Here are some helpful questions and answers to assist you with your Amazon peacock bass fishing adventure.
- What documents do I need for travel to Brazil?
- Do you recommend travel insurance?
- What is the weather like?
- Will I have a chance at a new Brazil peacock bass world record?
- What about insects in Brazil?
- What vaccinations do I need for travel to Brazil?
- Is the peacock bass related to American largemouth or smallmouth bass?
- What technique do I use to catch peacock bass?
- Are timing and water levels important in peacock bass fishing?
- What do you mean by exclusive fisheries?
- What is the advantage of fishing remote areas?
- What other species of fish can we catch?
- What about electrical voltage and adaptors?
- How many fishermen do the camps accommodate?
- What is the primary language in Brazil?
- What is Manaus, Brazil like?
What documents do I need for travel to Brazil?
A valid passport is required to enter Brazil. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates.
A Brazilian visa is required for travel. Visa processing times will vary, depending on the Consulate in your jurisdiction. You should begin the visa process as early as possible to allow for any delays that may arise.
We recommend CIBT Visas for processing the Brazilian visas. They do a superb job and the process is very secure and expeditious. Please visit their website for complete requirements and details—www.cibtvisas.com/rodgun or call (800) 929-2428.
You will fill out a “tourist card” while on the Miami/Manaus flight prior to landing in Brazil.
Be sure TO KEEP your stamped copy of this tourist card after proceeding through customs—customs officials can hassle or even fine you if you do not have the receipt when exiting the country.
Do you recommend travel insurance?
Your trip package does not include insurance of any kind. If you would like to discuss or purchase travel insurance we recommend that you contact Kevin Martin at Martin Travel Services — email@example.com or (800) 627-8468.
Global Rescue provides unparalleled emergency medical services and is the only company that conducts field rescue and medical evacuation from the point of illness or injury back to your home country hospital of choice. In addition, a Global Rescue membership includes 24/7 access to critical care paramedics, and in-house physicians backed by specialists from Johns Hopkins Medicine, the leading hospital in the U.S. since 1990.
Before traveling with Rod & Gun Resources, we recommend you take out a Global Rescue membership. If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please visit www.globalrescue.com/rodandgun or call Global Rescue at (800) 381-9754.
What is the weather like?
Temperatures typically range from 75 at night to 95 degrees or more during the day. Anglers should be prepared to fish under the equatorial sun. But keep in mind that during the day, the boats are often on the move so you will have a cooling breeze while traveling from one spot to another. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants made of a tropical weight material (ideally with UV protection built into the material), comfortable fishing hats and good amber polarized sunglasses. Although we fish during the dry season, rain may occur, so don’t forget to pack a lightweight rain suit. Humidity is high but the each cabin is air conditioned for your comfort.
Will I have a chance at a new Brazil peacock bass world record?
There is always the possibility that an angler may catch a new world record peacock bass on a Rod & Gun Resources peacock bass fishing trip. Many line class records have yet to be set, and the all-tackle world record of 29 pounds and one ounce, came from Brazil’s upper Rio Negro region.
What about insects in Brazil?
The Brazil rivers that we fish for peacock bass have a high tannin concentration due to the rain forest’s leaf decay, and do not encourage the growth of insect eggs and larvae. Some bugs are occasionally encountered – mainly no-see-ums (gnats) which can be irritating, along with the occasional bee, mosquito or wasp.
What vaccinations do I need for travel to Brazil?
We suggest you contact your doctor regarding inoculations recommended for travelers to the Amazon, or log on to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/travel. Doctors may suggest vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis and yellow fever.
Brazil does not require U.S. travelers entering Brazil to present proof of yellow fever vaccination.
Also, antibiotics and antiseptic medicines such as Polysporin and Band-Aids are always a good idea to avoid infections from cuts and scrapes.
Is the peacock bass related to American largemouth or smallmouth bass?
Peacock Bass (genus Chichla) is a generalized name for the large bass-like gamefish native to tropical South America, including Brazil. They are actually a subspecies of the family Cichlidae. Cichlids are a diverse family of tropical fish found throughout Africa and South America, some of which are popular for aquariums. There are countless color variations throughout their range. All peacock bass species are commonly called tucunaré, in Brazil and Peru, while other Spanish speaking countries use the term pavón. The peacock tucunaré (Cichla temensis), better known as azul or paca, is the largest of the species, with an average weight of six or seven pounds. Ten- to fifteen-pound peacock bass are very common, and twenty-plus pounders are hooked on a regular basis. This fish has an unmistakable mottled black patch directly behind its eye. Body coloration and markings vary greatly. Three vertical black bars are usually visible. Often, horizontal white spots are present. The butterfly tucunaré (Chichla ocellaris) is the smallest and most numerous species in the Amazon basin. This peacock has three different color phases, but the butterfly primarily seen has three black, oscillated spots (about the size of a half dollar) running along its lateral line. Although peacock bass are the main attraction in the Amazon, there are many other jungle species that are no less impressive, both in beauty and fighting ability.
What technique do I use to catch peacock bass?
