in low light conditions. For more information see our Peacock Primer - Part II.

Lure and Fly Guidelines

peacock bass lures
Notice how large the big prop lures are. Make certain that you buy the full size 'Riprollers' and 'Redfins'.

The Lures - When peacocks are in full feeding mode, anglers could probably toss their shoes into the water and get strikes. Lure selection, however, becomes critical as soon as conditions make the fish a little more selective. To optimize your lure selection, anglers should focus on the following four classes of lures:

Prop Baits - The classic peacock fisherman's tool, these big, gaudy plugs are best known for the spectacular surface explosions they elicit. Anglers should bring at least a half dozen assorted samples, concentrating on the larger sizes (up to 2 oz.). Among the best choices are Highroller's Magnum Riproller. The larger models are harder to work but pay back with greater durability when fighting big fish. Lighter versions of these lures may perform just as well but carry smaller, less durable hooks. They will attract plenty of strikes, but may break your heart when you finally hook up with your trophy.

Jigs - This is the ultimate peacock bass bait. Nothing catches as many peacocks as a properly fished 1/2 oz. peacock jig (strip it-don't jig it). Either tie your own or buy a high quality pre-tied model, such as Sidewinder's Peacock Bass Rattle Jig. For more information on the peacock bass rattle jig and for the recipe to tie your own visit our Peacock Bass Jig Guide. Bring at least a dozen or two (more if you'll be fishing piranha laden waters).

Swimming Plugs - A great all-purpose peacock bass lure. These baits are easy to use and work under almost all conditions. Recommended models include; Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow (3/4 oz., floater), 7 inch Cotton Cordell Red Fin, large Bombers and floating Rapala Magnums. Bring a half dozen.

Walking Stick Baits - Sometimes a slowly sashaying stick bait will trigger violent peacock strikes. Brands include; Zara Spook (3/4 oz.), Super Spook (1 oz.) and Mega-Bait (2 oz.). Bring 3 or 4.

Other Lures - The great majority of the peacock bass on our trips are caught by the 4 types of lures detailed above. Sometimes, however, conditions call for a specialized tool. Carry at least one or two large spoons (Johnson's silver minnow - 1 and 1/8 oz.), a few big Rattletrap lures, and perhaps a small, deep diver. Of course, every angler has their favorite lure, one that they just know is going to change the face of peacock fishing and land them a world record. By all means, bring it, but don't bring too many. Weight limits and space considerations demand that you focus on the most productive items.

If the water is off color or there is a slight chop, a propeller-type topwater lure (like the 6-3/4" Big Game Wood Chopper) will effectively attract the fish's attention. If the water is completely calm (and/or clear), it may be wise to try a more subtle topwater lure like a 4-1/2", 3/4 oz. Heddon 'Zara Spook.'. If the fish refuse to take topwater, switch to a subsurface lure. If the water is clear, lures without a sound chamber (i.e. Cotton Cordell's 7", 1oz. 'Red Fin' or Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow) are very productive. If the water is off color, use a lure with a sound chamber (A Peacock Rattle Jig or Bill Lewis 3/4 oz. 'Mag-Trap) . In hot/bright light conditions a deeper running lure (or more deeply fished jig) may be your best choice. Yellow/red or red/white 1/2oz. peacock bass rattle jigs (tied on wide gap/4/0+ extra strong hooks) are also extremely effective even when the fish are not feeding aggressively. Try varying the retrieve until you start getting strikes. Most commercially-tied bucktails are not suited for peacock fishing. Custom-tied jigs are available from Acute Angling's Tackle-box.

Where to Buy - All of the individual items recommended here, as well as complete destination specific packages are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for assistance. Lower priced or higher value alternatives are also available.

Peacock Bass Gear

Fishing Rods and Reels - Acute Angling provides properly balanced spinning and baitcasting gear for its clients, at no charge, in each of its operations. It is not necessary to bring your own gear. All of our operations have fishery specific, quality equipment on hand for your use. That being said, many anglers love their personal fishing toys and hate to leave them behind. We also realize that anglers are often more skillful with gear that they are accustomed to. With that being said, anglers are perfectly welcome to bring their own rods and reels.

