Predator Fishing On The Amazon
For many anglers, fishing is a quiet activity which allows them to enjoy life at a slower pace. Of course, for many people, fishing is a wild and dangerous activity, pitting them against fierce creatures that show no mercy.
If you are the second type of angler, it is likely you will be drawn to predator fishing on the Amazon.
The challenge of taking on some of the most unique fish in the world, in one of the most glorious settings, is sure to excite a lot of fishermen and women.
If you are looking to learn more about predator fishing on the Amazon, we have you covered.
What is predator fishing?
As the name suggests, predator fishing focuses on fish that prey on other fish, animals or even people. The most common types of predatory fish include salmon, walleye, pike, muskie and perch.
What are the predator fish of the Amazon?
Of course, due to the breath-taking ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest, the predator fish you will find there are not the same as the predator fish that are more commonly found around the world.
When it comes to predator fishing on the Amazon, you will find weird and wonderful creatures that look like no other fish. You will also find some fish that are far more dangerous than the fish you expect to see in other parts of the world.
Facts about the Amazon River basin
To make sure you fully understand the circumstances that create the amazing array of predator fish of the Amazon, it is helpful to know more about the area:
- The Amazon River basin covers around 30% of the South American continent
- More than 2,000 different species of fish are found here, many of which are endemic to the Amazon
- The Amazon River basin runs for more than 6,520km
- There are 15,000 tributaries to the river
- With many river banks destroyed and created each year, many fish become isolated in one lake
- This isolation has led to an evolution of many types of fish, creating unique species and providing some species with skills and attributes not found in other fish
Predator fish of the Amazon river
In many ways, descriptions of the fish found in the Amazon River doesn’t do them justice. No matter how many fish you have seen, you are unlikely to have seen fish like the creatures which make this fascinating part of the world their home.
We’ll talk you through some of the more interesting, and dangerous fish of the Amazon river.
Arapaima (Arapaima gigas)
When it comes to huge fish of the Amazon, the Arapaima is well worth taking note of. It has been known for these fish to weigh up to 200lbs, and some of them have grown to a length of nine feet. Regarded as the largest freshwater fish in the world, you probably aren’t looking to catch this fish, but seeing one in person will likely be a memorable occasion.
As the Arapaima needs to take in oxygen through their gills, they are often found close to the surface, so there is a chance you will see them.
They don’t necessarily harm people, but they are partial to fish and birds. When you consider these fish are prevalent in piranha infested waters, they know how to handle themselves.
Candiru (Vandellia cirrhosa)
When it comes to fish with a terrifying reputation, the Candiru is one of the most famous fish in the world. They might be tiny, but this parasitic catfish are known to launch themselves at anglers close by the river.
Most famously, these fish are regarded for launching themselves into the urethra of anglers relieving themselves in the water. Even the thought of this is enough to leave anglers wincing, and although the attacks don’t happen anywhere near as is reported, it is still a terrifying thought for most fishermen.
The most common form of attack for the Candiru is to attach itself to the gills of other fish and feed on their blood. No matter what they do, you don’t want to mess with this fish if you are angling in the Amazon.
Electric Eel (Electrophorus electricus)
It might be known as an eel, but the electric eel is a fish. It is also a large fish, and it is deadly. There is enough electricity in the average eel to stun a person. That is what 650 volts of electricity will do, and when you are in the water, you want to steer clear.
The electric eel has been known to weigh around 50lbs and they can reach nine feet in length. One thing to note about the eel is that even after their death, they can still shock you. Reports suggest that you are at risk of shock from an electric eel even up to eight hours after it has died.
The locals of the Amazon know enough to steer clear of this fish, and you should do too.
Despite the name, the electric eel isn't actually an eel it's a fish. And a big fish at that. The electric eel can reach around 9 feet in length and weigh around 50 pounds. It is, however, most definitely electric and has enough electricity, a 650-volt shock to be precise, to stun a person. Usually found in muddy bottoms, the electric eel is largely avoided by locals as it can still shock even eight hours after its death.
Payara Vampire Fish (Hydrolycus scomberoides)
Would you like to mess with a fish that is likened to a vampire! The Payara is an extremely aggressive fish, and as it is difficult to spot, it can sneak up on you unawares.
