Spring 2020 Brazil Peacock Bass Update

[Editor: this article first appeared on www.ronsfishingblog and may only be used by permission of Ron Speed Jr.]

Dr Jim Piland had quite the battle landing this 21 lbs monster !!! (click any image to view it bigger)


Before I proceed to our Brazil Peacock Bass fishing update (it’s a great one), I first want to give all of our customers and subscribers an update as to where we stand with the current Covid-19 situation and also offer some thoughts.

Currently we are in the same boat as the rest of the country and that is we’re still in “lockdown mode”…but with that being said, every day I am becoming very optimistic that we could be reopening our operations sooner rather than later. Don’t hold my feet to the fire on that because I don’t think anyone knows with 100% certainty of when things will return to a sense of normalcy…but all signs are encouraging…at least for me. As I stated in my last update 2 weeks ago, we have all 3 of our camps closed and nobody is allowed in the camps until we (I) feel it is safe enough. We do not want anyone that may be potentially infected with this virus to bring it into the camps…either from U.S. or Mexico.

As I see it, once things begin to open back up in the U.S., there will be a step-by-step procedure…as it should be. The same will apply to our fishing operations and trips. First the airlines must reinstate flights to insure passengers can get to Mazatlan (or Manaus, Brazil) and return home. Then we will take a look at where the virus statistics are at that time, both in the U.S. and Mexico (and Brazil) and if we feel it is safe to travel and go through airports, then we will look at a date to reopen. I am not really that concerned over Brazil as that season does not begin until September. Right now I am focused on reopening in Mexico before the close of the fishing season in July (Picachos & El Salto) for the start of monsoon season. Again, I am feeling optimistic that it could happen but do not want to give false expectations. Let’s just say I’m cautiously optimistic AT THIS TIME. Yesterday, the President of Mexico stated that in “some states” and Sinaloa is in the list their government was referring to, they are targeting June 1st to reopen the country and businesses. If that happens and I believe it’s safe for our customers …and the flights from U.S. to/from Mazatlan are flying again, then we will be ready to open our camps. Again, time will tell but I’m cautiously optimistic at this time.

I hope all of you are safe, in good health and taking advantage of this down time to be with family. Also, even though it’s difficult to not stress over this pandemic both with health of family/friends and business, I would simply pass along something my father always taught me growing up…do not stress over that you have no control over. Focus on the things you have control over and leave the rest to the Lord. THAT, my friends, is the approach I have taken during this very difficult time for our country and the world for that matter. The following link is written by my longtime good friend and pro angler, Edwin Evers. I strongly encourage all of you to take a moment to open the link and read his thoughts. You’ll be glad you did…it’s worth it



Amazon Otter beach BBQ night !!

Holden Harrison’s first trip to the Amazon saw him land several giants like this one.

WOW…where do I start? I have been offering Peacock Bass fishing in South America for over 30 years! First 4 years (’88, ’89, ’90’ and ’91) were in Venezuela on Lake Guri and also several rivers (Orinoco, Paragua, Ventuari and Pasimoni). Then in 1992, we moved out of Venezuela and conducted our first two “exploratory” trips in Brazil’s Amazon RainForest. It was in Brazil that we found THE BEST peacock bass fishing in South America! We have been operating in Brazil since those early exploratory trips (28 years) and no other operator in Brazil has been doing this longer than us! There is a reason we’re still there and still have a lot of happy anglers return each year with us! We offer one of the nicest luxury houseboats in the Amazon for fishing. We have the most experienced team of fishing guides in the Amazon…several have been working for us since the beginning! The guides are the absolute “key” to an angler’s fishing success or failure. Also, the operation and staff aboard the Amazon Otter are second to none and offer over 2 decades of experience. Our manager, FRANZ, he is simply THE BEST! Franz began managing MY fishing operations in the Amazon 20 years ago and he is absolutely the best manager I’ve ever had…period! He is fluent in many languages, knows the culture of the Amazon and the local people, knows everything about the wildlife and forest, will take you into the jungle (if you like?) to visit the natives of the Amazon and trade for authentic souvenirs (bows, arrows, spears, paddles, etc)…but more than anything, Franz knows how to please our customers! He knows when to move the Otter houseboat to a different location in search of more productive fishing water and levels…and he knows when to stay parked where fishing is top notch!

Hunter Harrison with one of his many big peacocks landed last October 2019

Legendary pro Angler Jimmy Houston chooses RSJA for his Peacock Bass Outfitter.

