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Steve Townson

Amazon Fishing Report Jan 12-19 2012 trip

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Just got back from an amazing trip on one of Brazil’s Guyana Shield Highland rivers. Being a fast water drainage system, even a lot of rain in the dry season runs off pretty quickly. Six clients and myself arrived there after it had rained for three days the week before. The river had risen by 50cms and while we were there it dropped by 1m!

Two guys were old hands, but my four Amazon virgins from the States and UK arrived with mouths open! To say they had a blast would not do it justice. From the minute we landed by floatplane till the minute we few back out again, we caught fish everywhere and anywhere.

How about this for a list of species caught:

‘Yellow’ Peacock Bass to 14lbs

Bicuda to 5lbs

Traiarao/Aimara to 25lbs

Black Piranha to 7lbs

Pescada/Corvina to 14lbs

Payara to 20lbs

Jandia Cats to 25lbs

Piraiba Cats to 180lbs

Redtail Cats to 80lbs

Surubim Cats to 30lbs

Flat whiskered Cats to 8lbs

Mandobe Cats to 10lbs

Pacu to 5lbs

Arucu to 3lbs

Electric eel to 25lbs

The list goes on!

We met up with Cyril Chaucet, ‘The Fishing Adventurer’ on his way out and our way in, who was there filming the week before and he caught an incredible 30lb Payara on cutbait!!

There seemed to be Traiarao and Peacock Bass behind every rock, or against any prominant structure. We caught them on streamer and popper flies, jigs, minnow jerkbaits, walk-the-dog Spook, poppers, propbaits and 1oz spinnerbaits and the Piranha would readily take anything thrown at them!

Payara, a lot of Traiarao, Pescada and most of the Cats were caught either ledgering Piranha cutbait on the bottom or drifting through deep holes while jigging cutbait off the bottom.

Pacu, Arucu and some other scaled fish were caught on berries and nuts/fruits either ‘plonking’ them on the surface or floatfishing under the trees. Great sport all round.

My trusty Brit duo worked hard and long each evening to get stuck into a big Cat. On their last evening they hooked and landed a Piraiba of about 120lbs and then hooked up again near dark. They fought the fish until dark and actually saw it break the surface and slap its tail. They estimated this one nearer the 180-200lb mark and lost it on a rock or in a tree. Ever seen two grown men cry? They had to negotiate the rapids back down to camp after dark which is no mean feat for the Indian guide either!

So another success story. Unfortunately we had the following week booked on the Negro lowland river system. We had a few clients from Canada and the UK. Unfortunately it flooded after 3 full days of non-stop torrential rain and the main rivers all rose by 4m! It is now higher in the town of Barcelos half way up the Negro than it was at the end of their full wet season in July 2011. We will dedicate another week either later in the season before March if levels do happen to drop or postpone to later this year.

I haven’t got any pics from our clients yet but I will post them at a later date. Here are a few of mine. These Peacocks are chunkier, deeper fish than their Negro lowland brethren, which I put down to swimming in rapid water and chasing baitfish in current. For some reason we caught way more male Peacocks with humps on the heads than the more streamlined females.


Highland river deep in the jungle:




Raging water in many areas:




Waterfalls and cascades everywhere:




Big Aimaras destroy lures easily:






Peacock Bass galore!!







Plenty of Redtails:




A few big Pescadas:




And an electric eel or two. My guide told me he wanted it for his dinner, then reminded me AFTER I had caught it to keep it away from the aluminium boat!! Zzzzzzzzttttzzzzzzzz!!




Mixed Cats abounded in each deep hole:




Altogether a great trip and I am now looking forward to our exploratory trip in three weeks time in British Guyana on the opposite side of the Guyana Shield. This mountainous ridge seperates the Guyanas and Venezuela from Brazil, mirroring the rivers on both sides and most rivers having similar but slightly different species. Report to follow on afterwards.

Steve Townson - 'The Fish Finder'



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