Many things can go wrong when you do not know what you are doing, simply because you have not done it before. But with a little help from your friends and some prior research, there are many mistakes that you can avoid.
The biggest mistake a first-time angler makes when fishing for Peacock Bass in the Brazilian Amazon is; however, avoidable!
Thing is, Peacock Bass is a hard fighting fish by its nature, no matter how small they are. They are nature-born territorial predators that will violently hit the bait, run with it and make your rod bend like a rainbow in the flick of an eye. Now, what makes fishing for Peacock Bass in Brazil a bit different is that you never know when a giant Peacock Bass may strike. Because of that, if you are not properly prepared, that big catch of the day may escape, leaving you only with sour memories and, perhaps, just a fraction of your rod on your hand.
Now, have in mind that Brazil is the home of fifteen different species of Peacock Bass. While the "Nigro-Maculate" is the smallest one, weighting up to 6.6 pounds, the "Cichla Temensis" (or Açu) can reach up to 33 pounds. Weight by weight, the Peacock Bass fights harder than most other species of freshwater fish. Do not let the name "Bass" fool you, a Peacock Bass does not pertain to the "Bass" family, they are "Cichlids", same as a Tilapia. Nonetheless, a Peacock Bass strike can be only matched by that of a saltwater fish, its aggressive take on a bait and sudden run can quickly get you to the backing line of your reel.
So, what is the biggest mistake a first-time angler makes when fishing for peacock bass in the Brazilian Amazon?
Some experts say it is most likely not selecting the right fishing gear and not ensuring the rigging is in tiptop conditions, ready for the most extreme fishing one may experience; no matter if you are bait-casting, fly-fishing or spinning.
When you select your gear to fish for Peacock Bass in the Amazon, you need to keep in mind the tropical temperature that the gear is exposed to, the violent strike that you will need to absorb, and the strong run that you will need to stop.
Once you consider these factors, you will be ready to select your gear. In general, here are some quick tips:
If you are bait-casting, consider a 20 to 30 lb rod (shorter than 7'), a 7:1 ratio low profile reel (if using more than one rod, try to keep all reels at a similar ratio), 30 lb braided line, and 30-50 lb fluorocarbon leader.
If you a fly-fishing, a 9 or 10 wt saltwater rod, a 30 lb backing, a tropical line (floating or intermediate) and 50 lb fluorocarbon tippet is a good starting point. A variety of size 2/0 and 3/0 flies will do the job.
Another important tip is to ensure the full integrity of your entire setup, at al times. Practice your knots and make sure they are strong, check the drag of your reel for adequacy, check the hooks to confirm they stay as originally manufactured; and, finally, check the swivels and snaps. Remember, you do not want to have a weak link in your setup because that will be the cause of your trophy fish getting away.
I hope you can send me a picture of the Peacock Bass that you catch in Brazil. If you need help in arranging a trip, or have any question, feel free to reach out to "Peach - Fishing and Adventures".