Beer and Crocs – Match Made In Heaven

March 12, 2010

Xeriuni, River

Technically this would be the final day of fishing on our Amazon trip; however, we got word that the sea plane will not come for us until noon tomorrow. What this means is we will get to fish form 7 am to 11 am tomorrow morning. Everyone is plenty satisfied if it were to end today but heck, one more morning on this beautiful Xeriuni River, I think we can handle it!

Granny and I got an early start to the day with Mo. Camp will be making a big move downstream today in order to be closer to where the plane will pick us up tomorrow. Therefore, Mo is taking us way downstream to try for some fish. We haven’t fished this area yet. The river is much different here. It’s much wider, the water is darker and there are lagoons and channels going all directions. Mo zigzagged up and down these channels and through lagoons so much this morning that Granny and I could never have found our way out.

We had excellent fishing from start to finish. The morning provided numbers of fish including a new specie of peacock for us – the gray bar or fire belly officially known as the (Cichla monoculus). He has blood red colors in his gills, a black stripe along the lower flank going from front to back and half strips coming down from the top. He’s absolutely gorgeous. We caught several of these lower river dwellers. We also caught some very unusually colored jacunda type fish. I don’t know if there variations of the same species we’ve been catching or what. All I know is they are neat as all get out! We also managed some extra big fish today. In the afternoon I landed a 13lber and an 11lber. The 13lber was my first peacock to strip me into my backing. As usual, Mo put his boat where the giants live.

It was little rowdy around camp this evening. It’s our last night after a phenomenal week of fishing. The beers and mixed drinks were flowing both before and during dinner. This was perfect because we decided to go out and catch some caimans in the dark after dinner. A few drinks are exactly what you need when catching crocodiles. Mix in how tired you are and it’s a perfect match. Nonetheless, all the guys were excited to get after it, me included and shortly after dinner we had two boats with the two local guides, Daka and Hi pointing spot lights along the river banks. There were caiman eyes glowing everywhere, the problem was most of them were six to ten footers. We were no match for these big boys.

During the adventure we managed to net a few exotic little catfish and a stingray before finally we ran into the caiman nursery where we found some three footers. Anything shorter than four feet is fair game. Of course, you could still lose a hand no problem, trust me. As you can imagine, Paul and I were eager to tackle the first ones we came too, but I guess it was the crazed look in our eyes that caused Daka to keep us just out of reach. Instead, Daka did all the dirty work of leaping from the boat and pinning the first small croc to the bottom. Then we got to move in to hold him and take some pictures before letting him go. It was great fun but we made one mistake tonight. We let Granny come along and after we caught two crocs she talked the guides into calling it a night. I think the rest of us had just got our second wind and were ready to stay out all night. So were the guides, but such is life. The “Granny” dropped the hammer and we were done. Just as well, we are fishing early in the morning.

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