Fly & Fish Costa Rica

Fish the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for bluewater billfish, or in-shore for roosterfish, dorado, snapper, grouper and wahoo!

 Intrepid Angling

                  "FISHING IS ADVENTURE!"


                                               DEMENI SPORT FISHING BOAT (Above Photos)

:  A new boat owned and operated by Kaluapesca!  This shallow draft adventure boat has the amenities of the larger Yacht Kalua, but in a smaller, more mobile package.  The DEMENI is 54 feet long with a very shallow 75 cm (30 inch) draft that enables access to the most remote headwater tributaries of the Rio Negro-to hunt large peacock bass.  This boat can travel very far upstream on the affluent rivers, so you can fish unpressured peacock bass that have rarely, if ever, seen a fishing lure.  This boat operates independently of its larger sibling, Yacht Kalua, although both boats use Barcelos, Brazil as their home port on the Rio Negro.  The DEMENI holds 4-6 anglers comfortably, to provide a small, intimate experience that can't be duplicated on the larger operations.  All rooms have double bunk beds and air conditioning.  A standard water closet with commode, sink and shower are shared by anglers.  Six (6) day trips are offered at $4500 USD, and 10 day trips are $5700 USD.  All trips will be hosted by either Ian-Arthur de Sulocki, Alexandre Mega, or Daniel Hanon (Intrepid Angling).

                         FISH FOR THE MIGHTY PEACOCK BASS
                          IN THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON!

Overview of the Yacht Kalua (Kalua Barco Hotel)

Yacht Kalua offers a safe, comfortable home during your peacock bass adventure.  Managed by world-renowned angler Ian-Arthur de Sulocki and Alexandre Mega, you'll have access to the best fishing waters on the Rio Negro Basin.  Ian is a Brazilian IGFA Representative, and he works as a fishing consultant in cooperation with IBAMA (Brazil's Federal Environmental Agency).  He's a seven-time state surfcasting champion, three-time Brazilian surfcasting champion, and has appeared on numerous t.v. fishing shows, including Spanish Fly with Jose Wejebe (ESPN2/Outdoor Channel) and Trev Gowdy's Monster Fish (Outdoor Channel).  In October 2013, Ian and Mega collaborated with Jeremy Wade for an upcoming television episode of River Monsters (Animal Planet) that will air in 2014.  He's also a contributing editor for Pesca Alternativa, a leading fishing magazine in Brazil.

Yacht Kalua is 85 feet long with a 1.2 meter draft, so it can navigate in shallow river tributaries inaccessable to larger yachts.  This allows Kalua anglers to fish in remote areas that receive less fishing pressure!  Most peacock bass operations have large yachts that are confined to the deeper waters of the Rio Negro channel, so they can't access the many lagoons and tributaries where big peacock bass take refuge.  Yacht Kalua is very adaptable to changing river conditions- if it rains unexpectedly and the river's waters rise, the yacht can quickly travel to better fishing locations.  Conversely, in a dry weather pattern with low river depths, Yacht Kalua can still enter many areas around Sta. Isabel do Rio Negro that are "off limits" to the larger yachts with deep drafts.  

Yacht Kalua has air conditioned rooms furnished with comfortable bunk beds, and each has a bathroom with sink, commode and shower.  The delicious meals consist of meats, fresh fish, pasta, vegetables, fruits and bread.  Beverages include sodas, tea, coffee, beer and wine.  Every week there is a fun Luau party on a large sandbar of the Rio Negro.  Tiki torches and a fire pit  light up the dining area for a festive atmosphere.  An assortment of grilled meats and food dishes are prepared over open fires on the sandbar, not to mention cold beer, wine and mixed drinks.

After a long day's fishing, many anglers enjoy a drink on the open air top deck that offers expansive views of the surrounding river and jungle.  There's also an indoor lounge, which is a comfortable air-conditioned room with ample cushioned bench seats, a large dining table with stools, and a bar with alcohol service.  The lounge has a satellite television with dvd player, and a well-stocked refrigerator with cold beer, soft drinks and water.  Yacht Kalua has a modern telecommunication system that allows radio contact with local officials in Barcelos and other fishing operators in the region.  Also, a satellite telephone is on-board for emergency calls.

Kalua's fishing guides are among the best in the Amazon, each with many years experience along the tributaries of the Rio Negro.  Most have grown up along the river's edge, so they have an intimate knowledge of the river and the techniques needed to catch large peacock bass.  Kalua uses 21' shallow draft fishing boats that can navigate into small tributaries and lagoons where the big peacock bass live!  The boats have cushioned swivel seats and a front casting deck, so they're comfortable and roomy.  Each is equipped with a two-way radio that allows communication with Yacht Kalua and the other fishing guides.  

