golden dorado

Brazil

Game Fish

THE PEACOCK BASS

Cichla spp.

During low water periods, Peacock Bass are typically found in river channels, woody lagoons and oxbow lakes. Peacock Bass utilize dead wood stumps, logs, rocks, and other structures to hide and then ambush their prey. During the rainy season, they find tons of food opportunities in flooded forests, where they can grow large.

The most sought after species is the massive tucunaré-açu (Cichla temensis) that can grow as long as 39” and weigh up to about 23 pounds. From a purely sporting perspective, any Peacock Bass species is a worthy adversary. With their sheer strength and unrelentless defense, they will give you a work out! Try to reel in a 12 pound Peacock Bass and you will see for yourself!

  • Max length: 39”
  • Max weight: 23 pounds

peacockbass

Cichla Thyrosus at Rio Trombetas, Amazon.
See our tour at Trombetas Jungle Camp

THE BICUDA

Boulengerella spp.

Bicuda are ferocious adversaries, capable of bending your fishing rod and exhausting your line in no time at all. They display frantic runs and impressive acrobatics. These freshwater fish live in a variety of habitats, from riverbanks to the shallow waters of the igarapés tributaries in the Amazon.

Bicuda are not big, as they only grow as long as 36” and barely weigh up to 13 pounds. But Bicuda are pure aggression! They produce amazing takes followed by arm busting flights. Note that this species has the annoying habit of slipping off the hook, so stock up on extra fluorocarbon and sizable hooks!

  • Max length: 36”
  • Max weight: 13 pounds

bicuda fish

THE PAYARA

Hydrolycus armatus

Payara are often referred to as « vampire fish » or « dog fish », because they feature two sword-like teeth that protrude from the lower jaw.

When hooked, Payara engage in an uncommonly rigorous defense. They display unparalleled jumping ability and sky-rocket runs. These savage freshwater predators can grow as long as 39” and can weigh up to about 33 pounds. Payara are serious game fish for any angler!

  • Max length: 39”
  • Max weight: 33 pounds

payara fish

Payara at Bananal Island, Tocantins, Brazil.
See our tour at Bananal Island Camp

THE AROWANA

Osteoglossum bicirrhossum

Arowana are odd-looking fish that feature an “armour-plated” body because they are covered with gigantic scales. They can grow as long as 37” and can weigh up to about 10 pounds. Though Arowana are not particularly big, they are capable to put up a hardy opposition when being caught.

  • Max length: 37”
  • Max weight: 10 pounds

arowana fish

Arowana at Bananal Island, Tocantins, Brazil.
See our tour at Bananal Island Camp

THE GOLDEN DORADO

Salminus brasiliensis

Golden Dorado are the apex game fish of the freshwater Neotropics. Their incredible strength, great stamina and tarpon-like acrobatics provide an experience like no other on the end of the line. Golden Dorado have a rare set of defense tactics. Expect strong runs, wild jumps and fierce fighting!

Generally speaking, Golden Dorado weigh around 15-22 pounds but anglers have caught larger ones, weighing up to 35 lbs. They are capable to bust your reel, making the game fish challenging.

  • Max length: 40”
  • Max weight: 22 pounds

golden dorado

Golden Dorado at Rio Negro, Pantanal.
See our tour at Barra Mansa Pantanal Lodge

THE REDTAIL CATFISH

Phractocephalus hemiliopterus

Redtail Catfish are called “pirarara” in Brazil, which roughly translates to « parrot fish ». This name comes from the natives, because the contrasting colors of the fish's body resemble the coloring of a red-and-green macaw. The words pira (fish) and arara (macaw) were combined to form “pirarara”.

Redtail Catfish are considered true trophy fish. The biggest ones grow as long as 39” and weigh up to 110 pounds. You can count on Redtail Catfish’s amazing stamina along with their monstrous power to have a striking fight!

  • Max length: 39”
  • Max weight: 110 pounds

pirarara fish

Redtail Catfish at Araguaia River, Brazil.
See our tour at Kuryala Lodge Araguaia

THE PIRAIBA CATFISH

Brachyplathystoma filamentosum

The Piraiba Catfish is one of the largest fresh water fish in the world. Piraiba Catfish are considered juveniles (filhote in Portuguese) up to 130 pounds. Adults can grow as long as 118” and weigh up to 440 pounds.

Contrary to most relatives, Piraiba Catfish have a more musculous and elongated body. They typically live in slow and deep waters (especially holes and pools), where they show an aggressive and often voracious feeding behavior.

Piraiba Catfish represent an invaluable trophy. Their beauty, their size, and their strength provide anglers an explosive catch and a unique fishing experience.

  • Max length: 118”
  • Max weight: 440 pounds

piraiba catfish

Piraiba Catfish at Araguaia River, Brazil.
See our tour at Kuryala Lodge Araguaia

THE JAU CATFISH

Paulicea luetkeni

Jau Catfish are ambush-style predators that hunt in the deepest parts of rivers, as well as in deep holes. They attack schools of migratory fish like streaked prochilod when they swim upstream to spawn. Jau Catfish can grow as long as 59” and weigh up to 220 pounds. They are truly humongous and surprisingly strong. Get ready to work your arms!

  • Max length: 59”
  • Max weight: 220 pounds

jau catfish

THE SURUBIM CATFISH

Pseudoplatystoma corruscans

Surubim Catfish are cunning opponents that are not easily caught. These beasts will grace you with epic showdowns in the Araguaia’s plentiful waters. On average, this species grow to 2.6 feet long, but male Surubim Catfish can grow to over 5 feet and weigh up to 176 pounds.

  • Max length: 5”
  • Max weight: 175 pounds

surubim catfish