Information Central (c) Larry Larsen
The Travel Bookies
The conduit to the Peacock Bass addiction are the booking agents who make the fish so accessible
and the trip so attractive. Not all opportunities are as good as they look in a video or brochure. As an addict, know what you want in a trip.
As with an addiction, danger may be present in some cases. There is a risk when traveling in the third world, especially to very remote areas that
may offer the very best fishing. Some areas are more risky or dangerous than others, so it is up to the individual traveler to determine what is most
acceptable to him. There may be political problems to deal with, and some fishing areas in Colombia and along its borders are dangerous.
Erland von Sneidern's Orinoco Ark on the Matavani River in Colombia was the first peacock bass operation many, many years ago, but after a
couple of his houseboats were sunk, he built El Morichal Lodge near a military base at Puerto Carreno. Still, some
interests in the rainforest of that country didn't want his clients boating around the secluded tributaries far from
civilization. They kidnaped him and 75 days later, his brother and cousin rescued him in a deadly shootout. He then closed down all operations there.
Most of the sportfishing for peacock today takes place in Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. There are no
guarantees on safety, although almost all of the current operators offer very safe trips. Certain countries have
more than their share of problems, and as a result, few outfitters will offer Americans trip packages into questionable areas.
Some trips offer large numbers of peacock while others offer a chance a some giants and few little ones. Some
outfitters have options in between and others may offer a variety of species of exotic fish. Some fishing trips
emphasize the "ecotourism" aspects while others are focused squarely on hard-core anglers. Some trips are very
comfortable and service is top-notch, while others are "rough" with minimal comforts. Some offer easy access
and others are a logistical nightmare. Most can be addictive, but not all are addictive to all addicts.
t is best to book with a specialized fishing travel agency that can best handle the specific details of such a trip.
Inquiries from each fishing excursion you come across should result in a wealth of information. Check out our World Peacock Bass Directory.
Leads can also be generated from word of mouth, advertisements in fishing/outdoor magazines, some tackle shops, some travel
agencies, sports shows, articles in magazines and newspapers, record keeping agencies (IGFA and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame), and local outdoor writers. Once
you have the literature, brochures, newsletters, etc., study them thoroughly.
Most booking agents prefer clients with groups but will take individual reservations for a trip. Some operators offer "hosted"
trips in which a knowledgeable English-speaking representative of the U.S. booking agent will travel with the group. But, will the host be a fishing
expert and chaperone or someone along with other motives, such as to go fishing every day all day long? That's a good question to ask.
Other host-type considerations are determining how an operator's "camp manager" fits in. The top booking
agents offer trips with English-speaking, fishing experts. For those considering taking along a non-fishing spouse,
the host aspects take on an increasing importance. Fishing guides are normally discouraged from fishing so they
can devote their energies to taking care of the fishermen, but they are only hosts during the day on the water.