Selecting an Amazon Trip
Why Fish With Us?
Why fish with us? Because we’re the best in the business ... and we know it! So, of course we think you should just simply call up and book with us! If we didn't believe we were the best in the business, we'd probably have no business being in it at all. Nonetheless, booking the fishing trip of a lifetime shouldn't be done rashly. There are lots of trip choices and entities to book with. How can you sort through the options? The short answer is to “do your homework”! In an effort to help you gain the information you need, we are pleased to provide a detailed description of how Amazon peacock bass and exotic species fishing trips work, who operates them and who sells them, our own particular operating philosophy and a series of client comments and testimonials about the nature of our operations - along with a full list of references you can contact directly.
In fishing, knowledge is power! We firmly believe that the more information you have and the more you know, the easier the choices become and the more likely you are to choose Acute Angling.
Take advantage of the wealth of information offered here. Learn what you need to know to make an informed decision. You deserve to get your money's worth and have your expectations met. We hope you'll decide to fish with us, but whatever you ultimately select, we hope you have a wonderful trip! There are no freshwater fishes anywhere in the world that compare with the amazing fierce fishes of the Amazon!
Acute Angling & Chasing Monster's Cyril Chauquet
Cyril Chauquet , of "Chasing Monsters" TV fame, has fished and filmed
with Acute Angling for over a decade. He’s enjoyed all the
varied Amazon fishing options that we offer.
Types of Peacock Bass Trips
Acute Angling owns, operates, outfits and organizes 4 different types of Amazon fishing trip. Each operating mechanism is designed to optimize its locational suitability and fishing productivity. We are the only Amazon operator that can give you the ability to select from each type of great Amazon experience, accessing all of the fierce fishes of the Amazon at the best times, and delivered with the confidence of knowing precisely whom you're fishing with.
Types of operations - Anglers may often consider a type of peacock bass or exotic species fishing trip based on what they perceive to be the levels of comfort associated with it. Although this is a reasonable perception and there are, in fact, some differences in accommodations as a result of the logistics of each type, overall, we provide the same type of amenities and quality in each of our trip types. We do, on the other hand, use each type of operation according to the region or fishery to be accessed. For the trip's operator, it's a matter of selecting the right tool for the job. That means, for the angler, there is no wrong choice, just a different type of great experience with complete confidence and comfort.
Mothership operations - The great majority of giant peacock bass fisheries are in the eminently navigable lowlands rivers of Amazonia. Mothership operations are the best tool here due to their great mobility and high level of comfort, you could even call it Amazon luxury. Living aboard an elegant, air-conditioned yacht while fishing remote Amazon backwaters in nimble skiffs offers anglers the best of both worlds. Water levels and fishing conditions often change on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis in the Amazon. Our Blackwater Explorer yacht is the most consistently adept mothership operation in the Amazon. We keep anglers in the most productive water even in the face of sudden, changing conditions. Our great mobility allows us to literally change river systems overnight to optimize your fishing success.
This is the recommended trip type for a first-time peacock bass angler due to its ability to consistently deliver highly productive trips. Here, you can catch dozens of spectacular peacocks in pristine jungle waters during the day, yet enjoy an ice-cold cocktail with fancy appetizers during a sunset cruise in the evening. This is the Swiss Army knife of Amazon trips.
Floating bungalows – We use our specialized floating bungalows as a mechanism to allow us to reach locations with navigational challenges, while still letting us provide great comfort and security. Although, they share the same amenities as our Blackwater Explorer yacht, such as private bathrooms, hot showers and air-conditioning, they are able to access shallow headwaters regions where nothing else can go and where the opportunity for trophy size peacocks is greater than anywhere else. And, although nothing is as mobile as a mothership operation, the floating units allow the entire camp to readily move within the river system we've selected, accessing the best conditions available in any given season, in any given region.
The Bungalow system’s shallow draft can get us into otherwise inaccessible fisheries where some of the Amazon's biggest peacocks lurk. Once deployed on a productive river, they can move as much as 35 miles a day following the best conditions while simultaneously providing anglers with consistently fresh, fish-filled waters. The end result is a trip with a somewhat higher variability in productivity, but a potentially greater reward in trophy fish production. This is for the angler who's been here before and wants to go where others don't in pursuit of his own holy grail. This is the fine-tuned specialty tool of Amazon fishing.
Ground Based Lodge - In fast-moving rocky rivers, moving an operation is not an option, so a floatplane accessed lodge is the only answer. Our Multi-species variety lodge on the Rio Travessao is a specialized fishing tool designed to gain access to this beautiful highlands river with its cornucopia of the Amazon's amazing, exotic variety species. A Cessna Caravan floatplane flies you over the obstacles and brings you there in total comfort and safety. Our mission, however, goes beyond simply getting there; We've designed and outfitted our lodge to meet the challenge of providing a surprisingly comfortable, civilized and secure base of operations from which our anglers can pursue the Amazon's rarest and most exotic fishes in otherwise totally inaccessible waters. Anglers enjoy the same suite of amenities and level of comfort as each of our other operations. Your job here is to eat, drink, sleep, adventure and fish!
New — Floating Hotel — The Blackwater Adventurer's navigational design is different than anything Acute Angling has ever built before. We created our luxurious new flagship to access a previously untouched fishery; The Rio Curicuriari. This unique, remote river, where the Adventurer was first conceived, is a navigational challenge; with 90 miles of rocks and rapids in its lower reaches, it's pretty much inaccessible with normal vessels. So, we built our new flagship on a super shallow-drafting barge hull so we could get it to the fishery through the rough stuff. Then we use super-safe, Cessna Caravan floatplanes to deliver anglers in comfort and ease, bypassing all of the hazards and difficulties and bringing you straight into the heart of the fishery.
The floatplane's capacity of 8 anglers also defined the Adventurer's design. Limited to pleasantly intimate 8-angler groups, all guests enjoy spacious private cabins; fully appointed with private bathrooms, hot showers and individual air-conditioners. And, by simply removing a divider, all cabins convert to couple's suites with king-sized beds and two of everything. But it's not just about luxury. It's about fishing success. The Adventurer uses an altogether new fishing formula; Its shallow draft ensures it gets to the fish; its mobility allows it to move to the best possible conditions, wherever they are; Transfer by floatplane means never having to leave the hotspots. The Adventurer provides the best of all worlds for the angler, ensuring a productive fishing trip.