Now let’s get to this past fishing season… Well, let’s begin with last Fall Season on the Uatuma and Jatapu rivers. The only slow fishing trips we had all season (Sept – Feb) were the first two in early September when the water was still on the high side. As many of you know that have been to the Amazon fishing for peacock bass, the water level in these rivers/tributaries is KEY! High rising water is NOT good! What I absolutely love about the two rivers we fish in the fall time of year (Sept/Oct) is there are not a lot of tributaries that feed into these two rivers which means not a lot of tributaries to cause these two rivers to rise. So once we start fishing in September, the water level, whatever it may be at that time, is always falling until November when the rains begin again. It may start on the high side in late August or early September, but it begins to fall rapidly every day in September and never comes back up until after we’re done with fishing in late October. These two rivers we fish in the Fall have always been “money in the bank”….meaning consistently good.

Dale Morrell of Morrell Targets caught this 23 pounder on his first trip to the Amazon!!

Holden Harrison scores again with this BRUTE !!!

Starting around the third week of September, the water approached near perfect levels and stayed that way until we finished up on these two rivers at the end of October. There were a dozen peacocks “landed” over 20 lbs during a three week span with the largest of 24.5 lbs by Jarod Brown. Ryan Barbre had the largest of his group and second largest of the fall season at 23 lbs. The numbers were also very good as we averaged 11 – 12 anglers per week and each week the average on total peacocks landed was 560…but some weeks over 600 peacocks landed. That is pretty solid considering some trips had 10 anglers max. There were numerous peacocks landed over 15 lbs and total numbers of peacocks landed over 10 lbs were off the charts!

Folks, this is a thunderous peacock bass topwater explosion!!

Casey Harrison with one of his many giant peacocks landed.

These are just numbers landed and not fish on or lost…which was more than tripled. As anyone that’s been to the Amazon to fish for peacocks knows, it’s quite a challenge to keep those fish out of the brush/trees and get in the boat. That’s more than half the fun though because just experiencing that incredible EXPLOSION on a topwater lure is worth the price of the trip. Then having those powerful beasts strip 10 – 20 yards of line off a reel that has drag tightened as tight as it can get…then to have them break 80 – 100 lbs test line OR straighten a 4x strong, 4.0 size saltwater treble hook….well, it’s something you just have to see to believe. No fish that swims in fresh or saltwater is more powerful (pound for pound) than the amazing peacock bass!

Doug Harrison and guide “G” are all smiles with this peacock beauty.

Hunter Harrison had fun using his Fly rod on the peacock bass.

Moving on to the Rio Negro tributary fishing… Here we start fishing in January and run through the end of February. Prior to this past season, the Rio Negro water levels just weren’t consistently good or conducive for good fishing. However, this past January and February fishing proved the Negro can be as good for peacock bass fishing as any watershed in the Amazon …or world for that matter. Especially when talking about HUGE peacock bass!

Rio Negro water levels were near perfect most of the season.

Howard Hada never misses a season with RSJA…and this is just one of many reasons why!

Howard Hada and his group fish with RSJA in Brazil EVERY YEAR! High water, low water, perfect water…they never miss a year fishing with us. Howard’s daughter Stephanie, is an outstanding angler and usually beats all of the men in the group in landing the largest peacock. This past January was no different as she landed TWO peacocks over 20 lbs…a 23.5 giant and also a 20 pound monster. Don Franks also added a beautiful 22.5 lbs monster! Furthermore, this group was just 10 anglers and they boated a total of 525 peacocks! This was the first trip in early January and water was still a little on the high side…so that number is pretty good considering it was only 10 anglers.

Stefanie Hada does it again with her 23 lbs MONSTER ! She landed two over 20lbs!

Eric Hada hit the jackpot with this BEAST!

The fishing just got better in the Negro from there as the next group of only 9 anglers boated 8 giants over 20 lbs!!! They also landed 20 peacocks over 15 lbs! That is outstanding for BIG peacock bass landed and just 9 anglers! Brad Dean landed the largest in this group when he boated a 25.5 pound monster! Folks, that’s HUGE. John Henderson added a 24 lbs trophy…and there were 6 others landed over 20 lbs including Don Kubecka landing TWO peacocks over 20 lbs (21 and 20 lbs).

Group enjoys one of three lounge decks aboard the Amazon Otter.

Breathtaking sunset in the Amazon.

However, the best trip was yet to come when Ralp Ynostrosa and his group of 14 anglers landed 726 peacocks total, 50 over 10 lbs, 22 over 15 lbs AND 9 GIANTS OVER 20 LBS! Ralp Ynostrosa landed two over 20 lbs including a giant of 24.5 lbs…the largest of the group. Sean Vanderver also landed a 24.0 pound whopper and Calvin Smith added a 23lbs trophy! This was their second trip fishing with us and definitely their best! Needless to say they are eager to return!

