Rio de Janeiro (2000 – 2003)……….. yeah baby!

 The Location

I spent 3 ½ years based in Rio de Janeiro, from July 2000 until December 2003. It was a fantastic time – I was on an exciting project at work, was well paid and located in a fantastic place  ….. the elusive win-win situation! Rio is great – picturesque, nice climate and (for the most part) full of friendly, laid back people (it also has it’s crime related dark side – more about that later, but that could generally be avoided with a little care). During this time I went on 4 offshore fishing trips:

         3 game-fishing trips with Captain Kdu Magalhães

         1 bottom fishing trip, lead by a local expert, Paulo

 

My friend and colleague, Mike DeVries, organised the offshore game fishing trips – 2 of which were successful.

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Christo

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Rio Yacht Club & Sugar Loaf Mountain_9.12.00 (r)Sugar Loaf Mountain from Corcorvado

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Dois Irmoes_Leblon_Aug.2000 (r)

Dois Irmões from Leblon

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Leblon – Ipanema

.There must be fish! - Ipanema to Copacabana....26.07.01 (r)Ipanema – Arpador – Copacabana

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Copacabana - View from Sugar Loaf Mt._27.08.02 (r)Copacabana from Sugar Loaf Mountain

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Paraty_20.12.02 (r)

Paraty

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Isla Grande_23.08.02 (r)Isla Grande

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Crusing Paraty Waters_23.08.03 (r)Cruising around Isla Grande

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Bait .... Brazilian StyleBait …. Brazilian style

-o0o-

Fishing in Rio

Big Game fishing with Captain Kdu Magalhães (Kdu is a well known character in Brazilian sport fishing & holds numerous fresh water records as well as having an impressive record with blue marlin off the Brazilian coast) (3 trips):

 

Trip 1 (Feb.02)

The first trip was on 2.11.2001 (my first ever blue water trip), the anglers consisting of me, Mike DeVries and his friend Gary. We ran c.100km offshore, out of sight of land, in 4-6’ seas to target blue marlin and sailfish. Once at the 80m+ water depth mark we searched for water with a temperature of 24°C + and then started trolling horse ballyhoo. We got periodic strikes from medium sized (c. 8-10kg) dorado, although our hook-up ratio was poor. For some reason, we missed a lot of strikes (I thought, in my inexperience of blue water fishing that we were not letting them run with the bait enough before setting the drag  – the drag setting was light, I remember) – I missed all my turns on the bite (I now think that with the large baits, and relatively small fish, that a lot of takes just took the back of the ‘hoo baits ….. certainly, my later experience suggests that dorado takes are usually vicious & easy to hook up). I still didn’t really have the fishing bug, so didn’t really object even when the other two had already caught & Mike’s friend Gary selfishly insisted on taking his turn for a second fish – bad form in my book!

 

Trip 2 (??)

I don’t remember too much about this trip, even the date (although it must have been during the late spring to late summer period), except that I fished with Mike DeVries and (possibly) Toby Garwood. I preceded this trip with a late night and a heavy session on the caipirinhas…..smart move!! It was a rough run out to the fishing grounds and, despite my claim to never getting seasick, the previous night’s excesses took their toll & I tossed my cookies over the side. I was ok after that though, unfortunately the same could not be said of the fishing & we failed to raise a single fish or strike. Not for the first (or last) time it was:

 

Fish 1, anglers 0 !

 

Trip 3 (Nov.03)

This was the best trip so far, and one of two trips that I managed to squeeze in during my last months in Brazil. I was joined again on this trip by Mike and another friend, Eric Huseth. The weather was fantastic, with light winds and smooth seas. We reached the fishing ground in good time & proceeded to troll mould craft skirts. As we fished, Kdu started making the caipo’s at 10.00am for breakfast!! These were followed down by Antarctica beers …..!! Luckily, the fish started to co-operate & fishing overtook drinking as the main pastime. This time (cf our first trip) we had a catch rotation policy. Mike took this first hit – a nice cow dorado c.8kgs. I was next up in the fighting chair (ok, the chair & heavy tackle were overkill for these dorado, but we were targeting billfish) & caught my biggest ever fish at that time, a c.8kg dorado. The fishing then went quiet. As we continued trolling, my hat blew off – Captain Kdu (in his early 60’s) turned the boat around and then dived in after the hat (we were c.100kms offshore, out of sight of land ….!!). The hat was duly retrieved, but, shortly after a shark fin broke surface and tracked the boat for a few kilometres! Finally, Eric got his turn in the chair. A large marlin was raised behind the big softhead skirt and quickly took the bait and made off on a short, powerful run. As I climbed to the bridge in preparation for some big game action photography, the marlin turned and ran back towards the boat with Eric reeling frantically to regain line. As he came tight on the fish the line parted – a poor quality knot. Kdu cursed in Brazilian (words to the effect of porra, filho da puta …). It turns out that this was a boat on loan from a friend and his tackle set up left a lot to be desired. Still, it was a great day out. Eric was a bit disappointed to have skunked, but his turn for a dorado would come the following month.

