Pacu and Piranha
Throughout the Amazon, the name pacu has been given to a range of flattened, rounded fishes primarily from the genera Mylossoma, Myleus and Metynnis. Like their larger cousins, the tambaqui and pirapitinga, pacu favor the vegetarian lifestyle. That doesn't mean, however that they can't be convinced to join in on a little sportfishing activity from time to time. Several species can readily be caught on light tackle and will put up an impressive tussle.
Ultralight spinning rods that can deliver a kernel of corn or wadded piece of bread can make for a diverting afternoon (not to mention a delicious dinner). Fly casters should use 2/0 Clousser Minnows and especially fruit-colored Glo Bugs dead-drifted in trout/salmon fashion. The Brazilian specimen at the top, left, took a "bread fly" (spun deer hair, cut and trimmed to look a piece of floating bread) in moving water, just like a trout sipping a dry fly.
There are many species of piranha (Serrasalmus sp.) swimming the rivers throughout the Amazon basin. The black piranha (Rhombeus) can grow larger than 8-pounds and can be excellent light tackle adversaries (especially on smaller spinning/casting rods or a 5-6-weight fly rod). Examinations of piranha stomach contents have shown that their typical food consists about one half of fish while the other half includes fruit, seeds and bottom detritus.
Amazon Pacu and Piranha Fishing Trips:
Blackwater Explorer Charter
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Accomodation: Blackwater Explorer
Species: Apapá, Catfish, Pacu, Peacock Bass, Piranha
Season: Year Round
Rio Travessão Variety
Fierce Amazon Predators.
Accomodation: Elegant Rustic Lodge
Species: Bicuda, Catfish, Pacu, Payara, Peacock Bass, Piranha, Wolfish (Trairao)
Season: October through February