Fishing in the Amazon Basin

By September 29, 2016 No Comments

The Amazon basin is a fisherman’s paradise. Beautiful scenery, spectacular fish species, untouched wilderness.

The Amazon basin is located in South America and it spans across BoliviaBrazilColombiaEcuadorGuyanaPeruSuriname and Venezuela. The Amazon drainage basin is over 7.500 000 km2 . Many fisherman dream of going fishing here to catch Arapaima or catfish or the river stingrays. It is a beautiful and dangerous habitat and if you go fishing there you will really feel you had the adventure of a lifetime.

The Amazon has more than 2.200 species of fish, this remarkable diversity is due to the differences in geography and climate conditions along the Amazon. The fish fauna is different in clear water rivers to the fish in white or black water habitats.

There are fast flowing parts of the Amazon that are home to species of fish that are different to their cousins in slow flowing parts of the Amazon.

The most important species of fish that fishermen are looking for are:

River stingrays or freshwater stingrays : these are cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Each river system has its own endemic stingrays. They are generally pale brown, variously mottled or speckled, have discs ranging from 25 to 150 centimeters (1 to 5 ft) in diameter and venomous caudal stings. There are about twenty-eight species in four genera. All species of Amazonian rays have genetic roots with ray species found in the pacific ocean and none in the Atlantic.

They spend the majority of their time inactive, partially buried in sand, often moving only with the sway of the tide.

They are bottom feeders so the fisherman has to look for them at the bottom of the river.


Arapaima or Pirarucu :  they are native to the Amazon and Essequibo rivers and they are among the biggest freshwater fish. Arapaima can reach lengths of more than 2 m (6 ft 7 in), in some exceptional cases even more than 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) and over 100 kg (220 lb). The maximum recorded weight for the species is 200 kg (440 lb), while the longest recorded length was 4.52 m (15 ft). As a result of overfishing, large arapaima of more than 2 m (6 ft 7 in) are seldom found in the wild.

They are air breathes, so they have to surface from time to time the angler might be able spot them on the surface. They are truly one of a kind and you will not mistake them for anything else in the Amazon. They can be found in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.

They are difficult to catch with artificial lures, the best way to try to catch them is with cut bait or even better live bait. Small whole fishes on a wide gap circle hook work well, especially if a small piece of foam is inserted in the gills to keep the bait near the surface.


Giant Amazon Catfish : Amazon catfish have long had great commercial importance as food fish, aquarium fish and more recently as some of the world’s most exciting sportfish. Although many are bottom-dwellers (benthic), there are also a great number of predatory, pelagic (open-water) feeders, with a free-swimming (and free-fighting) habit. This, coupled with their sheer size has brought them to the attention of anglers and created new recognition of their exciting sporting potential.


Payara : The fantastic dentures of the payara are a remarkable adaptation evolved to help it catch big, quick baitfish in fast-water jungle rivers. These powerful predators congregate in swirling eddies and rushing currents below waterfalls and rapids in South America’s tropical, high-gradient rivers. Using their great hunting speed and power, payara strike a bait with amazing force and immediately take-off on line peeling, breathtaking runs punctuated by wild, acrobatic leaps.


Peacock Bass: Sport fishermen have made these cichlids prized game fish for their fighting qualities, so much so that many travel agencies now arrange fishing trips to Brazil and Florida specifically to catch peacock bass.

Renowned American peacock bass fisherman and fishing author, Larry Larsen, refers to them as “freshwater bullies” due to their ferocious nature when hunting and their tendency to damage and sometimes destroy fishing gear when striking.

The most common techniques for catching these cichlids are similar to those for catching largemouth bass, with the notable exception that peacock bass usually will not strike artificial worms, a widely used lure among largemouth bass fisherman. In addition, fly fishing techniques, including lures such as poppersand large streamers, are becoming increasingly popular for catching them.

peacock-bassIn conclusion, if you want to have the experience of a lifetime, catching probably the biggest fresh water fish you will ever catch, go on a fishing tour in the Amazon basin and you will not be disappointed. You have our guarantee!

Book a trip now by clicking here!

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