Do you like black-bass?
I am a bass fisherman and on the advice of Cédric who just returned from Brazil I decide to take an interest in one of the most violent freshwater fish ... And one of the most beautiful!
... The peacock bass is for you!
The decision to go to Colombia was instantanious, after having Pablo Chaves on the phone; What he tells me makes me dream ... The 'Vidourle' of my dreams !! A preserved environment, dense jungle ... and change of scenery guaranteed!
From the dream...
Preparing your trip also means getting your vaccinations, booking your flights and have a group thats made out of the right people. But above all leaving with everything you need, within the limits imposed by the airlines companies, takining in account the penalty of overtaxes, that are not nice at all.
... to reality
3 travell rods so you can travell light and there is no need to carry a unwieldy rodtube, 2 casting and 1 spinning, properly maintained reels, oiled, new braid, all accessories and a ton of LURES
JMC travel bag and tubes
DEPS HUGE CUSTOM H1N-60R
TENRYU injection 68xxh
SMITH OFFSHORE STICK LIM PACK 70 - 70 ML
SHIMANO TRANX 201&301- STELLA 4000
VARIVAS SMP 50 et 60lbs
What about PAYARA?
It was while preparing my trip that I discovered the famous PAYARA; An exotic name for a crazy fish! straight from a sci-fi movie, it looks like a crossbreed between trout and zander, it blew us up ... the lures and the brakes! It's a fish you will want to catch! but you will need a specific rod to fish it properly.
I expected abundance and in a way it was as expected. The Orenoque river blew me away, far from my native Seine, this is nature in its raw state, sandbanks and difficult navigation. At least the same width of the Rhône and up to 6 or 7 times its size, surrounded by a forest so dense that the midday sun does not penetrate the canopy full of insects, birdsong ... And the Jaguar!
follow the guide!
Going on adventure in unknown lands, is greatly dependend on the presence of a guide who knows the terrain, the fishing and "French" perfectly. Pablo Chaves is batshit crazy but attentive and to be honest invaluable for our trip. with a very high level of guiding skills. He arranged everything for us ... He allowed us to access the best spots in the best conditions!
WE ARE IN COLOMBIA!
Enrique steers the boat like a Jedi, we go from current to current, suddenly he points, an steers full speed straight in to an opening in the foliage barely 3 meters wide, around us there is only the forest, ... then he shuts of the engine ... the only sound breaking the silence is the songs of the birds, they are all around us, The heat surprises us, but what follows next amazes us, a beautifull wild lagoon opens up in front of us.
As wide as Oronoco, we just left, only the narrow canal from which we exit as an umbilical cord, the lagoon is a place on its own, a deadarm that is not so dead. Samir and I take a few moments to take in the magic and beauty that surrounds us ...
Spots everywhere, skipping paradise, Trees in 3 meters of water... and the end of the lagoon is not visible. Enrique takes his paddle and goes to the nose of the boat! quieter than a terrova, his eyes scan the surface, expertly without making any unnecessairy sound or movement,he steers the boat. Sam is in the back and casts a lipless, while I am stunned by what's around me, to be woken up by Pablo who started to talk. So I launch the propeller machine!
We take our positions in the boat and then Samir strikes like he has to stop a mule, his reel sings as much as Pablo ... a big Fight; a race to get the fish out of the trees ;a Rod bending to its limit; Manatee swirls ... The braid splits the water ... Fast and powerful ... Samir's face turns from worry to smile ... He has won, the bogagrip is not far away. Before closing on the jaw of a golgothe ... The boat cries like a single man, and acts in unison...
Alone, Samir lets his eyes rest on the sight of this formidable giant of the Orenoque who loads his arms ...
His smile says it all ... he is walking on clouds!
21 pounds, more than 10 kilos, his first peacock bass ...
What a bastard! He killed the game!
Back to business, we make cast after cast to every spot that is potential,the problem is... everything is a spot, But it seems like calm has settled in, untill ... Pablo says it's because of the water level being too high. Neither the propeller nor the spinnerbait seem to be abel to decive them, apart from a few nervous Aïmaras. The bottom of the lagoon comes into view, trees everywhere, my eyes search the surface for the slightest movement, when a multicolored spot ...
... swims under the surface. Pablo holds his breath when my spinnerbait flies towards is falling 2 meters behind the multicolored spot... 2 turns of the handle, 1 Strike, 1 rod that goes in the other direction, braid that cuts the waters surface like it's supersonic! I am in shock, Pablo speaks in the wind, I only have eyes for this gold which passes from one side to the other, as if hypnotized by the bogagrip that it does not want to taste. .. But I want to touch it, feel it, kiss it ...
I can't stop smiling, with this gem in my arms, I feel like I am 5 years old and it's my first fish ...
14 pounds of pure peacock bass and it's the first!
What a start for this team of crazy fishermen!
The days follow one another, our team of little French people are getting better, discover new lagoons, new species, meet with other fishermen and venture further and further. the impression of magic sticks to the skin , peacock and payara ... it's dynamite!
The photos will not show the real atmosphere of a trip like this, the moist heat and the heavy song of the giant kingfisher, the lightning attacks of a peacock that almost breaks your arm, nor the payara ready to jump in the boat to take the lure ...
I send all my friendship to Sébastien and Benoit, to my jaguar brothers, Samir and Enrique, to Pablo and all his colleagues in the camp and to you, who took the time to read this. I wanted to make you a part of my adventure and dream a little without telling you a thousand fishermen lies and quantities of improbable ammounts of fish.
I write this text while I am confined, in full quarentine because of the covid-19 epidemic, I realize our fragility and I want to remember the beautiful things. This memory is imprinted in my head and my retina, I'll go back there, for sure, if life allows it, but I will try to keep this eye of child of 5 years who catches his first fish. .. Sincerly yours, Bruno.