Archive for August, 2011

Take A Trip With Us!

August 31, 2011

Most of our September trips are booked, but we’ve got plenty of availability for October and would love for you to catch some big peacock bass with us! Use our Trip Finder to see what trips are available.

Angler with a Big Peacock

Angler with a Big Peacock

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Photo – With A Little Help From My Friends!

August 30, 2011

Erica Butters needs help lifting this 20 pound Rio Xeriuini peacock, caught on our winter Lodge trip to Macaroca Lodge. (You too can catch a big peacock like this – Paul, our owner and expert host, will be back in the Amazon in a few days and is eager for you to join him! Check out available trips at http://www.acuteangling.com/)

Erica Butters with a Peacock Bass

Erica Butters with a Peacock Bass

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Fish of the Week: Catfish – Loricariidae

August 29, 2011
Catfish - Loricariidae

Catfish - Loricariidae

Our “Fish of the Week” is Catfish – Loricariidae, which is the largest family of catfish with almost 700 species. These fish are covered with up to five rows of bony plates. Their ventral, disc-like sucker mouths help identify this family which includes several species widely-known as “plecostumus”, popular aquarium favorites. Although barbels are not always predominant, their lower lips are often edged with papillae (fleshy protuberances).

 

 

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Photo – Steve Brody With A Big Peacock

August 23, 2011

Steve Brody shows off a trophy peacock caught in the black water lagoons of the Rio Unini on our Fly-in Safari Camp trip.

Steve Brody with Peacock Bass

Steve Brody with Peacock Bass

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Fish of the Week – Rio Travessão Peacock Bass

August 22, 2011
Rio Travessão Peacock Bass

Rio Travessão Peacock Bass

Our “Fish of the Week” is Rio Travessão Peacock Bass, an as-yet unidentified or undescribed peacock.

Its deep-bodied form and unique markings make it stand out from other peacocks. Large ocellated blotches replace vertical bars in adults, and it has blotchy cheek markings. This peacock’s gaudy yellow coloration on its body with electric blue upper fins and bright yellow lower fins make it stand out from other species. Unlike many peacocks, red coloration appears to be completely absent. Juvenile Rio Travessão Peacocks can grow up to 200 mm, while adults have been caught at sizes up to 14 pounds. Similar species include Cichla pinima, Cichla temensis, Cichla thyrorus and Cichla vazzoleri.

Anglers can find the Rio Travessão Peacock Bass in Brazil, specifically the upper Rio Travessão about the principle waterfall. These peacocks are powerful fighters in fast waters and are expert at using their deep bodies in conjunction with currents. Spawning pairs can be found in quiet lagoons and off-river backwaters. Juveniles hide in riverbank structure, while hunting adults frequent rapids and eddies. This particular fish is also known as the “potato head peacock.”

Fishermen come across this peacock in quiet backwaters when they are in typically various stages of spawning preparation or fry-guarding. Both pre-spawn and fry-guarding fish are readily taken on a variety of lures, including peacock rattle jigs, walking stick baits, swimming plugs and spoons. The large prop baits have not been shown to be effective here. When found in fast water, fish are generally feeding and are most readily taken with swimming baits such as Yo-zuri crystal minnows, smaller Rapalas (i.e.CD 11), etc. When in edge waters or bank structure, fish do not appear to be actively feeding but will opportunistically take baits appropriate to the access requirements; i.e, on sandbars or in still rocky structure, small surface plugs, especially Zara Spooks; in shallow quiet pools, small floating swimming plugs, such as 5″ red-fin or jointed Rapala.

Although not as large as the giant lowlands peacocks, these fish can achieve sizes up to 14 pounds and because of their environment, they can present significant angling challenges. Spawners are often in very tight, small waters and can rapidly find their way into woody structure. Fast water feeders will readily use the current and their deep bodies to their advantage, augmenting their already powerful bodies.

The Rio Travessão is an extraordinary, almost inaccessible, high gradient river, fished exclusively by Amazon Fringe Expeditions. This

An adult male - note the prominent nuchal (forehead) hump.

An adult male - note the prominent nuchal (forehead) hump.

ecological gem is located in Brazil’s northern Amazon mountains, a region known as the Guyana Shield. Unlike the placid, slow moving waters of the lowlands Amazon basin, this region is crisscrossed by rocky divides and isolated by fast moving rapids and waterfalls. The fish fauna here, are very different, and by lowlands standards, very strange. Monsters roam here, including giant payara, trairão (an enormous cousin of the traira), bicuda as big as your leg, South America’s largest catfish and a peacock bass far different from any of its lowlands brethren.

The Rio Travessão, and its physical isolation from other regions, may add yet another level of complexity to an already complicated taxonomy. The Travessão peacock population may possibly represent an as yet undescribed 16th species. In addition to its strict geographic isolation, it is significantly different from its lowlands relatives both behaviorally and morphometrically.

The Travessão peacock roams a wide range of water types. Spawning pairs are found in quiet lagoons and backwaters, juveniles hide in riverbank structure, while hunting adults frequent even the fastest rapids and tailraces. This is in contrast to the more specialized behavior of its lowlands brethren. Physically, these peacocks show differences in several morphological and meristic features. Scale size and lateral line counts tend to be species specific within Cichla, so taxonomists have used these characters to differentiate among the described species. The Travessão peacock has a lateral line scale count unique within the genus, and statistically significantly different from its relatives. Further, it is a deeper bodied fish than any of the other Cichla, whose length to height ratios range between 25 to 30%. Travessão specimens’ ratio is typically 30 to 32% for this relationship. Added to these measurable characters, Travessão is truly a beast of a different color as well. Its bright yellow body, unique marking patterns and lack of typical red coloration in its lower fins place it in stark contrast to most of its congeners.

Several steps remain before the Travessão peacock can be described as a new species. DNA analysis is currently under way to determine its relationships within the genus. Additional preserved specimens are being prepared for analysis and comparison to other Cichla species. A final step will require exploratory visits to neighboring river basins to ascertain the Travessão peacock’s range limitations and to confirm that there are no intermediate forms connecting it to neighboring species.

Anglers can catch these unique peacocks along with an entire gamut of other exotic monsters that share their waters in the Rio Travessao, and you can let the region’s pristine natural beauty inspire your soul in the bargain.

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Weekend Fishing?

August 20, 2011

Who’s fishing this weekend? Let’s hear what you’ve caught!

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Happy Friday!

August 19, 2011

Happy Friday! Are you fishing this weekend?

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Photo – Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock

August 18, 2011

Barbara Bunge holds a beautiful Rio Urubaxi peacock. This western tributary of the Rio Negro holds giant peacock bass.

Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock Bass

Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock Bass

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Connect With Us Through Social Media!

August 17, 2011

You can now stay up to date with Acute Angling and everything exotic fishing through the following channels:

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Whatever your preferred network, we encourage you to get involved and join the conversation as we bring you news, facts, articles, photos, videos and more!

Photo – Aruana

August 16, 2011

A nice big Aruana

Aruana

Aruana

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