Trip Information

Trip Duration: 6 days fishing (9 days including travel, 8 nights).

Pricing for 2012-13 Season: $4350 USD per angler.

Yacht Kalua Deposit: $1000 USD due within 14 days of making reservation.  Final payment  
                                             due 60 days prior to trip departure

14 anglers/week

Included in the Yacht Kalua Package: 

Airport greeting and transfer to charter flight 
Round-trip charter flight to the Yacht Kalua 
6 days of guided fishing                                                                                                                  
 •  Fishing license 
Hotel accommodations in Manaus
Accommodations on the Yacht Kalua 
All meals, soft drinks, bottled water and beer
Daily laundry service

Not Included in the Yacht Kalua Package: 

 •  Airfare to Manaus, Brazil 
International taxes (if applicable) 
Passport/Visa fees 
Gratuities to guides/staff 
Medical expenses 
Additional hotel lodging in Brazil and/or U.S. for extended stay 
Yacht Kalua Fishing Season: July-March, varies with weather conditions. 

       Travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage is recommended for all clients.    
       Popular insurance companies include Allianz, American Express and Travel Guard.  Most
have plans that include emergency medical care, transportation, and evacuation

Travel Itinerary to Kalua Barco Hotel 

Non-stop flights from the U.S. to Manaus, Brazil are available with TAM, Delta, and American Airlines.  The TAM Airlines flights depart Miami, FL, and Delta departs Atlanta, GA.  Most anglers leave the U.S. on Friday and arrive in Manaus Saturday.  I suggest arriving a day earlier if you want to see local sights, like the famous fish market, or visit the local tackle store Sucuri Pesca to purchase Brazilian lures for peacock bass fishing.  There are many good restaurants in Manaus that offer regional cuisine and fish specialties like tambaqui ribs and pirarucu. 

Upon arrival at Gomes-Manaus International Airport, you'll be met by a greeter and brought to Park Suites Manaus hotel for an overnight stay (Saturday night).  Sunday morning, a shuttle bus will transport you from the hotel to the regional terminal of the Manuas airport (adjacent to the main terminal) for the charter flight to Barcelos, Brazil.  The charter plane is a twin-turboprop commuter with a seating capacity of roughly 46 passengers.  The planes are modern, clean, safe, and comparable to any small regional airplane you'll encounter in the U.S. from the major airlines. 

Once in Barcelos, you'll board Yacht Kalua and settle into your room.  After a nice lunch, you'll fish roughly 4-5 hours in the afternoon prior to dinner.  The exact area fished during the week will depend on prevailing weather and water conditions to optimize fishing.  This includes the main river channel of the upper Rio Negro and its tributaries, to include the Rios Paduari, Preto, Ataui, Cuiuni, Eneuixi, Jurubaxi, Araca, Caures and Demeni. 

Peacock Bass Fishing on Yacht Kalua

The peacock bass (Cichla temensis), known as tucunare in Brazil, is one of the world's great sport fish.  Fishing days are roughly 10-11 hours long, and begin after a hearty breakfast.  You'll depart Yacht Kalua around 6:30 a.m. and travel to your fishing destination, typically a short boat ride.  The yacht may navigate during the day while anglers are out fishing, so new waters can be explored the next day. 

Some anglers choose to fish for catfish during prime times in the early morning and evening.  The Rio Negro is known for it's large redtail (pirarara) and piraiba catfish, which are the most powerful fish in the river system.  I highly recommend reserving some time to pursue these powerful, and beautiful fish.  Make sure to bring a large capacity reel and strong rod!  Other fish you may encounter while peacock bass fishing include bicuda, traira, jacunda, arowana and piranha. 

After a morning of peacock bass fishing, a noon-time "asada" (shore lunch) of freshly caught fish, sausage, rice, beans, dried manioc and fruit is a special treat, or you may prefer to return to Yacht Kalua for lunch.  Plenty of cold soft drinks, water and beer is available throughout the day.  You can relax in a shade covered hammock, or perhaps cool off with a swim in a clear water tributary!  Parrots, tucan, freshwater river dolphins, caimen and giant river otter are some of the animals you are likely to see during your fishing adventure.  Mosquitos and other biting insects are rarely a problem on the Rio Negro watershed since mosquito larvae don't survive in the acidic waters.  Protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunblock are necessary to stay cool and comfortable in the hot tropical climate.

Peacock Bass Species
Two species of peacock bass are predominant in the Rio Negro system, the larger Cichla temensis (speckled peacock bass), and Cichla ocellaris (butterfly peacock bass).  Both species are  aggressive and strong fighters, but its the speckled peacock bass that's legendary for crashing the water surface to attack large topwater lures, like the Luhr-Jenson Woodchopper.  The current IGFA world record speckled peacock bass of 29-lbs 4 oz was caught in 2011 on the upper Rio Negro, and surpassed the existing 28-lb world record that was established in 2010 near Santa Isabel do Rio Negro!  Prior to those two fish, Gerald "Doc" Lawson held the world record with a 27-lb specimen caught in 1994 from the Rio Negro.

