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Event Article


Tackling The Amazon Part 3: Big Fish (continued)

After several minutes, with Zander’s biceps and forearms beginning to burn as if he was battling a runaway tuna, the fish turned around and began to move back out and away from the cover. Zander quickly began to reel in, gaining ground with each turn of the Toro’s handle. Victory was in sight as the fish rose to show its colors, a beautifully massive Azul. Zander could hardly contain himself as JIP’s jaw nearly landed in the water. Then, in typical fashion, the fish made another run burning more drag, pulling more line, doubling Zander’s rod over yet again! In the immortal words of Vizzini, all Zander could think was, “Inconceivable!!”

One of two 18lbers for Cal!.

Then finally, after the fourth of fifth run, Zander and his Zillion/Toro combo prevailed. The beautiful peacock came up alongside the boat, Asamar applied the Boga, and lifted the beast into Zander’s grip. A check on the Boga’s scale revealed 16 pounds! No other topwater bait in Zander’s box would feel a drop of Rio Negro water again. He hit a home run with his first fish on the Giant’s colored chopper, and would continue to swing for the fences with this bait until it broke.

Zander's gorgeous 16lber.

End of day three tally? Zander boated two more double digit fish, a 14 and a 15. Kin’s 14 held big fish honors in their boat as Cal following up with an 8. JIP could not break five pounds. This day was characterized by extreme heat. The Amazon can be unforgiving in these conditions and it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. Even veteran anglers of several trips almost succumbed to heat exhaustion today. What would the next day bring?

JIP with a nice Paca.

Day four would see a changing of the guard as both Cal and JIP took their places at the front of their respective boats. Marzo took Cal and Kin up on a one and a half hour ride up the river to a lagoon that’s been known to produce big fish in the past.

This arawona really wanted that Evergreen Bait.

The result? More epic battles and more big fish. JIP nailed a 17lb fish while chopping through a narrow canal that had both he and Zander cheering through the dense jungle. But when Zander jumped up to the front deck to give JIP a high five, he forgot they were not in his stable 19 foot Triton back home. The boat listed, Zander lost his balance and fell into the piranha infested waters of the Amazon camera and all! Just as quickly as he had fallen in, as if playing a film in reverse, he sprung back up out of the water and back onto the deck of the boat physically unharmed. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of his camera. Zander’s Nikon DSLR was the first equipment casualty of this trip.

This Paca fought hard and weighed in at 13lbs.

Back over in Cal and Kin’s boat, they had just finished helping one of our fellow houseboat mates, John Finley document his catch of a 20lb peacock. Marzo headed for a nearby point where he sensed some activity underwater. Cal and Kin continued to have little success with the chopper, so Marzo had them throwing jigs instead. They were hovering roughly 30 yards off of one point and making repeated casts to the same spot when suddenly, Kin’s line went taught. He set on a fish that refused to stop and after a roughly 30 second run, Kin’s line went slack – the fish had spit out the jig. Neither Cal nor Kin saw the fish, but Marzo got a glimpse before it struck and he knew, that was Kin’s 20lber.

Zander with a Paca that's almost changed colors entirely ready for the spawn.

They continued to work this very same spot, pulling up a couple of smaller, five pound fish and just about the time Cal and Kin began to daydream, growing tired of casting to the same spot over and over again, Cal felt another little “tick” at the end of his line. It was a much softer bite than the three pounder Cal had caught not 3 casts earlier to the same spot, so he half heartedly swung. The second he did, his Megabass Orochi F6-72X4 Destruction doubled over and Marzo exclaimed, “Big Fish!” moving the boat out into deeper water to give Cal more room to fight the monster.

Zander's 18lber.

It was an instant stalemate. Neither Cal nor the fish gained any ground so Cal figured the fish must not really be that big if it wasn’t pulling any drag out of his Zillion Type R. After about a minute, his line began to rise and as he reeled in the slack, everyone in the boat could see the faint green color of a peacock grow brighter and larger. As soon as the red of its eyes were visible, the fish dove for the bottom and made the Type R’s drag scream. But this fish didn’t really look any larger than Kin’s 14lber from the day before. This certainly was not the 20lber lost earlier today.

The second of Cal's 18lb fish.

Finally, after several minutes of back and forth battling out in open water, Cal’s catch succumbed to the fight and floated up alongside the boat. Marzo deployed the Boga and shared the weight news with Cal and Kin – 18lbs! Everyone was indeed on board with a double digit fish.

Once we abandoned our game plan and reformulated our attack, we got a good taste of what the Amazon had to offer.

 

 

 

   

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