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Jan 7-10 Itapara w/River Plate report and first timer tips 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:55 pm Reply with quote
GUEST
Guest
Alright, I have finally licked my wounds and scratched my no seeum bites to the point that I can finally give my report. I went with a group of 12 with River Plate Anglers and we fished the Itapara. In four days fishing I personally caught 223 fish and had 2- 16#, 2- 15#, 2- 14#, 12#, 10#, and a 9#. The group as a whole caught 1453 fish and 16# was our biggest. The water levels were good (according to camp host) and the weather was great as well. This was my first peacock bass trip and it is safe to say that I will be going back. I used this forum to learn a lot prior to going as far as gear and such but I would like to share some info I learned to help out any first timers.
1. Avoid American Airlines to Miami if at all possible! I was one of literally hundreds that had their bags lost or not delivered on our flight. I got there at 3 and bag showed up at 9. Just saying it was a close call and there were ALOT of others waiting with me.
2. You CAN take reels in your carry-on.
3. TAM did NOT charge extra for a full length rod carrier. It was $60 on the domestic flights but that was it.
4. Jigs WILL catch big fish and are the most consistent producers you can cast.
5. There ARE bugs that can not wait to eat you alive at night sitting around telling stories. Going to bed smelling of bug spray after taking a bath is better than being a no seeum smorgasbord.
6. Fast reels and 6'6'' rods will make a difference! 50# braid is strong enough if you manage your line and knots properly.
7. These guides are professionals! I got a treble hook buried up to the shank in my thumb and after two jerks that almost made me pass out the guide pulled out a syringe and needle and numbed my thumb so that he could pull it. I electrical taped it while he retied the bait, voila! Back to fishing!

River Plate Anglers ran a top notch world class operation and I can not wait to head back to wrestle some more monsters in that beautiful wild place!
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:20 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
Thanks for the great report Mark. Seems like a very interesting indoctrination into the world of peacocks. Glad you had a great time and plan on going back. Sounds like you might already be "addicted". Hope your thumb is back to normal.

You may want to modify some of your "first timer info" after a few more trips. For example, "No-Seeums" are problematic primarily around the Rio Branco tributaries (such as the itapara) and off a few tributaries of the Rio Madeira. That is due to the fact that those bugs hang out in "whitewater" (turbid) areas (and clear water rivers) and in some cases, villages with poor drainage areas. They are seldom found in low water times in the heavily acidic water or "blackwater" river watersheds (like most of the Rio Negro waters). Each river is different however and it does even vary season to season. I have had no-seeum problems on about 4 trips of my 77-plus trips in peacock land.

Airlines have good days and bad days; I've heard horror stories about all of them. When booking American domestically, it is best to connect with the American international flight rather than a different carrier. I know your agent/outfitter probably wanted everyone to come into Manaus on the same flight (TAM in your case) so they wouldn't have to pick up two groups of anglers from the airport at different times. Regarding rod cases, about 90 percent of the outfitter provide the rods so most anglers don't have to or want to deal with them on planes.

Thanks again for the update.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:33 am Reply with quote
Rick Klotz
Guest
Mark:

Sounds like you had a great trip. I would add couple more comments on the 'first timer' info:

I agree with Larry, I only had trouble with no-seeums on one out of six trips (Rio Demeni). Since the bug spray (100% DEET) didn't seem to be particularly effective, I now bring an over-the-hat mesh for my head in the event I need it. Hardly weighs anything and costs all of $5. Long pants and long sleeve shirt take care of the rest.

You should always carry the self-adhering first aid tape. It's a heck of a lot better than electrical tape. If you get a cut or puncture, you put some triple anti-biotic ointment on the wound and wrap it in the tape. The tape is flexible, breaths and holds up well even when wet. Better than band aids by far. It's one of the best things I learned on my very first trip.

Personally I prefer TAM to AA as well for a variety of reasons like better schedules, more on time performance and less lost luggage. It will be interesting to see the effect, if any, on carrier quality and access with the world cup coming up.

If you plan on going on future trips and your outfitter doesn't have decent rods for use, start investing in travel rods that fit into a short rod case that can go into the overhead on the way down. TAM will likely make you check it through on the return for some reason. You don't have to break the bank on travel rods. I use Safari's by Browning, or Ocean Master by Quantum and there are other reasonable choices. They fit nicely into a cut down old Phantom rod case that's about 33" long and will survive baggage handling if I need to check them.
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:45 pm Reply with quote
GUEST
Guest
Larry and Rick:
Thanks for the replies. I hope that I did not come off as a "know it all" in my report. It was my first trip and I learned a lot, but by no means have the experience to know all of the ins and outs of the different tributaries and such. I did buy travel rods to take because I had read on some older posts on here that there were extra charges and problems sometimes with the float planes. I found that there were no charges by TAM because the other guys in my group took two rod carriers. I also found in older posts that you could not take reels in carry on bags and I wanted to clear that up as I found that you can take reels that are strung in your carry on. My tangent on the no seeums is due to the fact that even though I did have and use the 100% deet during the day, at night I would take a shower or bath in the river and would get the bites after that since I would not put the repellent back on before going to bed. That is a self inflicted wound that I was trying to get others to avoid. The info that I was able to receive from this forum was extremely valuable to me and I am thankful to Larry and all the members that post on here. I was only trying to clear up a couple issues.
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:03 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Mark,

Glad you had a great trip with good weather! I'm sure I read almost every post on this forum prior to my first trip in 2010.

