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The Acrobatic Bicuda - Amazon Fishing

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Joined: 02/Jun/2009
Location: Brazil
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    Posted: 06/Aug/2012 at 9:08pm

The Acrobatic Bicuda

Sleek and streamlined, its wild aerial antics make it one of the world’s most challenging and desirable freshwater sportfish !!!

Bicuda means “beaked” in Portuguese. Just look at that nose. Several species of Boulengerella and Cytenolucius (a similar genus) are found in the Amazon basin. Most are small and not pursued by sportfishermen, but B. cuvieri is an altogether different beast. Attaining weights in excess of 15 pounds, these aggressive fast-start predators are a prized Amazon adversary. Taking to the air instantly, they keep the fight right where the angler can see it, above the water. Their bony mouths, repeated jumps and violent headshakes make landing a big specimen an exceptional angling accomplishment.

Identification Keys. Elongate, pike-like silver body. Bony beak-like mouth with sharp, fine, comb-like teeth. Distinctive red and black tail.

Bars and Markings. None, body relatively uniform and free of any clearly visible markings.  Slight red tinge in lower fins in some specimens. Red tail with black center stands out

Colors. Silver body, Red-tinged fins, Red and Black tail . Size. Adults: can exceed 15 lbs. and 1 meter in length.

Key Characters. comb-like teeth, beak-like mouth, elongate shape red tail.

Similar Species. Several similar, but smaller species of Boulengerella are found throughout the Amazon basin. Generally brighter in color with greenish backs, spots or stripes and a version of the distinctive red and black tail.

Known Range. Countries: Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, French Guiana.

Behavior Notes. Often found in small groups in shallow water against beaches at midday. Actively feed in fast water, especially around rocks.

Habitat. In high gradient rivers, they appear to occupy all habitats, from rapids to quiet pools.

Fishing Tactics

One of the Amazon's most spectacular and challenging game fish, bicuda are a difficult species to target. Nonetheless anglers can improve their chances of encountering bicuda by focusing on several techniques and habitats. Since they are dwellers in high gradient rivers and distributed throughout those river's habitats at different times, anglers can encounter them in several manners;

When feeding, bicuda will actively pursue lures in fast-water tailraces below waterfalls and in rocky areas or banks at the edges of pools. In these habitats they are most easily caught with small to medium subsurface swimming plugs, such as Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, Rapala CD 11 and bright streamer flies on a sinking line. Work close to rocks and retrieve baits fairly slowly, swimming them around and through submerged rock structure. Hookups in these conditions and with these types of bait are often surer than in other circumstances, however, it is recommended that you try to set very forcefully before they start jumping.

Once airborne, they are experts at sending your lure right back to you via their own fish airmail.

During sunny midday and afternoon hours, small groups of bicuda can be encountered laid up on beaches, literally at the shallowest edges. A walking stick bait such as a Heddon Super Spook cast right next to the shoreline will often elicit an immediate and violent surface strike. Who knows why? Perhaps they're annoyed at being disturbed while sun bathing! Regardless of what elicits this reaction, things happen fast now. The hookset must occur immediately under difficult conditions since lines are rarely tight and rods rarely well-positioned when an angler is taken by surprise (believe me you're never ready for this even if you're planning it). The bicuda will immediately begin tailwalking across the surface. If you survive the aerial reaction, you have a good chance of landing the fish once he begins his series of short fast runs. If not, and your lure came flying out, well, you just got one heck of a great show.

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Edited by Acute Angling - 06/Aug/2012 at 9:10pm
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