If you're bringing your own, a good rule of thumb is that if someone who’s never been to the Amazon recommends it for peacock bass, it’s probably too heavy. Tackle shops unfailingly make this mistake. Because of this fish’s legitimately well-deserved reputation, the knee-jerk reaction is that it must be fought with extra heavy gear. Not a good idea! Anglers will quickly discover that peacock bass fishing means a long day of casting lures, making fast, aggressive retrieves and fighting numerous pugnacious fish. After cast number 200, or retrieve number 350, heavy gear will begin to take its toll on anyone.

Peacock bass gear should be tailored to the size of the lure thrown, not the reputation of the fish pursued. Ranging from ½ to over 2 ounces, the principle lure types demand a broad range of tackle capability. Anglers often ask, "Which is better for peacocks, spinners or baitcasters?" The answer is both. Each type can perform satisfactorily alone, but a mix is even better. Casting accuracy is important for successfully catching peacock bass in the structure they frequent. If you're comfortable and skillful with both types, you can truly tailor your tackle to your pattern and presentation. Our best recommendations are as follows;

If you’re bringing your own gear, we recommend quality 3 piece pack rods such as those available from G. Loomis or St. Croix. One piece rods are a nightmare to transport on international and charter flights. Two rods will serve the purpose. Three will fill just about all likely applications. With reels, quality is important. Bring something that will hold up under a week’s worth of abusive use. Stay as small and light as possible and select for fast retrieves.

Most necessary – Jig Rig - A Medium-Light, six to seven foot, fast action graphite spinning rod with a line rating of 6-12 pound test and a lure capacity of 1/8-3/4 ounce. Pair it with a lightweight, fast retrieve (6.4:1 or better) spinning reel (Shimano 2500 size) loaded with 30 pound test braided line (mono just won't work well here). This is the precise rig we provide for your use at no charge. You can cast 1/2 oz. jigs a mile and reel them in all day long. Yes, we're exceeding the rod’s line rating, but hopefully, you're setting your drag carefully.

Most necessary – Chopper Rig – A Medium-Heavy 6 and 3/4 foot (or shorter), fast action baitcasting rod coupled with a quality casting reel (Shimano Curado 200 or 300 size) with the fastest possible retrieve (7.0:1 or better). This is the precise rig we provide for your use at no charge. This outfit is designed to sling big surface prop baits with ease and accuracy. Use a rod with a line rating of 10 to 30 pounds and a lure capacity of ½ to 2 ounce. Load this rig with 65 pound test braided line and you're ready to probe tight cover, brush and logs with big woodchoppers or riprollers.

Optional addition - A stiff, seven foot medium baitcasting rod with a supple, fast action tip, a line rating of 8-17 pounds and a lure capacity of ¼ to 1 ounce is fine. Mount a lightweight, fast retrieve (7.0:1 or better) casting reel with 50 pound test braided line. This gives you a light but tough rig, perfect for fishing smaller stick baits and swimming plugs.

Line - Peacock bass fishing in the Amazon requires braided line. Peacock's tough mouths call for a solid, stretch-free hookset. Great tensile strength is necessary to withstand their violent strikes. The need for casting accuracy demands a thin, light, flexible line. Monofilament's characteristics just do not serve this fishery. Even if you've never used braid before, don't worry, our guides know the knots and how to use the line. You'll quickly become comfortable.

Braid Options - For spinning tackle, we recommend a quality thin braid such as Power Pro. Use at least 30 lb. test for medium and light gear. Lines of at least 50 lb. test are appropriate for your heavier gear. For baitcasting gear, a heavier test thin braid (50 or 65 lb. test Power Pro) is recommended . These will prove to be more resistant to backlashes and "digging in". A hint for new braid users. When tying your line onto your reel's arbor, place a small piece of electrical tape over the first turn of line. Subsequent wraps will dig into the tape and help to anchor the braid firmly onto the arbor. This will prevent the line from spinning on the spool and will assure that your drag works properly. Don't overdo line strength. Thicker line makes casting more difficult and shortens casting distance.

A Warning - Despite their high tensile strength, even these powerful lines will not allow you to out-muscle a peacock. Their explosive initial bursts will break these strong braids like sewing thread if your drag is not properly set. Even if your line survives the initial onslaught, something else is bound to give. Hooks will straighten, rods may explode or reels may disintegrate. Peacock bass just cannot be "horsed". Use a properly set drag (you must be readily able to manually pull out line) and use your angling skills to lead or sweep fish away from structure and slowly and steadily tire them out.

