Huge Peacock Bass on the Final Day

by | Sep 18, 2019 | huge peacock bass | 5 comments

peacock-bass-artOh how time flies when you’re having fun.  And fun it’s been.  Today was my last day fishing with Rodrigo of Untamed Angling at their incredible peacock bass fishing destination on the Marié River here in Brazil.  It was hot and humid at sunrise and instead of working on my blog I chipped away on my peacock bass on the back of our mothership with my sharpies.  I need to have her done before we leave tomorrow.

 

Marie-River-AmazonAfter breakfast Rodrigo, boat driver Hamilton and I zipped down river.  We headed for a big oxbow off the main river.  Rodrigo likes this spot because it has everything from deep banks with sunken trees for blind casting to a flat.  Yes a flat.  Rodrigo said at midday if we had enough sun we’d be sight casting to cruising monsters across a shallow sand flat.

 

Rodrigo-Salles-Untamed-AnglingIt all sounded incredible to me.  Its been two days since I landed a donkey of a peacock.  I was ready.  We started at the lake mouth and eased our way in.  I could tell by the intensity in which Rodrigo was fishing that I better beware for the possibility for that fish I’ve been dreaming of.

 

 

peacock-bass-on-flyRodrigo struck first and it wasn’t ten minutes into our morning.  He was dredging with a sinking line.  Most peacock fishing is done with the floater or intermediate sinking lines but Rodrigo wanted to give super deep a try. He had my attention as he got tugged around by his colorful contestant.

 

Rodrigo-Salles-peacock-bassMoments later Hamilton netted a lunker peacock.  The peacock weighed 15lbs.  I broke out the camera and blazed a few shots.  There was no place to hop overboard with this one so Rodrigo kept the fish close to the deck and comfortably under control.

 

butterfly-peacock-bassWe were in a typical big fish spot.  Rodrigo and I cast towards the banks and sunken logs relentlessly but nothing more than a few of the smaller butterfly peacock species.  These fish are fun and keep the energy going but every time you get hit you’re hoping for the big one.

 

amazon-river-fishingAt 11 after we’d been pounding away for three hours and my elbow was stinging bad.  I grabbed a brew and some Advil and Rodrigo took a break as well.  I thought we were getting ready to move but then Rodrigo looked up at the sun then towards the middle of the lagoon.  The sun was starting to pop a little.  “See the shallow bar out there Jeff?  After these beers we’ll ease over and wait for fish to cross it.  You are going to go nuts if it’s on!”

 

Cichla-temensisOff we went.  Visibility was superb.  We could see across the 4 foot deep flat for a 100 feet.  Sure enough, there was a hard to see peacock crossing and Rodrigo busted out a long accurate cast.  I watched hoping to see the brute dart for his fly.  Instead the fish sort of spooked and wheeled away in the other direction.

 

cichla-temensisI don’t know why I make things harder on myself but because Rodrigo had a fish in his area I looked the opposite side.  The problem is I had the sun in my eyes and some bad cloud reflection. I could hardly see.  But hardly doesn’t mean I couldn’t see at all.  And I thought I saw an ungodly beast of a peacock bass.

 

peacock-bass-fliesI’d dropped to a smaller than normal fly.  Not for the size but I wanted some quick sink in my fly to help me get down with my floating line after seeing Rodrigo get the nice one on the full sink line.  It was a basic red and white Clouser with huge eyes.  I landed a cast to what I thought was a fish and I retrieved it back.  Nothing.

 

I was hesitant to cast again thinking I saw nothing but then I got another glimpse.  It was a fish and this time I plunked my fly close.  There was no doubt I had this fish.  I braced myself and after two quick strips to straighten my leader and line I began a slow deliberate retrieve.  I didn’t go long before a hellacious thump.  Fish on!

 

Bauer-reelsBy the swoosh on hook up we knew this was no ordinary peacock.  And by the sound of line crackling off my spool despite my drag tightened heavily on my Bauer Reel we knew.  This fish was more powerful than any big fish all week.  I couldn’t stop this one.  Luckily I was safe from snags because the monster ran straight across the lagoon.

 

“You have a true monster Jeff!  A MONSTER!”, Rodrigo shouted as he reeled his rig in.  Then he worked his way to the front of the boat and slapped me on the back.  “A true monster.  I see!