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Departing Rio Yacht Club_Nov.03Departing Rio Yatch Club

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Game Fishing ....the correct way_Nov.03Game-fishing the correct way …..

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Mike DeVries - Dorado_Nov.03Mike DeVries – first fish of the day

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My first ever Dorado

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 Fishing with Paulo Cecchetti (3.12.03)

Bottom fishing with Paulo

 

This was my final fishing trip in Brazil. I got invited along with Eric. Eric was friends with a Brazilian, whose father was a local expert at bottom fishing – he used to get invited out by rich boat owners who wanted to ensure a good day’s catch. So I got invited along as a friend of the friend of the son of the local expert, who was in turn invited by the boat owner …! I was initially concerned about the quality of the boat, safety, etc. However, when I turned up at the dock in Niteroi at the crack of dawn, my fears were unfounded, as we were fishing on the 50’+ motor yacht of a very wealthy Brazilian gentleman and his crew (an ex Vasco da Gamma professional footballer). As with our previous trip, the weather was perfect.

 

We fished with only minimal use of electronics – the depth finder, as Paulo lined up all the marks visually from coastline reference points. We were fishing in 80m+ of water, mostly with electronic reels on short, bent butt rods, but also with some fixed spool reels, loaded with braided line. If we didn’t hit fish immediately after dropping down our baits we would up and move to a new location. In between locations we trolled a lone skirt lure for pelagics and Eric finally caught his first dorado.

 

When we hit fish the action was fast and furious. We fished 3 – 4 baits per rod and held the line by hand to feel for & strike bites. We would often get fish on all hooks. The main target was namorada (a species local to Brazilian waters) and groupers, but we also caught safado (cutlass fish) and a type of bream. It was fun, but I didn’t really enjoy winching up fish on the electric reel – no sporting aspect whatsoever. I did manage the best namorada of the trip, a fish of about 20kgs. I also got a few fish on the spinning reel combo – more like proper fishing to me where you had to work the fish under your own power!

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The only pictures that are available are of my friend Eric, which I took on my camera. Eric took all of the pictures of me with my grouper and namorada on his camera. Unfortunately, a few days later, before he could download the pictures & send them to me, he was subject to a stand & deliver type hold-up robbery! As he was leaving his workplace in the Zona Norte area of Rio de Janeiro, two motorcycles with gun-toting pillion passengers pulled up alongside his taxi & proceeded to rob him, at gun point, of his camera, laptop & cell phone! Needless to say, the namorada I caught was much bigger than the one Eric is showing in the picture! As an interesting aside to this story, Eric’s company was doing some good by generating employment & business activity in the area. He employed a local handyman who was a real character. When he heard about the robbery, he talked to the commander in the nearby favela (shanty town) where he lived. The commander was furious – he didn’t want high profile robberies increasing police activity in the area and interfering with the honest favela business activities of drug running, prostitution and gang warfare!! Eric was asked if he wanted the perpetrators found and ‘sorted’ – although this was a tempting offer, Eric politely declined!!  

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Guanabara Bay, early morning

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Sierra Exif JPEG

Eric Huseth & Paulo Cecchetti with Namoradas

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Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEGEric Huseth with Dorado

-o0o-

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Subscript

Despite all of this, whilst I enjoyed the fishing trips I was still not really fired up to start fishing again on a regular basis – the ‘reawakening’ was to come later, in Oman.

This entry was posted in (6) Brazil, Dorado (Dolphinfish), Grouper. Bookmark the permalink.

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