Traveling Light - Be judicious with your tackle selections. All charter operators have a 44 lb. (20 Kilo) weight limit. Floatplanes are limited to 33 lbs.

Where to Buy - All of the individual items recommended here, as well as complete destination specific packages are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for assistance. Lower priced or higher value alternatives are also available.


ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS -- If you do elect to purchase and bring your own gear, be aware that fishing tackle prices can range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Although for the most part you tend to get what you pay for, it isn't always necessary to pay for the absolute best. Sometimes, 'pretty-good' will suffice. With that in mind, please consider our tackle recommendations and checklists with an eye toward your own budget. A Bogagrip costs about $150 dollars. You don't have to buy one if the device will adversely affect your budget. Your guide will have one and can handle your fish for you. Similarly, a decent rod and reel combo can be bought for $200, a good one for $400 and the latest and greatest high tech rig for $1000. They will all catch peacock bass. Your own skill and experience is the single biggest factor in the effectiveness of any one brand over another. In short, don't spend more on tackle than you are comfortable with. By the same token, many anglers love trips like this just because they provide a good excuse to buy fancy new toys!

Whatever you bring or buy for your trip, some components shouldn't be scrimped on. Good quality line is important. Get a good selection of the recommended lures and upgrade the hooks and split rings. Whatever reel(s) you bring, make sure that the drags are smooth and effective.

The tackle mentioned above is what we consider to be the optimum type for the conditions experienced. If you already have something similar, use it. Keep in mind that some tackle used on largemouth bass may be too light for most jungle angling conditions (this includes lines, plugs/flies and especially hooks). Our recommendations are a concise combination of opinions and experience from guides and professionals who have spent a great deal of time fishing throughout the Amazon. Special tackle suggestions should be taken into consideration to ensure a hassle-free trip (remember, the nearest tackle store is about 3,000 miles away from camp).

All of these products and many others are available directly AcuteAngling's Tackle-box.

Fly Fishing for Peacock Bass

FLY FISHING: There is no more exiting quarry for the fly fisherman than the wild and brutish peacock bass. This is where subtlety and finesse meet sheer physical power - a true test of tackle and techniques. Here are some general guidelines:

peacock bass on the fly fly fishing for peacock bass
The peacock bass is the ultimate flyrod adversary.

Patterns -Extra-large streamers fished on a sinking line are most productive (not only for overall numbers, but for larger-sized fish as well). We highly recommend “Sidewinder's Peacock Rattle Fly in red/yellow”. Other popular streamers include 6-inch (5/0) bi-colored bucktails in red/yellow, olive/white and red/white. Big Deceivers, Bunnies, Saltwater Zonkers, Clousser Minnows and other flashy baitfish imitations will also take fish. All patterns should have generous amounts of matching Flashabou or Crystal Flash. Although big saltwater poppers are exciting to fish, they can be extremely exhausting to cast and retrieve while not terribly effective at coaxing bigger fish to the surface.

Fly rods should be fast action models to load sinking lines more efficiently and provide needed 'backbone'. Bring at least two, because rods can break under the ‘jungle stress’. Reels don't need to hold a lot of backing since peacocks don't make long runs, but a smooth, strong drag is essential. Recommended 'heavy' fly rod & reel combinations for sinking line: A stiff/fast action, 9-foot, nine - weight rod (Sage 990-3RPLX or G. Loomis FR1089-4) with Scientific Anglers 'System 2 -89'. Recommended 'medium' fly rod & reel combination (for floating lines): A stiff/fast action, 9-foot, seven or eight-weight rod and matched reel.

Sinking lines are much more effective for streamers than floating lines. Don't bring just any old sink tip. An integrated sinking line such as a Rio 24-foot 300-grain Density Compensated line is easier to cast and can be fished on anything from an 8 to 10 weight rod. If you like, bring a floating line with a drastic weight-forward taper for poppers and sliders but be aware that big fish are more readily caught on sinking lines.

Leaders: Peacocks are not leader shy. Most fly anglers use a straight shot (approximately six feet) of flexible 50 pound monofilament leader. Anything lighter can be snapped off like sewing thread if that fifteen 'pounder' runs you into a wood pile. You will go through a lot of leader material, because of the peacock's abrasive teeth. We recommend buying a spool of soft monofilament leader material (we like Jinkai 50 lb. test soft mono). If you're trying for an IGFA record, you'll have to follow their leader specifications, of course.

