What are the 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 15 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 late 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 offer you 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.