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Jan '13 Acute Angling's Multi-Species Rio Travessao Trip 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:56 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I have been back for a few weeks, but wanted to make a quick post regarding the multi-species trip we went on.

Here is a link to my trip photos:


We booked through Acute Angling and the host on the trip was Wellington Melo (and his family).

Overall, this was a great trip. In fact, it may be my favorite Brazilian trip I have made to date. The main reason being was the variety of species caught, and how that help give the day a lot of variety. My other trips were mostly Peacock only (with a little catfishing here and there).

In this river, our group caught:
- Peacock Bass
- Payara
- Trairao
- Paca
- Giant Black Piranha
- Sorubim Catfish
- Jau Catfish
- Piraiba Catfish
- Redtail Catfish
- Jundia Catfish
- Barba-Chata Catfish

We stayed at a campsite on an island surrounded by rapids. Being on the island made me feel a bit safer than being on the mainland.

We stayed in large tents, where you could easily stand up. Each had an outlet that was powered while we were in camp. Beds were cots, and the tent was cleaned each day. The was one flushable toilet and shower shared by all.

We ate at picnic tables under a covered roof. Food was good ... almost as good as any other Brazilian trip I have been on.

Each morning we navigated up the rapids (not that easy) and could start fishing within 20 minutes. Typical options were to land some Peacocks for bait for the cats, etc. The Peacocks were different here than the Teminsis or the Butterfly. They are being argued as a separate species.

Almost all of our catches were within the alb to 12lb range ... it was actually quite rare to catch one under 5 pounds. They were not as fond of jigs (although we did not try them often due to the Piranhas) but the group did well using minnow, spooks, and choppers.

These Peacocks never hit more than once ... which was surprising. Also, some of them would jump out of the water then on top of your lure to strike ... really fun to watch!

A few of the anglers on the trip fished just for Peacocks and did quite well, but the rest opted for the variety. My favorite was catfishing, although I really wanted to catch a bunch of Payara, but they were not as prevalent this week, and all the big ones I had on, I was not able to keep the hook in.

We had a lot of fun with huge Piraibas, my largest was 100lbs that I landed in a small creek, where the largest of the trip was 165lb. I did learn a very hard lesson on this trip ... I had the largest fish I have ever had on my line and lost it due to an equipment issue. We were catfishing on the main river and without warning, my line went screaming out (twice as fast and with more force than the 100 lber I landed). I had hand wound my line, and that ended up causing the line to dig into my spool at the spool's edge. It just was not packed tight enough, and after nearly yanking the rod out of my hands, my 130lb braid snapped. It still bothers me ... must have been a 200+ lber! After that we let out our line while trolling and firmly packed the spools during a long retrieve.

The biggest redtail was 92lbs, and the largest Jau was about 100lbs (they are not common in this river). The redtail took the longest to bring in at nearly 45 mins.

Jundia's were a lot of fun ... probably the strongest cats per pound there ... and they are splashers! You can get them up to the boat pretty quick, then they get to the surface and typically trash their tails and dive again. They had really small mouths compared to other cats. Hands down, they were the best to eat ... delicious!

The Trairao were also very entertaining ... they were thugs. Just mean, nastly, brutes, that jump like whales. Be careful holding them, they are really slippery and hard to get a handle on. Wouldn't want to get bit by there many rows of teeth!

Other thing that surprised me was how big the circle hooks were that worked best ... Mustad-sized 16/0 to 18/0 were preferred (as big as the palm of your hand). Funny thing was, we would catch the big 5lb to 7lb piranhas on them.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a first trip, but for a second or third, this was great fun.

Lastly, Wellington Melo and his family were great hosts and we all enjoyed Wellington's company (he fished with us a few times as well).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:11 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 608
Location: Lakeland, FL

Sounds like you had a great time. I loved battling those Jundia catfish also but released the ones we caught on a trip with Paul a few years ago. Wellington is a great guy; I met (and fished with) him on one of my first trips to another river in Brazil some 22 years ago. Spent some time in the air with him and his ultralight 2-man float plane several years back as well. We flew along the Agua Boa River and adjacent lagoons and spied catfish, caiman, large peacock bass and other big fish from about 100 feet up. What a view!

Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
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Jan '13 Acute Angling's Multi-Species Rio Travessao Trip 
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