How do I Book a Peacock Bass Trip?
Who sells peacock bass trips? - Sadly, these days it seems like just about everyone with a website and a fishing pole tries to! Why is it "sadly"? Because a large proportion of them have no direct connection to, or control over, the peacock bass trips they try to sell, nor how they are run. In fact, although there are many kinds of entities selling peacock bass trips, a surprising number of them are nothing more than a well-positioned, glossy website. No staff, no office, no resources - just a knack for being visible. They'll sell you a trip and then auction you off to someone who proposes to deliver it. Not all "trip sellers" are created equal. Some are good, some are not. Whom should you select? Let's take a look at the options and the real facts.
First, the trip operators - they are your best option. They own their equipment; yachts, camps, boats, etc. They hire, train and manage their staff. They schedule and implement their trips. They control, and are responsible for their operations and logistics. They must be properly organized, fully insured companies, as is Acute Angling. Buy a trip from us and you are secure in knowing that you have contracted with the responsible entity. We are totally vertically integrated and own, operate, outfit and organize our trips. There are no layers of fluff (excuses) between you and your trip. We deliver what was promised - or we make it good. We've been doing so for over 25 years.
Then there are the outfitters — A somewhat loosely defined term for an organizer. Most of them charter time (even a single week) on yachts or camps owned (and operated) by others. Although a few good outfitters exist, most are not very dependable. What's the problem? In order to deliver what's promised, whoever sells you your trip must control the operation you’ll be fishing with. If not, there's that nebulous cloud of excuses between what you were promised and what was delivered. Outfitters may be forced to cancel - sometimes weeks or even days before a trip because they’ve been betrayed by the owner/operators - a better deal came up - too few people in the group - the boat broke! If your outfitter has no control over his operator, you have no control over your trip.
And the good ones come at a price—a higher one. They're generally quite expensive because there are two separate entities that need to make a profit, leaving you with an extra layer of cost. Check prices before you select a trip. Acute Angling simply uses its own wholly-owned operations - one entity, one set of books, one layer of pricing, no fluff - and no excuses.
Fishing Travel Agents — They usually sell a broad array of fishing trips world-wide, but outfitted, owned and operated by others. Again, we must admit there are some good ones who provide an important service. Anglers may have a personal relationship with an agent who understands precisely what his client is looking for and can connect him to it; this can be valuable to a client he knows well and sometimes worth the extra price of the commission they command. Unfortunately, many agents are simply in it for a buck. Many don't know much about the operations or outfitters they try to sell and some don't know much about peacock bass fishing! They're like the used car salesman whose lot you stepped onto first. They're going to sell you whatever it is they have, no matter what it is you really need. Acute Angling sells only its own wholly-owned and operated array of trips — you select the one that’s right for you, we deliver it - one entity, one layer of pricing, no layer of fluff - no excuses.
Finally, there are the loose-ends - These include entities with nothing but a website and a sales-pitch, who'll take your money and then sell your trip to whatever agent, outfitter or operator is willing to give them a cut. There are sub-agents who'll sell a few trips in order to get a freebie from a legitimate agent, outfitter or operator. There are tackle shops, tackle sellers and tackle manufacturers that give promotional space or lip service to a trip seller in order to get a quick cut in return for steering a client in their direction or a quid pro quo for their product. These are all a bit like Forrest Gump's "box of chocolate". You never know what you're going to get! Don't do this to yourself!
Here are a few of the questions you should ask;
- What type of entity are you - operator, outfitter, agent, fly-by-night?
- Do you own the operation and control all aspects of the trip you want to sell me?
- Are you a legitimate incorporated entity with liability insurance and resources to protect me and the investment I've made in my trip?
- Do you provide a turn-key, all-inclusive package - making sure that everything I need to make my trip complete is arranged for me and that all services and products I might need are provided?
- Can you give me real life references that I can contact?
How do I arrange a trip - First and foremost, select and book with an operator who has a reputation for knowledge, honesty and performance. Of course, we highly recommend ourselves. Booking with an outfitter or agent (one or two tiers removed from an operator) can be successful or risky, depending on the operator represented and the knowledge, experience and honesty of the agent. Why is this so important? Because not all peacock bass trips are created equal and not all agents are honest about creating expectations!
Consider all of the information you’ve already digested. Many agents and even some novice outfitters are not knowledgeable at that level. It can be easier than you think to book a trip in water that doesn’t hold the right species, or that is not at optimal levels. It’s just as easy to inadvertently book on an operation that runs a weekly fixed route, ignoring conditions and regardless of where the fish are. And it’s amazingly easy to pay thousands more for the privilege of fishing on over-sized, fancy boats that are way too big to go where the fish are. If you are planning the fishing trip of a lifetime, it’s important to plan it with an operation that knows how to deliver fish and that puts productivity and quality before gross profit or marketing gimmicks. If you’re in doubt; get references; ask experts; or use the knowledge you’ve gained here to question the candidates. If you realize you know more than they do, move on.
What should a Trip Cost?
I guess it all depends on what you personally want and need. When you consider a trip's price, you must examine what you get for the money and you must be cognizant of your own expectations. We've seen trips offered for as little as $2,500 USD and for as much as $9,500 USD. What are you getting for these prices? Let's take a look.
The Cheapies - Honestly, these are probably not for you! Unless you're a native and prepared to handle your own logistics, you may never even get there! These lowest priced trips do not provide transfers or charter flights to the fishing locations ... you'll likely need to make your own arrangements. And if you manage to get there, unless you're a masochist and love discomfort, you may wish you'd never arrived! You'll likely stay in accommodations well below the low end of what you're used to or willing to accept.
Within this group, you can encounter a trip that will take you from Manaus by car to a nearby reservoir called Balbina. Small fish, heavy pressure - our advice - stay home - save up for a real peacock bass trip! You can encounter a trip that will make you find your own way to Barcelos then live aboard an open-air boat, sleep in a hammock and eat from a stewpot. Maybe this is your cup of tea, but we'll bet there's not even such a thing as a cup of tea aboard this vessel - our advice - stay home - save up for a reasonable peacock bass trip!
