Peacock Bass in the Amazon

A new friend to us here at Fly Fishing World Headquarters and Black Fly Outfitter, Marcel from Rio de Janeiro has sent us an interesting report of some great Peacock Bass fishing that he enjoys in the Amazon Basin. Marcel is an avid fly fisherman who is fortunate enough to be able to travel to some very interesting and off the beaten path fly fishing destinations. We have come to know Marcel through some recent purchases he has made through our Black Fly Outfitter online store. He found us on the web and ordered some of our tarpon toad flies along with some other travel items preparing for an upcoming trip to Belize and after that a trip to the Austral region of the Amazon Basin, specifically to the Madeira River. Marcel has been making an annual trip to the area for the last 10 years and has become a big fan of this hard hitting, hard fighting fish.

Marcel says they are abundant in these river waters but “like big tarpon, you have to have the “gift” of enticing them to eat a fly.” The average fish according to his report is in the 10 lb. range but in other reading I have done, I’ve found out that the peacock has attained IGFA documented weights of 27 pounds. Marcel has had reports of fish approaching the 34 pound range being caught in these Amazon waters. The fish that he is holding in the photo below weighed in at an impressive 21 pounds.


Marcel with a nice 21# peacock bass

Marcel with a nice 21# peacock bass

The reputation that the peacock has for demolishing tackle makes it an even more desirable gamefish to pursue with fly tackle. Marcel likes to use the tarpon toad patterns (see insert in the photo) rigged with a 60 pound bite tippet to entice these fish to eat. He tells us that when he returns from this year’s trip he will be calling us to replace what gear these brutes bust up and to restock the flies that will be destroyed in the process.

The peacock is not really a “bass” at all. Although it strongly resembles a largemouth in general size and shape, it is actually the largest American member of the cichlid family of fishes. More commonly called “pavon” in Latin American countries and “tucunare” in Brazil, peacock bass originate and thrive in South American waters. The real giants of the specie live in remote back-water lagoons off major tributaries in the Amazon drainage of Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia, but other countries, such as Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia all have waters that contribute to the massive Amazon watershed which abounds with peacock bass. The range of the peacock also has grown to include south Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Panama and Costa Rica.

We wish you a great trip Marcel and look forward to the report and photos that we will be able to share with our readers.