Peacock Bass Fishing in Brazil – 2016 – Day Six – Snakes at Camp

Written by on June 23, 2016 No Comments

Tuesday: 2/2/2016 Third Full Day’s Fishing

I start the morning with a couple of aspirin because my left hand is all puffy.  I also wrap the fingers on my left hand with some very cute duct tape because I have a few blisters.  I’m feeling more like a wuss every day.

It rains on and off all morning and we end up in a lagoon where we get a few fish after a lot of ripping and jigging. I have my best luck with a maroon and blue Yozuri, nabbing one six-pounder and one ten-pounder. I also use the black and red Barboleto Perversa and catch a couple of fish during a brief feeding frenzy.

My spotted peacock friend.

My spotted peacock friend.

I also catch a peacock on a yellow and red jig, and one on a purple and black top water bait. Yesterday, white Yozuris were king. They did no good today.  And nothing worked consistently throughout the day.  Hence, the nature of fishing.

My biggest fish of the day.

My biggest fish of the day.

This was Mark’s biggest fish.

Mark's biggest fish of the day.

Mark’s biggest fish of the day.

After releasing one fish weighing perhaps four pounds, we hear a violent splash amongst some trees in pretty shallow water, caused by a dolphin trying to make an easy meal out of the fish we’d just released.  Minutes later, as Sappo is about to grab another fish out of the water, I see the pink face of a dolphin flash by right next to the boat.   It’s a mental photo I won’t ever forget—in one split second the dolphin showed up, determined the fish was attached to a hook and line, and disappeared fro sight, only to loiter nearby to get the released fish after it was off the hook. THAT’s a smart animal.

Later, Mark caught another vicunda.

A vicunda.

A vicunda.

After lunch we spend a lot of time in a lagoon in pretty shallow water.  As we head into the lagoon Mark has a gigantic hit at his top-water lure, and while we try many times, we can’t get the big fish to bite again. While trying to attract the big fish, two dolphins appear, one of which is little and follows Mark’s lure. Upon seeing that, Mark changes his lure because, he says, “The last thing I want to do is catch a baby dolphin.”

Pink river dolphin.

Pink river dolphin.

Throughout the day, Mark speaks Portuguese with our guide, Sappo, which Sappo seems to enjoy. Sappo has two boys, one of who’s name is Marcos who likes all sorts of critters like Mark.  The toughest part of the conversation is when Mark tries to explain to Sappo the Zika virus, which is taking over the news and spreading throughout Brazil and lately, the US. Somehow, Mark is able to explain how babies are being born in Brazil with tiny heads and how it was suggested that Brazilian women not get pregnant until they got a handle on this. Sappo had no idea about all this because he’s been in the jungle for months.

As they chat about the Zika virus, we go through a really narrow area which produces a couple of small fish. Beyond the trees, the area opens up into a big wetland and we hang out with a couple of boat-billed anis and what I learn later is a female green kingfisher.

Boat-billed and.

Boat-billed and.

Female green kingfisher.

Female green kingfisher.

We catch a few more fish, none of them big. On the way back toward the narrow area, Mark puts on a Wide Glide, which is a big, heavy lure that makes a huge splash when it hits the water. On Mark’s third cast, he catches a peacock bass.  After we clear the narrow area and return to the bank that once held a big fish, I take over flogging the Wide Glide…for the last half hour or so.  It’s ridiculous how much of a splash the darn thing makes.  Unlike Mark, all I do is scare the fish away.

We net 70 fish all day and think it’s a decent number until we get back and hear Steve and Dr. Bob got 143 fish, 17 of which were over 10 pounds. John also shares his results and feels good until Steve and Dr. Bob arrive. Such is the nature of fishing, the lucky sticks.

To make me feel even wimpier, after catching more fish than me again, Dr. Coz goes over to play a game with the camp staff.  The object is to kick a soccer ball over a rope tied between two sticks and to return it to your opponent after one bounce.  His agility and energy make me snarl.

Dr. Coz playing ball.

Dr. Coz playing ball.

A better idea than being active after fishing all day is sitting at the table on the rise and drinking beer until 6 when dinner is served.  Just sayin.’

Me and the guys, drinking beer on the rise.

Me and the guys, drinking beer on the rise.

Right before dinner, we learn that when Alejandro and the rest of the camp staff came to this new camp site, a bird was munching on a dead anaconda. The camp workers also saw (and killed) a coral snake. Alejandro thinks that the commotion around camp will keep the snakes away. Righto!  Later, though, he mentions that the more it rains, the more the snakes come out. I know I will have nightmares about peeing in the rain.

At dinner, I learn that Steve manages six banks in Tennessee.  Dr. Bob runs a farm in TN with tobacco, other crops and animals, in addition to running a veterinarian and a lab that manufactures parvo shots for pets. I ask him about Dr. Bob about Bordetella and tell our story of Winston getting kennel cough in spite of the shot.   Dr. Bob says there are at least six strains of Bordetella out there, and the shot treats one strain. He doesn’t recommend his patients get the shot. “It’s a waste.” I tell him all kennels around us require it and he just nods.

Somehow talk turns to botflies. Curt had one in his back once and it had wings before it was removed. Mark says Curt must have liked having the insect around because most people get them out when they’re at the larval stage. Mark went on to talk about removing a botfly from one of the rabbits we rescued back in the day, then told the story of our black kitten, Preto and his allergic reaction to a botfly and how that resulted in him being called the $1,200 pet.

As we walk back to the cabin I smile thinking about that glimpse I got of the dolphin.  Then I remember what Alejandro said about snakes and wave my flashlight around looking for, what, I’m not sure.  Safely inside the cabin, I pop a couple aspirin, kiss Mark goodnight, and fall into my wee twin bed.

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