The Pricey Trips - Usually they're selling luxury. If you need it on a fishing trip, then this might actually be for you, but be warned - the fishing part is usually secondary! If a mothership is big enough to have a hot tub or pool on deck, it's way too big to get to the areas where the fishing is best. If the bass boats are carpeted and seat three across in armchairs, then they're way too wide to get into the hidden lagoons where the fish remain unpressured and wild. Mostly, these trips are designed to be luxury cruises with fishing thrown in. They run an inexpensive, deep-water route, week after week, They are usually not aware of, willing to, or able to respond to changing conditions and find optimal fishing. These trips are rarely as productive as a trip focused on fishing first and foremost.
Big boats hold a lot of people too! If you're in a group of 20 or even 30 anglers, you might find that the advertised pristine waters you expected have been roiled into a froth by the constant passing of 90 horsepower bass boats. You might find that the 9 or 10 boats that got out ahead of you have already beaten the fishing waters into foam with their cadres of casters sucking up everything with fins. You might find that in spite of the luxury, this type of trip is not really very comfortable at all for an angler focused on fishing.
Pricey trips are also generally sold by a secondary level of trip seller, at least a tier or even two removed from the operator. Even with all of the excess frills, the logistical cost of delivering a formularized peacock bass trip with so many anglers just doesn't justify a $9,000+ USD price tag! Guess what, along with the frills, you're paying for the cost of sales, added layers of commission and fancy marketing - not the fishing.
The best value in the Amazon - Acute Angling is proud to offer a fairly priced peacock bass trip. Our trips fall in the middle of the price range, but produce better, are more comfortable and more complete than anyone else’s we know of. Depending on the trip type, all of our regularly scheduled trip prices range from $ 4850 USD to $ 7950. Take our Blackwater Explorer yacht for example; $4,850 for double occupancy, $5,350 for a private cabin. OK, we don't have a hot tub, but we have absolutely everything you need to have the most productive, most comfortable and most satisfying peacock bass trip possible. Our beautiful, 11 year old boat was designed by us for our purposes and built to fish, with a super shallow draft, an efficient angler flow and all of the comforts you could ask for; private bathrooms in each cabin, hot showers, individual air-conditioners, quality Okuma and Shimano fishing gear and the best food you're likely to encounter in any fishing operation anywhere in the world, on land or water! This is all delivered in a complete, full service, turn-key, all-inclusive package - We'll implement all airline bookings (unless requested not to), documents, services and guidance for all aspects of the trip. We provide all of the food, drink, open bar, boats, guides, rods, reels, lures, fishing license, trip insurance and even Global Rescue services as part of your trip package — all included at no extra cost! And an owner or professional manager is always present to oversee the in-country Brazil side of our trips, ensuring that the trips are run in the highest quality fashion possible.
What about the other guys in our price range? By all means, check them out! Ask the right questions and find out what is provided and what isn't. Ask where they fish, where they resupply, what their group size is and how well they'll meet your needs and expectations. Ask them if they include tackle and lures, open bar, full insurance. We're pretty sure you'll quickly realize they fall short of what we offer and charge more. Call us and we'll tell you everything you need to know about us. We'll walk you through the details and help you find which of our trips is exactly right for you.
Goldilocks had it right; she knew that too hot or too cold, too big or too small, too soft or too hard just wasn't what she wanted. She unerringly made the choice that was just right. When it comes to selecting a peacock bass trip, we know we’ll be the right choice for you.
Peacock Bass Trips - Potential Pitfalls
You'd be surprised at how many pieces go into the whole of making up an Amazon fishing trip. It basically means providing an island of civilization in the middle of the world’s largest wilderness while productively catching exotic fishes. This is why it's critically important for your peace of mind, safety and satisfaction that you book with an operation that controls all aspects of its trips; no disengagement between the provider and the seller, no fuzzy space where excuses can be made or fingers can be pointed! With Acute Angling, you have a single, professional corporation that controls its calendar, its protocols and its delivery. We are a vertically integrated company that owns, operates, outfits and organizes its trips; we sell it — we implement it — no one in between; no pitfalls, no excuses, no unhappiness! Let's look at some of the dangers of dealing with secondary and tertiary trip vendors who do not control the product they sell.
Fishing for the wrong species - There are currently 16 different recognized species of peacock bass, but there has been a tremendous amount of misinformation and misidentification regarding these fishes. Be careful, only one species is the giant target of trophy anglers! Although all are commonly known as peacock bass, only one species, Cichla temensis, achieves the enormous size and delivers the spine-tingling power that so much has been written about. This is the first piece of critical information for prospective anglers; know precisely what fish you’re after. You cannot find giant peacock bass in Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, Hawaii, Panama, Florida, Thailand or Malaysia. To experience the true power and ferocious nature of the giant peacock bass, there is no shortcut that bypasses the Amazon.
Going to the wrong place! Peacock bass in other regions may differ greatly from those in lowlands Brazilian Amazon blackwaters. Only here does Cichla temensis, the giant Amazon peacock, reach sizes approaching 30 pounds, while other species in other regions typically yield 2 to 8 pound fish, with specimens rarely reaching double digits. The fabled 20-pounder is only found in the central Amazon lowlands. Cichla temensis simply isn’t found in rivers on the periphery such as the Marmelos (Cichla pinima), Novo Aripuana or Xingu. The fishing experience can also be as different as the fishes. It’s hard to compare fishing in a pristine Amazon wilderness to casting in a reservoir in the shadow of the Amazon's biggest city. Other countries can bring problems also. Venezuela is not all that friendly to Americans these days and they don't protect their fish. Columbia has a few good fisheries, but they are poorly accessible to foreign anglers and can present their own complications. In today’s world, Brazil is far and away the best choice.
Going at the wrong time - If someone tries to sell you a trophy peacock bass trip in July, boy have we got a bridge to sell you! Giant peacock bass are only caught during the Amazon's dry season and it moves through the species' native habitat from August through March. But, even knowing this, the answer isn't quite that simple. Rivers in Amazonia all experience a period of high and low rainfall each year. During the long "rainy" season, Amazonian rivers can rise 10 meters or more, overflowing their banks and inundating huge areas of low-lying floodplain and jungle. Peacock bass follow baitfish into the dense flooded jungle where they become all but impossible to catch. The only fishable season is the "dry" season, beginning when the rains end, the flood abates and the rivers drop within their banks again. Baitfish head back into the river and connecting lagoons and peacocks follow. This period is when their accessibility and their aggressive behavior make them the most exciting freshwater fish in the world. But, these periods vary in their timing from region to region. Don't let yourself get sent to the Rio Madeira basin in December or the Rio Negro in September - make sure your provider knows where you need to be and when.
