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Scary moments in the Amazon? 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Art Weston
Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 238
Location: United States
I had 3 last trip.

1. Lightning so bad we could hear the "crackle" through the water around us as it hit 100 or so yards away. At that moment, the guide ran us up right into the brush at rivers edge and we had to climb over bushes to get to safe ground.

2. While catfish fishing after sunset, our engine died (and the electric motor's battery was being charged at base camp). We proceeded to float down the river in the current about a mile away from camp. We paddled back using a bucket, a net (yeah the one with holes in it), and our hands. Took us 2 hours, all the while, nobody at camp thought to go out an find us.

3. Unfortunately for me, this was the highlight for the whole trip in terms of bad luck. One night, we went with the guides watch them go "caimen wrestling." Now who would want to miss that? They went out with a search light, and literally jumped on caimens near the shoreline and brought them in the boat. They offered to us to hold them by the mouth and around the neck and then take a picture. Seems like a great idea! Well, what they didn't tell you is when one gets mad due to the flash of a camera, and it sweeps it strong tail from side to side, their teeth will cut into your hand even though their mouth is closed. I do have a very cool scar (that we closed using super glue) that is fun to show off when the time calls for it.

That is all just from one trip ... there must be more great stories out there.

-Art
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Some Experiences are Just Exciting! 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
I don't think I've had 3 events on any one trip, but I've had my share over the years. In fact, I wrote about several such experiences in my second book in the Peacock series, "Peacock Bass & Other Fierce Exotics" which I wrote about 15 years ago. Since then, I've swam through a school of 50 or so piranha in a clear water stream (tributary of the Rio Negro) and clear water lagoon while snorkeling, was almost hit by lightning on the Rio Negro before getting out of my bass boat and crawling into one of the local, covered wooden boats for the storm's duration, and sat in my boat 10 feet away from a 21-foot anaconda lying on a fallen laydown on a recent trip to Colombia. The experiences all were not "too" scary but more "exciting" than the norm.

I wouldn't want prospective visitors to the Amazon to think that they will always run into "scary" moments when there, but they should be aware that remote locations in the jungle sometimes offer up circumstances beyond your control.

I would say, you were lucky not to have your "tooth scratch" become infected. The worst problem with caiman, alligators or crocks are the strain of bacteria in their mouths, according to the experts. In fact, the licensed gator hunter with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation department of our county, always tapes up the mouth of any "nuisance" gator that he has dispatched ... before he moves it to his truck. When I asked him why he would go to that effort on a dead gator, he replied that even a dead one has the worst bacteria in its teeth. Some of them stick out from its jaw and can scratch/infect anyone that brushes up against the tooth.

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Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
www.peacockbassassociation
www.larsenoutdoors.com
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Guys,

Every angler to the Amazon should carry these two antibiotics, they could save your life.

1. Ciprofloxacin 500 mg every 12 hours if an infection
2. Doxycycline 100 mg every 12 hours " "

The combination of these two antibiotics will kill the majority of bacteria in skin and soft tissue infections until you can get to a medical center to treatment.
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:59 am Reply with quote
Rick Klotz
Guest
My scariest moment was realizing I had to walk by myself back to the boat at 2 AM in Barcelos after the disco shut down. Not something I would intentionally do again.

2nd scariest is when the pilot of the puddle jumper out of Manuas decided the sun coming in the winshield was too bright and put up a windshield sun screen like you would use in your car completely blocking any visibility out the front of the aircraft. All I can assume is that he had an autopilot set and minimal air traffic to worry about.

Not too exotic I know, but since you asked...
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:37 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Lakeland, FL
While flying in a small 4-place plane on a 2-hour trip over the jungles in Southern Venezuela (Amazonas State), I noticed my non-English speaking pilot slump over about 15 minutes into the flight. I was in the co-pilot seat at the time (no, I don't know anything about flying). The heavy-set pilot's head was on his chest and his belly pinned against the "steering wheel/stick", slumped over like a dead man. I didn't know whether or not he was, so I yelled at him a couple of times. When he didn't respond, I started poking him. He finally woke up and I pointed to the ground and said "cuidado" (be careful). He looked back at me and said "No problem. Auto pilote!. He went back to sleep for another hour but I was watching things closely the rest of the flight!

_________________
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
www.peacockbassassociation
www.larsenoutdoors.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:34 pm Reply with quote
Dan Hanon
Guest
Larry,

I don't think I would have allowed him to go back to sleep!
scary times 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:57 pm Reply with quote
Sean Wood
PBA Moderator
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 105
Location: Des Moines, Ia
Some of my scary fishing stories.

1. Over loaded small plane that almost clipped the trees and a running dog on the runway.

2. Drinking to many ciparhinas (sp) then going out to look at the local wildlife. We later chose a 6ft un happy cayman of our choice to bring in the boat. After what we thought to be a secured gator (from watching many tv shows :) we started taking pictures of this big fella. We shortly found out that this gator was very camera shy. He started thrashing around and eventually bit one of my buddies wrist. Note to self dont mess with caymen.

3. First fishing trip to Brazil for peacocks. Tried landing my own fish (just like large mouth bass fishing). Got a nice little butterfly to the boat who was not quite done with his fight. As I just started to try and grab him in the mouth with the boga ,he jump out of the water and slapped up against my hand with his body. Which was shortly followed by the monster treble hooks inbedding itself in my hand. Imagine my surprise on my first half day of peacock fishing of my life.


Moral of the story. All of these could have been avoided. Travel with the right outfitter who doesn't try and cut cost in the safety department and fit two planes into one. Don't get drunk in the amazon. It will save you from doing stupid things that will get you hurt and also allow you to fish the next day. There is nothing worse that an amazon hangover.
Always let your guide land the fish, unless you are concerned you have some sort of world record on the end of your line.

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Sean Wood
Des Moines, Ia
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Rick Klotz
Guest
Hey Sean:

Lesson #2 pretty much applies to anywhere, anytime. As that great philosopher said:

"Stupid is as stupid does"
Forest Gump

BTW - we had to tow in a guide and his two young fishing clientele one day after we found them drifting in the river. Why? Because they all got so drunk the night before (which included chasing caymens), that the guide woke up totally hung over and forgot to fully gas up his rig....nice.
Scary moments in the Amazon? 
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