As Larry mentioned, every river has unique characteristics, so you might want to try fishing a different river next time (only if you want to sample different watersheds). The peacocks on the blackwater tributaries of the Rio Negro top out several pounds higher than the Branco tributaries, although 20+ pounders
live in them all.

My advice: don't be hesitant to fish topwater baits, like HighRoller Riproller or Pavon Props. You won't catch as many fish as with jigs, but the topwater explosions are awesome, and your average fish will be larger!

Regards,

Dan
Qualifying the Info 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:56 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
Mark,

I know you weren't trying to be an "expert" (know it all) after one trip. Heck, I still find myself discovering new "info" on each trip I take into the jungle. I am always learning. If you take my first book on Peacock Bass (Explosions) and compare some of the info to the fourth (Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing), you'll find that I have made "adjustments" and even revisions to my thinking based on more and more trips. My new App out last year has a few more modifications to my general "rules of thumb".

I always try to qualify everything I write because some people will let me know of "exceptions" to my theory and philosphy; there are always some. A good example is my "rule of thumb" on giant fish (teeners and 20s) and their striking giant topwater baits. I tell all that "It generally does not happen before 9 am and almost never happens before 8 am." Sure I have caught a couple of my teeners on giant topwaters before 8 am and other anglers occasionally do also, but of my other 591 teeners (according to my log at http://www.peacockbassassociation.com/html/larry_peacock_bass_log.html), probably 90 percent have been caught on the giant topwaters and of those, 97 percent were caught after 9 am. Please understand that I don't know it all and the details above are only to explain my perceived facts based solely on my experiences.

Also, know that Rick and Dan offer good suggestions and facts based on their experiences. I appreciate all who post on this forum because we can all learn a thing or two. Your perceptions are valuable to all of us. As an Outdoor/Travel writer for 40 years, I learned early on to "qualify" my writing. So my reply to your post was only to offer some additional info. Only two things are for sure in this life, as they say. Keep On Posting!!!

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Itapara 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 256
Location: Whiting, Indiana
Fished Itapara for years and seemed that the only way to get the monster peacocks over 20lbs was to use live bait! Was wondering if any live bait was used on the trips mentioned? Cool
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Rio Branco Tributaries 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:18 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 256
Location: Whiting, Indiana
Dan: Totally disagree with you on the statement Rio Negro has larger peacocks than the Rio Branco Tribs. Fished them more times than I can recall and not a problem getting lots over 20lbs using live bait. 20 years ago no problem getting them on woodchoppers, but as the years have gone bye, the peacocks got smart and don't hit the choppers like they use to. Best trip was 55 peacocks over 15lbs on the Itapa in 6 days by my friend and I on live bait and I have it on film! Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:29 pm Reply with quote
GUEST
Guest
Guys, thanks for all the feedback. I did actually throw Highrollers and Amazon Rippers quite a bit. I caught 6 teeners on the trip and a 12#,10# and 9#er in the 4 days. The breakdown went like this 2- 16's on jigs, 1- 15 on 7" Highroller, 1- 15 on jig, 1- 14 on jig, 1-14 on Highroller, 1-12 on jig, 1-10 on jig, and 1- 9# on Highroller. I never fished with live bait and after chunking the Highrollers for most of the first day the guide told me "jig". I started fishing the jig and my fish count increased immediately and I caught a 16 and 14 back to back. Over the next 3 days he would say "jig" or "chop" and I just fished accordingly. And by the way Larry, all of my bigger fish came between 11am and 4pm. My only problem after all of this is that I bought WAY too many lures and did not fish half of them and I have to tell my wife that she was right that I didn't need all of that!
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:04 am Reply with quote
John Ducksbury
Joined: 02 Jan 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Sydney, Australia
Mark Henderson wrote:
I have to tell my wife that she was right that I didn't need all of that!


Well that sounds like the exact opposite of what you should do!

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Big peacocks 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:55 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 256
Location: Whiting, Indiana
Years ago my group was the first to fish the Unini under Dr. Jon Wilt. While I got my largest peacocks on choppers 23.5 and 22lbs within 5 minutes of each other, I would still go back to either the Itapara or Agua Boa (lures/live bait allowed) as my first choice. These rivers are not as influenced with water fluctuations as the Negro. I fished the Negro and got tired of trips getting postponed due to high water. Many of us cannot change vacation dates at work and lose airline tickets if rebook the next season Evil or Very Mad If your fortuante to land a 20lbs plus peacock feel very satisfied. Many fisheries around the world offer a chance at a 1 time giant in the best of conditons, but good luck going then! Lots of time and money are invested so I would go with the odds if I ever go back to peacock land!! Cool Cool
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Jan 7-10 Itapara w/River Plate report and first timer tips 
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