Getting Cancelled - Trip sellers who do not control the operations they sell may often find themselves in a bind due to terms and conditions imposed on them by trip providers. Minimum group sizes are not always met, or providers find a seller that is providing a better deal or more volume; these factors can pull the rug from under a second or third tier seller, leaving you with a cancelled trip, or worse yet, a lost investment. We've rescued many an angler with a vacation scheduled, a plane ticket in hand and no trip to be had! Don't let this be you!
Not Getting Cancelled - The Amazon's flood pulse is a fairly robust and consistent phenomenon, but, let's face it, weather is never entirely predictable. It is possible for rains to come early, stop late or simply occur in mid-season, completely unexpected. If water levels rise enough and the problem is basin-wide, the fishing shuts down. At a time like this, cancellation is a good thing. Almost everyone would rather be home and dry with a raincheck in hand for a future date than sitting in the rain for a week with no fish to be had. Unscrupulous operators will never reschedule. Acute Angling will always give you the option to come another time if there is enough notice for us to do so before you travel. Even if we can't get to you in time, we'll always find a way to make up for it on a future trip. We're in the business of delivering great trips and creating happy, repeat anglers. This is worth far more to us than avoiding the inconvenience or lost revenue of a weather related cancelled trip.
Avoid the Pitfalls - There are a lot more things that can go wrong, but we won't belabor the point. Vertical integration and control of all aspects of our product is the key. Our Amazon trips are organized, outfitted and operated by us and personally overseen and/or hosted by Paul Reiss, Wellington Melo, Norberto Guedes, Barbara Francisca or Heraldo Regis. We’re on-site, fishing with you, and making certain that you’re having the trip of a lifetime. We’re there to help with fishing techniques, tackle tips, local knowledge and other extras that no absentee booking agent or inexpert outfitter can provide. Acute Angling is very different from fishing travel companies who receive a commission and send you on your way. By controlling our operations and remaining independent of fixed locations, we optimize value and productivity at the same time. We’re able to fish the best waters at the peak of each season. Acute Angling trips consistently produce great fishing and lifetime memories. When you fish with us, you won’t find yourself up some remote river without the proverbial paddle. With Acute Angling, you have a fishing trip operator who speaks your language and is dedicated to making your trip a success.
The Peacock Bass Experts
Who are we? We’re the owner, operator, outfitter and organizer of the Amazon’s best fishing trips. We are a team of experts providing the information, services and support to ensure that you successfully realize the fishing trip of a lifetime. Based in two continents we manage, and coordinate a team of over 50 professional guides, chefs, mechanics and housekeeping staff. Here are some of our key people;
Paul Reiss, PhD. - Principal owner, founder and president of Acute Angling. After a successful entrepreneurial career, he fulfilled a lifelong biologist’s dream by founding a business that allows him and our angling clients to explore the world’s vastest wilderness while pursuing its fiercest sportfish. With over two decades of field experience, three fluent languages and a PhD in Neotropical Ichthyology, he is the sporting world’s foremost expert on giant Amazon peacock bass. There is no one better qualified to answer your Amazon fishing questions and deliver your Amazon trip. 866 832-2987 ext. 1 or email.
Garry Reiss - Partner and General Manager - An accountant by training and former CFO and general manager of an independent mid-size company, Garry has the administrative acumen and experience to make sure that all of Acute Angling's complex scheduling, service responsibilities and business functions mesh into a seamless whole. Always available in our U.S. office, he is also the person who implement's every facet of your pre-trip planning and coordination. As Acute Angling's General Manager, Garry is the person to call with all of your administrative questions, requests, special needs and special planning. 866 832-2987 ext. 2 or email.
Helen Reiss - Systems Designer - Fishing is what we do best, but managing the information necessary to make your experience with us seamless requires software. After a life-long career in the Pharma industry performing precisely these IT focused roles, Helen has designed a new client accessible system, unique in our industry, that will give you direct access to your own personal, cloud-based portal to manage your pre-trip preparations and follow-up. Gone are the days of paper forms and mailing in responses. Just log on, type-in, click and complete. Record-keeping, reporting and trip management is automatic, secure and with data accurately recorded and maintained. Although automation has reduced our paper-pushing burden, it will in no way diminish the hands-on service and support we are known for. Quite the contrary, in fact! With our new systems are in place, Helen has become another member of our always available customer service group, able to help with any questions or user needs regarding your client portal. 866 832-2987 ext. 4 or email
Norberto Guedes - Managing Partner, operations and logistics - a wilderness expert, former shipbuilder, Amazon lumber expert and fishing operations manager, Norberto is responsible for the management and day-to-day operation of the Blackwater Explorer yacht and our Floating Bungalow operation. Well-versed in the Amazon's network of rivers and routes, he coordinates supply delivery, staffing and maintenance of our peacock bass focused Amazon operations, keeping them always working smoothly.
Wellington Melo - Managing Partner, operations and logistics - a former commercial airplane pilot, Florida sportfishing guide and Brazilian government policy implementer, Wellington is our chief negotiator with Indigenous peoples and the corresponding responsible government agencies. He constantly searches for new fishing opportunities and organizes all of our exploratory trips into new waters. He coordinates the day-to-day management, supply and staffing of both our Multi-Species variety lodge and our periodic exploratory safari camps, Wellington is also the popular, bilingual camp host in both of these operations.
Brent Moreland — Sales Manager and Trip Host — An avid and experienced angler with a dozen Amazon seasons under his belt, Brent is a mainstay on many of our early season trips, providing a personal touch as your host. His thorough knowledge of Acute Angling’s trip options, policies and procedures, makes him our point man at trade shows and conventions during the winter months and our off-season. Contact Brent to arrange seminars and exhibits and to find out more about any of our trips. 866 832-2987 ext. 5.
Charlie Balfour — Chief Information Officer and system programmer — Charlie is the technical force behind our unique GAMMA administrative system. Custom developed for Acute Angling and its clients, Charlie has taken the paper out of paperwork and made your trip preparations easier and totally secure.
