Finessing Peacocks? Yes, with the Caribe Jig
Total Score: 9.08 -
Forward by Zander: It's hard to believe that it has been a full year
since our trip to the Amazon. For me, there hasn't been any other fishing trip
that has left such a deep impression, the vision of Peacock splash hit is
something I'll never forget. While the topwater strikes were nothing short of
epic there were other ways to catch these fish. We caught many fish with
Choppers and Rippers but we also fished a variety of subsurface swimbaits and
jigs, the most productive of which was the Caribe Jig in this review. At this
very moment that this review is being published Cal is waiting at the airport in
Manaus to take a float plane deep into the Amazon for round two, this time he is
camping on floating barges and will continue his hunt for Peacocks weighing over
20lbs. In a hour he will be out of cell range and we will have to wait a week to see
just how he did, but knowing Cal he packed
a few extra jigs this time around.
Zander and his "finesse" rig for the Amazon, a G.Loomis MBR784C
GL3 paired with a Daiwa Zillion Type R and a Caribe Lure Jig tied to the end of
One year removed from our adventure to the Amazon and the memories are still fresh in our minds. Fishing for the beautiful and crazed peacock bass is an adventure each and every bass fisherman should aspire to at least once in their angling lifetime, but know and realize, it’s still fishing. Few highs in fishing can match the explosive excitement of a peacock bass annihilating a surface plug, but conditions are not always ideal for the topwater bite. No, it’s not glamorous, and yes, as with any “finesse” tactic, it can be a little mundane, but the best way to ensure you get bit on your peacock bass fishing adventure is to fish the bottom part of the water column with that universal bait, a jig.
Caribe Lures Jig Specifications
||bucktail casting jig
||half ounce only
Any time you downsize your bait when fishing for these predators of the Amazon, it's considered a finesse tactic. In that regard, jigs are probably the number one go to bait. Of course, a jig for peacock bass is not the same as that of a largemouth. In fact, what a proper jig for peacock bas does resemble are the ones used for other larger gamefish like striped bass. Namely, these are all jigs tied with animal hair. Our outfitter, Adventure Travel Alliance, recommended a couple of different brands of jigs for our trip back in November 2010. The one he recommended most strongly were those made by a company called Caribe Lures. Here now is our review of the half ounce, bucktail, Caribe Jig.
Daiwa's 6'6" Heavy
Powered Zillion rod
(TDZL 661HFB) is
another really good
stick for the Caribe
Impressions: Caribe Lures makes their bucktail
jigs in five
combinations and in
only one size, half an ounce. The jigheads are molded around a 5/0 hook and include holographic eyes. Each jig is hand tied with long, northern bucktail and include mylar flash, and an extended tail.
It's a very easy bait to take for granted, afterall, it's just a jig.
ounce Caribe Jig in red and white ...
Packing: Jigs are a tough item to pack for the Amazon due to their weight and non-glamorous nature. They are one of the first items you look towards taking out of your baggage when trying to get your luggage down to that forty pound overall weight limit. Word out of the Amazon was our bite was going to be a “finesse” bite, so instead of culling my jigs, I culled many of my topwater choppers. Zander and JIP did just the opposite.
They went for the glamour and who can blame them. If you’re going on that trip of a lifetime, you want to experience that explosion of a lifetime as well. But I had to be sure and hedge my bet because I wanted to be sure and catch something. Throwing swimbaits
has made me far too leery of swinging for the fences and coming up empty to take
that type of risk on a trip like this. When all was said and done with regards
to packing, the jigs didn’t even have that big of an impact. I had with me,
twenty jigs at half ounce each meaning ten ounces worth of jigs, five eighths of a pound.
and again in red and yellow.
Field Tests: So what makes a good jig stick for the Amazon? I no longer recall what Zander and JIP brought down with them in terms of rods, but here is the official list of sticks I brought down for my brother and I to fish on our adventure:
- Megabass F6-72X4 Destruction
- Megabass A7006X G-ARMS
- Megabass Racing Condition F6-69XRC Super Destroyer
- Evergreen International TKLC-71MHX Super Stallion
- Rapala Canada R-Type RT45TR72MH2
- Daiwa Zillion TDZL661HFB
- St. Croix Mojo Bass MBC70MHF
At one point or another, we fished jigs on each and every stick. The characteristics that suited these half ounce jigs the best were rods with soft, easy loading tips, yet strong backbones. The two best sticks out of that list for the Caribe Jig? The Megabass F6-72X4 Destruction and Daiwa Zillion TDZL661HXB. The other sticks did fine as well, but these two were exceptional.
with his first Amazon Bass caught on a Caribe Jig.
Casting: Why were they exceptional? Because, believe it or not, the Caribe Lure half ounce jig is not really that easy to cast. Most recommendations across the board for fishing rods to bring with you to the Amazon are for heavy powered bass rods. These are the sticks that handle the big, topwater chopping lures the best and have the power to do battle with the crazed peacock bass.
In our boat,
the Caribe Jig was the number one producer by far.
Unfortunately, not many of these sticks have a nice enough tip with which to
cast a half ounce hair jig because that big, poof skirt catches a lot of wind
and slows the lure down, even when wet. What’s really more appropriate for casting this lure is a typical, medium heavy powered rod or something you’d consider “all purpose” for largemouth bass. Trouble is, most of these sticks will leave you helpless when you do battle with a double digit peacock hence the dilemma.
Amazon Peacock ...
Next Section: Stroke that Jig!