If your desire is to travel to the perfect place to fish the different species of Peacock Bass, today we will tell you about one of them. The Orinoquia region, in Colombia, offers us an ideal place to practice river fishing.
The Orinoquia region is one of the 5 natural regions of Colombia that belongs to the Orinoco river watershed. The region covers most of the area of states of:
This region is known from the Spanish “llanos orientales” or the eastern planes.
¿What is the Orinoco River?
The Orinoco River is one of the longest rivers in South America that flows in a giant arc for about 1,700 miles (2,740 km) from its source in the Guiana Highlands to its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Orinoco and its tributaries constitute the northernmost of South America’s four major river systems. Bordered by:
- The Andes Mountains to the west and the north
- The Guiana Highlands to the east
- The Amazon watershed to the south.
The river basin covers an area of about 366,000 square miles (948,000 square km). It encompasses approximately four-fifths of Venezuela and one-fourth of Colombia.
Orinoco River Facts
The Orinoco River stretches for almost 989,000 km, most of it in Venezuela and the remaining 35% in Colombia. Along the basins in Colombia we find tropical savannas where they meet the forests and wetlands along the rivers.
The landscapes of the Colombian Orinoquia change with the seasons. In the summer the pastures are tinged with gold and yellow where numerous animal species. This animal species inhabit the region waiting for the rainy season.
When the rainy season arrives the rivers flood the savannas forming lagoons which are visited by flocks of migratory birds taking refuge from the cold of winter in these warm lands and where food is abundant.
It is a land of contrasts, a paradise of surprisingly rich and varied fauna and flora with more bird species in this region alone than the total number of bird species in the United States.
In the Orinoco River and its surroundings we can find large numbers of insects, birds, mammals and fish species. Among the most outstanding we find the Pink Dolphin, the Jaguar, the Orinoco caiman, the Palmero Bear, the giant Otter, Iguanas, the Morrocoy Tortoise and fish such as the Black Pacu, the Golden Catfish and the Peacock Bass.
In addition, the «Llanos Orientales» region is privileged to count with 3 national natural parks:
- El Tuparro
- Serrania de la Macarena
- Morichales de paz de Ariporo
The National Park of Serranía de la Macarena is the most extensive towards the west and the Colombian border with Guyana, which stretches for approximately 130 kilometers long by 30 km wide.
Being a very isolated area, this natural park inhabits unique species of both flora and fauna.
The National Park of Morichales de Paz de Ariporo was declared a national park in 2009. This was due to the number of flooded and wooded savanna ecosystems in this area.
In a botanical expedition carried out in the region, it was discovered that 138 species of plants, 20 species of mammals, 136 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, 11 species of amphibians and 53 species of fish are found in the region.
However, the most important for us is the National Park of el Tuparro.
¿What is el Tuparro National Park?
One of the largest national parks in Colombia, El Tuparro is home to 74 species of mammals including:
- The rare pink Dolphin
- White tail deer
- Giant armadillo
It also has hundreds of species of birds, 17 reptiles, countless fish species including the much coveted peacock bass, 5 primate species, and a wide variety of amphibians
Located in the department of Vichada, a massive and beautiful state full of flat lands in the east side of Colombia just beside the border with Venezuela. This park is in the middle of nowhere with more than 5 ecosystems – we are privileged to say this area is particularly rich in fauna and flora.
Not surprisingly, Sportfishing and hunting in El Tuparro is prohibited to preserve its natural resources.
That’s why we have a special area boarding the national park, to be precise in the Tomo and Gavilan rivers destined for our operation.
The development of our sport is possible by always being mindful of preserving the ecosystems and following the rules demanded by the national laws.
You might be interested in the experience of one of our clients had visiting Colombia. You can read it by clicking here.
The Tomo River and the Gavilan River
It is considered one of the best rivers in Vichada for trophy size peacock bass occasionally exceeding the 20 and getting to 28 to 30 pounds.
These are lands that remain flooded 3/4 of the year, so the fishing pressure is not as aggressive as in other regions of South America.
To read more of the Tomo River we invite you to read our article «Where to find Peacock Bass in Colombia?». You can read it clicking here.
It is a smaller river and is a tributary of the Tomo river.
The structure and the way of fishing the peacocks changes a lot in the Gavilan River.
Part of the area in Gavilan where we fish is a reforestation zone. That zone is protected, which makes the flora and fauna very abundant. It is a beautiful place where you can see capybaras, caimans, giant otters, tapirs and large numbers of birds.
To read more of the Gavilan River we invite you to read our article «Where to find Peacock Bass in Colombia?». You can read it clicking here.
Peacock Bass Species
Dolphins and jaguars can be very attractive, but what really matters to us is our trophy fish, the peacock bass!
Here are three different species of peacock bass that you can find in the Orinoquia Region:
Also known as Pavon cinchado, both male and female are native to Orinoco River and Amazon Basins.
Cichla Temensis can grow up to more than 30 pounds, it is the largest member of the peacock bass genus.
Its violent behavior and awesome attack power is the primary attraction that brings avid sport fishermen to Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
This top level predator is considered by many to be the most powerful freshwater gamefish in the world, giving anglers the greatest fight they will ever experience with a rod and reel.
It can be caught on spin, bait-casting or fly tackle.
Also known as pavon real, the Cichla Intermedia can grow up to 10 or 12 pounds.
They are characterized by an irregular black stripe which runs laterally along the full length of the midsection of the fish.
This peacock will rarely weigh more than 10 pounds, although 12 pound fish have been caught.
It mainly inhabits clear or black rivers of the Orinoco basin.
As a point of interest, while the pavon real is less frequently encountered by anglers, most experienced pavon fishermen feel that pound for pound Cichla intermedia is the gamest of the pavones.
Like the speckled and butterfly peacocks, it is easily caught on spinning, bait-casting or fly rod tackle. Just like all peacock bass, they are voracious fish eaters by nature.
The Cichla Orinocensis are one of the most common species from the Orinoco and Amazon rivers.
The Cichla Orinocensis peacocks are distinguished from all other species of peacock bass by the presence of three large, dark ocellated spots along their side.
They are often confused with butterfly peacocks (Cichla ocellaris) because they are commonly called “burboleta”, which is Brazilian Portuguese for “butterfly.
Orinoco peacocks are one of the more common species and can be found in Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela.
These beautiful cichlids are powerful fighters that can be caught on bait, lures and flies. The All-Tackle record is 13 lb 11 oz (6.22 kg) and was caught in Venezuela.