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Sept '12 Acute Angling's Blackwater Explorer Igapo Acu Trip 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:58 am Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I just returned from a week of fishing in the Igapo Acu west of the Madeira river near the city of Borba, Brazil. This area is only ideally fished for 3 weeks each year due to conditions.

We stayed in the Blackwater Explorer yacht with a party of 8 anglers. Operator was Acute Angling, and we had dual hosts with the owner Paul Reiss and Rudolpho Couchman (in training).

This river system is a black water river, but has some differences vs. the Rio Negro that made for a change in some traditional peacock tactics.

To name a few:
- The river bottom is clay not sand. As the water levels dropped below the banks, the water began to change from a clear tea color to a bit of a cloudy green (what we were told was the stirring of the sediment caused algae growth). Brighter and contrasting color lures were more effective post the water color change.
- The area is full of dolphins that have pushed the Peacocks close to cover.
- No Butterfly peacocks here.
- There were nearly no Piranhas ... our jigs lasted until the hair started to fall out.
- Not a great area for catfishing.

The week we went was a pre-spawn period, so the Peacocks were not yet in the lagoons in large numbers, but instead were balled up at the lagoon mouths (points).

In terms of fishing, it was a great trip in terms of overall fish caught (average angler caught over 300 fish). We did get some big fish, but it is not an area known for fish over 20lbs. The largest fish caught was 19lbs, but there were a number of 17lbers and quite a few 10lb to 14lbers.

My best quantity day was 100 fish that included three 8lb, one 9lb, four 10lb, an 11lb, and a 12lb. My partner also caught 100 fish that day ... it was almost overkill!

We would find "honey holes" that often were small points that held 50+ peacocks that would be schooling around our lures. There was one stretch that I caught 7 peacocks with 7 consecutive casts.

I did have a huge (possible 20+lber) one that got away, after it got under a log and bent my woodchopper's 6x steel hooks straight. It was the most impressive strike I have seen to date.

The best lures were simply jigs and woodchoppers. Yozuri's and spooks were not nearly as effective. One of the anglers had great success with a jig technique that most of us were compelled to imitate with similar success. He basically would reel the jig in, nearly as fast as possible, with both very quick wrist snaps and multiple rod position moves to change the jig's direction. It was a tiring technique, but it did entice more of the "chaser" peacocks to actually strike the jig before it got to the boat. The jig would only run about 6in to 9in under the surface.

Choppers were great, but caught fish at a lower pace, but at larger sizes on average. Most of us opted to have one angler chopping and one jigging at all times.


Having Paul Reiss on the boat was a special treat. He held nightly seminars covering everything you ever wanted to know about Peacocks, as well as the origins of the Amazon and other fisheries. If you have a chance to book with Acute Angling, I would recommend asking when Paul will be on trips that still have openings.

As a highlight, Paul has proven that the Paca and the Acu Peacocks are actually the same fish, just in different points of their spawning process (Paca are pre-spawn). Paul says the IGFA has accepted his findings and Brazil officials have also changed some of their fishing rules accordingly.

He also told us how to tell if a Peacock is male of female (short of a spawning male's head hump). I'll leave that as a secret for you to find out when you have a chance to meet Paul.


All in all, it was my best trip to date. I still need to land my first Grande, but I can't complain about the production of this trip ... we caught a LOT of fish!

For those that want to see a few of my pictures, here is a link to my Facebook album:


I left out a lot of details, so if interested in more information, feel free to respond with questions.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:58 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
Finally got around to making this video of one morning on the Igapo Acu trip.


If you can bare to watch it all, you will see everything from a dolphin swirl by the boat, as well as a very large peacock trying to eat a smaller one on the line.

All in all, a fun trip ... hard to imagine you will beat those quantities, with a few larger ones every once in a while.

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Sept '12 Acute Angling's Blackwater Explorer Igapo Acu Trip 
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