Sportfishing in Peru for friends, families, and groups! Imagine fishing along the world's largest river, in the midst of the world's largest rainforest! And the fish to be caught are some of the world's largest and hardest fighting!
And the Amazon River is just one of the great fishing locations in Peru! An incredibly diverse country geography, with a surface area of larger than France, Spain, and Germany together, Peru offers a great variety of ecosystems and therefore opportunities for fishing of all types - mountain and jungle rivers and lakes, along with a rich Pacific Coast. With 85% of the climates of the world, a large portion of Amazon Jungle, the Andes Mountain Range, and thousand miles of Pacific Ocean Coast, Peru is considered a true "dream destination" for both, fresh and saltwater sport fishing.
See below for:
Two fishing programs, a ship charter or a lodge-based program.
Explorations Inc. is proud to offer sport fishing in the Amazon for Peacock Bass since 1993. We design our itineraries for people with a love of fishing and the outdoors who are looking for adventure in relative comfort. Our Peacock Bass trips are out of Iquitos, Peru, located on the Amazon River. The best months for fishing is August to November when the waters are low and the fish are concentrated. The areas fished are productive for many other exotic species! Besides the colorful Peacock Bass, and the red-bellied, black and white species of piranha. Other aggressive species include arawana, with its upturned mouth, famous leaping ability and aerial displays when hooked; payara with their awesome teeth; pacu and oscars also provide tough fights; several species of catfish such as the suribim will also hit lures; and many more species hardly even known to man inhabit the region. One must often be alert to avoid hooking a caiman or fish hawk which are also attracted to lures. Your prime fishing competitors are the pink and grey species of freshwater dolphin and the impressive giant paiche (or pirarucu) which matures at lengths of 6 to 9 feet. It is not uncommon to catch these prehistoric looking, mostly just babies from 10 - 25 lbs, with the largest caught to date being approximately 130 lbs.
We offer two different fishing programs to consider (see sample itineraries below):
1. We can arrange a private ship charter for you and your friends! This mothership style offers the best fishing opportunities and is good for groups of 6 to 12 anglers.
2. For individuals, couples and small groups, we can arrange a stay at a a jungle lodge and fishing from excision boats which is expensive than chartering a ship.
Amazon Fishing Ship Charter
The ships we prefer to use have air-conditioned cabins, with twin beds and private baths/showers. The trip is limited to approximately 12 anglers. Traveling on the upper part (over 2,300 miles from the mouth) of the Amazon River and its tributaries, you will fish pristine areas far removed from cities and civilization. You will be fishing in the middle of a sea of green - the vast Amazon rainforest.
Fishing challenges with exotic species await you! The most infamous are the colorful tucunaré, or Peacock Bass, and the red-bellied, black and white species of piranha. Other aggressive species include arawana, with its upturned mouth, famous leaping ability and aerial displays when hooked; payara have awesome teeth; pacu and oscars also provide tough fights; several species of catfish such as the suribim will also hit lures; and many more species hardly even known to man inhabit the region. One must often be alert to avoid hooking a caiman or fish hawk which are also attracted to lures.
We also fish in Peru's largest nature reserve, the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, with catches of 40 - 100+ fish a day being common. This vast wilderness of almost 7 million acres, or 10,800 square miles, is protected from fish netting, and by virtue of being seasonally flooded, it is not populated. It is a very productive habitat for aquatic wildlife and the fishing should remain strong or even get better with each succeeding year! The lush tropical setting adds a great dimension to the outdoor experience. While fishing in remote jungle rivers, lakes and lagoons, you are likely to see monkeys, sloths, brilliantly plumed birds overhead in the orchid-laden trees, caiman and river turtles throughout the waterways. Often spotted in your fishing waters and your prime fishing competitors are the pink and grey species of freshwater dolphin and the impressive giant paiche (or pirarucu) which matures at lengths of 6 to 10 feet. (Usually on every trip several of these prehistoric looking fish are boated, mostly babies from 10 - 25 lbs, with the largest caught to date being approximately 130 lbs.)
This special fishing adventure and custom boat charter takes you to a remote part of the globe; to areas void of commercial fisheries and sportfishing lodges. Excluding occasional local natives, dolphin and water birds, you should see no other fishers! The all-inclusive (air, lodging, meals, fishing excursions) format helps to insure that the only hidden surprises are the daily natural wonders and catches, not additional charges.
Sample Ship Charter Itinerary
DAY 1, Friday: Upon arrival in Lima, Peru, you are met at the airport by local staff personnel who will assist with your luggage and then transfer you into town to a nice hotel in the upscale suburb of Miraflores for the overnight stay.
