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 Executive Director: Larry Larsen;   Editor: Lilliam Larsen

Information Central  (c) Larry Larsen

Outfitter Research/Networking

NetworkingNetworking, even in the jungle, is a vital part of doing business for the outfitters and operators of peacock bass trips. Exploring new rivers and areas constantly are also part of finding the best spots for clients to have the experience of their lives.

"To the Amazon angler, discovering the secret spots for peacock bass is a function of adventure fishing, which basically implies that the quest for successful angling is dependant upon water level, structure, territorial identification, presentation, and bait, fly, or lure selection," says Ben Nolte, General Manager at Big Amazon Fish. "As one's knowledge in these areas increases, so does one's productivity; and so does one's state of peacock bass bliss, which is the state by which anglers are smiling all day long. To achieve that goal, a good outfitter relies on authentic insider knowledge and network connections from the local people of the rivers being fished.

"It is a tremendous advantage to having local Uatuma Amazonians, like Naldo and Raimundo Esteves as the Big Amazon Fish operations manager and guide," he points out. "As one who understands and speaks Portuguese fluently, it was amazing for me to witness the friendship that these two had with just about everyone from the local villages.  Raimundo has been a fisherman in this area for over 30 years and both he and Naldo not only know how and where to find the secret spots for big fish, but they have a large network of friends and family with vast fishing knowledge of the area."

"It was fun, exotic, and culturally uplifting to dock our boat at any section of the rainforest in this region and be met by a local landowner who not only took us for a tour around their plantation or guided us on their private trail through the jungle, but also tipped us on where to find more big fish!  A unique aspect of our management team is to continue to foster relationships with local people and continue our insider knowledge base of the secret spots of the Amazon. We hope to help clients experience peacock bliss faster and to discover their secret spot on the Amazon."

Exploratories, Networking and Other Tails of Woe 

"Conditions one year forced us to reschedule or use fallback locations for our planned exploratory trips," says Paul Reiss, owner/operator of Acute Angling. "We had to catch up the following season, so we headed for the unexplored Rio Papagaio." Reiss's original plan was to fish Rio Papagaio early that year. They worked for weeks, negotiating rights, manipulating logistics and otherwise "beating their heads against the wall", as Paul puts it. Then, as the trip date fast approached, they struggled to get it done … just before the heavy rains came.

"Just like that, all of Exploratoriesour complex plans, local negotiations and networking and logistical arrangements for this river simply washed away with the flood," Reiss relates. "Like it or not, we were going to have to reorganize and head for our previously designated back-up river. Thankfully, there was still enough time to get there and have a successful trip."

A few months later, Acute Angling finally operated their long-planned Jatapu exploratory in the giant Wai Wai Indian reservation. Reiss adds that on another exploratory, they went after the world's biggest, scaled freshwater fish, Brazil's gigantic arapaima. Primitive giants roam 170 kms. of closed, private canals in a huge former rice plantation.

Many outfitters do exploratories; they need to to keep up with the hotspots and locate new "fresh" areas. It is research that can be very successful and rewarding or not. But like the constant networking that most do in the jungle, exploratories and continuing networking are a wise investment for the outfitter.

Editor's Note: Tips reprinted with permission from PBA's "The World of Peacock Bass" monthly eZine.

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