Peacock Bass Tackle
Peacock bass fishing requires casting to river structure, such as sandbars, points, submerged trees, shoreline pockets and rocky outcrops.  Popular techniques include casting topwater propeller lures, stickbaits, jerkbaits, walk-the-dog lures, surface poppers and large bucktail jigs.  Perhaps the most versatile and productive lure is the 1/2 oz. bucktail jig, which has become a popular lure choice over the last several years.  Bucktail jigs have a natural and subtle action in the water that triggers strikes, and because they're a subsurface lure, they typically generate more strikes when fish are in a less aggressive "neutral" mood.  Contrary to misconception, large "grande" peacocks over 20 lbs are frequently taken on jigs.  

Some anglers mostly fish large (6"to 8") topwater propeller lures to target "teeners"-fish 13 lbs and larger.  Nothing in freshwater fishing compares to the exhilarating surface "explosions" of a large peacock bass attacking a topwater lure!  I've had peacocks strike 3 or 4 times at my Highroller Riproller before hooking them.  For me, this is the most enjoyable way to fish for large peacock bass.

Casting large topwater lures all day in the Amazon heat is very tiring, so I recommend a varied approach to peacock bass fishing.  Personally, I enjoy experimenting with a variety of tackle and techniques.  Combining topwater, subsurface, trolling, and live bait fishing adds variety, fun, and success to your trip.  Of course, if the fish aren't "on the chew", you'll need to be adaptable to find a fishing pattern.  Always listen to your guide's suggestions-his experience is invaluable!  If he tells you to cast your lure multiple times to a sandbar point, just do it.  Kalua's experienced guides understand peacock bass behavior, which can be very different from the largemouth black bass that anglers in the U.S. are accustomed to. 



Recommended tackle includes durable baitcasting reels that have strong gears and smooth drags.  Good examples include Shimano Curado G, Abu-Garcia Revo STX and Daiwa Zillion reels with high gear ratios (6.4:1 or greater).  The reel should have at least 100 yards capacity of 65# polyethylene braid (e.g. PowerPro, Suffix), and balance well with a medium-heavy 6'0 to 6'6" casting rod.  This medium-heavy casting outfit is excellent for fishing subsurface jerkbaits, stickbaits, walk-the-dog surface lures and topwater poppers.  Large topwater propeller lures, like Highroller Riprollers, require a reel spooled with 65-80# polyethylene braid and a heavy action 6'0 to 6'3" casting rod.  For fishing bucktail peacock bass jigs, I prefer a spinning reel such as the Shimano Stradic 3000 with a 6'6" MH rod and 40-50# Power Pro braid.  Daiwa, Quantum and Abu Garcia also make quality spinning reels that can hold up to the rigors of peacock bass fishing.  For catfish, I suggest a large capacity baitcasting reel like the Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur 7000C3 or Shimano Calcutta 700B with a 7" H-XH rod.     

Rod selection is very important, and a variety of lengths and actions are needed to effectively fish the various lures.  St. Croix Premier Casting and Premier Spinning rods are excellent for their performance and price point.  Whatever rods you choose, make sure they match favorably to the line strength and lure weight you will be using.  Travel rods like Cabela's 4-piece XML series are increasingly popular due to airline baggage fees and restrictions. 

Lure split rings and hooks should be replaced with stronger hardware that can withstand the fighting power of the peacock bass.  I recommend Owner ST-66, VMC 6X Fishfighter, and Daiichi 7X "Bleeding Bait" treble hooks.  VMC O'Shaugnessy 4X trebles can substitute if a heavier hook will impede the lure's action and performance.  Keep in mind, none of the abovementioned hooks are 100% "fail proof", and can potentially open on large (grande) peacock bass!  Proper tackle and angling skills are necessary to land trophy fish.  All too often, novice peacock bass anglers overtighten their reel's drag to "horse in" a grande, only to lose the fish from straightened hooks, opened split rings or broken lure wires.

Always upgrade the lure's split rings.  Owner Hyperwire split rings in size 6 work well for most lures, while the size 7 is appropriate on HighRoller Riprollers and other large topwater prop baits. Some anglers use Wolverine triple coil split rings on large lures, which have proven themselves nearly fail-proof on strong, toothy freshwater species like golden dorado and Nuigini black bass.


Contact Us:, (816) 726-7868
                        Dr. Daniel Hanon
                        256 SW Winterpark Circle
                        Lee's Summit, MO 64081, USA.
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