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ISSUE #14 | Q2 2021

SPAIN

POPPING AND JIGGING IN ALICANTE

PAPUA-N.G.

CHILE AUSTRAL KINGS

THE MIGHTY PAPUAN BLACK BASS

BRAZIL CAMAIU CAMP

+ NEW TACKLE, LATEST IGFA RECORDS, SEEN ON THE WEB & MORE...


CONTENTS

ISSUE#14 Q2 2021

6 Editorial

46 Brazil

8 IGFA

62 What’s new

Supporting our local shops

Latest records and news

Camaiu Camp

Our selection of the latest tackle

12 Spain

66 Chile

28 PNG

86 Seen on the web

Popping and jigging in Alicante

The mighty Papuan black bass

Austral Kings

Our selection of recent fishing footage


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WHERE ARE WE TAKI

BRAZIL

CHILE


ING YOU THIS TIME ?

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EDITORIAL Dylan Smith Editor in Chief

Goodbye Covid-19 Finally, after months and months of global crisis, the Covid era seems to slowly come to an end. It is still early to celebrate victory, but with more and more people getting vaccinated, things should head in the right direction. This is very good news for us anglers, but also for business owners and fishing guides of the industry. Some of them had a very hard time making ends meet during the pandemic, and this slow return to normal is a true blessing for them and their families. After this long period of lockdown, we’re sure people will slowly rush to the great outdoors, enjoying nature like Covid never existed. If you do, make sure you hire a local guide, he’ll be more than happy to hit the water again!

Dylan Smith COVER SHOT: Underwater picture of a Vodudahue River king salmon, in Chile.


SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES T H E

W O R L D ' S

B E S T

F I S H I N G

D E S T I N A T I O N S

Editor in chief Dylan SMITH

Contributors Daniel Klemm Ben Etridge Tiana Reimann Thiago Zanetti

Special thanks IGFA Iskander Mermet Sportfishing Adventures magazine, published quarterly, is independently owned and operated by DMS Editions. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without prior permission. For inquiries, contact the editor: editor@sportfishing-adventures.com


IGFA NEW RECORDS

IGFA

NEW RECORDS Couto’s African Red Snapper Yamasaki’s Madai Japanese angler Toshiya Yamasaki was jigging the waters off Nagasaki, Japan on April 22, 2021, when he landed this 9.40-kilogram (20-pound, 11-ounce) madai to set the new IGFA Men’s 15kg (30-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. The impressive fish, measuring out at 77 cm, struck an Inchiku jig and was brought to the boat after a seven-minute fight. Yamasaki was fishing aboard the Saika captained by Satoshi Sasano when he landed the record fish.

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Lucas Couto, age 13, recently submitted this beautiful 32.50-kilogram (71-pound, 10-ounce) African red snapper to set the IGFA Men’s Junior World Record for the species. Lucas was fishing out of Kuanza, Angola when this massive snapper ate the Rapala he was trolling. After a short fight he was able to boat the fish and take this amazing shot on the shoreline. An impressive fish at a young age!


NEW RECORDS IGFA

Block’s Giant Tigerfish Avid fly angler and adventurer Jeremy Block of Kenya recently caught and released this incredible 15.39-kilogram (33-pound, 14-ounce) giant tigerfish to set the IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. Jeremy was on a trip to the Vovado River in the Central African Republic when he landed this toothy specimen on a streamer.

Mishin’s Snubnose Pompano In February 2021, Russian angler Nikita Mishin traveled to Poivre Island in the Seychelles with the Alphonse Fishing Company. While he was there, Mishin landed this 5.33-kilogram (11-pound, 12-ounce) snubnose pompano to set the new IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. Nikita fooled the record pompano with an Alphlexo Crab pattern fly and landed the fish after a 12-minute fight. Congratulations to Nikita on this impressive catch!

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IGFA LATEST NEWS

IGFA LATEST NEWS

Registration Open for the Inaugural IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open

IGFA South America Regional Council, Pedro Rodríguez, Carlos Heinsohn, and Alejandro Linares, along with other important recreational fishing industry players in the country, recently presented a proposal for the establishment of recreational angling regulations to Colombia’s National Aquaculture and Fisheries Authority (AUNAP).