 

huge-peacock-bassIndeed this peacock was a XXXL and this fight wouldn’t be the ordinary 1 or 2 minute big fish battle.  This fish came half way to the boat then surged back out at least six times.  Finally I got him close and we got a look.  No doubt, this fish was bigger than my day one 21lber!

 

peacock-bassThere were a few more startling moments in battle.  Its never easy getting a mammoth of any fish species in a net.  But soon we did and we all hovered over Hamilton’s shoulder.  “To the beach immediately Hamilton”, requested Rodrigo.

 

 

Jeff-Currier-peacock-bass

I couldn’t stop staring at this one.  Not only was he ginormous but the colors and condition of this special peacock were beyond belief.  There wasn’t a miscue on him.  This peacock weighed 24.5lbs (over 11 kg) and measured 92cm.  It was the longest fish ever measured here on the Marié but short a couple pounds of the river record.  If only my fish ate a full breakfast!

 

We shot a ton of photos.  I hardly noticed Rodrigo clicking them off because I was mesmerized.  Advice to everyone – when you catch a magnificent fish enjoy it.  Study every inch of the beautiful creature then look deep into its eyes.  And when you release them, don’t take your sights off them until they completely disappear back to the wild.  This is the ultimate way never to forget the moment.  Its why we catch & release fly fish!

 

Rodrigo-Salles-Jeff-CurrierAfter this one we sat in the boat and relaxed and had another beer.  This fish was something that not only blew my mind but even Rodrigo’s and Hamilton’s, guys who see these great game fish all the time.  It was 1 PM and time for lunch.

 

Untamed-Angling

It was a decent morning for everyone.  We had lunch with the Louisiana boys from Mike’s group and soon Mike and John arrived also.  We had a great lunch then took our afternoon swim.  We carried on for a couple hours.  It cut deep in our fishing time but everyone’s had a great week, we didn’t care.

 

untamed-angling-amazonWe fished an hour after the late lunch.  Then we headed back for the Untamed Amazon around 5.  Untamed Angling makes a special night on the last night, “Party on the Beach”.  Chef Fabrizio goes all out with an even bigger and better barbeque than we’ve yet experienced.  Furthermore they built a bar and fire and dining table in the sand.  It was time to celebrate our magnificent week.

 

Untamed-Angling-peacock-bassDinner, comradery, stories and you name it were in full fling.  We had a great time.  We dodged some weather too.  All around us were huge thunderheads flashing but not a drop of rain fell.  Around 9 PM we packed it in.  We’ll be up early tomorrow to pack our gear than catch the long charter back to Manaus.

 

Untamed-AnglingDuring the long travel home I’ll work up one final blog from this trip.  This has been so good there have definitely been thoughts I haven’t shared along with plenty of amazing photos I’ve yet to fit in.  Stay tuned for the final recap from the best peacock bass trip of all time!

 

If this is a trip you want to do (and you are crazy if you don’t!) you can Contact me, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures or Untamed Angling.

 

Be sure to visit my Instagram page and Facebook for more photos from this adventure and others!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

5 Comments

  1. Brenda Kardatzke

    Jeff, your blogs are awesome….love reading them and seeing the pics and seeing the places you have been. Tell Granny hi….miss you both. Love, Mike & Brenda

  2. Jeff

    Thanks Brenda! I will tell Granny hi for you guys

  3. Jack L. Meredith

    What a thrill to catch the big one! FROM YOUR COMMENT OF IT WEIGHING JUST SHORT OF THE RECORD, I ASSUME IT IS STILL 26# 6OZ ? IF SO, THAT HAS BEEN A LONG STANDING RECORD THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO RETURN TO Brazil EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. THERE IS NO GREATER FISH TO THRILL FOR YOUR ENTIRE LIFE OF FISHING. Suzanne & JACK

  4. Peter regan

    Fantastic trip, awesome photos! Quite an accomplishment. Magnificent fish!

  5. Jeff

    Thanks Peter! And Jack, I believe the record peacock is 27lbs. The true fly rod world record is listed as 26lb and it was caught on the legal 20lb tippet. Folks rarely fish this light anymore.

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

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