Fish of Peru | Peru Unbound

Peru’s coastal belt is huge for commercial deep-sea fishing. Peruvian waters normally abound with marketable fish like bonito, mackerel, drum, sea bass, tuna, swordfish, snchoveta, herring, shad, skipjack, yellowfin, pompano, and shark.

More than 50 species are caught commercially. The Peruvian coast has over 40 fishing ports. Paita and Callao are the two most major ports. The fishing industry in Peru is among the largest in the world. Peru also has excellent fresh water fishing. Over 20 different species will take a fly or lure on any given day.

Try your hand at fishing for these tropical fish on a Peruvian adventure tour. Contact us at (800) 214-0579 or

Peacock Bass


The peacock bass is the fiercest fighting fresh water fish. It can get up to 12 lbs in size. Experienced fishermen claim that the peacock bass is the ultimate prize to catch. This fish can straighten hooks, destroy lures, and break lines, snaps and swivels. They have been known to rip the gears out of reels and break poles. One fisherman described the experience of being dragged in his canoe through the jungle by a peacock bass.

Giant Wolf Fish


The giant wolf fish can get up to 31 pounds. It possesses huge, fanlike teeth, making the piranha tame in comparison. It has been nicknamed the water wolf. It prefers a strong current. Live piranha make the best bait, but they will take a lure too.

This is a powerful fish that jumps when hooked, making it difficult to get into the boat. Remove your hook with caution.


Silver Arowana


The silver arowana can get up to 20 lbs. This fish is a great jumper so if you catch one you need to set the hook hard and hang on. The male broods the eggs and fry in their mouths. The young swim in and out between large teeth. This is a hard fighting sport fish. You can spot it jumping out of the water in the Amazon in order to eat insects and small birds from the trees hanging near the river.

Red-Bellied Piranha


The red-bellied piranha only gets up to about 1 lb in size. This is the Amazon’s most notorious animal. Its powerful bite and sharp teeth can sever a finger or toe. But this fish hasn’t ever actually had any confirmed fatalities from a mass attack. As one fisherman puts it, “Piranha don’t eat people. People eat piranha.” When it comes to fishing, this is an easy fish to catch. Just use caution and don’t let it loose in the bottom of the boat.



The pacu can get up to 50 lbs in size. It’s a prized fish for its delicious meat as well as the fight it puts up when hooked. Many believe it’s a harder fighter than the peacock bass. Their teeth resemble those of the horse and are used to crush fruits and seeds.



The tiger shovelnose catfish can get up to 60 lbs in size. This is a large and powerful predator, feasting on fish smaller than itself. This freshwater fish is considered a delicacy at the dinner table.

The red-tailed catfish can get up to 5 ft long and weigh as much as 125 lbs. This monster of a fish is considered to be the prettiest catfish. It is plentiful so fishermen catch this one frequently.

The dorado catfish has a reputation for being the most delicious of all the catfish in the region. It can get up to 4 ft in length and weigh as much as 70 lbs.

The giant clawed catfish, a freshwater fish, can get up to 50 lbs in size. This is a nocturnal fish. It has distinctive rows of claw-like bony protuberances along each side that serve as a type of armor for the body. This is a hard fighting fish with delicious tasting meat.

The shark catfish is known in Peru as the mota. It gets up to 3 lbs in size. This is common fish and is caught frequently. It’s described by fisherman as a hard fighting fish and a lot of fun to catch.