Like largemouth bass, peacock bass often prefer “structure” of some sort. Rocks, fallen logs, points and sand bars are hiding places for baitfish, so this is where the peacocks usually congregate. Of course, you should always heed your Brazilian guide’s recommendations on where to cast. Peacock bass usually roam about in small schools searching for baitfish, and often burst into a feeding frenzy when baitfish are found. When this situation is encountered, get your lure or fly in front of the feeding peacock bass as soon as possible. The sooner you can cast to a peacock bass after it has been spotted, the better your chance of a hookup. Peacock bass are greedy and highly competitive schooling fish. Always cast a free lure or fly right next to any hooked peacock bass. Another peacock bass, attracted by the commotion, will almost always be close by. If no strikes result, fish the surrounding area thoroughly. Novice peacock bass fishermen tend to set the hook too fast when fishing topwater lures or flies. Often, peacock bass will just slap at the “bait” to stun it, and then come back around and firmly grab it on the second pass. It’s hard to remember at first, but don’t set the hook on the strike. If you can’t see the plug or fly after two or three seconds, drop your rod tip and set the hook as hard as you can. Big peacock bass have very tough skin around their mouths and tend to grip the plug or fly firmly.
If the peacock bass doesn’t take the lure on the first strike, keep it moving. If you are patient, the peacock bass will usually come up and hit the lure a second or third time. If he loses interest, quickly cast a diving (subsurface) lure or fly. This often elicits another strike. Never try and “horse” a big peacock bass, and don’t underestimate his power. If a big peacock bass is headed for structure, apply side pressure to the rod and try to “steer” the peacock bass in another direction. If you crank your drag down too tight, the peacock bass will almost always snap the line, or pull off, or jerk the rod from your hands. If a peacock bass does make it into cover, don’t give up. Give a little slack and wait for the boat to spook the peacock bass out of its hiding place – a peacock bass will often untangle itself. When the peacock bass comes to the boat, never assume it is ready to surrender. Always keep a high rod tip and a loose drag to absorb last minute runs.
Lure or fly color doesn’t seem to be as important to a peacock bass as lure shade. If it is bright out, use a light-colored lure/fly. Dark shades are more productive in low light conditions.
Are timing and water levels important in peacock bass fishing?
Absolutely. The prime time to fish for peacock bass is mid-July through February. The Brazilian Amazon encompasses a huge expanse of territory with literally thousands of separate watersheds. The equator bisects the area into two separate regions that we refer to as the “northern” and “southern” Amazon (north and west of Manaus, Brazil vs. south and east of Manaus, Brazil). Water fluctuation varies in each watershed (and its tributaries) depending upon its proximity to the equator. The equator’s convection activity changes in a dependably cyclical pattern that creates a wet and dry season in both regions.
During the wet season, the Amazon rivers overflow their banks and spread out into a tree-filled flood plain. Peacock bass fishing is completely unproductive at this time. When the rains subside the water levels slowly recede back into a central lagoon-filled river channel. Prime peacock bass fishing occurs when the receding water forces baitfish out of the vegetation and into open water. Knowledge and careful monitoring of these water fluctuations is an essential part of our angling success. Many outfitters run operations in areas with marginal high water periods when peacock bass are completely inaccessible and angling results suffer tremendously. The region south of Manaus, Brazil is productive from September through November, while the region north of Manaus, Brazil fishes best from November through February. Rod & Gun Resources and River Plate Anglers do not operate during “fringe” periods when water levels and angling conditions are questionable for productive peacock bass fishing trips.
Note: In order to maximize peacock bass fishing potential throughout the season, and in accordance with varying water conditions, the rivers to be fished may change at the option of the outfitter, Rod & Gun Resources, and River Plate Anglers.
What do you mean by exclusive fisheries?
Since 2002, Brazilian authorities have granted River Plate exclusive entry permits to fish on Indian reserves and Government preserves. This means that we don’t fish where other outfitting companies or commercial fisheries operate. In exchange for exclusive entry permits, River Plate helps local communities and tribes with various humanitarian projects.
What is the advantage of fishing remote areas?
Sport fishing yachts, commercial fishing boats and even survival fishing must stop where low waters, shallow sand bars and rocks prevent passage. But beyond these barriers the great peacock bass fishing starts! With the Fly-In Floating Cabins, our anglers are able to access these pristine Amazon fisheries, which are 6-8 boating hours past the non-navigable shallow waters.
What other species of fish can we catch?
Although peacock bass are the main attraction in the Amazon, there are many other jungle species that are equally impressive – both in beauty and fighting ability. Depending on the location, you will find other species such as the Pacu, Pirapitinga, Jacunda, Apapa, Tambaqui, Pirarucu, Bicuda, Picua, Piranha, Aruana, and Pescada, among others.
What is the primary language in Brazil?
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, which is similar to Spanish. The guides speak enough “fishing English” to communicate effectively and are intimately familiar with the fishing resources and how to find concentrations of peacock bass. All camps hosts are multilingual.
What is Manaus, Brazil like?
Manaus is a modern, rapidly growing city (population around two million). Manaus was founded in 1669 by the Portuguese as a small fishing village. Its name is of Indian origin and its literal translation is “Mother of God.” Situated just three degrees below the equator and over 1000 miles inland, Manaus is one of the busiest ports where cargo ships distribute their goods throughout the Amazon basin. With the discovery of rubber trees in the area in the 1850s, Manaus, Brazil flourished for a period of about 20 years, from 1890-1910, and was known as the “Paris of the Jungle.” During this time, wealthy plantation owners flocked to Manaus, Brazil and a belle epoque splendor prevailed as evidenced by their ornate Opera House, which was built in 1892 with distinct European influence, both in style and materials. You may want to spend an additional day touring the Opera Houst, port market, museums, the Amazonas shopping mall and other attractions.