01-15-2006, 07:39 PM
well i just got back fishing from brazil for peacock bass. as a result of unusually high water, the trip was initially cancelled. however the outfitter offered a somewhat exploratory trip in another region. typically the fishing is in the upper regions of the rio negro river. this time of year it is much like the florida everglades-endless mangroves, and sandy "peninsulas" where streams branch. because of the unseasonably heavy rains resulting in high water, the sandy banks did not exist and the mangroves were flooded. consequently the peacock bass were in the flooded mangroves where the baitfish were hiding. in the area just north (30 miles) of the capital of the amazon (manaus) there is an area which is fished commercially and somewhat populated. however, instead of mangroves the area has sandy and rocky banks. the thought was that the fishing may be ok even in high water. so, we gave it a try. problem was that there was literally acres of grass floating in the river and gathering on the banks making it almost impossible to cast to those banks. nevertheless we found some banks on the leeward side of the islands and peninsulas. those spots combined with various drop offs and other holding places enabled us to get to some fish. i was fly fishing. but all but one of the others were casting big plugs with noisy propellars. frankly the flies did better, but only on sinking lines. i cought most of my fish on a 275 grain SA tropical line using my 8 wt rod. as it was i cought 44 fish. there were 8 of us and we cought 320 all together in 6 days. while we all had fish over 10 lbs., there were only a few in the 11-16 lb range, and one on the fly in the larger weights. i think that the large prop baits entice the larger fish that are holding on the bottom. in lower water conditions the large flatwings that i tied would do the trick. that said, you can never quite get use to the ferocity of a peacock bass strike no matter the size of it. it is like nothing else i've experienced. bigger peacocks do not in my view strike much harder but they just keep pulling to the point where losing the rod is a distinct possibility. and you cannot stop the big ones. if you're lucky you can redirect them away from fallen trees and other structure that they instinctively run to. the big ones beat me 3 times and i only landed one. all in all it was a fun trip. i was hooked up with 6 good old boys from georgia and a young (28) convalescing (wounded) iraq war vet. we were the only 2 fly fishing. getting read for next year.