Amazon River Stories and Tips

Piranha Fishing

My Fish Photo, Amazon River, Peru

I'm not a huge fan of fishing but this was fun and quite an adventure! No high tech lures or poles required. Just a straight wood stick from the jungle adapted into a fishing pole. The guide will take you along the river until you reach the black water. Black from the minerals in the roots of the trees along the banks and in the water. This is where the piranah are. Once there, no tackle box is brought out. Instead a bag of raw meat is placed on the seat and you're ready to go.

It takes a while to get the hang of this kind of fishing. Patience is not required. Wait too long and there will be nothing left of the bait. Curious, I pulled my bait up to check out the damage after only a few seconds. It looked like it had been taken through a meat tenderizer! Not an inviting location for a relaxing swim.

I finally got the hang of it and when I felt a tug. I flung my pole and hooked a HUGE fish! Okay, not exactly huge but it was big enough. Here's where the fun began. As I jerked the pole back, the fish, (now firmly attached to my line) came flying through the air, promptly hitting my friend Hanna in the stomach. Fortunately the fish hit sideways or "fin-first" so no biting was done and Hanna was unharmed. Unfortunately, the force of the hit knocked the fish onto the floor of the boat - among all the waiting toes of the fisherman, who at this point were primarily female. As the jungle echoed our screams and we leaped onto the boat seats, our guide calmly but carefully grabbed my "killer" fish. He then demonstrated how strong it's bite is by putting a leaf in it's mouth and letting us hear the loud snap that followed. We tried to act brave and cautiously climbed off the seats.

We continued fishing until we ran out of bait - giving more food to the fish than the fish gave to us. And yes, we did have piranah as a side dish with our dinner. Although it's a bit uncomfortable eating something that has a head AND teeth facing you we all managed to try it concluding it tastes like trout.

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