This fish can weigh up to 40 pounds, but it is capable of devouring a fish that is half of their size. Their fangs allow them to make light work of their prey, and while they sound interesting, they should be avoided. The Payara is most commonly found in the Amazon in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.
Red-bellied Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)
If there is one fish that stops people in their tracks, it is the piranha fish. This reputation has been enhanced by Hollywood and TV shows, and the reality is that their frenzied attacks are very unlikely to happen in real life.
However, are you willing to take that chance? The fact that they’ve been known to strip meat down to the bone in a short time-period when they are hungry is more than enough of a warning to stay away.
Their razor-sharp teeth can do a lot of damage, and as they commonly travel in schools, you often have to deal with a lot at one time. Their bark might be worse than their bite, but if you happen to see piranha fish on the Amazon, keep your distance and stay safe.
Tucunaré Peacock Bass (Cichla Temensis)
The Tucunare Peacock Bass feeds on small fish, so you are probably safe, but they can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.
Amazon River fishing tours
Given the expanse of the Amazon River, there is no shortage of places where you can fish for predatory fish. You might even be overwhelmed by the number of locations you can choose from, and if that is the case, you are advised to seek guidance from those who know the area very well.
There are many reasons to book an Amazon River fishing tour as opposed to venturing off yourself. The most obvious reason revolves around safety, but you can also save a lot of time and money by hiring an expert to guide you to the best spots.
Fishing in the Amazon River in Peru
Booking a private fishing trip in Peru allows you to benefit from local expertise and knowledge, while staying safe. You will also have the chance to try out a local’s fishing equipment, in places that you might never have known of if it wasn’t for their insight.
An example of the sort of tour you might expect to see in Peru is a Piranha fishing tour in Iquitos. This is a port city which acts a gateway to the Amazon, and is a fantastic location to set off from. If you are keen to hunt piranha, it makes sense to take a tour with an expert who has experience in dealing with these hungry predators!
Fishing in the Amazon River in Brazil
While there is no shortage of fishing options for the Amazon River in Brazil, Manaus has developed a great reputation. It is an obvious gateway to the Amazon river, allowing straightforward access to the start of the tour.
However, once you set off, you will find yourself in the midst of the Amazon in no time at all. You can book to stay at fishing lodges, or you will find many tours run by locals which offer a more traditional form of fishing.
Whatever way you wish to experience Amazon predatory fishing in Brazil, you will find simple options to do so.
Fishing in the Amazon River in Colombia
If you are looking to start an Amazon River fishing trip in Colombia, Leticia is an excellent starting point. The city is in the south of Colombia, and it borders Peru and Brazil. If you are taking a tour along the Amazon, you’ll likely pass here, possibly stopping off on a journey between Peru and Brazil, but it is a welcoming destination in its own right.
Fishing in the Amazon River in Argentina
Esquina in the north-west of the country is an excellent fishing resort if you are looking to enjoy Amazon fishing.
The area has a tremendous reputation for fishing, and they are well-known for hosting an annual fishing competition. The Fiesta Nacional del Pacú attracts 25,000 visitors each year in March. This shows proof that the area is well-regarded in fishing circles, and this ensures there is a thriving local community with respect to fishing.
If you are looking to enjoy a tour of the Amazon in this part of the country, there will be no shortage of willing guides to help you.
Fishing in the Amazon River in Bolivia
With Riberalta in the north of the country, you have the perfect starting point in Bolivia for a fishing trip along the Amazon River. The area is known as the Bolivian capital of the Amazon, and as such, there is an economy and infrastructure that supports trips and tours into and around the Amazon River.
With so many fantastic stopping points along the Amazon River, you’ll find no shortage of options when it comes to finding fishing tour guides or taking a tour. Given the dangers of the Amazon River, and the dangerous fish that are in the river, it is best to seek help and guidance when fishing in this part of the world.
If you have hunted predatory fish in the Amazon River, we would love to hear from you, and if you have any tips, we’d be more than happy to share them with the world. If you are planning a fishing trip along the Amazon River, we hope this guide is helpful, and we would love to hear what your plans are.