Happy customer and guide “Gator” with this colorful giant peacock!

This is just one of the nine over 20 lbs landed by the Ynostrosa group!

The Amazon Otter is a 5-star floating hotel offering spacious air conditioned rooms (no bunk beds), private bath/shower, 3 lounge areas w/bar and jacuzzi hot tub, big air conditioned dining area and a tackle room. Our tackle room offers the best fishing rods as we’ve added Lew’s Rods…custom made for battling giant peacock bass! Also we offer Izorline…the best braided line on the market! The Izorline will give our anglers the best opportunity to land these powerful peacock bass! Last but not least…we offer ALL lures. The big propelled topwater lures are custom made by Jim Kaempfer of The Fishing Connection. Jim gives special attention to making these great lures by choosing the right wood, the curing process and choosing the RIGHT hooks and split rings. We also offer several types of subsurface lures…that many times are used as a “follow up” lure for a giant that explodes on the topwater but doesn’t get hooked or won’t return to the surface. We offer everything in the way of tackle for our customers with the only exception being reels. Since fishing reels do not require much space/weight in your luggage, you won’t have to pack much in the way of tackle. Another great convenient service we offer for our valuable customers!

5-Star floating amazon Otter on the move.

Customers enjoying the lounge deck and ready for the Jacuzzi hot tub.

Our bass boats are first class and are American made, all welded and offer two-way radios, powerful Motorguide trolling motors, 4-stroke Yamaha 60 HP engines and two spacious fishing decks front and back. All seats are comfortable and padded and NO BENCH SEATS! The best fishing boats for fishing the Amazon Basin’s tributaries and for accessing remote backwater lagoons and small tributaries!

RSJA offers the best bass boats for fishing the Amazon!!

Pro angler Kelly Jordan and long time customer Rick Swain enjoy fishing from our bass boats.

Ron Speed Jr’s Adventures offers THE BEST 1-2 punch of seasons/rivers in the Amazon for giant peacock bass fishing! RSJA has been offering peacock bass fishing in Brazil’s Amazon RainForest longer than any other operator. As I stated before, the key to your fishing anywhere in the world is water conditions AND GUIDES. While we have no control over Mother Nature and water levels, we do have control over guides, locations to fish and staff. No other operator in the Amazon offers more years of experience than OUR STAFF! FACT! There is a reason why we have been around longer than any other operator…and that is due to experience and a dedication to provide the best fishing and services! Just the same as we do at our 3 bass fishing operations in Mexico!

The mighty Rio Negro

The Amazon Otter guides and crew offer more than two decades of experience.

Last about Brazil and the mighty peacock bass of the Amazon… If you have never experienced catching big peacock bass, you definitely owe it to yourself to try it one time. If you do give it a try, chances are it won’t be just “one time”…no, this fish is very addictive! Many of my customers call to book for their first time and tell me, “This is a one time thing and has been on my bucket list to try”…but end up returning. What is so great about this trip is that it’s not just a fishing trip. Yes, for the fishing part of it, the peacock bass is the most fun fish in the world to catch! However, it’s the ADVENTURE that makes this trip so wonderful. In my opinion, it’s “The Plum” of all fishing and hunting trips in the world. Cruising around some of the most remote regions and rivers of the Amazon Rainforest in a HUGE luxury mothership like the Amazon Otter is HIGH ADVENTURE. Throw in the vast amount of wildlife and natives of the Rainforest…well, it’s just AMAZING! Give us a call and get in on the fun!


I have mentioned this in the past and will say it again. You really need to consider Martin Travel Services in Florida for all your travel services! I started using and referring our valuable customers to Kevin Martin and Martin Travel Services more than 20 years ago. They are the best in the business and I have never been happier with an agent than I am Martin Travel. They will set up a profile for you so every time you book through them, it requires very little time and they DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU! They save our customers on airfare as well as booking at the El Cid Resort Hotel in Mazatlan…which is the hotel we recommend for our customers staying extra nights in Mazatlan before or after fishing at our lakes/lodges. Kevin and his wonderful staff make arranging travel very easy for the traveler. If you have a problem with a flight or miss a flight for whatever reason, they’re ON IT! When I have an issue pop up with my miles or rewards, I call Martin Travel and not the airlines. I’ve found contacting the airlines directly can be a nightmare and get put on hold for 30 minutes or MORE! I don’t have that kind of time to waste…nor the patience. You don’t have to worry about such when you deal with Martin Travel. You can reach Kevin or Karen at 800-627-8468.


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