During the filming of Wild Fish Wild Places, we’ve travelled extensively to remote parts of the world chasing great stories and big fish. In the last two years the crew has seen 55 flights and 7 different countries in pursuit of legendary fishing. It has been a lifelong goal for Alan and I to chase the legendary peacock bass of the Amazon River system so when the opportunity arose last spring we wasted no time making the decision to go. Little did we know this trip would turn out to be the most brutal of all the travel to date.
The destination for our “jumping off point” was Manaus, Brazil, located at the confluence of the mighty Amazon and Rio Negro rivers. After travelling for nearly 30 hours we met up with our Irish mate, Alan, on the last leg of our journey to Manaus. When we arrived we were supposed to find someone from the camp, but after half an hour we still couldn’t find our guy. There is a serious language barrier for us in Brazil, not being able to speak Portuguese or “good” Spanish. With 1.71 million people and a reputation for being a dangerous place, this was not somewhere we wanted to be wandering around without a local guide. Greg, our producer, finally puked up some decent Spanglish and hand gestures that worked enough to get us with the correct guy.
The next morning we were crammed into a small float plane with a couple of other Brazilians on our way the middle of the jungle. It wasn’t long until we were truly “in the middle of nowhere,” jungle and water, nothing else. The excitement started to build with the whole crew as this is what we have dreamt of for years as well as everything that encompasses Wild Fish Wild Places. The float plane made its approach, landing between two big stands of dead cypress trees, splashing chocolate milk colored water over both pontoons. The crew was shuttled to a three story live-aboard boat that would be our base for the next eight days as we were to explore different areas of this mighty river system in search of some of the most remote waters on earth.
The next few days turned out to be a mind blowing experience as the huge peacock bass were exploding on our 8″ top water baits with reckless abandonment. This was unlike anything Alan and I have ever experienced, with seemingly endless water to fish and bass acting like they haven’t seen a meal in weeks, this is what we came for. Alan and I both landed double figure peacock bass, with a 17 pounder being the biggest of the trip. The fishing was not the only thing we were here to film and as we made a trip up river to visit a traditional Amazonian fishing village we witnessed life on the Amazon. Makeshift shanties, wandering livestock, slashing and burning of the rainforest and homemade dugout canoes were just a few of the things that made this visit so surreal. As we made our way up the muddy banks of the river we were met by the village elder but what happened next we were not prepared for…
Check out Wild Fish Wild Places on the Sportsman Channel this weekend for the conclusion to our Amazon River fishing expedition!
AIR TIMES- EST:
Sunday 1:30 AM
Monday 12:00 PM
Thursday 5:00 PM
Saturday 10:30 PM