The inaugural, two-day tournament will require strict adherence to IGFA Angling Rules and will have both weight and release categories. To encourage maximum participation throughout Southern California, the tournament will offer three official weigh stations: The Marlin Club in San Diego, the Balboa Angling Club in Newport Beach, and the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Ventura. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 14, 2021 at the Dana Point Yacht Club.

Read more

Read more

IGFA Helps Establish First Recreational Angling Regulations in Colombia

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LATEST NEWS IGFA

10 of the Greatest Dolphinfish Records of All Time Read more

Johnny Morris, BPS & Cabela’s Announce Support of IGFA Billfish Research The IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) recently received some great news when IGFA Trustee Emeritus and Bass Pro shops founder, Johnny Morris announced a pledge of $50,000 to the billfish satellite tagging program from the not-for-profit Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund.

Read more

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POPPING AND JIGGING IN ALICANTE Text and photos by Daniel Klemm

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A nice little tunny on the stickbait!

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he Costa Blanca is one of the tourist meccas for Brits and other Europeans looking for sun and good food. Fishing is not the first thing which comes to mind. ‘Thanks’ to the largest fishing fleet in the Mediterranean the stocks have been heavily depleted leaving little to catch for the 14

normal fisherman. At least that is what I got from all the reports on the internet. I did the research after my initial trip to Oman was again canceled and I was looking for waters where you can catch nice fish without being quarantined for two weeks. Luckily I could remember of a friend of mine, Jorge, SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

Jorge has caught some solid fish from shore, however we weren’t so lucky.


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with whom I’ve fished before in the Ebro Delta. He founded a charter in Santa Pola, specialized in popping & jigging trips. After I got some promising information from him, I called my fishing buddy and we agreed on fishing one week with Alalunga Charters. The travelling went smoothly, you just have to make sure your smartphone is ful-

ly charged. Otherwise you can’t go anywhere in this pandemic! In Santa Pola we were greeted with some nasty winds and had to fish from shore on the first day. Jorge has caught some solid fish from shore, however we weren’t so lucky. Casting for eight hours and not one single take. First doubts came up, should all the reports be

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right and there is just no fish left here? After some preparation for the second day and a look at the Windy App our moods were up, and we were hoping for a better day on the boat. The boat is the perfect tuna hunting machine, powered by two Honda 175hp engines. However during the first two hours we couldn’t find any tuna and so we

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After heading for an underwater cave, this beautiful grouper finally came to the boat. A perfect way to start the day with high hopes!

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On the second drift, Andi’s Xipi got hammered.

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switched to do some jigging. Dentex and grouper are the most sought-after species here and while you can catch them with metal jigs, softbaits work a lot better. So we rigged our JLC Xipi and dropped them on a structure where big grouper lurk around. On the second drift, the Xipi of Andi got hammered by one, and as often with big groupers, he buried himself in a cave after a short fight. Luckily after putting the

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boat in an other position the fish left the cave and Andi could land a beauty of 15 kilograms. What more could you ask for a start? The next hours were pretty slow except for the occasional bite. Most of the time we kept looking for birds, also with the SIMRAD bird radar, which suddenly showed a big concentration only a few kilometers away. We raced there and after only five minutes we were in the


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The view on the Alicante marina, from the Castillo de Santa Barbara. Definitely worth the hike!

The surubi catfish not only have amazing patterns, they also put on a great fight! 20

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This one had no chance of escape!

middle of absolute mayhem – little tunny were smashing sardines in an area as big as a football pitch. The lures were flying and after some tries, we figured out what size they want. Bites were now guaranteed on almost every cast. This fish put up a hell of a fight on the PE3 outfit, with the biggest ones measuring around 120 cm. 22

Of course we also went in that area on the second day and again – the false albacore were hungry and hunting in their hundreds. We fished the area for about two hours, with everyone getting at least five fish. When the fish slowly disappeared we focused again on jigging. However this was very tough. We marked some good fish SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

on the sounder and had nice bait balls under the boat, but except for some smaller grouper the fish weren’t eating our lures. Our plan for the last days was to target the bluefin tuna. The week before they were in the area and Jorge was sure we just had to put in some time and we would


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find them. So we drove into another area on the next day and searched the tunas there. The first few hours were very disappointing with only some single fish hunting and no sight of a feeding frenzy. This changed when the wind picked up in the afternoon. The tuna were active now and we had some shots at feeding fish. Though the

size of the bait made it very difficult, the tuna were refusing to inhale our lures and instead feeding on very small sardines. We kept trying and were finally rewarded – at least with a bite. The fish which took the lure was simply too big for a popping outfit. After thirty minutes of fighting with a locked drag and hardly any

The fish that took the lure was simply too big for a popping outfit.

