November 30, 2011
While the jungle of Brazil may be outside of the area code of this humble bass fisherman, I was able to stay in my comfort zone because, after all, we were still fishing for BASS.
Well, no, not really.
Peacocks aren’t closely related to our American largemouths and smallmouths. Sure, they have the same gills and fins and other fish bits, but that’s where the similarity ends. Accordingly, I spent the trip broadening my fishy horizons.
The same could be said for our fellow traveler Ray Kawabata of Seattle, who was on his first peacock journey. Still, Ray’s a much more diverse angler than your trusty blogger. He’s got the bass thing down – in fact, he’s even fished my home waters of the Potomac – but a lot more beyond that. As I tried to impress with stories of Guntersville and Falcon and the Cal Delta, he effortlessly topped my efforts by talking about steelheading near home or setting up a topshot rig for big tuna off the coast of California. I’d felt the same way a few days earlier in Manaus, when our driver Enilson (“Eni” for short – “call me eni time, eni where,” he said), boasted that in addition to English and Portuguese, he spoke Spanish, German, Japanese and perhaps a bit of Mandarin Chinese. Armed with only a modest grasp of English and Spanglish, I felt wholly inadequate. Brazil proved me to be both linguistically and pescatorially monochromatic.
I left with the distinct feeling that I have been living in the bass bubble too long.
Are peacock bass just a gateway drug? I don’t envision myself going all troutalicious on you all any time soon, but the one bug I took home from Brazil was a fever to chase redfish and tarpon and tigerfish.