Daylla Guedes - Operations Coordinator - An attorney by training, Daylla is our bilingual "boots on the ground" in Brazil. She is our legal representative, ensuring that all of our documents, permits and licenses are properly in place. She also spearheads the process of obtaining the permissions we need to operate in the wide range of fisheries we visit. Finally, Daylla is responsible for coordinating all of our complex logistics. Floatplanes, charters, transfers and hotels all come within her purview. Under her supervision, our logistics routinely fall flawlessly into place.
Alexy Mesa - Travel Specialist - Well-versed in the schedules of both U.S. and South American airlines, Alexy is the go-to person to arrange all aspects of your travel. As our representative with Dumonde Travel, Alexy knows our schedule and knows precisely “when-you-need-to-be-where” in order to coordinate properly with your fishing trip. Your travel, when booked through Alexy can also be modified by him, even while you are travelling. This is often an important consideration when flights are affected by untoward weather. Alexy can have your connections rescheduled and in place even before you arrive at the airport. He is also available to extend your trip with additional travel to Brazil's tourist destinations. Want to spend a few days in Rio, visit Florianopolis or see Iguassu falls; Alexy can arrange it all to fit seamlessly into your schedule.
And an entire team of polished professionals - It takes more than just a bunch of managers to make an operation like this function smoothly. Our team of dedicated staff includes Barbara Francisca, the popular bilingual, live-aboard host of our Blackwater Explorer trips and Heraldo Regis, host of our floating bungalow operation; Eddy Wala, our savvy, bilingual transfer agent, always there to pick you up on arrival and deliver you to each of the stops along the path of your fishing adventure; Marizete Guedes, Ruth Guedes and Erico da Silva, all of whom produce the most incredible food imaginable in the middle of the world's most remote rainforest; Tomas, Raimundo and Nelson, all mechanics par excellence, who keep our generators running, our air-conditioners cooling and our motors humming in each of our operations. Along with our expert guides and hard-working support personnel, they put the polish on our fine-tuned Amazon operations.
Top 10 reasons to fish with us!
OK, so why are we different or better than the rest and why should you book with us? Here are a just a few of the most important reasons.
1. We control our trips from top to bottom - We are the owner, operator, outfitter and organizer all rolled into a single entity. We are responsible for all aspects of our trips. If anything is ever not right, we'll correct it or make it good. We will take responsibility and make sure it's handled to your satisfaction. We believe that you deserve to get your money's worth and have your expectations met. There will never be any finger-pointing if you book with us because the only one we could ever point at would be ourselves!
2. We are a sportfishing operation, first and foremost - We are not a cruise provider with some fishing thrown in and we are not an over-sized luxury yacht that can't get out of its own way. We are not a chartered vessel that runs a weekly route on top of half a dozen others and we are not a marketing company that sells empty flash and dazzle. We are focused on providing a productive and satisfying fishing trip with all the creature comforts you could ever need. We go where the fishing is best regardless of the distance. Frankly, we are truly a finely honed fishing machine.
3. We go where the conditions are right - The Amazon is a huge place and fishing here is ruled by water levels. If water levels are right, fishing is great. If they're wrong, fishing is miserable. Our operations are highly mobile and we have no hesitation to go as far as is necessary to get to the right conditions. We are not tied to a single locale or route or resupply point (as are most operations). We resupply by mobile supply boat, anywhere we choose to go; and we go anywhere the water levels tell us to. We have no hesitation to burn diesel anytime it will make a positive difference in the fishing and the quality of our trips.
4. We are the world's leading authority on Amazon peacock bass - In fishing, knowledge is power! And we have the knowledge. With over twenty years experience pursuing giant peacock bass and with a PhD specialized in Neotropical Ichthyology at the head of our organization, we understand our quarry and we give you the power to maximize your fishing success.
5. We provide a complete, turn-key, all-inclusive trip package - There are no loose ends with Acute Angling. With over twenty-five years of experience, we're pretty sure we've already made every mistake in the book … and we won't make them again! And we won't let you make them either. We will walk you through every aspect of your trip and furnish the services and support necessary to put everything into place. As part of our turn-key packages, we provide direct access to complete travel document services and complete travel booking services; no need to start looking for help elsewhere. As part of our all-inclusive package we provide; complete travel insurance and Global Rescue services; we’ll outfit you with every bit of tackle you need; we will get your fishing license; we will handle special needs; we will provide you with comprehensive pre-trip information; and we are just a phone call away to answer any question or provide any assistance you might need.
6. Our operations are extremely comfortable - Our beautiful Blackwater Explorer yacht is an amazingly comfortable home base. She boasts spacious private bathrooms with separated hot showers in each cabin. The cabins each open to the outside and are equipped with individually thermostatted split unit air-conditioners and comfortable beds. Our floating bungalows sport the same amenities and are even more spacious. Our remote and exotic multi-species variety trip, in the middle of a primeval forest, boasts a comfortable, air-conditioned lodge, complete with en-suite bathrooms and separate shower stalls. Our new Blackwater Adventurer floating hotel offers unique maximized fishing capability with luxurious comfort. Even our safari camp is more comfortable than you might expect, with real mattresses in our seven foot high tents, fans, lighting and electrical outlets in each unit. All of our operations include a fully equipped kitchen; we even bake our own bread. Your job in each of our operations is to eat, drink, sleep, fish and enjoy the fishing trip of a lifetime.
7. All aspects of our trips are top shelf - We provide quality Okuma, Power Pro and Shimano fishing gear. Our wines are selected for their recognized quality featuring Argentine Malbecs, Portuguese Alentejos and Chilean Cabernets ... And our food is second to none. We have been told by a group of restaurant-owning anglers that they've never enjoyed better food on any hunting or fishing trip they've ever experienced. We take that as the sincerest possible endorsement and we know that you'll agree once you too experience it.
8. We have old fashioned morals and a modern business model - We believe that if we offer the best product that can be offered and that if we deliver it with diligence and honesty, then customers will have a simple choice and one they can depend on ... kind of like in days gone by. We also know that we need a structure that lets us deliver on our promises, so we are vertically integrated, like many of the world's most successful organizations. We are willing to make a promise to you, take the responsibility to deliver it honestly and ensure that we have the resources to support it.
