One of the main draws in the state of Goiás is the Rio Araguaia (Araguaia River) for the unique fishing experience, and abundance of fish species. Here are a few facts you should know if you want to look like a fishing pro. Things are done a little differently down here. Get ready for a wild ride!
- This isn't your grandpa's tranquil, traditional fishing experience. When you catch a fish be sure to hoot, holler and scream in delight. Apparently noise has no effect on catching fish in these parts, and as such it is a lively experience.
- Make sure you bring your heavy-duty pliers. They come in handy when you need to remove/break the jaw of any piranha you catch & would like to keep. (You can't exactly just throw them in with the rest of the catch, otherwise.) The pliers are also used for other species of fish that have poisonous barbs that must be clipped in order to handle them, should you decide to keep the fish.
It is for these reasons that I no longer fish. It’s too brutal. I am a “bleeding heart,” if you will, and cannot stand to see anything suffer – not even a piranha. I understand that something has to die in order to be eaten, but until I can find a humane way to achieve that, I prefer not to be a part of it. That’s just my personal preference. My motto is, “Kill it - fast!!! (...or leave it alone!)”
Safest way to handle a piranha: a metal cage.
- Avoid any sweet-smelling sunscreens or bug sprays. This will attract more bees, hornets, and other wasps than you have ever seen in your life. Jumping into the water with the piranha will suddenly seem like a good idea. True story.
- What in the world is that noise? It is a dolphin expelling air through its blow hole. There are freshwater dolphins in Amazon tributaries as far south as central Brazil, but they don't look like “regular” dolphins of the sea. There are two types of dolphins: one is the 'traditional' grey, and the other is pink. (I have yet to see a pink one.) All kinds of stories & strange folklore surround these pink dolphins, but they are usually treated with disdain by fishermen for the occasional theft of their catch.
Image found on Wikipedia.
- Never go running into the river or lake for a swim. Freshwater stingrays are common in Brazil. The smaller ones like to stay in the shallow areas along the bank, so one must be careful when entering the water. Keep your eyes peeled, and shuffle your way to the desired depth. If you were to inadvertently step on a stingray - no matter how small - its instincts would be to defend itself with the poisonous barb on the end of its tail. This could be a major problem for your calf (and health) since the hospital is more than a few hours away.
Stingrays are timid creatures. They tend to steer clear of humans. The smaller ones scurry away in a cloud of murky water, and the bigger ones seem to be gentle giants. There have been instances where they unintentionally grabbed the bait on a fisherman’s hook, like this enormous one a friend caught in July 2008. (It was released after the photo op.)
Pic found through Google Images.
(To enlarge pics, right-click and open in a new window.)