DAY 2, Saturday: An early morning flight to Iquitos takes you from the urban jungle to the rainforest jungle and your first look at the world's largest river, the Amazon! You are met the airport and driven to Nauta. From there you board your ship.Once aboard the "mothership" and cabin assignments, the local guide provides an orientation about the ship and the week's upcoming activities during the buffet lunch. This day (and all night) is spent traveling uprivers for the best fishing areas. In the evening you relax and enjoy the beauty of the world's largest rainforest! Sunsets are a special time in Amazonia as they can provide an unbelievable myriad of colors. Later, the dark Amazon sky becomes nature's own planetarium with its open expanse of brilliant stars. You can look for the Southern Cross constellation, shooting stars, satellites, and even the visible band of the Milky Way as the ship continues up the Amazon River.
DAY 3 - 6: During these four days you will not only have a great fishing experience, you will also have a great life experience. Each day brings you new opportunities to observe some of nature's greatest spectacles and scenic fishing locations. The smaller boats and the determination of the guides provide you with access to backwater lakes and lagoons.
The exact daily schedule is mostly set by the location, weather, fish and your angling desire. The normal and suggested routine is to schedule a 6 AM daybreak (after coffee and toast) fishing excursion, returning to the ship around 10 - 11 a.m., when hunger and heat sets in. After breakfast, resting/socializing and a buffet lunch around 1 - 2 p.m., you head out again in the launches to fish until sunset. Upon your return to the ship, a delicious full buffet dinner is served. Some nights (and at mealtimes) the ship may be moving to different locations, if not, you are always welcome to try your luck fishing for the great variety of catfish found in the Amazon rivers.
DAY 7, Thursday: The ship heads back to Iquitos and going with the flow of the Amazon River allows for less travel time on the return. There is usually time for a short morning fishing session further downriver and another stop later in the day for village walk to better see how the local people live. Although there are no tourist shops where we go, it is usually possible to barter or purchase some souvenirs such as paddles, spears, blowguns, gourds, baskets and other native items.
DAY 8, Saturday: After breakfast, you are transferred back to Iquitos for flights out. You may add overnights in Iquitos if desired. (For an additional $125/pp/dbl you may choose to overnight in Lima, or Iquitos and fly out either the next morning or next night - hotel and transfers included.) Note: COPA Airlines now has flights through Panama City direct to Iquitos on certain days, eliminating the need for Lima overnights if desired.
Your riverboat, takes you up river from Iquitos, Peru, to the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers and into the Pacaya- Samiria National Reserve.
Amazon Fishing Jungle Lodge Program
A 5-days tour is recommend to be able to allow 3 full days of fishing in the mornings and later afternoons. You may also add additional days of fishing.
We base out of a well-established rainforest lodge about 2 and half hours down the Amazon River from Iquitos by speedboat. The lodge was chosen for it quality of accommodations, location and most of all its staff expertise with sport fishing. You may stay the nights in the main lodge or we can arrange camping on an excursion boat in tents to reach more remote areas.
Budget $200.00 USD per day, per person, for two or more for the stay. Included in this price is all transport from Iquitos and lodge, three meals, water, boots specialized fishing guide, extra fishing canoes and access to our areas.
You can bring your own equipment but we also rent two types of setups.
Fishing equipment rental:
Option 1 light/medium sportfishing (Add $30 per person per day)
Target: Peacock bass, arahuana , oscar , pike cichlid, brycon, piraña, pacu and many more smaller species 1-12lb fish
Consists of 6ft or 7ft medium action rod and reel (30/40lb braid) with selection of ten lures ( mepps spinners, rattletraps, crankbait and floater) 3 hooks for bait fishing. May include hiking, portaging camping overnight in black water lakes of the Amazon River floodplain. Includes aluminum 3 person canoe, catch net, rod/reel/plier
Option 2: Amazon River cat/sting ray fishing. medium/heavy (Add $30 per person per day)
Target: Catfish species such as-tiger, zungaro, red-tail + more( 5-60lbs). Many different stingray species( up to 150lbs) even pacu and black pacu (world record black pacu caught here in Oran 81lb)
Consists of 7ft medium/heavy rods, Okuma ABF90 reels 50lb to 100lb braid, live or cut bait ,cast net , weights, hooks, gaffs, 15/20ft excursion boat, bilingual fishing guide, local guide and access to the largest river in the world. Most fishing is done close to our lodge on the banks of the main Amazon River and at the junctions of its tributaries.
Option 3: Expedition/Camp boat accommodations combining fishing options 1+2 (Add $130 per person per day)
Sleep overnight on our wooden expedition boat the b/f JOSUE. The boat is 45ft and can serve/sleep 4 persons comfortably. You may sport fish by day in the lakes and catfish by night on the bigger rivers. Don’t miss an opportunity to catch a fish that dreams are made of. This option combines the above two so you have everything you need for an Amazon River fishing expedition.
*ALL of these fishing options are considered additional cost to previously scheduled jungle lodge reservation.
The Amazon Lodge
The Amazon River Lodge features rustic construction with 12 spacious rooms under a palm thatch roof. Single and double rooms have private bathrooms including sinks toilets and showers. Each room is protected by a fine mesh netting to keep out bugs and pests. Bunk beds are available for larger groups as well as the Family Suite which sleeps up to eight comfortably. In the back of the lodge there is a relaxing room with hammocks, lazy chairs and coffee tables. The Lodge rooms are enclosed by elevated walkways to provide access to viewing the gardens, birds, butterflies or any other wildlife that pass by.