Suggestions - We do not provide fly fishing gear. You must bring your own. Fly fishing for peacocks is very productive, but can be tiring if you're not used to blind casting and rapidly stripping a heavy-weight fly rod all day long. If you find yourself tiring, why not consider switching off to baitcasting or spinning tackle (which we provide at no charge) from time to time to give yourself a break.

Peacock Bass Trip Checklist

Your peacock bass trip is getting closer. You've selected your rods, your reels are spooled with brand new line and you're eyeballing a kaleidoscopic mix of lethal looking lures. But once you cram it all into your bags, where will you fit that shiny, new, 9 lb. solar-powered automatic hook reforming and electroplating device that the manufacturer swears you can't do without? The best place for it is probably in your closet at home. Save your precious 44 pound baggage allotment for the really important stuff. Pack light, but pack right. Let's take a look at what other gear should go in your baggage, step by step.

Clothing - Our operations all do laundry daily. This will enable you to keep your clothing to a minimum. Here are our suggestions; Bring only 3 changes of clothing. One outfit for traveling (wear clothing that you can use for fishing also) and 2 more sets of fishing clothes. One pair of comfortable travel/land shoes and a pair of flip-flops or crocs or reef walkers for fishing. Bring a bathing suit and clean underwear. A lightweight rainsuit is a must and can also double as a jacket on cool morning boat rides. That's all of it! Leave the suit and tie at home.

Sun and Insect Protection - Most peacock bass fishing is done within a scant few hundred miles of the equator. The sun is more powerful at these latitudes than anywhere else on earth because the diminished angle at which its rays arrive reduces the filtering effect of the atmosphere. It's not like California or Florida, or even central America. It's far more intense. For this reason anglers should be equipped with complete sun protection. Select UV resistant tropical fishing clothes with long sleeves and long pants. Wear a hat with ear and neck protection. Sun gloves, fishing gloves or stripping gloves can protect your hands from the powerful sun.

Medicines - Bring all your necessary personal medicines. You will almost certainly not be able to obtain medicines once you leave home and there are no pharmacies in the jungle. In addition, bring the following; Cipro (a broad spectrum antibiotic); An Anti-Malarial (i.e., Larium or Malarone - see your doctor); Allergy or cold pills; Cortisone or anti-itch cream (for rashes, allergies); Imodium, Pepto-Bismol or other anti-diarrheal; Band-Aids, Anti-bacterial cream and Aspirin or Tylenol. All of our camps have complete first aid kits.

Documents and money - Your documents are critical when traveling. Make sure you have a secure, dry place in your carry-on to keep them. You must have a current passport. Carry a photocopy of the first two pages of your passport. Make sure you have your Airline Tickets; cash (for tipping and other incidentals while traveling); Take a credit card and a book or other reading matter.

Personal Gear - A few small items will greatly increase your comfort in camp and while fishing. Bring the following; A small flashlight, headlight or booklight; Extra batteries; Your personal toiletry kit (toothbrush, razor, etc.); Good quality, polarized sunglasses; Fishing gloves to prevent blisters (golf or baseball gloves also work fine). Water proof bags (zip locks) or durable containers for delicate items.

Camera and Video Gear - A trip of a lifetime deserves a good photographic or video record. Some of us can do great work with our phones or a small, high resolution digital and some of us wouldn't be caught dead without our full SLR system. Either way you choose to go, keep weight restrictions in mind and select gear that is relatively weatherproof or can be safely protected. Bring plenty of film or media. The photo opportunities are endless. If you use your phone, be sure to have a waterproof container for it.

Fishing Tools - If you are traveling with a fishing partner, you can both save some weight and expense by sharing certain items. Consider the Boga-grip for example. It's an indispensable tool for peacock anglers. Not only is it a convenient landing and weighing device, but it's perfect for keeping big, angry fish calm and under control while photographing them. If you must bring your own, consider sharing one between you. Also, keep in mind that your guide will handle the mundane tasks such as unhooking fish and maintaining your lures and lines (so you can maximize your fishing effort). We equip our guides with a complete set of fishing tools on each fishing boat. With that being said, if you wish to have your own tools, you may elect to share some of the following items; A Pocket Knife, Needle-nose Pliers and strong cutting tool (we recommend a Leatherman tool); Boga grip or other device to safely hold fish; Hook Sharpener or file; Braided line scissors; Keep weight restrictions in mind.

