Fish species in the Amazon: A paradise for fishermen

Explore the fascinating variety of fish species in the Amazon, from the colossal paiches to the fearsome piranhas, and discover a world of unparalleled thrills in the heart of the jungle. The Amazon River and its countless tributaries are home to the greatest water wealth on the planet. But beyond its imposing flow, the real magic lies in the diversity of species that swim in its waters. If you’re a sport fisherman craving an adventure like no other, the Amazon opens its doors to you with an arsenal of fish that will challenge your skills and take your breath away.

Fish Species in the Amazon: Exotic Species

Fish species in the Amazon

The Amazon basin, a vast labyrinth of meandering rivers and flooded forests, is a sport fisherman’s paradise. With more than 2,000 species of fish swimming in its warm, black waters, the Amazon offers a fishing experience unmatched in the world.

But what exactly lies beneath the surface? Prepare to be impressed by the incredible diversity of fish species that inhabit the Amazon. This article is your complete guide to the Amazon’s fish species, organized by feeding type, region, and season. Exciting days of sport fishing and unforgettable experiences await you.

Types of Fish Species in the Amazon

The Amazon basin is home to thousands of species of fish, from giants like the Arapaima to tiny mojarras. Here is a selection according to their diet:

Carnivorous Fish: The Challenge of Power

Sport fishing for tucunaré in the Amazon River.

For fishing enthusiasts looking for a memorable fight, the carnivores of the Amazon are the perfect opponent.

  • The Payara (Hydrolycus scomberoides): Known as the “freshwater vampire” for its sharp fangs, the Payara is a voracious hunter that lurks in the shadows.
  • El Dorado (Salminus brasiliensis): A beautiful golden-colored fish, famous for its acrobatics by jumping out of the water during the fight.
  • The Cachama (Colossoma macropomum): Although omnivorous in its juvenile stage, as an adult it becomes a fish-eating machine.
  • The Tucunaré (Cichla ocellaris): Aggressive and territorial, the Tucunaré is a tireless fighter who will give you a memorable battle.
  • The Wolffish (Hoplias malabaricus): With a prehistoric appearance and a powerful bite, the Wolffish is a formidable opponent.
  • Tarpon (Prochilodus lineatus): Fast and strong, Tarpon will make you work to tire it out.
  • The Caiman (Cichla monoculus): With a huge mouth and a predatory instinct, the Caiman is an opponent that commands respect.
  • Piranha (Serrasalmus): Iconic fish, famous for its sharp teeth. Don’t be fooled by its size, its attack is fast and ferocious.

Herbivorous Fish: Fishing with Technique and Patience

Fish species in the Amazon
Tambaqui Sport Fishing in Tambopata River

If you prefer calmer and more strategic fishing, the herbivores of the Amazon will surprise you with their size and beauty.

  • The Pacú (Piaractus brachypomus): Large in size and with specialized teeth for crushing fruits, the Pacú is a cautious fish that requires precision in the presentation of the lure.
  • The Tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum): Similar to the Cachama, as an adult it feeds mainly on fruits and seeds. Its large size makes it a prized trophy.
  • The Arawana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum): A fish with shiny scales and an imposing dorsal fin. Arawana is an exotic herbivore that will test your patience.
  • The Mojarra (Aequidens pulcher): Colorful and relatively small, the Mojarra is ideal for fly fishing or ultralight lures.
  • The Carachama (Brycon orbignyanus): A shoal fish, the Carachama is a perfect choice for fishing with artificial lures that imitate fruits or insects.

Omnivorous Fish: Surprise Is Always Lurking

Catfish Sport Fishing in the Tambopata River

For those who enjoy variety, the omnivorous fish of the Amazon offer an unpredictable experience.

  • Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum): Giants of the river, catfish reach enormous sizes and possess inordinate strength.
  • Salmon (Salmo salar):  Although an introduced species, salmon have adapted to the waters of the Amazon and provide exciting sport fishing. (Be aware of local regulations on fishing for introduced species)
  • The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus): Not technically a fish, but a unique catch. The electric eel releases powerful electric shocks. Their fishing requires special techniques and great respect for their particularity. (Check local regulations on fishing and handling this species)
  • Catfish (Siluriformes): A diverse group with species of all sizes. Catfish are known for their whiskers and omnivorous diet.

In addition to these, the Bocachico (Prochilodus nigricans) are common omnivores in Amazonian waters. A medium-sized fish that feeds primarily on algae, detritus, and fruits. It is an important species in the local diet and is also used as live bait for fishing for other fish.

Fish Species in the Amazon by Region

Fish species in the Amazon

The Amazon is vast and can seem overwhelming. To make your fishing trip easier, we’ll show you the areas where you’ll find the greatest variety of species.

  • Amazon River Fish Species: The Amazon River, the largest in the world, is home to an unmatched variety of fish. Here you will find everything from ferocious carnivores such as Piranha and Dorado to omnivorous giants such as Catfish and Salmon.
  • Rio Negro Fish Species: Famous for its dark and acidic waters. The Rio Negro is home to species adapted to these particular conditions, such as the Black Tucunaré and the Silver Arawana.
    • The dark waters are home to a wide variety of catfish and species adapted to low-light conditions.
  • Fish species of the Madeira River: Known for its swift and turbulent waters. The Madeira River is home to large and strong fish such as the Dorado and the Pacú.
  • Fish species of the Ucayali River: a tributary of the Amazon River. The Ucayali River offers a rich variety of carnivorous fish such as the Payara and the Wolffish, as well as herbivores such as the Mojarra and the Carachama.

The ideal season for your fishing

Fish species in the Amazon

The diversity of fish species in the Amazon is influenced by the distinctive rainy and dry seasons. In the Amazon there are two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. Each offers particular conditions that influence the activity of the fish.

Rainy season (December – May):

  • Species: Piranha, Payara, Dorado, Cachama, Tucunaré.
  • Characteristics: Rivers increase their flow and fish disperse in search of food. It’s an ideal time for live bait fishing.

Dry season (June – November):

  • Species: Pacú, Tambaqui, Arawana, Mojarra, Carachama.
  • Characteristics: Water levels drop and fish are concentrated in more accessible areas. It’s a good time for fishing with artificial lures.

Equipment and recommendations for an unforgettable experience

To make the most of your Amazon fishing adventure, we recommend:

  • Hire a local guide: An experienced local guide will help you choose the best fishing areas, provide you with the right equipment, and teach you the most effective techniques.
  • Suitable equipment: Rods, reels, lures and hooks specific to fishing the fish you want to catch.
  • Respect the environment: Practice responsible fishing, catching only the permitted species and in reasonable quantities.
  • Enjoy the environment: The Amazon not only offers fishing, but also the opportunity to observe a unique fauna and flora in the world.

Fish Species in the Amazon: A Paradise for Fishing Enthusiasts

Fishing in the Amazon is not only a sporting experience, but also an adventure that immerses you in nature in its purest state. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of this aquatic paradise, exploring the diversity of fish species in the Amazon that inhabit its waters and creating unforgettable memories in a unique environment.

Sport Fishing in Tambopata Amazon

Are you ready for the fishing adventure of a lifetime? Book your dream trip today and start planning your trip to the Amazon. Don’t miss the chance to explore this paradise of exotic fish and breathtaking landscapes!

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