Popular NAME: Tucunaré
(tucunaré-açú; tucunaré-paca, tucunaré-pinima; tucunaré-pitanga; tucunaré-vermelho)


Peacock bass is the common name in English for several species of tropical, freshwater fish of the genus Cichla native to the Amazon River basin of South America. The peacock bass is not a true bass, but is rather a cichlid. They also exist as non-native species in the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Singapore and parts of the USA (Guam, Florida, Hawaii, and the United States Virgin Islands).

Scientific classification

Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Cichla
Species: C. Temensis
Size: up to 40 inches
Weight: up to 30 lbs
  Physical traits

The speckled peacock bass (Açú e Paca) is the largest of the species and can grow up to 1 meter (three feet, four inches) in length. The royal peacock bass is the smallest and grows to a maximum length of 55 centimeters (one foot, 10 inches). Also, most display three vertical stripes on their bodies and a spot on their tail fins that resembles the eyes on a peacock's tail feathers -- a feature which resulted in their English and Spanish common names. In addition, all adult males have a pronounced hump on their foreheads. Other physical traits can vary greatly depending on the species, individual and stage of development. These include but are not limited to: dark rosettes instead of stripes, light speckles, impressive shades of bright green, orange, blue and gold. The stripes, however, tend to fade in late adulthood.


Valued as gamefish

Sport fishermen have made these cichlids prized game fish for their fighting qualities. Renowned American peacock bass fisherman and fishing author, Larry Larsen, refers to them as "freshwater bullies" due to their ferocious nature when hunting and their tendency to damage and sometimes destroy fishing gear when striking.
Among the Amazon fish species, the peacock bass is the only predator that always finalize the attack. It pursues its prey and don't give up until it catch it. So, if a Peacock hits your bait and misses it, continue working the bait. It will probably return and strike again. Be prepared: the Peacock Bass attacks are indescribable explosions on the water. .


Bait Casting: Medium Heavy action rods 5'6" to 6' for 20~25 lbs line, reels or spinning reels that comport 100 yards of the selected line, witch should be 0,40~0,45mm monofilament Line (20lbs) or braided line (multifilament) PE4 ~ PE6 (0,30~0,35mm), Fluor Shock leader 40~60lbs, reinforced snaps 30~50lbs (tested).

We suggest the use of hardbaits such as topwater zaras (walking the dog), poppers, sticks, plugs with propellers and sub surface minnows. All from 10 to 16cm (and even bigger). The hardbaits should have 4x reinforced triple hooks (Eagle Clow or VMC Rapala).
In addition, for fly fishing, use fishing gear #8 or #9, with floating and sinking lines, including lures such as poppers and large streamers.)



Three-bar Peacock Bass Cichla Temensis
Habitat: Amazon Basin
size: up to 3'4" and 30 lbs
Three Bars Peacock - our master target on this trip.

Speckled Peacock Bass - Cichla Temensis
Habitat: Amazon Basin
size: up to 3'4" and 30 lbs
Speckled Peacock - wild and
very aggressive dude.

Butterfly Peacock Bass - Cichla Monoculus
Amazon Basin
size: up to 2' and 8 lbs
That's the Butterfly Peacock.

Fire or Red Peacock Bass - Cichla Mirinae
São Benedito river
size: up to 2'4" and 10 lbs

Blue Peacock Bass - Cichla Piquiti
Araguaia / Tocantins
size: up to 2'6" and 15 lbs

Yellow Peacock Bass - Cichla Kelberi
Araguaia / Tocantins
size: up to 2' and 9 lbs


In Brasil we can find 15 diferent species of Peacock Bass. We checked the ones Found in the Amazon Basin:

Scientific Name Popular Name (Port) Popular Name (Eng) Maximum Weight river Ama-zon
Cichla temensis Tucunaré Açú or Paca Three-Bar and Speckled Peacock Bass 30 pounds Negro
Cichla pinima Tucunaré Peacock Bass 26 pounds Solimões
Cichla vazzoleri Tucunaré Açú or Paca Three-Bar Peacock Bass 21 pounds Trombetas
Cichla piquiti Tucunaré Azul Blue Peacock Bass 15 pounds Tocantins - Araguaia  
Cichla intermedia Tucunaré Pavón or Royal Pavón Blackstriped Peacock Bass 13 pounds Orinoco
Cichla melaniae Tucunaré Peacock Bass 13 pounds Xingu
Cichla mirinae Tucunaré Fogo Fire or Red Peacock Bass 13 pounds Xingu
Cichla orinocensis Tucunaré Borboleta Butterfly Peacock Bass 13 pounds Negro
Cichla pleiozona Tucunaré Amarelo Yellow Peacock Bass 11 pounds Madeira
Cichla jariina Tucunaré Jari Peacock Bass 9 pounds Jari
Cichla thyrosus Tucunaré Peacock Bass 9 pounds Trombetas
Cichla monoculus Tucunaré Amarelo or Pitanga or Popoca Yellow or Pitanga or Popoca Peacock Bass 7 pounds Negro
Cichla ocellaris Tucunaré Amarelo or Pitanga Yellow or Pitanga Peacock Bass 7 pounds Negro
Cichla kelberi Tucunaré Pitanga Pitanga Peacock Bass 5 pounds Tocantins - Araguaia  
Cichla nigromaculata Tucunaré Amarelo or Pitanga Yellow or Pitanga Peacock Bass 5 pounds Negro

Manaus - AM / São Paulo - Brasil