AMAZONIAN FISH SPECIES
& Local Culture
Amazonian Fish Species & Local Culture
The Peacock Bass is hands down the most prized catch of the amazon. Thousands of fisherman flock to the Amazon Rivers every year for one thing and one thing only- to catch these fish.
Contrary to its name, this fish is not actually a bass but a cichlid, belonging to the same family as the tilapia.
spawning season (October to January) is the best time to fish Peacock Bass since these fish are highly protective of their young. At this time, they are extremely aggressive and viciously attack anything and everything that comes close to their offspring.
Peacock bass love to spend their time in shallow water under the brush, branch, bush, anywhere they may seek refuge from the blazing sun.
How to catch a peacock bass?
Top water plugs, shiners, crankbaits, lures, spoons and poppers all work well. At the end of the day, it is up to personal preference.
It is important to note that peacock bass are know to deform and destroy lures from the strength of their attacks. So expect to lose a few of your favourite lures.
Piraiba - Goliath Catfish
This is a migratory species that makes its way up the jatapu and Uatumã rivers to spawn, feed, find shelter and to escape extreme temperatures and water flows.
There are many wives tales and indigenous legends based around these monster sized creatures- some believing that they are capable of swallowing a small human, whole.
Everything from monkeys to tapir remains have been found in their stomachs.
An episode of River Monsters featured a story where a fisherman was swallowed whole by a piraiba.
Unfortunately, neither the fisherman or the fish survived to tell the tale.
If you catch one of these behemoths, prepare yourself for a fight!
They have a surprising amount of endurance and obvious strength. They are not afraid to swim out into the open water and even jump into the air.
The largest piraiba ever caught was said to be 2 metres in length and just over 340 lbs.
How to catch a piraiba?
Soaked live bait left at the bottom of the river bed is best. Wire leader is necessary to avoid chafing.
Pirara - Red Tailed Cat fish
These fish resemble a small, strong, tank-shaped pit bull that can weigh upwards of 200 lbs.
They do not fight like the peacock bass but what they lack in explosiveness they make up for in raw power.
The pirara is a highly sought after fish amongst sports fisherman for this reason. If you catch one of these be prepared for a fight as they are not easy to reel in.
How to catch a pirara?
they react best to fresh bait left at the bottom of the river bed and a wire leader is necessary to prevent chafing from their sound paper like teeth. (very similar to the piraiba)
This prehistoric fish dates back approximately 23 million years .
It is famous for its size and the fact that it comes to the surface to breath. This allows it to live in murky and swampy waters with low levels of oxygen.
These fish are endangered and are highly sought after for their meat.
The Pirarucu is a protected species in Brazil and the arapaima you may see on a restaurant menu typically comes from a fish farm,
Natives hold the arapaima in high regard. it is common to use its tongue, that is made of cartilage with a velcro like consistency, as a scraping tool.
When fishing, be aware for the distinct sounds of this fish coming to the surface, it could be your chance to catch a giant arapaima.
How to catch a pirarucu?
Best to go early morning and late afternoon. Wire leader is a must due to its bony tongue. They can attack top water lures, poppers, or fly tackle.
Vampire Fish (Payara)
The Payara aka Vampire fish looks as frightening as the name suggests.
The vampire fish has two enormous fangs on their bottom front teeth which they use to spear their prey
These teeth are so large that that the payara has two small openings in the top of its jaw to fit its teeth – in order to properly close its mouth.
Payara are very explosive and love to jump out of the water –
however they are fragile and tire quickly.
They are very entertaining to catch and provide an even better photo-op.
How to catch a payara?
Heavier tackle that you use to catch peacock bass can also be used for the payara. Spinning baitcasting, or fly tackle will work and wire leader is a must! make sure you have. a fairly stiff rod for the hookset, otherwise you will lose quite a few.
The black piranha is the largest of the piranha species.
there are an abundance in the uatumã and jatapu rivers.
These piranhas are gigantic in comparison to other piranha species and can way upwards of 10 lbs.
How to catch a piranha?
a more appropriate question should be how not to catch them. as soon as there is fresh bait in the water you can almost guarantee a piranha on your line.
They have razor sharp teeth so a metal leader is a must.