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Event Article

Tackling The Amazon Part 3: Big Fish (continued)

Over in Cal and Kin’s boat, it was time to get jiggy with it. Marzo asked to see Cal’s collection of tackle and immediately eliminated over half the lures Cal had packed. “This no work here,” he’d say waving his hand over two thirds of the Plano 3731 box. “This work,” is what he said as he pulled out a handful of walking and chopping baits together with some jerkbaits. We had already established the jig was the bait of choice in this boat as Marzo wasn’t quite feeling the topwater bite, the weather wasn’t hot enough and too many fish were still on beds.

Kin gives a Bodega Bay chopper a whirl.

As they pulled into the next spot, Marzo took his traditional position sitting up front to man the hand controlled trolling motor. Each time they stopped at a new spot, Marzo would whistle a soft tune as if to call the fish into action. He’d motion for Cal and Kin to be quiet, survey the water, then motion his entire hand pointing in the direction he wanted us to cast. We let our jigs fly and he’d say “work work” moving his hand to show us how fast to work the jig – like working a jerkbait back home.

Cal's backup bait, an Evergreen international Amazon.

For the jig, Kin was using Cal’s Daiwa Z2020 spooled with 50lb Sufix Performance Braid mounted on a Daiwa Zillion TDZL661HFB while Cal was using his Daiwa Zillion Type R mounted on a Megabass Orochi F6-72X4 Destruction.

Another pattern from Bodega Baits.

It was roughly 9:00am. “Over there,” Marzo motioned once more to Kin who was fishing the front of the boat. Kin let out a soft cast about a hundred feet away. “Work, work,” he said to Kin as Cal placed his cast to the left. Suddenly, Marzo got excited, “Fish behind, fish behind, WORK, WORK!” All at once, Kin’s line went taught, he swung and the rod doubled over with the tip almost hitting the water. Cal reeled in as fast as he could and grabbed the camera, this was a good one!

Zander and JIP working the chopper.

The Daiwa Z2020 has an audible drag much like a spinning reel. It was singing on this fish fight as the mysterious catch below continued to peel the line off Kin’s reel. When it came up to show its colors, the fish was massive. Easily the biggest fish we’d seen to date and quite probably a fish over ten pounds. It glowed a light blue similar to topaz, a gemstone common to Brazil and referred to as Azul in Portuguese – the same name given to the variety of peacock at the end of Kin’s line. As soon as we could see it, the fish could obviously see us and it went for another run peeling off line like a steelhead in deep rage transformed into a red eyed incredible hulk.

Marzo, Cal, & Kin ... aka Team Ninja.

Finally, after several minutes of this battle, the Daiwa Zillion TDZL661HFB did it’s job, helping to apply pressure to the fish and coax it alongside the boat. Marzo placed the Boga grip in the fish’s mouth and lifted it up into the boat. “Catorze” Marzo said in his native tongue, 14 pounds. Kin had nailed the first double digit fish amongst the TT Crew!

Now this is more like it!

Over in Zander and JIPs’ boat, Zander was already about worn out work in the chopper with hard, precise rips across the surface of the water - all to no avail. JIP was in the back of the boat working the jig and already had three fish to 5 pounds to Zander’s skunk. This didn’t sit well with Zander, it never does. He’d been ripping for over three hours and hadn’t gotten so much as a follow. Asamar, took a look at Zander’s collection of baits and pulled out a new one. It was black with an orange belly, San Francisco Giant’s colors, “tie on this one,” he said. Zander smiled, still fresh off the high of the World Series, he thought, why not?

Kin's trophy, a 14lb Azul.

9:30am: Asamar had motioned for Zander to cast to a point repeatedly. Each time Zander finished his retrieve, Asamar pointed to the same spot again. After about the fifth time, Zander looked over at JIP puzzled, but he reluctantly cast over to the same point, hitting the same point a sixth time. Rip, rip.. then.. his bait disappeared! No splash, no explosion, no commotion, just a quiet flush of his lure down the drain of a peacock bass’s mouth. “SET HOOK,” Asamar yelled as Zander swung and the fish responded by doubling his Daiwa Zillion TDZL741XHFB over, pulling the rod tip beneath the surface and ripping the drag off his Revo Toro as if the reel were in free spool. It was a monster and Zander could not believe the sheer power of the fish he had at the end of the line.

JIP hamming it up with his 17lber.

It was headed straight for the trees and there was absolutely nothing he could do to stop it. Asamar expertly positioned the boat parallel to the structure and used the boat to help pull the fish out of cover. “Easy, easy,” he remarked to Zander who had the rod butt tucked beneath his arm and was doing all he could to hold on the fish continued to gain ground.

JIP's Chopper tied on an Abu Vendetta.

Next Section: Getting into those big Peacocks!









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