You can watch as many peacock bass fishing shows on TV as you can find, and you can talk to anyone and everyone you know or have heard about who have been to the Amazon to catch these incredible fish, but until you experience the indescribable thrill and unbelievable excitement of that very first peacock bass annihilating the bait at the end of your line, you simply cannot comprehend.
Such was the case with Team TackleTour. Even with the fact we were floating on the Rio Negro, deep in the Amazon Basin and further, that we had gotten our very first taste of peacock fishing in that brief, three hour introduction to the river the day before, waking up the next morning and preparing for what we were about to experience continued to feel like a dream.
Steve Yatomi of Adventure Travel Alliance has the connections to help you fulfill your fishing adventure of a lifetime.
The water, though tanic and stained in color looked like the water we have back at home, just more brown. The landscape seemed familiar, not too different from the shores of Lake Sonoma back home, and the winding waterways were somewhat reminiscent of the California Delta only on a much grander scale. We could be anywhere, were we really in the Amazon?
The guides on the Tayacu work very hard to get you into productive water other outfitters and guides choose to avoid.
That first full day fishing? Felt a lot like being back home too. All the TV shows and talk about crazy peacock action is very misleading. Make no mistake about it, this is fishing. You have to make good casts and you have to work your bait in a manner that will entice a strike. There may be times where peacocks are in such a frenzy, they’ll hit anything that you throw in the water. Well, this was not one of those trips.
Tony Pooran was our interpreter on this trip.
For the TackleTour crew, it was time for experimentation. We had the usual choppers and peacock jigs on hand, but what we wanted to do was catch these fish using the same baits we use for largemouth bass â€“ only with bigger and stronger hooks. Both Steve Yatomi and Jonah Li warned us, there are very few fish in the world that can straighten out a 4x hook. Peacock bass are one of those fish. Most all of our baits were reinforced with 3x or 4x hooks from Owner and Gamakatsu. Sure, this threw the balance off on some of the lures, but that didn’t matter right? Work it fast enough and the peacocks will kill it. That’s what we heard. That’s not what would happen. It does matter.
Veteran Peacock Angler Dave Powell and his guide, Orlando, with nice 17ber.
By the time our first full day on the water was complete, we had 20 peacocks between the four of us to six pounds, four freshwater barracuda, and three traira. Hardly the numbers for which we had hoped and if things were to improve, we’d have to abandon our game plan of extensively testing new and previously reviewed lures because it was obvious the bite was not favorable for this approach. Instead, this trip would have to be an extensive test of the rods, reels, and fishing line we had on hand and we’d have to rely on traditional peacock bass fishing methods to catch these fish and stress our tackle. It was time to go back to choppers and jigs.
Tony wrestled a croc at lunch!
This is where the 40 pound weight threshold came back to haunt us. We had received so much product from manufacturers wanting to participate in our Amazon Certification program, it was difficult to exclude anyone’s product. So instead, to make room and honor commitments, Zander left all his jigs at home and Cal left half of his chopper collection at home. We were undergunned but would have to rely on what we had to make a go of it and salvage the trip.
Ken Plato with his 19lber.
The traditional baits we had on hand included chopper type lures in varying sizes from Luhr Jensen, Bodega Baits, and K Lures, and half ounce jigs from CaribeLures. Rod manufacturers represented on this trip include Abu Garcia, St. Croix, G.Loomis, Daiwa, Megabass, Rapala Canada, Lucky Craft, Zombie, Lews, and Evergreen International. Reels from Shimano, Daiwa, Abu Garcia, Lews, and Quantum made the trip all spooled with either Daiwa Samurai Braid, Sufix Performance Braid, or the new Sufix 832.
John Finley and his 20lber.
With a day and half of experimenting under our belt, it was time to get to work and take in the full peacock fishing experience. Day three was all about business.
Piranha bite like bluegill but fight like there's no tomorrow.
Zander and JIP were determined to experience the topwater bite fishing both choppers and Ima’s new Big Stick pencil popper bait. With a few pointers from their guide, Asamar, on how to properly work the chopper, Zander took charge at the front of the boat and began to chop away following Asamar’s direction on where to cast.
Time to get serious, Zander ties on his Amazon Ripper.