Fishing Accessories - Keeping your gear organized and readily accessible can often be critical to fishing success. We recommend clear plastic fishing boxes (such as Plano 3600 and 3700) that fit into your fishing or boat bag (such as Plano's Soft Tackle System). In addition to your lures, add the following to your organizing system; Replacement Hooks (4x strong #1, #2 and #4) Heavy Duty Split Rings and a split ring pliers. Many of your lures will come with bass grade hardware. Peacocks will turn it into mush with the first strike. You'll need to upgrade quite a few hooks and split rings (our guides will do this for you when you arrive); Extra line - If you bring your own reels, in case you need to respool (for spinning gear just bring a spare spool already prepared); Oil to lubricate your reels, they'll be working hard.

Luggage Selection - The right type of bags can help make both travel and weight considerations simpler. We recommend a soft rolling duffel bag (no bigger than 30 inches) please and a small carry-on. Select lightweight bags. Selecting a rolling duffel bag that weighs less when empty will help give you greater flexibility in your gear selection. It's also much easier to handle while traveling. When you've checked in your duffel, a carry-on bag with a comfortable shoulder strap or a backpack will be easy to handle in the airport and on the plane. Make sure it fits airline size restrictions.

Baggage Organization - Today's air travel security regulations define the best way to organize your baggage. You will have a checked in bag(s) and a carry on bag(s).

Your checked-in baggage (a soft rolling duffel) will constitute your 44 or 33 pound baggage limit (depending on aircraft). All tools, knives, hooks and other sharp items must be checked in with this bag. Use this bag for your clothing and bulky gear. If you must bring your own rods, we highly recommend pack rods to eliminate big, clumsy rod tubes. They will simplify your packing and probably outperform most one-piece rods. Pack rods will fit inside your duffel, simplify packing and significantly help reduce weight. For those who must carry conventional rods, a plastic, lockable rod tube, available from any tackle dealer will be able to safely contain all of your rods. Pack it carefully and pad it inside with some of your clothing. To help keep weight down, you can share a tube with your partner - or simply use our quality gear at no charge

Your carry-on bag should contain your camera equipment, reading material, medicines, other small, heavy items and your basic travel needs. You might add a change of underwear and your most important personal necessities. Anglers with pack rods can also carry a small tube with two rods as part of their carry-on baggage. Add two reels to your carry-on and you will ensure that you have the basic gear at all times, even if your checked-in bags are delayed.

Where to Buy - The items recommended here can be found at most sporting goods outlets. All specialized items are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for help.

Assistance - That's what we do best. Call us, toll-free, anytime with any questions. We've taken thousands of anglers to Brazil over the last two decades and we've learned how to do it right. Let our experience and our proven expertise ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime.

Where to Buy - The items recommended here can be found at most sporting goods outlets. All specialized items are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for help.

Assistance - That's what we do best. Call us, toll-free, anytime with any questions. We've taken thousands of anglers to Brazil over the last decade and we've learned how to do it right. Let our experience and our proven expertise ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime.

