Ron’s Fishing Tips and Stories: Peacock Bass Fishing in Brazil – The Early Days
The Beginning of Our Brazil Peacock Fishing Trips
This week we are going to talk about fishing for peacock bass in Brazil. Most fishermen look at our company as a Mexico bass fishing outfitter. However, we have been doing the peacock bass fishing for almost 20 years. We first started in Venezuela on lake Guri with our long-time friend Steve Shoulders. Steve was working out of Puepa Fishing Club which was owned by a former President of Venezuela. We operated for 3 years on Guri with the first 2 years being very good. However, something happened the last year and the fishing really took a downturn.
The next year we started exploring tributaries off the Amazon River over in Brazil. I took an exploratory group of friends to the city of Santorem. There we boarded a houseboat and traveled up a river named the Trombetus. We covered over 500 miles in a week with very poor fishing for 4 days. The last day we had great peacock fishing, catching many, many large peacocks. However, the area was just too small to run a full-time outfitting business for American fishermen.
The very next week Ron Jr. took an exploratory group to the city of Manaus, Brazil. He booked the group on a boat that was just getting ready to start in the tourist business. It was the Amazon Queen and the boat was not totally ready for business. They had to sleep outside the first night as the fresh paint fumes in the rooms were totally stifling. Ron Jr. group fished 5 days and caught some peacocks but really didn’t satisfy our test group. About 1 month later I took another test group on a checkout trip to the Uatama river, flying out of Manaus in a charter plane.
This checkout trip was arranged by a company called Solacao and run by a fellow named Silvio Barros. Silvio had been a consultant to Jacques Cousteau when he came to study the waters in Brazil. Silvio had rented a boat named the Amazon Clipper and the outfitter was Carlos Probst. The fishing boats were very long wooden boats that leaked badly and the guides had to paddle to move the boats. That turned out to be just fine as the fishing was fantastic and it was just what we had spent months and gone hundreds of miles to find. We had found a GOLD MINE — lots of peacocks and lots of trophy peacocks. To me it was the very best peacock fishing in the world and my test group loved every minute of it.
It was on this trip where I personally lost a world record peacock and didn’t realize it at the time. I had made a cast out away from the river bank to a lone bush out in the river. I cast past the small bush maybe 2 feet band and started working the woodchopper up to the bush when a loud SMACK! hit the bait. I could tell it was maybe a 10 pound fish or smaller and it got off the hook right away. I reeled in and made another cast to the same spot and another explosion except this one was a BIG EXPLOSION. I reared back on my sj2 All Star rod as hard as I could and the monster fish jumped totally out of the water. My old friend Carl Daniel was my boat mate and he screamed “It’s as big as a 50 pound sack of flour!” It was so huge that I couldn’t even think as I was so busy fighting this HUGE fish. It first made a run to the middle of the river and I thought BIG BOY, I GOT YOU NOW but he finally turned and started all that jumping and leaping and twisting with gills flared and mad as hell. It was scary the way this monster fish was acting. It jumped about 5 times and the last jump it was so tired it couldn’t clear the water any more than half its body. I really thought we had the fish whipped when as fast as a 22 bullet it made a surge toward the bush and hung up the hooks and it was gone. DEAD SILENCE!!!! I sat there with my head down, drenched in perspiration, mentally whipped, drained, spent, raged out, exhausted, sick, and all the adjectives you can think to describe a man who has just got his butt whipped by a world record peacock bass.
Carl and I looked at each other and shook our heads, Carl said the first word stating that the fish had to be over 40 pounds and I agreed. I had already caught a 23 pound peacock before and this fish looked to be maybe 20 pounds bigger. Truly a world record but NO CIGAR THIS TIME.
We all had a fantastic trip with loads of fun and our company had found a new home. I will come back from time to time and tell you all how we grew and developed new water, new fishing patterns, and better equipment, better boats etc. This is just one exciting story of many, many more to come. Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!
More Pictures From Our Brazil Fishing Page
Good luck with your fishing and wear that life jacket.