Little blue ridinghood Meredith McCord teaches the big bad wolf fish a lesson. Photo: Matt Jones./Kendjam Lodge

If you go into the jungle today, you’re in for a big surprise – one that comes with teeth, a paddle for a tail and a bad attitude. The surprise also likes poppers (not the party drug, though we wouldn’t put it past the wolf fish). As featured in The Mission Issue 06.


The wolf fish – scientific name Hoplias aimara, trairao in Portuguese, aymara in Spanish and “Jrrrrfok! What is that?” in South African – is a prehistoric-like predator of the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon Basin. Looking like the lovechild of an ill-tempered coelacanth and an armoured moray eel, this toothy ambush artist can reach up to 40 pounds. Be still my beating heart.


You will find the wolf fish, being wolfish, across the Amazon Basin. Aggressive predators, they are found in runs, flats, pools, the mouths of jungle creeks and in pocket water – essentially anywhere they can eviscerate smaller fish and critters.

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Tackle up with a 7 to 9-weight rod, both sinking and floating lines, poppers, pole dancers, divers and minnow-style streamers.


Your best bet for catching these aggressive fish is the crystal-clear waters of the Iriri River in the far reaches of the Kayapo territory in Brazil. It is remote Amazon jungle, but there’s no need to rough it when you can stay at Kendjam Lodge ( a premium lodge and guiding service. Contact for all the info you need.

This wish list fish originally appeared in The Mission Issue 06. Read it for free below, or buy the print edition here (we ship worldwide).