MYTH: Exclusive Rights to Fish Exclusive Rivers.
FACTS: Walk away from outfitters that promise exclusive fishing areas, as there is no such thing in Brazil’s Amazon. The constitution of Brazil allows all citizens to navigate through any waters of Brazil ao long as the Maritime Brazilian Authority laws are obeyed. The only exception to this deals with waters located within an Indigenous Reserve area. Those that live there, may restrict access to anyone without specific permits issued by specific federal departments of Brazil and never, ever, with the allowance of a commercial exploration unless made by the community and for their own subsistence. In other words, if an Indian community is located inside of a Federal reserved area, the Indians can use and explore the waters and land to their own subsistence, but again, never ever to any commercial purpose, only for their own subsistence.
MYTH: Water Levels Dictate Fishing Success.
FACTS: While it is true that Peacock Bass react to rising and receding waters in terms of appetite, it is a combination of fishing the right water with a seasoned guide utilizing the best equipment that makes for a successful trip. The old saying goes, “big waters mean big fish,” and this holds true for Peacock Bass in Brazil’s Amazon. Some outfitters will tell you it is necessary to fly into remote stretches of the tributaries of the Rio Negro, “away from everyone and everything,” to catch a big Peacock Bass. But looking at the IGFA record books shows this is simply not true. The last 2 All Tackle World Record weighing 27 lbs. caught in 1994 and the 28 lbs. monster Bill Gassmann caught in February of 2010 while fishing with Captain Peacock were all caught in the main Rio Negro or within a couple of miles of the mouths of its tributaries!
MYTH: Piranhas Are Bloodthirsty Killers?
FACTS: Thank Hollywood for this myth. Following the blockbuster success of Jaws in 1975, movie producers dove deeper into the land of exaggeration and imagination to find the next big “killer fish.” In 1978, that killer fish was something that resembled a piranha in the movie Piranha and in the sequels and reboots to follow. While these films do provide mind-numbing entertainment, they do not in any way reflect how piranhas act or feed in real life. Piranha are, however, a great game fish and make for outstanding table fare.