9. We provide a broad Amazon experience - Our staff understands that you want to see, feel and hear the Amazon, its wildlife and its people as part of your trip. We offer our anglers visits to Indian villages, spotlighting excursions, jungle hikes, shore lunches, kayak fishing - even educational seminars about this unique wilderness and its amazing aquatic biodiversity.
10. Put simply - We offer the best value in the Amazon - Not only are our prices significantly lower than almost any other comparable Amazon trip, but we deliver much, much more. With no layers of commission or silly marketing frills, we are able to provide a productive, polished and supremely comfortable trip with top-quality service, support, food, drink and gear every step of the way ... at a price that even some of the crudest operations can't match and thousands of dollars below any competitor even approaching our quality.
We think booking your Amazon peacock bass trip with us is a no-brainer, but you don't have to take our word for it. Read our angler's testimonials and commentaries, contact our references directly and call us any time with any questions. Do your homework and check out the competition. We're sure the facts will lead you right back to us. Thanks for your interest - we hope to fish with you soon!
You can request "general purpose" Acute Angling References or "trip specific" references:
Blackwater Explorer References:
Floating Bungalows References:
Multi-Species Lodge References:
Blackwater Adventurer References:
Book a Peacock Bass Trip
Call us, toll-free, at (866) 832-2987 or email us
Follow these three easy steps to find and book the perfect fishing trip for you
Why are so many of Acute Angling's fishing trips less expensive, yet more productive than others?
Acute Angling is very different from other companies you may encounter that offer peacock bass and exotic species fishing trips. Most other organizations and their associated websites offering these trips operate only as booking agencies. They receive a commission, as would any travel agent, and they send you off on trips offered by an independent outfitter or fishing company. Quite often, they have no knowledge or experience about your destination. They take your money and send you off with their best wishes.
We are vertically integrated as a single business entity. This removes layers of commission and the need for a tiered system of businesses to deliver a single trip — thus removing the need for multiple layers of profitability. We own, operate, outfit and organize only our own exclusive and unique programs — so, not only are our trips less expensive, but they are more productive — because we go with you. — Our trips are personally hosted by Paul Reiss, Wellington Melo, Barbara Francisca, Heraldo Regis or one of our other experienced bilingual hosts, and are all directly organized by us. When you fish with Acute Angling, you won't find yourself up some remote river without the proverbial paddle. We personally manage our trips and are on-site, fishing with you. We provide help with fishing techniques, tackle selection and a variety of extras that no absentee agency can provide. With Acute Angling, you have an operator who speaks your language and is dedicated to making your trip a success.
Step 1. - For Fishing Trip Information - First select the type of trip: For more detailed trip type and facility information, select its link.
Yacht Trips - Peacock Bass - Living aboard the beautiful "Blackwater Explorer" yacht, a comfortable, air-conditioned mother ship and then fishing every day from stable aluminum bass boats offers the best of both worlds. The yacht-based trips boast both incredible mobility and relaxed comfort. Water levels and fishing conditions often change on a weekly basis in the Amazon. Our mobile mother ship operation can keep anglers in productive water despite changing conditions.
Fly-in Floating Bungalows - Trophy Peacock Bass - Our floating bungalow camp is one of the most versatile tools in our arsenal of peacock bass access techniques. Needing only a foot of water to navigate, our floating bungalow camp can find its way to the farthest reaches of headwaters fisheries. Where other operations can’t go, our floating bungalow camp provides the perfect blend of mobility and infrastructure to ensure that we can provide the ultimate fishing experience with surprising comfort and total security.
Multi-species Lodge - Fierce Fishes of the Amazon - Lodge accommodations offer comfortable, air-conditioned lodging, private bathrooms, showers and all the comforts of home. Our , island-based “Picapau” lodge is located in the middle of the Rio Travessão, in one of the Amazon’s most inaccessible regions. Floatplane access allows anglers to experience this primeval wilderness and its exotic multi-species fishery while remaining comfortable and secure.
Luxury Floating Hotel - Giant Peacock Bass - The Blackwater Adventurer’s navigational design is different than anything Acute Angling has ever built before. With a super shallow-drafting barge hull and Cessna Caravan floatplanes to deliver anglers in comfort and ease, it bypasses all of the hazards and difficulties and brings you straight into the heart of the most remote fishery. Limited to pleasantly intimate 8-angler groups, all guests enjoy spacious private cabins; fully appointed with private bathrooms, hot showers and individual air-conditioners. But it’s not just about luxury. It’s about fishing success. The Adventurer uses an altogether new fishing formula; Its shallow draft ensures it gets to the fish; its mobility allows it to move to the best possible conditions, wherever they are, floatplane access, means it doesn’t have to leave a hot spot, ensuring we can deliver the most productive fishing possible trip for you.
Exploratory trips — Amazon Frontiers — From time to time we venture beyond the fringe to find new destinations. Sometimes we take angling clients with us. The accommodations may be basic; safari style tents, sometimes more comfortable; our floating bungalows or an air-conditioned boat. We use the mechanism that provides the best access to the fishery. We usually plan on three or four weeks, up to eight anglers per week. Our goal is to test a potential fishery. How will it hold up to pressure? What have learned that we didn’t see on our preliminary visit? What species are we finding? Is this a place that deserves to become part of our regular schedule? We figure it out together. Our exploratory anglers always have a very special Amazon experience. Even when they don’t lead to new destinations, our exploratory trips always provide exciting fishing adventure. Who knows where we'll be next year?
.All of our Amazon destinations are different and suit different sets of expectations. Call us and let's discuss what's right for you.
Step 2. - Then select the date that works for you:
Blackwater Explorer Yacht
- Igapo Acu Indian Reservation
mid-August to mid-October
- Rio Negro Basin
mid-October to mid-March
- Special Yacht Trips
Floating Bungalow Camps
Exotic Multi-Species Lodge
- Rio Travessao
mid-October through February
The Blackwater Adventurer
Scheduled Trips operated by Acute Angling:
The links at left will take you to each trip’s detailed info page. Scroll down to see the full range of available dates. See what works best for you, then either contact us or come back to this page and continue on below to Step 3.