Catching little tunny of this size on PE3 outfits is what sportfishing is all about. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

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Finally the tuna came out to play! After losing a massive fish, this beautiful specimen was a well deserved reward.

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The little tunny bite was on fire during the trip. Don’t overlook these saltwater torpedos!

chance of moving the fish the hook came lose. We were disappointed but we finally knew the area in which the bluefin were feeding. The mission for the second day was clear: hook a bluefin (which hopefully isn’t over 100kg) and land it. The fish were active in the morning but again only feeding on tiny bait. Our 26

stickbaits and poppers were refused by them even after downsizing to 10cm. The tides turned in the afternoon when the tuna were feeding on larger bait – Andi came tight with his first ever bluefin and had quite a battle on his hands. The fights here a pretty demanding as you fish over 70-100 meters depth. A PE8 outfit is the minimum you should bring otherwise SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

The next day I also got my shot at tuna which were feeding aggressively.


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you’ll be the second winner or done after the first fish of the day. Andi’s Centaur Combat Arm did the job and after 20 minutes the fish was ready to land and released after a very quick photo. The next day I also got my shot at tuna which were feeding aggressively. I could hook a nice fish in the 50-kilogram class which also went hard on the HOWK Bullfighter 200. After some runs the fish was ready to land – happy faces on board, everyone got his tuna.

Unfortunately the wind was blowing pretty hard on the last day so we had to cancel the last trip and therefore the last chance for a dentex. I’m sure this will work the next time I am visiting Jorge and his crew in Santa Pola. His charter is the perfect getaway for everyone looking for a combined jigging & popping trip which is not so far away.

MORE ABOUT THEAUTHOR

Just get in the plane and after two hours you are ready to fight with tuna and other pelagics or drop your jig for a massive grouper

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA

THE MIGHTY PAPUAN BLACK BASS Text and photos by Tiana Reimann

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A perfect example of lutjanus goldiei, the Papuan black bass.

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he Legendary Papuan black bass & spottail bass must be on every angler’s bucket list simply for its power and intelligence. For over 17 years, Baia Sportfishing has given the opportunity for anglers across the world a chance to catch this river monster. Situated in the beautiful wild of West New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea is the magnificent Baia Sportfi30

shing Lodge overlooking the breathtaking views of Open Bay, wild rivers, lively reefs and a magnificent volcano, Mt Ulawun. Baia Lodge is family owned and operated by Riccard and myself, where booked out charters operate during the dry season from April to December. This piece of paradise is no short of the best wild fishing adventure with all the comforts that home has SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

This piece of paradise is no short of the best wild fishing adventure.


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The rivers are home to very large mangrove jacks, like this 65cm specimen.

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to offer. Let’s embark on a Baia Sportfishing adventure together. About PNG climate PNG is situated near the equator and temperatures here are tropical all year round from 25-33 degrees. Your usual fishing shirts and pants are perfect but be sure to pack your sun safety essentials, insect repellent, closed in shoes, camera and relevant medication which can be found on our website. Malaria is present in PNG but mosquitos are not

an issue at the lodge. Please consult your doctor for a prescribed anti-malaria medication course before your trip. The journey to Baia Lodge Our adventure to Baia Lodge starts by flying in to the Capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby where we have a very quick turnover to take the 1-hour domestic flight on a Fokker 100 to Hoskins, West New Britain. Upon arrival we are greeted and collected by the Liamo Reef Resort airport bus and

Giant trevally caught on Torio River. 34

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PNG is situated near the equator and temperatures here are tropical all year round from 25-33 degrees.


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A nice Papuan bass caught on a surface lure. The takes can be very brutal at times!

