Skip to main content

Morgan angler catches world-record bass in Amazon

Jan 25, 2024 09:34AM ● By Tom Haraldsen

Adam Van Tassell caught this world-record Peacock Bass in Brazil last November. Courtesy photo

Adam Van Tassell knew the Fire Peacock Bass he caught while fishing in the Amazon last November was a big one—he just didn’t know how big it really was until several weeks later. Van Tassell, who owns and operates Crazy Good Fishing in Morgan, hooked the bass while fishing with his 13-year-old son Brock on the Rio Cururu, one of the thousands of tributaries in the Amazon of Brazil.

“We have a small YouTube channel for fishing trips as part of my business,” he said. “We were fishing with a guide and a friend we were with thought we should shoot some video of our trip for the channel. So the whole catch is on tape.”

It was the third day of their fishing trip to Brazil, a country Van Tassell had visited before. Using a feathered jig to get a little lower in the waters, he felt the bass hit immediately, then fought it for about 8 to 9 minutes until he was able to land it.

The weight—12 pounds—far outdistancing the average size for a Fire Peacock Bass of about 4-½ pounds and passing the existing world record of 10.6 pounds. 

“We knew it was a nice sized fish, but didn’t really know how special,” he said. “Our guide was very excited but he didn’t speak English and we don’t understand Portuguese. When we got back to camp, the director learned about the fish and realized it was record-setting.”

It’s a world record–but can’t be officially certified as such because even after weighing and measuring it, Van Tassell released it back into the river. To be “certified,” the fish would need some other work done on it on dry land which could lead to its death. Van Tassell didn’t want to do that–he’s a catch-and-release guy. But he got a text from a Brazilian government official telling him what he had caught.

“It is officially the largest Fire Peacock Bass caught by a foreigner, but they won’t allow a foreigner to supplant a native Brazilian in the record books,” he said with a laugh. ‘It doesn’t matter. They sent me a certificate which I’ll have framed, and we have a lot of photos and the video.”

This is far from being the largest fish Van Tassell, who is an avid fisherman, has caught. That was a 200-pound Amazon Goliath catfish that was more than six feet long. It took about 45 minutes to land that one.

“I’ve always loved fishing, and my business here in Morgan is where I set up fishing trips for others,” he said. “I also own a fishing lodge–Birch Forest Lodge–in Minnesota up near the Canadian border. It’s much too cold to be up there in the winter!”

You can see his epic catch of the world-record bass on YouTube using the link, or find out more about his fishing trips at λ

Subscribe to the Morgan County News