Fishing in Peru

Peru's diverse aquatic landscapes provide a unique setting for recreational anglers, offering a mix of deep sea, coastal, highland, and Amazonian fishing experiences.
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About Peru

Peru is a country in South America, that lies just south of the equator, and could boast a great diversity of ecosystem, starting from a coastline that extends over 2,400 kilometers along the South Pacific Ocean to the highland Andes, and estwards to the jungles of the Amazon River basin. The Humboldt Current significantly influences these waters, bringing cold, nutrient-rich water northward along the coast. The Andean region offers a different fishing experience in high-altitude lakes and rivers. Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, sits at an elevation of 3,812 meters (12,507 feet) and is home to unique indigenous species. Water temperatures here are generally cold, and the fishing experience is quite distinct from coastal and Amazonian angling. Peru's portion of the Amazon Basin boasts an extensive network of rivers, streams, and lagoons teeming with life. The Amazon and its tributaries are warmer, with temperatures typically between 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F). The Amazon rainforest offers not only incredible fishing but also a chance to experience one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. While fishing in Peru can be productive year-round, seasons do influence fish behavior and availability. Coastal fishing peaks differ from species to species, while the best time for Amazon fishing is usually during the dry season, from May to October, when lower water levels concentrate fish in smaller areas.

Fishing Types

The continental shelf along the coast of Peru is narrow, causing the seabed to drop steeply relatively close to the shore. This allows for deep sea fishing not far from land, and in fact such locations as Cabo Blanco and Punta Sal were among the original big game offshore fishing hotspots, immortalized in countless classic stories and remembered for setting numerous fishing records. Nearshore fishing among the rocky coast is just as good. River and lake fishing in Peru is impossible to describe without superlatives: as in the Amazon, one of the world’s longest rivers, or Lake Titicaca, one of the largest highland lakes. And this is only the beginning of a long list! Inland Peru is an outstanding location for backcountry fishing trips. Whether you roam the Paracas Desert, cast your line into remote mountain lakes that remember the heyday of the Inca Empire, or explore the Lost World labyrinths of the Amazonian Delta, you are sure to return with memories that will last a lifetime.

Targeted Fish Species

The Pacific Ocean near Peru is renowned for its rich biodiversity. Due to the Humboldt Current, coastal waters are cooler than might be expected for such tropical latitudes, typically ranging from 14°C to 22°C (57°F to 72°F). Bridging in nutritious rich waters, the Humboldt Current makes the coastal waters of Peru one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Anglers can target a wide variety of species including Peruvian anchoveta, bonito, mahi-mahi, tuna, various species of marlin and swordfish. Nearshore, you will find such species as seabass, rock bass, and flounder. Mountain lakes and rivers of Peru have been stocked with rainbow and brown trout, which provides anglers with a classic fly-fishing enthusiasts. And the Amazon basin holds a variety of indigenous fish species that are as exciting, as they are unique. Among those are the peacock bass, known as perhaps the hardest fighting freshwater fish in the world, the arapaima, one of the world’s biggest freshwater fish species, the piranha, that needs no introduction, black pacu, shovelnose catfish and more.

Fishing Techniques

Peru is a place where a wide variety of fishing techniques are practiced and popular. Trolling, of course, rules in the world of heavy tackle outings after the largest pelagics into the big sea. Nearshore, when fishing for such species as rock bass, it can be complemented with bottom fishing, light tackle spinning and jigging. Highland streams and lakes are a perfect setting for fly-fishing. And the diverse species found in the jungle of the Amazon might have you use spinning, baitcasting, bottom fishing, popping, and in fact any technique known to anglers - except ice fishing, and even that might be possible somewhere high up there in the Andes.