Please note - There are currently several international carriers accessing Manaus, Brazil, each with varying individual flight schedule options. Therefore, all trip dates shown in this schedule refer to the dates on which a trip departs from Manaus to the fishery via our charter and the dates on which it returns back to Manaus from the fishery. Trip dates shown therefore do not consider specific air-travel schedules from your point of departure to Manaus. As part of our turn-key fishing trip program, Acute Angling provides a complete suite of travel services to support your fishing trip. We will be happy to coordinate and book all aspects of your air travel, as well as provide services for any passport or travel document needs you may have. Please contact us for more information.
Step 3. - Contact us by telephone or e-mail:
We'll provide expert guidance to help you sort out exactly which type of trip is right for you. We provide assistance with all aspects of trip preparation; ticketing; travel documents; insurance; gear preparation; For Groups - We provide special group arrangements and we'll help get your group organized, booked and ready to go; For Individuals - We'll help you match up with a fishing partner, or if desired we can arrange single occupancy accommodations. For all Anglers - We consider it our job to make sure that the fishing trip you experience matches your highest expectations.
Acute Angling is owned and operated by serious international anglers for serious international anglers. We provide unmatched fishing and trip preparation services. Acute Angling strives to exceed your angling expectations. We'll go that extra mile to ensure that in the end, you choose a destination that best matches your particular interests. Enjoy our articles, stories and information on accessing these remarkable fisheries. Perhaps we can fish together in the not-so-distant future . . .
We are pleased to be able to deliver the highest quality Amazon fishing trips — in the right place at the right time. References are available upon request.
Here are just a few of our client's comments and testimonials, in their own words. If you'd like to contact them directly, please email or call us, toll-free at 866 832-2987, for their contact info.
Note - We don't provide it directly here, in order to protect their privacy and keep their email from becoming a spam magnet.
Blackwater Explorer — Comments - by Christi Bender,
Coventryville, PA - from our post trip questionnaire;
Christi has travelled with us many times — Here are her comments on a recent Blackwater Explorer trip.
Accommodations – The comfort level on the Blackwater Explorer far exceeded what we thought we would have. It was tight in the room, but plenty enough for what you do for 30 minutes when you are awake! The clothes storage and daily laundry were really far beyond expectations! The air conditioning worked great and we were never too hot in our rooms. This was a welcome break from the heat of the day and made getting a good night’s sleep easy.
Service – Marcello (our waiter) was truly fabulous both greeting us after a day of fishing and taking care of us in the dining room. Barbara (our host) was super friendly and her ability to speak English was very helpful. It was nice being able to communicate requests and comments to her easily. And, her sense of humor was much appreciated as it was nice to have another woman on the boat!
Logistics – This was all done so seamlessly that I can’t really comment. That says a lot.
Boats and Equipment – The Blackwater Explorer was far more comfortable than I originally thought it would be. The daily fishing boats were quite roomy, the ease of moving the seats from raised to lowered positions was great as was the size of the fishing platforms in the front and in the center.
Your catch – I had never fished more than 6 hours on one day…. One day in a row. I seriously thought I would spend hours every day either back at the Blackwater Explorer or on an island in the shade with my Kindle. Instead, I couldn’t get enough of the fishing. Just toooo much fun! I didn’t know what fish I would catch and I am more than thrilled with the variety, colors, patterns and sizes. I didn’t know much about these fish as I am a very novice fisherwoman. But I can tell you now that I have very little interest in fishing for anything other than Peacock Bass. I have been RUINED!
Non fishing activities – The village walk and visit to the “Manioc Factory” was wonderful. I wish I would have known what other things to bring with me. I would have gladly brought more “goodies” for the villagers. The caiman hunt was a good time…. And quite unexpected. The seminars were amazing – there could have been more, but I don’t know what about. I didn’t do a Jungle Walk and that is my only regret. I want to make sure that is something that happens on my next trip
Your overall impression of the trip - I want to come back. I want to come back. I want to come back. Soon. We are looking at our travel plans and we will be back to fish again! I have been telling EVERYONE that I know that likes to fish that this is worth the money, the time, the overall investment. It isn’t a question of whether it is worth it, it’s a question of what are you waiting for!!
Would you consider being a reference for us - ABSOLUTELY. Especially if you had a couple contemplating this or a woman thinking about coming who wasn’t sure she would “fit in”. Use my name on anything. You can use my email on printed material and you can give out my phone number privately.
Exploratory Trip — Comments - by Joe Fanelli,
West Sacramento, CA - from an email;
Joe travelled with us on our Rio Trombetas Exploratory trip.
"Superb trip Garry! Spending time with Paul was special. A high point for me was catching over 20 peacocks on the fly rod. The Guyana Shield exploratory adventure was great--especially the Pacu fishing in the waterfalls. The camp was first class, as were the staff as well as the anglers. I hope to fish again with you next year, especially if my son Michael is between jobs." Cheers, Joe
Blackwater Explorer — Comments - from Jerry Livingston,
Albuquerque, NM - from our post trip questionnaire;
Jerry travelled with us on the Blackwater Explorer.
"It was one of the best things I have checked off my bucket list!" Thanks, Jerry L. Livingston.
Floating Bungalows — Comments - from Bill Tieleman,
Maywood, NJ - from an email;
Bill has travelled with us many times.
I just wanted to take a moment to comment regarding our recent Floating Bungalow trip. Note that this was a third or fourth trip with Acute for some of us, while a first for others.
First off, our guides Brahma, Carlos, and Ramon were excellent and great fun to fish with. Their comprehensive knowledge of the waterway and environment, boat-handling, and most importantly their ability to dependably put us on fish was exceptional. They guided with skill and patience (we caught more than a few “monkey fish”), and – despite an inconsequential language barrier – we all thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated their sense of humor. They were really superb fishing guides, and clearly essential to the success of our fishing trip.
Second, and one element that truly raised the bar on this trip, was the food. The culinary accomplishments of our Chef Ruth – note I say Chef, not cook – in that tiny, hot camp kitchen were nothing short of phenomenal. A different delicious soup and salad was crafted every day. At least two mains at every breakfast and dinner, again different each day, were served with an array of sides. The variety was amazing. The “Last Supper” – at a long table set up on the beach with a bonfire on our last night in camp – was simply epic. Honestly, you’d come just for the food, and I’d like to suggest that Ruth should be Acute’s “Executive Chef” and train all other camp cooks. The food was always good in the past, but to be honest never nearly in the same league as Ruth’s.