Clothing
Need Packed Item
For the sun loving (with lots of sunblock)
checkbox checkbox Tank Tops
checkbox checkbox T-shirts
checkbox checkbox Shorts
For the sun sensitive
checkbox checkbox Sun Hats and sun gloves
checkbox checkbox Slacks/Shorts -- 2 or 3 lightweight cotton.
checkbox checkbox Long-Sleeved Shirts -- for sun protection -- light color and light fabric.
For everyone
checkbox checkbox Packable Lightweight Rain Gear- Two piece/coat and pant. Doubles as a jacket for cool mornings & evenings.
checkbox checkbox Long Tropical Pants:
checkbox checkbox Long-Sleeved Tropical Shirts;
checkbox checkbox Shoes -- 1 pair rubber-soled, non-slip in-water shoes (Flip-flops, Tevas, Crocs, reefwalkers)
checkbox checkbox Fishing hat -- with a black under-bill to aid in sighting fish (enhances polarizing qualities of sunglasses).
checkbox checkbox Swimsuit -- it's a great way to cool off during the heat of the day (the piranhas are not dangerous)
checkbox checkbox Socks and Underwear
checkbox checkbox Travel Clothes
Don't overpack - we wash laundry daily
Sun and Insect Protection
Need Packed Item
checkbox checkbox Sunscreen - bring lots of it, waterproof and with an adequate SPF!!!
checkbox checkbox Sun-Gloves -- Many people burn their hands, so we recommend 'Mangrove' UV Protector SunGloves.
checkbox checkbox Insect Repellent -- Just in case — perspiration resistant and contains D.E.E.T
Medicines
Need Packed Item
checkbox checkbox Personal Prescription Drugs - You cannot obtain your prescription medications here
checkbox checkbox 10 days worth of broad spectrum antibiotics (i.e., Cipro) (Quickly corrects travelers diarrhea and is a good idea in case of other infection.
checkbox checkbox Anti-Malarial (i.e., Larium or Malarone) - with your doctor's prescription
checkbox checkbox Allergy or cold pills
checkbox checkbox Cortisone or anti-itch cream (for rashes, allergies or no-see-ums)
checkbox checkbox Immodium, Pepto-Bismol or other anti-diarrheal
checkbox checkbox Benadryl
checkbox checkbox Band-Aids
checkbox checkbox Anti-bacterial creme
checkbox checkbox Aspirin, Tylenol etc.
Personal Items
Need Packed Item
Documents and money
checkbox checkbox Passport and photocopy of first two pages of passport
checkbox checkbox Airline Tickets
checkbox checkbox Cash - bring at least enough for tipping in camp, purchase of jigs and flies and incidentals in airports.
checkbox checkbox Cash and Credit Cards - Credit cards are accepted just about everywhere in Brazil.
checkbox checkbox Books, magazines, reading matter.
Gear
checkbox checkbox Small flashlight, headlight or booklight
checkbox checkbox Batteries
checkbox checkbox Toiletry kit, toothbrush, etc.
checkbox checkbox Digital Camera (small, automatic, weatherproof w/zoom) - Start with fresh batteries and take an extra set.
checkbox checkbox Fishing Gloves; Your hands can blister after several days of cranking baits (golf or baseball gloves work fine)
checkbox checkbox Fishing Sunglasses - Good quality, comfortable, polarized sunglasses
     