Our lodge is located near the village of Oran, a designated national heritage site in the Peruvian Amazon 2.5 hours by speedboat from the city of Iquitos. From our lodge it is possible to explore over fifteen different ecosystems endemic to the Amazon River region in one week. We are proud to be the only ones offering such a diversity of programs in such unique areas of the Peruvian Amazon. We will see giant ceiba trees, mammoth lily pads, pink and gray river dolphins. You may take hikes through different forest ecosystems spotting monkeys, exotic birds and we will canoe through seasonally flooded forests.
The main lodge has a modern kitchen, plumbing and solar for powering the lighting and recharging batteries. Each room has its own private bathroom. All lodge rooms are conveniently closed in by mosquito netting (as well as the beds themselves) to ensure a good nights sleep.
We want your trip to be personalized experiences which are flexible and diverse as the Amazon itself. All the excursions are designed to be flexible depending on the group or individual. Guests and guides often work together to design a custom itinerary based on interest and ability.
Each guest is appointed a personal bilingual naturalist guide with whom you can organize each day usually over one of three exceptionally prepared meals highlighting regional produce. During down time you may choose to visit our extensive tropical butterfly gardens that surround the lodge or try to count the endless number of hummingbirds and exotic flowers just outside your room.
Family House: A one floor, 60 square meter house comfortable for up to eight people. The house features a large bathroom, hardwood floors, beds and hammocks. Solar is used to power the lighting and charging station. Our favorite part is the covered balcony that overlooks the varzea forest of the Oran creek.
The Butterfly Peacock Bass: Cichla Ocellaris / Cichla Monoculus
The Peacock Cichlid, also called the Peacock Bass, is found from Central America down through the Amazon waterways. Its name comes from the ocellus at the base of the tail reminiscent of a peacock's plumage, and from the fact that its shape and habits superficially resemble North America's Largemouth Bass. In the Peruvian Amazon it is often called by its Brazilian name, tucanare. The predominant peacock bass species in Peru are the Cichla Ocellaris known as the “Butterfly Peacock Bass”. The butterfly peacock bass is a yellowish-green color, with three black bars on the side and often with red-orange pectoral, caudal and anal fins. They have massive mouths, and voracious appetites making explosive strikes ability to break heavy lines and straightens hooks. Typically size up to 12 pounds and are not as large as its big brother, the Cichla Temensis that are popular fishing targets in Brazil.
You will need to bring you own equipment. (We provide specific recommendations and see overview below.) Fishing techniques include spinning, casting and fly-fishing from aluminum boats with a maximum of 2 anglers per boat unless other is requested. Peacock Bass are a strong, fast, and love cover, so your tackle and gear can be important. We suggest at least 3 rods of medium action, from 6'6" or 7 foot. Bring at least two reels with a capacity for 200 yards of 10 to 30 pounds line. Spinning tackle can be very effective for peacock bass fishing and is most appropriate when working small to medium-sized topwater lures, jerkbaits, spoons and jigs, but is not as effective when fishing large topwater plugs. For many peacock bass anglers, one of the biggest break-throughs to help them catch more fish has been the advent of the new braided "superlines". We suggest bringing sizes from 20 to 40 pounds. Anglers that simply just won't fish with braided line should select a monofilament line with similar characteristics as the super-line, that being low stretch, abrasion resistant and the heaviest break strength for the diameter. For large topwater lures consider using between 17 and 30 pound monofilament. Peacock bass takes a large variety of lures, include in your tackle box a combination of sizes and colors of Topwater lures,
Walking Baits, propeller Riping Baits, poppers, Sub-surface Lures, Jerkbaits, Rattling Baits, Casting spoons and Bugtail Jigs. Lure's colors like fire tigers, oranges and chartreuses are the favorites.
About the size of the lure, from 3½ to 5 inches is ok. Take a special look in the hooks and rings; they should strong.
For fly fishing, a 9 foot, 8 or 9 weight rod with a medium to fast action. Reels should hold a floating weight forward line. Use a 15 to 20 LB backing line. Consider 12-20 pounds leaders and tippets. The Peacock Bass take a variety of large bucktail streamers, deceivers, medium size poppers in same combination of colors like lures; red, white, yellow, blue, with flash, but prefer heavily dressed.
The dynamic Amazon River creates and destroys thousands of miles of river banks every year and in the process it has isolated many species to large lakes. There they evolved and branched away from their cousins as the course of the river grew ever distant from the isolated lakes. Some thousands of years later the meander of the main river may eat its way through the flooded forest back to the isolated lake and release the endemic fish to the main channel uniting the “new” species with the rest of the aquatic fauna that exists today.
Contact us to customize your Amazon Fishing Adventure.
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