This morning I change guides.  I am invited by Ednilson, the captain of the Kalua and fellow fishing enthusiast, go on an expletory mission.  My response- Yes, Please!

The day begins dissecting a folder comprised of Google Earth screencopies which are covered with a protected by laminate, to guard against the very rainy weather.

There is nothing but nature during the two hour boat ride down yet, another unknown river. There are no sign of any human inhabitation, just Amazonain wilderness. And the rain begins to pour…

It is barely raining when Ednilson begins to fish these new waters. He is a serious lure fisherman with a true native face. His trick is to use small bait, and for good reason.  It was moments before his rod bent with the rush of his first fish. Cast in exactly the same place!He shouts, with enthusiasm. Which I do and in no time a second fish begins to chase my lure. I cast again, the water splashes frantically with all the biting fish, then I feel the tugging on my arm.

One major factor of tucunaré fishing is to keep fishing the same spot where you caught the last one! Tucunaré have a strong sense of family and chances are he has got a huge one!

We are drifting downstream and bites become less and less. Ednilson wants to try his luck in some of the flooded areas along the bank of the river. Where a kind of shallow marsh has been created by the small trees spread far enough apart that the fish can run. I am still a bit handicapped with this new baitcasting rod I have been diligently trying to master but unfortunately some of my casts wind up in the trees. But with a 50lbs braid there is no reason to be hesitant to pull on your line!

I pull the line, trying to free it from the tree and quick as shot the lure comes toward me, fast as an arrow. Like a torero I twist my hips. ”Watch out”, Ednilson urges

Being in one of the drowned glades provides an amazingly surreal environment. To be sure, fishing in Amazonia always inparts an incredible amount of discovery whether it be animals, trees, flowers… the exposure is vast and the possibilities are seemingly endless for the fish to hide. The potential to find fish is everywhere, lurking behind each shrub lies a treasure trove of potential candidates. Powerfishing to the max!

I execute a bow cast that ends right in the hole. The lure doesn’t have time to say Hello before the rod begins pulling and the reel squeals with anticipation. All the result of a powerful head shake from tucunaré ! Ednilson’s cast follows suite, bite, and hooked. I release the fish on my line, cast again, and another one hooked… 8 fish will follow but it could have easily been 15! Now I know understand about the “banks” of tucunaré, very exciting!

WE must be on the Equator, notes Ednilson, Perhaps, you are in the northern hemisphere and I am in the south. He then smiles and chooses a lure more chewed than the last. Mine has just landed in the trees. What is this Equator story? I bellowed while pulling on my line crazy. How is that poss…? At that precise moment the bait takes off leaving me no time to finish my geography lesson, let alone move out of the way. Vlofff ! I feel the lure hook into my stomach!

One hook from the triple hook lure is embedded in my flesh. Solid argument made for having a bit of fat once in a while. Ednilson hands me a piece of ice that I must hurry and apply to the wound. He recommends that we cut the shirt but more importantly, remove the lure from the hooks this will make it much easier to do surgery!

Numb the skin with a piece of ice, he tells me. After 3 minutes he asks, “Did you press it well?” “Yeah, I believe so…” I begin to say but before I can finish my sentence Ednilson takes hold and pulls out the hook in one swift motion. The pain is numbed by the cold anesthesia.  “Keep the ice on it”, Ednilson laughs and then asks, “Do you still want to fish?”

I am looking at the 4 lures l I have remaining from those leant to me by Ian & Mega. One hour ago I lost 2 of them on fish I never had the chance to see. I assume they were epic, but only caught the mass of bubbling water or the shaded outline of a tail. All while fishing with a 50 lb braid! Another among the many facts that make you ruminate the “what ifs”.

The most incredible thing is – apart from the beauty of the peacock bass – that a mere two hours after I wounded myself, I manage to do have a repeat performance only this time  the popper lands a little way up to the chest… There is a nice discount on piercing today guys ! Such a blessing that Ednilson knows Rescuer Manual by heart! You know the routine!

On our way back, we pass Mega’s boat (Ian’s right hand man) where a full photo shoot took place to capture a picture of a big Pirara caught with live bait (perhaps half of a piranha!). Perhaps weighing a good 15kgs and was returned to the water.  The one caught by Mega’s mother was not so lucky but instead was eaten with great delight. Pirara flesh is reminiscent monkfish, firm and very juicy.

But we cannot linger and begin our descent to Barcelos.