Luggage
Need Packed Item
Main bag
checkbox checkbox Large Duffel or Similar Bag - This will contain the bulk of your gear, most of your rod tubes and your clothes. It will be checked onto the airplane.
Rod Containers
checkbox checkbox G. Loomis or similar type pack rods (3 or 4 piece) with tubes - These will fit inside your duffel and each tube can hold two or more rods each if cleverly packed. This eliminates the need for huge rod tubes and ensures that you have the basic gear with you.
Or, for those without pack rods, using conventional rods
checkbox checkbox Plastic, lockable rod tube - Available at any tackle dealer and should be able to safely contain all of your rods. Pack it carefully and pad inside with your clothes.
Carry-on Bag
checkbox checkbox Soft Tackle Bag - This can be packed with a minimum of necessities and your travel needs. and used as your carry-on bag. You can put Plano boxes with lures and accessories into your duffel and then switch them into your tackle bag after you arrive.
Fishing Tackle
Need Packed Item
Fishing Tools — Note that we provide these items and it is not required that you bring them
checkbox checkbox Pocket Knife/Needlenose Pliers -- we recommend a Leatherman tool
checkbox checkbox Boga grip or other device to safely hold fish
checkbox checkbox Hook Sharpener
checkbox checkbox Scissors or line clippers
Fishing Accessories
checkbox checkbox Extra line if your bringing your own reels (30 to 65LB. test suggested - depending on application)
checkbox checkbox Reel Lubricant -- apply to reels routinely
checkbox checkbox Scale -- None of our camps have IGFA certified scales. We've tried them all and highly recommend the IGFA endorsed, 'Boga Grip' scale [Eastaboga Tackle, 261 Mudd St., Eastaboga, AL 36260 -- Tel. (205)-831-9682].
checkbox checkbox Small Tape Measure
checkbox checkbox Small Fishing Towel or hand cloth.
checkbox checkbox Replacement Hooks (4x strong #2) and Split Rings
checkbox checkbox Tackle Bag or Box and Lures -- Remember weight restriction!
Rods
Need Packed Item — Note that we provide these items and it is not necessary for you to carry them
If you choose to bring your own, bring at least 2 or 3 (as suggested below), rods break!
The most important factor in determining rod selection is your ability to cast large baits with a minimum of fatigue.
Use rods similar to those recommended below. All of these items are available from our Tackle-box
checkbox checkbox Medium Heavy Spinner - recommend Loomis Escape / 7' Med/Hvy - Mod-Fast Action, use with 50lb. test line and with a medium size spinning reel (i.e. Shimano 4000 series) - for large lures.
Or, preferably
checkbox checkbox Medium Heavy Bait Caster - recommend Loomis Escape / 7' MHC - Mod-Fast Action, use with 50lb. test line ? fast retrieve casting reel (i.e. Ambassadeur C4 -5600 or Shimano Curado) for large lures.
checkbox checkbox Medium Light Spinning Rod - recommend similar to Loomis Loomis Escape / 7' Med-Light Fast Action, use with 30lb. test line and small, light reel (i.e. Shimano 2500 series), for jigs and light lures.
checkbox checkbox Optional — Medium Bait Caster - recommend Loomis LR842 -3C / 7' Medium - Mod-Fast Action, use with 30lb. test line and medium size casting reel (i.e. Shimano Calcutta 250) for lighter lures (Zara Spook, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow.
Reels
Need Packed Item — Note that we provide these items and it is not necessary for you to carry them
checkbox checkbox Reels - Reels should be good quality with adequate line capacity. Casting accuracy is important, so match rods and reels. The most important consideration is an excellent drag mechanism. Although spinning gear can be less tiring with heavy lures and fast retrieves, baitcasting generally provides greater accuracy and level trajectories to get under obstacles.
Line
Need Packed Item
checkbox checkbox Line - 30 to 50 lb. test, when combined with a good drag setting and a little luck will catch most fish. Make sure you can tie a Palomar knot. Load your lighter rigs with 30 lb. test and the heavier gear with 50 or 65..
Lures
Need Packed Item — We DO NOT provide, or have these items available on site
This is a general purpose listing and is designed to provide a wide enough selection to cover a variety of rivers, water types and conditions (See lure selection chart). If you know which river you will be fishing, you can more efficiently focus on the type size and color lure known to be effective on that fishery. Specially designed lure packages for our trips are available at competitive prices directly through Tackle-box.
checkbox checkbox Propeller type (6 to 10) - Big Game Woodchoppers, Riprollers, Pavon Props, in various colors and patterns.
checkbox checkbox Walking Sticks (4 to 6) - Super Spook, Jumpin' Minnow (upgrade hooks and split rings) in various colors and patterns
checkbox checkbox Minnow/Jerkbaits (8) - Yo-Zuris, Redfins, Long - A, Rapalas, in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns (hooks and split rings must be upgraded for all smaller size lures),
checkbox checkbox Crank baits (2 - Rat-L-Traps, Mag-traps, in a variety of sizes (hooks and split rings must be upgraded for all smaller size lures), colors and patterns.
checkbox checkbox Bucktail Jigs - (12 to 24) - Wide gap hooks, Peacock Rattle Jig, Red/Yellow, Red/White and other colors and patterns.
checkbox checkbox Spoons - (2) Johnsons Silver Minnow or others, in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns.
checkbox checkbox Miscellaneous - Lures that you have extreme confidence in and that you might want to experiment with. All lures should have strong, sharp hooks and split rings. Soft baits don't last long. Bigger baits tend to catch bigger fish. Remember weight limits.
For Fly Anglers Only…
Need Packed Item
checkbox checkbox Rods and Reels -- A stiff/fast action eight, nine or ten weight rod.
checkbox checkbox Fly Lines -- One or two Rio 300-grain Sink Tip line.' One full-floating, weight-forward line for poppers and sliders (I.E. Scientific Anglers' 'Mastery Saltwater Tarpon').
checkbox checkbox Flies -- Bring at least two dozen streamers and ten poppers. Half should be bright and half dark shades.
checkbox checkbox Leader Material -- 35 to 50LB. Ande 'Tournament
checkbox checkbox Reel Covers -- reels can get banged up in the boat
checkbox checkbox Stripping Glove or Finger Sock (Lycra Sheath that fits over stripping finger) -- essential to prevent line burn while stripping.
Miscellaneous
Need Packed Item
checkbox checkbox Immunizations - Contact Public Health Service for their current recommendations, then visit your doctor and decide with him which ones are appropriate for you. Physicians may recommend Yellow Fever, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Malaria, and Hepatitis.
checkbox checkbox Balanced tackle - If you’re bringing your own rods and reels, make sure to test the actual tackle you plan to use, on the water, with all the lures (including the heavy woodchoppers and rippers), and with the actual line. Sometimes two components just don't balance or work right together and something has to be changed. You can't fix or replace it in Brazil. When everything works well, then try it out some more. The practice won't hurt and you'll get a feel for the long term effort.
checkbox checkbox Passport - You need a valid passport and a Brazilian Visa. American credit cards work fine in Brazil. Bring adequate cash for tips and incidentals.
checkbox checkbox The sun - on the equator is incredibly strong. It will rapidly burn and dehydrate you if you are not acclimatized or properly equipped. Bring at least one set of protective clothes, expect to drink lots of water and use sunscreen lavishly. Sensitive individuals sometimes forget hands, feet, ears etc. and can get severe burns.
checkbox checkbox Luggage - You should be able to carry it all, by yourself, in one trip, if necessary. Shoulder straps are good. It will get bumped, wet, muddy and otherwise abused, so be prepared and don't use fancy silk or leather.
checkbox checkbox You will undoubtedly have some of your own special needs.

