Brazil Peacock Bass Fishing

Brazil Peacock Bass Fishing

Good friend Lawren Garza and I were invited to join a group from Falcon Rods to fish for peacock bass in Brazil’s Amazon River system. I had reservations; I really wasn’t sure if I was up for it, I’d been told you had to be prepared to throw large “woodchopper” topwaters for hours on end and that didn’t really appeal to me. I often get tired after only an hour throwing smaller surface plugs, so how was I going to pitch a ten-inch plug all day long?

October 12, 2022: The Journey Begins – Air travel restrictions due to Covid were still partly in effect, which complicated flight availability. Our itinerary therefore was rather roundabout in order to finally arrive at our destination - Houston to Atlanta; Atlanta to São Paulo; then São Paulo to Manus. We elected to remain a day and a half to do some shopping for lures we would need, and for touring and sightseeing, escorted by Jorge Gomes our host, tackle store owner, and Amazon River outfitter. His outfitting business is Outfitter owner “Sucuri Pesca eAventura.”

The downtown area has lots to offer with history dating to the 1800s and earlier, the opera house located across from the square was constructed in 1903 and is absolutely beautiful.

We also went to the mall, not at all like ours. It is the centerpiece of the town, a social gathering place with lots of shops, restaurants, even a pharmacy and bars. We shopped at Jorge’s tackle store and had dinner at a very nice restaurant in the mall. The food was outstanding.

We departed from Manus to Barcellos on a small plane arriving at the majestic Amazon River!

Arriving at the dock by shuttle. The boat sat tied to a floating barge awaiting our arrival. Down a brick stairway we traveled to a wooden plank suspended over a fifteen-foot drop to board the boat. Not OSHA approved, but it worked.

After unpacking, we all met on the upper deck to begin assembling our rods, reels and pack our tackle boxes with the new lures we picked up at Sucuri Tackle shop. The selection of rods Falcon provided were 5’7”, 6’3”, 6’6”, and 6’9”, all in heavy actions. I brought my own reels and I strongly recommend reels of 150 size, with at least 7:1 and faster retrieve ratios. Peacock bass like the lures worked fast and I found it challenging at first to maintain rhythm. Do not stop if they blow up...reel faster. No leader line required, just tie your braid direct to the lure. I was rigged with 40# braid and had no problems, some preferred 65# braid. We were set for the morning adventure to fish the Rio Negro for the next six days.  

Up at 6:00 and ready for the day. Each morning at breakfast we were presented a spread of fresh fruit, eggs, several meats, freshly baked rolls and other pastries. After breakfast we would pack lunches from the spread and head down to meet our guide.

Our gear and drinks were already on the boat, handing our lunches to the guide, we were soon underway.

Fishing the Amazon is much the same as any other water; it’s all about structure - sandbars, fallen trees, points and coves. Most important though is the proper way to present the woodchopper! Our guide demonstrates in the video below the best way to work the lure. Click on the QR Code to see how it’s done.

After several hours of fishing our guide would say, “Troll!” One of only the few words of English he knew. He would sense we were tiring of tossing the woodchopper, and we welcomed the short break. Trolling included several types of lures; some were soft plastic on jigheads.

After a short while he would call out, “Chop!” and it was back to work with the large surface baits and more heart-stopping action.

After a long day of fishing, we headed back to the boat to be greeted with a cold refreshing drink. I had two favorites, the traditional drink of Brazil - the Caipirinha, and the Pineapple Sunset.

A refreshing shower and short break in our room later, we’d all meet for refreshments and appetizers on the top deck, anxious to see what delicious dinner the crew had prepared for us.

Lawren and I were boat partners as well as roommates, and between us we landed 116 fish of various species that ranged from two- to twenty-three pounds during six days on the water. I have included some catch-photos; I think the quality of the fish was amazing. It was a great trip with good friends and awesome fishing, all caught and released.

We ended the trip with a sunset dinner served on a white Amazon sandbar.

Cheers to Brazil for my personal best Speckled Peacock Bass: 85½ cm - 33.66 inches, that weighed a hefty 23-pounds!

This trip is definitely a “Bucket List Trip”!

For Information on booking a trip call Falcon 918-251-0020 or email them at [email protected]