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The Baia boat jetty is ideally situated on the lagoon, behind the lodge.

taken to Liamo Reef Resort, situated in the heart of Kimbe Town. After checking into the comfortable, air-conditioned rooms for the night, take the opportunity to explore the facilities on available from bars, restaurant, pools and of course a cold drink overlooking the stunning sunset scenes of Kimbe Bay. During this trip we will target the Papuan black bass (Lutjanus goldiei) & spottail 38

bass (Lutjanus fuscescens), both fresh water snapper fish part of the lutjanus family which also includes the mangrove jack (lutjanus. argentimaculatus). Despite being a world-renowned fish, little is known about their ecology. Thankfully Baia and James Cook University Australia have been conducting 5 years of research to learn more about SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

Their long life-spans permits the big bass to become intelligent and powerful creatures.


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them. Based on ear bone samples the research suggests black bass are slow growing, a 66cm bass is 18 years old with sizes growing to a meter in length and over 45lb. Their long life-spans permits the big bass to become intelligent and powerful creatures and we are constantly testing various lures that attract and successfully catch the monster.

Travelling to Baia Lodge Sunrise at 6am marks the sign of an exciting day where we travel via a comfortable 9m transfer boat to Baia Lodge. A quick 4.5 hours boat ride is a breeze when travelling along the coastline of New Britain, passing various villages, high mountain ranges, schools of fish and volcanoes. Occasionally, the local pod of dolphins will welcome us with their presence at the

bow. Upon arrival at Baia’s jetty in the lagoon, our local staff greet and assist us with taking bags to the lodge you will call home for the next 5 nights. Baia Lodge is situated east of Kimbe on the boarder of East and West New Britain beside the tranquil Baia Village. All your home comforts are offered in this piece of haven from hot water, flushing toilets, comfortable

This Papuan black bass was caught on a walk-the-dog lure, at the mouth of Pandi river. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

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The 7,6m Tenders are perfect fishing boats for rivers and blue water.

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beds, electricity and staff to clean and prepare all your delicious, hearty meals each day. There are 6 rooms, 4 twin share rooms and 2 family rooms with a queen and 2 singles in each. In total the lodge take 6-10 anglers on a 5 Night trip. There is 240V Australian electrical plugs and limited phone connection each day. Shortly after settling in, it’s time to prepare your fishing gear for an afternoon of fishing. Our 7.6m center console tenders

are designed perfectly for 2-3 anglers and a local fishing guide and are equipped with a 140hp Suzuki Engine to reach fishing destinations quickly. Baia’s rivers You have a choice of 4 major rivers to fish from that are 20 minutes to 45 minutes away. The Sai, Torio, Pandi and Langa-Langa rivers are large systems which start from the mountain ranges.

Black bass patrol outside the mouth for larger prey and can survive in salt water for a long period of time.

The rivers are populated with various species like this white-speckled cod. 42

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A hefty 20kg mackerel caught on a popper!

Each have their unique habitats and underwater topography that your guide will know very well. Most river banks have overarching jungles or thousands of Nypa Palms which eventually fall into the river a provide a sanctuary for the fish. The Pandi was our first river choice and its lines in before you enter the river mouth. Black bass patrol outside the mouth for larger prey and can survive in salt water for long period of time. Now is the chance to test your favourite diving or surface lure. When using any lure, casting under

the overhanging trees is the key to a hook-up, however, casting into the middle of rivers with structure has proven to catch some of the largest bass as well. I make a long cast onto a fallen tree along the bank with a light brown tango dancer. Retrieving with 2 twitches per second allows a consistently paced side to side motion out from the habitat. Suddenly, the moment I was anticipating, the bass attacks and retracts back with its strong caudal fin, leaving a boiling splash and uprising swell where the lure once was. The key to successfully SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

catching a bass really begins from the hook-up as these apex predators first tactic is head into the snags to break away. 60% of the time, I have seen anglers over and over again forget to check their drag or leader line which quickly ends with the fish getting away. Thankfully, the drag was tight and ready for action. After a tug of war between us, the 30lb lutjanus goldiei succumbs and we see eye to eye. In awe, you can appreciate that this 25 year old fish consists of sheer power and muscle. The feeling if 43


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The local children performing a cultural show in front of guests.

catching a big black bass is like no other. The fish was quickly dehooked, photographed and released back to the wild. Catch and release is commonly practiced at Baia Lodge to ensure a sustainable fishing environment for future anglers. However, we do love to keep a nice mackerel for dinner and enjoy a range of locally sourced seafood each day.You can catch many other species in these rivers 44

from giant trevally, tarpon, thread-Ftfin salmon, large mangrove jacks and Maori perch. Previously, up to 17 species have been caught in a single trip! Blue Water fishing is a fantastic option as well with various reefs and bommies for popping, jigging and trolling methods. Recommended river lures include a range of medium to deep diving lures, SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

The black and spottail bass are fierce predators that can eat their own kind, snakes, rats and frogs.


