(November 12-21, 2010) This is my bee blog but I wanted to share with you’ll my most recent adventure into the Amazon (where I did see many types of bees including honey bees). My friends and I booked this trip in early 2009 to go fishing in February of 2010 for Peacock Bass. But when the time came we were told the water levels of the Rio Negro and nearby rivers were way too low. It’s either postpone the trip or have the many Peacock bass fishing operations fish in the same small area competing for the best fishing holes. We wanted to experience the real thing so we postponed it until November 2010, and now I’m back to give you a full fishing report plus my point of view of the jungle.
Friday morning we took a 6AM flight from San Francisco Airport to Atlanta, Georgia, where we would then get onto a connecting flight to Manaus, Brazil. Manaus is the capital of Amazonas and one of the hosting Brazilian cities where the 2014 World Cup will be held. Arrived really late in Manaus, checked into a hotel for a few hours of sleep. Because I was in Asia the week prior to this trip I had major jet lag so I actually didn’t get any sleep Friday night.
Saturday morning we wake up nice and early for breakfast and take a two hour flight from Manaus to Barcelos, the port on the Rio Negro River where the majority of the Peacock bass fishing tours or operations depart from. This is perhaps the smallest plane I’ve flown in. It was kind of scary. It was loud, uncomfortable, and any turbulence the entire plane would shift and you feel it all unlike flying in larger planes.
When arriving at the Barcelos airport I was greeted by this neat colored dragonfly.
Barcelos is a small town but it does come alive at night as the party-goers awake. We take a short ride to get our fishing permits for six days and then walked a couple of minutes to the water front.
This boat house name TAYACU was our “mother ship” where we slept, ate, and BS’ed with other anglers. I was quite surprised on how nice this boat was. The large boat would tow about five smaller boats behind it, which we used for our daily fishing adventures.
The Brazilian flag. I used to live in Sao Paulo, Brazil for three and some years. Learned some Portuguese while I was there but obviously forget it all.
We were greeted by awesome sunsets each night. It’s the rain forest afterall. It could be sunny but all of the sudden it could turn ugly with HEAVY downpours! The rain would be so heavy you would be completely wet in seconds.
Here’s the room I shared with my friend Alex. There are three room on the second floor of the Tayacu boat. More rooms on the bottom where the staff stayed. And each room has its own full bathroom, and air conditioning, which is a must in the Amazon as it is hot and humid there.
Our purpose of the trip was to catch Peacock Bass. These fish fight so hard, even the smaller ones would give you a good fight. We didn’t go for numbers so each day we each would catch about 10 fish or less. Our goal was to catch big fish. My best three fish were 17, 14, and 13 pounds. The picture below is me holding a 17 pound Peacock Bass that was caught on a Luhr Jensen Wood Chopper in Black back with orange bottom. This is a “Azzu” Peacock Bass and this one is a male. When males mature they develop this hump on their heads.
Each morning we would wake up at 5AM, eat breakfast, pack lunch, and then head out for a day of fishing on a smaller boat pictured below.
Here’s another nice Azzu Peacock Bass.
This is a Paca Peacock Bass. It has different colors and patterns. The Pacas fight the hardest. Even this small one took control of the fight once hooked until it tires out.
The Butterfly Peacock Bass. Notice the pretty patterns.
Aside from Peacock Bass we accidentally caught other species as well. This is a freshwater Barracuda. Look at the nasty sharp teeth it has. Almost everything in the Amazon River has killer teeth.
A close up picture of the piranha’s set of teeth!
One of my friend caught a large Arwana on a walk-the-dog type of topwater lure.
Peacock bass fishing using topwater lures are the most exciting.
Here’s a Caiman (a species of crocodile) that was caught by one of the other boats. They brought it back for some photos, then it was released.
While fishing we saw the Caimans roaming around. Some even took our lures but because of their tough skin the hooks wouldn’t penetrate.
Here’s another teethy fish called Traira.
The last day as we docked back in Barcelos we had the most spectacular sunset after a heavy thunderstorm.
We had 11 hours to kill when we got back to Manaus so we took a tour into the city. First stop was the Market. There are different sections in this large marketplace – Fish, Meat, Fruits, etc.
Why are these fish cut this way? Because this type of fish has tons of small bones and they slice it this way so when cooked, you eat small portions and can pick out the bones more easily.
You can find many species of fish at the Fish Market. Here are some Arwanas.
We normally see these sucker fish in our tropical aquariums but in Brazil they eat them.
Here’s a close up view of a Tambaqui. They have molars and all they eat are nuts that drop into the water. The molars are used to crush open the shells.
Bananas and they are huge!
Fresh papayas at the Fruit Market
Guarana – some type of natural seeds that are used in energy drinks. It’s also supposed to be a natural viagra.
The shop owner showed us what happens when men consume Guarana.
This is the Opera House in Manaus built in 1896. (Teatro Amazonas)