Lure Selection Chart

peacock bass lure
Peacock Bass Lure

Lures, flies and other tackle is not readily available in Brazil, so anglers should purchase their lures locally or order directly from Acute Angling prior to their trip. (All of our operations do have Peacock Bass Rattle jigs for sale). Acute Angling is pleased to offer complete tackle packages specifically designed for each of the rivers we fish. Our packages focus on the colors, sizes and varieties proven to be most effective in each particular fishery and are specific for your tackle preferences (i.e. Spin, Baitcast, Fly). We can provide as complete a package as you need, rods, reels, lures, lines and accessories; or you can simply order a terminal tackle package. These packages are designed to save you time, money and frustration by providing everything you need for your trip in one place, and at better prices than other sources. Complete packages are in stock and available for shipment well in advance of your departure. Click here to e-mail your trip information and ordering instructions, or call us, Toll-free, to talk about your specific tackle needs;

Remember, we provide all necessary rods and reels, on-site, at no charge, so it is not necessary to bring your own.

Paul Reiss: - 866 832-2987
Garry Reiss: - 866 431-1668

We offer complete, pre-selected peacock bass lure packages for on-line purchase at www.Tackle-box.net . Or, you can assemble your own lure package by following the generalized guidelines shown below. Make sure to bring a selection of the recommended lures listed in each lure type -- in a mixture of both light and dark colors or patterns. Variable conditions can require switching through a lot of tackle. In many cases, there are lures listed under each classification. Those listed first are most popular, although the order might be disputed by peacock 'veterans'. Be careful not to load up on smaller prop baits. You will need some of the big ones.

* indicates that factory hooks should be replaced with Mustad 4X strong #1/0 or #2/0 trebles and center treble gang removed.

Lures Selection Chart
Qty. Classification Company Model Size Color
6 Propeller Type
(topwater)
Luhr-Jensen 'Big Game Woodchopper' or 'Amazon Ripper 6-3/4", 2 oz.
Note large size
Perch, Silver, Bl./Or, Red/Wh, Peacock, Clown, Fire Tiger
Highroller 'Riproller' 5-3/4", 1 1/2 oz. similar to above
Caribe Pavon Prop 7", 5" similar to above
4 Walking Sticks
(topwater)
*Rebel 'Jumpin' Minnow' 4". - 5/8 oz. Chrome/black, Copper/blk./or.
*Heddon 'Super Spook' 5", 7/8 oz. Assorted, Florida Bass, Shad
*Heddon 'Zara Spook' 4", 3/4 oz. Bullfrog, Flo./Gr. Craw
4 Minnow/Jerk Baits
(subsurface)
Cotton
Cordell
'Redfin'
C-10
7"
1 oz.
Gold/Orange
Silver/Black
Bomber 'Long A 6" hvy. dty. Silver Flash
Rapala 'Jointed Minnow' 1 oz. Silver
Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Floater 4" 3/4 oz. Gold/Flo. silver, rainbow trout
2 Crank Baits
(deeper diving)
*Bill Lewis 'Mag. Rattle Trap' 3/4 oz. Silver/black
Chart. Shiner
12+ Bucktail Jigs Acute Angling Peacock Bass Rattle Jig 1/2 oz.,wide gap Red/Yellow, Red/White, Olive
2 Spoons Johnson 'Silver Minnow' 1-1/8 oz. Silver

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

References are available upon request.