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small to medium size surface lures and even soft plastics. The black and spottail bass are fierce predators that can eat their own kind, snakes, rats and frogs. For the next 5 days of your trip, the rivers are available to explore with trolling and casting fishing methods and your guide will direct you throughout the rivers.

the bass. Our fishing trips coincide to the lead up of the new moon and full moon phases as it also offers the greatest tidal movements and nutrient intakes for the ecosystem. Apart from the excellent fishing, PNG boasts over 860 unique languages and colourful cultural experiences that will last a lifetime.

During the new moon phase, a unique migration of whitebait swarms through the river systems, providing an essential source of food for

Baia Sportfishing is now taking bookings for 2022 and 2023, so be sure to secure your dates before they book out

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TRIP CONTACT For more information on a fishing trip in PNG, check out Baia Fishing.

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BRAZIL

CAMAIU CAMP Text and photos by Thiago Zanetti

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Every boat ride is a perfect occasion to contemplate the Camaiu River’s wilderness.

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fter a 1 hour and 20 minutes flight on a float plane from Manaus, we arrive to the beautiful Camaiu river. But the journey still isn’t over yet! Reaching the Andorinha waterfall – a great fishing spot - takes an additional 2 hours and 30 minutes boat ride upriver, going through wild tropical colors of the Amazon. In several stretches the guide needs to get off the boat, push it over obstacles,

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and raise the outboard motor to pass through the rocks in the fast crystalline and fresh moving waters. We never went exploring beyond this waterfall because it is an insurmountable natural obstacle for the aluminum boats. Who knows what is beyond that point? As we arrived at the falls, we got out of the boats and started fishing from the rocks. Peacock bass in fast waters! The fish already have natural SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

Fish kept passing underneath my fly, but not attacking it. What was going on?


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Sunset on the wild banks of the Camaiu River.

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turbocharged power, add the moving water in which the animal can get a ride on and the result is an unforgettable angler/fish battle. The stones carved by thousands of years of flowing water make the place look like we are in another planet. As I was casting my streamer and retrieving it, fish kept passing underneath my fly, but not attacking it. What was going on? There were several peacocks between 4 and 8 kilos that took a look

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at the fly but returned where the came from immediately, seemingly afraid. I changed my fly, tied a smaller one, but still nothing! The scene repeated itself. I reeled in my line and headed back towards our shelter, where the guides were preparing lunch in the shade and the other fishermen were relaxing with a beer and telling fishing stories. While watching my step, I noticed a huge “frog” between a crack on a big boulder. As I looked

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It became obvious that it wasn’t a frog: it was a huge anaconda’s head!


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Any pocket can hold a predator on the Camaiu’s fast waters.

back more closely, it became obvious that it wasn’t a frog: it was a huge anaconda’s head! It was there staring at me, just with its head out of the water, in that hole made by time and water, with its huge body below the rocks. The head was bigger than mine, absolutely massive. The presence of that animal explained why the peacocks didn’t come out to play. The wild monster made

the fish loose appetite.

the abundance of wildlife.

Contrary to the peacocks every one in our party was ready for lunch, which was as always - delicious. Freshly prepared right there under the shade of a tree, in the middle of the Amazon! After lunch, the 4 anglers slept on the hammocks, resting for a few minutes. The midday sun in the jungle can be brutal, everything is still and quiet, the total silence contrasting with

Siesta done, it was time to go back fishing, this time downstream.This area has thousands of fishing spots to cast into. My favorites are the faster waters that come out of the forest and flow over dark drop-offs. These spots hold aggressive fish, which explode on the surface with amazing speed. “Where did this fish come from!?” you often ask yourself, trying to

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Beautiful details on this peacock bass. Every specimen has unique patterns on its body, just like a fingerprint.

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keep up with a mean peacock running downstream!

In the rapids you can also find a fish called matrinxã, which is even faster.

