When target fishing peacocks, remember to keep your distance. Timing and distance are of utmost importance. If you encroach upon their presence and are detected, they will simply disappear and seldom ever return. Long accurate casts are paramount to ensure successful targeting of this nature. The length of time they will allow their young to feed in this manner is an unknown, but from my own observations it isn’t very long. The lateral line of the peacock appears to be very sensitive and efficient, thus enhancing the parents’ ability to detect our presence and protect their young regardless of their location within the water column. It’s interesting to note that the pairs of mature peacock you encounter will often be of the same age, and because the male and female can both reach monster proportions, finding one could mean catching two if done properly. I previously noted the presence of a lateral line. Now let’s evaluate its influence on the predatory habits of the peacock. The lateral line is that sensory gland that runs nearly the entire length of the fish’s body and ultimately connects to the inner ear. Its placement is within the upper third of the fish’s profile. This upward body placement indicates to some degree that its acuteness when sensing motion or noise from above might be greater than if it were located at the center of the fish’s profile. This may explain the seeming contradiction between the peacock’s cautious nature and its desire to take things from the surface. The waters of the Rio Negro are very dark, yet it amazes me how often you will find monster peacock within inches of the surface - even under the highest of skies. The mouth of a monster peacock is a sight to behold. A twenty pound class peacock could easily take a small animal such as a snake or lizard commonly found in its environment. Spinnerbaits such as the M&G Musky Tandem and bucktails such as the Bucka- Boo from Lindy Tackle, generally used to target muskie, would not in any way be too large. Surface baits such as the Poe’s Giant Jackpot, Luhr Jensen’s Woodchopper or Amazon Ripper and others are by no means too big or aggressive for pursuit of Many world records have fallen as a result of anglers joining our group aboard the YANNA , Chuck Veith, Dr. Jeff Rozinka, Bob Mehsikomer and soon the be added, Dave Stewart.
these fish. In fact, they are perfect for monster peacocks weighing in the mid-teens and up. Be prepared, these fish can and will break substandard equipment in short order. Rods and reels should be of high quality. I would recommend standard muskie equipment for this effort. Rods running from 6’6” to 7’2” in extra heavy actions would not be overkill. Reels should be levelwind versions, and fast retrieve rates are preferable. Braided superlines are the best choice. I highly recommend Western Filament’s Tuf-Line XP in 65 pound test or greater. Remember, braids display great tensile strength but lack impact resistance when used with extra heavy action rods. On past trips I have even utilized my muskie leaders to minimize lure tangle. You will often find your Woodchopper will overrun the slack line in front of it during your presentation without some form of resistance. And the visibility of a steel leader hasn’t seemed to matter with my last six fish over twenty pounds. This will also reduce potential line twist caused by the lure spinning during both the cast and retrieve. A good sunblock carrying a rating of at least SPF30 is a must and should be administered at least every two hours. Quality polarized sunglasses are an absolute must. The sun’s reflection off the waters surface will be almost direct, and can be very dangerous if adequate eye protection is overlooked. Over the past fifteen years I have trusted my eye protection to Strike King and have found their various Pro models very effective. And don’t forget your camera, you will need it. There are a variety of peacocks found in the Amazon; some claim there are as many as twelve types. However, for the most part trophy hunters will be seeking the “acu” peacock or the “speckled” peacock. The “acu,” also known as the “black barred” or “grande,” can reach weights of nearly thirty pounds, with current records exceeding twenty-seven pounds. The “speckled” variety, which has also reached the high twenty pound class, is thought by many to be simply a subspecies of the “grande”. Both fish carry the distinctive vertical black bars on their sides. However, as the name implies the speckled will be just that - speckled. Males will sometimes display a hump on the back of their heads just forward of the dorsal fin. This is more prominent during spawning, but there can be evidence of this characteristic outside the spawning period. The female is much more generic in shape, and when carrying eggs, will weigh considerably more than the male. Both will display “eye spots” within their tail region. Some scientists say this is an evolutionary trait promoting survival. The eye spot is said to resemble that found on the tail plume of the pea fowl, and is believed to be the reason South American anglers have come to know them as pavon or peacock. You will come to know them as the perfect sport fish. Make the trip of a lifetime come true, join us aboard the YANNA in December.