Finally and without doubt most importantly, hats off to our host and camp manager Harold. Always supremely friendly and accommodating, his knowledge of the entire operation was clearly apparent, and he orchestrated all facets like clockwork, putting everyone at welcomed ease. Camp relo’s were absolutely transparent, despite obvious challenges of nearly innavigable low-water conditions. This gentleman’s consistent professionalism, poise, and obvious personal dedication to insuring the very best possible client experience were rare and heartening these days. Harold was surely integral to and responsible for the overall success of our trip, and his thoughtful ministrations were always greatly and sincerely appreciated.
I’d also like to give props to Eddie for deftly managing our airport and hotel logistics, and especially for heading off what could have been some difficult problems on our behalf.
All of these things taken together - in a place as extraordinary as the Amazon rainforest - made for a truly memorable fishing adventure that was far greater than the sum of its parts. On behalf of myself and my fellows, I wish to express our very sincere gratitude to our host Harold; to our guides Brahma, Carlos, and Ramon; to our chef Ruth; and to the entire camp staff for making our experience truly exceptional in every respect. Thanks to their concerted efforts, this was easily our best trip yet, and we are all looking very forward to fishing with Acute again in the future.
Thanks and Best Regards.
Bill and group
PS - I’d like to ask that you please pass our comments along to all the aforementioned staff. They truly did a great job.
Blackwater Adventurer — Comments - from Glenda Gartner,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - from our post trip questionnaire;
Glenda travelled with us on the Blackwater Adventurer.
Pre-Trip Considerations – The material provided by Acute Angling ahead of the trip enabled me to prepare very well for the weather, conditions and accommodations. Any questions I had in advance were promptly responded to. Based on this experience, and the fact that the leader of our trip had traveled with you before, I had full confidence in the overall quality of the experience.
Booking – All of the formwork was straightforward and turned around without any issues. I had booked my travel through my own agent (my trip with Acute Angling was at the conclusion of an extended excursion to another international location); I had everything I needed from Acute Angling to schedule accordingly, even when our original flights out of Brazil were cancelled and we needed to make alternate arrangements (Acute Angling were quick to respond with advice to help reschedule).
Accommodations – We were fortunate to be on the brand-new Blackwater Adventure. This was a very nice accommodation. It suited our group very comfortably, and we enjoyed both the interior air-conditioned space as much as the outdoor, covered deck above. As the sole woman within our fishing group of 8, I felt very safe and at ease with a private cabin, with individual shower/toilet services.
Food – Many compliments to the staff of the kitchen on our trip – the food was excellent, fresh and delicious! The was always a variety to choose from, and we enjoyed some of the staple specialties of the region. I miss the food already!
Service – Jose, David and all the staff on the boat made us feel very welcome, and at home, attentive to our needs. They always greeted us with a smile – even if we didn’t always speak the same language, their hospitality was felt!
Logistics – I work in a project environment, where coordination of elements is essential to success and the overall experience. I commend your team for the amount of effort and coordination undertaken to ensure a seamless experience for the guests.
Atmosphere – We had an eclectic group of 8 fishermen from around North America (Canada and the United States) and enjoyed the privacy of our own space on the Blackwater Adventurer. That allowed us to enjoy our social time and get to know each other, and the staff on the boat with us. The whole trip came together in such an amazing way – I still cannot believe how much fun we had and what a great experience it was!
Detail – There is little more to say than what I have above, but it was certainly appreciated having daily laundry, fresh bedding, and a cool space to regroup in after the day of fishing.
Your guide – Our group had decided to change our pairs daily, so that we could all fish with each other at least one time. Sapo was the first guide that I had on Day 1. Sapo was helpful in teaching me – a novice in the truest sense – how to feel comfortable casting, with the right equipment for me, and then how to improve my cast. Since we used a daily rotation, I had the good fortune of fishing with all the guides at least once. What terrific group of men! They all have their own experience and style, and our fishing group came to appreciate each of their unique characteristics. Each of them worked hard to ensure we were able to catch our trophies (everyone in our group had at least one fish over 10 lbs!) and that we were comfortable on the boat (cold beverages and shade when we needed) and that our fishing gear was ready and working perfectly. They certainly go above and beyond, including getting into the water or into the bushes with their machetes when necessary! The shore lunch they prepared for us was our favourite daytime meal – eating in hammocks like kings and a queen! These fellows are top notch!
Dedication – As noted above, these guides go above and beyond. One climbed into the water to move a log to retrieve a 14lb fish for me, one took us on a short walk into the forest to get a better look at some monkeys he had spotted, one managed to lure with my fishing partner a small caiman into the boat. It was an amazing adventure every day!
Your catch – I came in as both a novice and the only woman in our fishing group. I was looking to try something new and have a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience – I had no set expectations on my results at fishing. Therefore, it was a dream to have the largest fish in the group for most of the week – 18 lb. Acu Peacock – until one of the men surpassed that late in the week with his own 22 lb. Acu Peacock. I enjoyed every moment, much more than I could have expected.
Your Host — Jose was delightful! He was friendly, helpful, informative and made us feel as though the Blackwater Adventurer was truly our home. I have taken other tours around the world and Jose’s demeanor; personality and character are in line with the best guides I have traveled with. From the moment we arrived, we were taken care of right through to the moment he hugged me and waved goodbye.
Your overall impression of the trip — Unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime type experience that I will remember forever. Thank you! I sincerely appreciate the quality of the trip, not the least of which is the interaction with all of the team who made it possible – both virtually through pre-trip information and in-person upon our arrival in Brazil and in the Amazon. Thank you so much to everyone involved!
Blackwater Explorer — Comments - from Pete Russo,
Eagleville, PA - from our post trip questionnaire;
Pete travelled with us on the Blackwater Explorer.
"Great trip! I fished with 'San----na' (another operation) the first time. Your outfit is 10X better!"
Thanks, Pete Russo.
In fishing, knowledge is power! We firmly believe that the more information you have and the more you know, the more likely you are to choose Acute Angling. Take advantage of the wealth of information offered here. Learn what you need to know to make an informed decision. You deserve to get your money's worth and have your expectations met. We hope you'll decide to fish with us, but whatever you ultimately select, we hope you have a wonderful trip! There are no freshwater fishes anywhere in the world that compare with the amazing fierce fishes of the Amazon!