In the rapids you can also find a fish called matrinxã, which is even faster and often caught on small poppers and white streamers, on size #2 hooks. They are very strong and acrobatic fighters, but they’re also fragile and need to be handled very quickly to be released alive. This fish is very abundant on the Camaiu river, its speed, jumps and power will make any 8 weight rod bend properly! Next to the Camp there are big boulders that form one of the best spots. That area

Camping right on the Camaiu’s banks. 56

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always holds good-sized fish, especially around sunset. However, the fast water can make it difficult for anglers to set their hooks properly, the peacock’s strikes are often lightning-fast. The only way to hook these fish is to strip set immediately, forget about the gentle trout set! Back at the small pier near the Camp, we follow a staff member for the 10-minute walk back to our cabins. After a good shower, we take advantage of the wifi and send the fish photos to the friends and family while enjoying a fresh drink! As the other guests arrive from their


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Nice peacock on the fly for this guest. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

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Things can get tricky when hooking a fish between two giant boulders, but it’s definitely worth trying!

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Victor Villanova with a very nice Camaiu peacock.

day’s fishing, stories emerge from everywhere, and it is soon time for dinner! On my last day, I really had a monster fish encounter. About 30 minutes downstream there is a place that looks like a science fiction movie background: perfectly curved white stones with sharp edges and lots of fish. I was at the bow of the boat and we were moving 60

very slowly among the rocks, sight casting. I suddenly saw a gigantic black-backed fish right behind a stone. I had made the most perfect cast when I saw when he suddenly turned his eye in my direction and swam away in a big swirl. I could almost hear it saying “no human, not today». I will never forget that massive fish. One day I’ll be back on the Camaiu and I’ll hook that beast SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

TRIP CONTACT For more information check out: Amazon Fishing Camps thiago@flyshopbrasil. com.br


Russian Scientists at the PINRO institute have deemed the Atlantic Salmon of the Yokanga River to be the largest salmon on the Kola Peninsula. With the comprehensive anti-poaching regime now in place under new owner and conservationist Alexey Strulistov, the magnificent Salmon of the Yokanga look set to flourish in the years to come. All Yokanga camps are undergoing an entire rebuild, and the new Solar jet boats at @yokanga_lodges mean that almost the entire fishery can now be accessed in the autumn season without the use of prohibitively expensive helicopters. This will make the fabulous fly fishing on this

unique salmon river a more realistic proposition for many keen salmon anglers who cannot afford the high prices of prime time. Check out our website at www.yokanga.com and call us on +44 7850955585 or mail us at mattharris@ yokanga.com if you want to know more. Grabbing a shot at a magnificent thirty pound Yokanga salmon, along with the chance to experience the northern lights and the stunning colours of autumn on the Kola may cost less than you think.

THERE IS ONLY ONE SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

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TACKLE NEW GEAR

?

WHAT’S

NEW

ROSS REELS COLORADO

FOX RAGE MEGA CRAW The new Mega Craw from Fox Rage is an oversized crawfish imitation. It is very easy to rig and triggers predators on the surface and on the bottom as well, depending on how you rig it. It can also be used as a trailer, on a big spinnerbait for example. The Mega Craw is already a must have for French anglers, and the big catfish seem to like this lure a lot. Available in 3 sizes : 20, 16 and 13cm.

3,29€ | foxrage.com

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This thoroughly updated design brings a beautiful aesthetic defined by aerodynamic shapes and surfaces. The look of this reel is different from anything on the market today. A novel, all-metal external clicker accentuates the back of the reel, complete with a machined silhouette of our local San Juan Mountains and a classic click-pawl sound. The spool is even more open than its predecessor, making the face of the reel appear spacious and clean, with the beveled large arbor showing off the backing and line just as well as it picks it up. The industry-first bushing is fully machined from Vesconite - a material specifically designed to be used in the toughest marine bearing applications, guaranteeing a lifetime of flawless operation.

339€ | rossreels.com


NEW GEAR TACKLE

SAVAGE GEAR SAVAGE MINNOW

PLANO Z-SERIES 3700

Combining an incredible kicking action on both drop and retrieve, and a unique rise and standup jig head that ensures perfect action off the bottom, this might be one of the best minnow imitations out there. The Savage Minnow features super realistic details and a removable glass rattle chamber in the body that produces an enticing sound, this lure also benefits from the innovative Pro Peg body holder, a system that allows you to peg the soft lure body to the jighead for added durability.

Designed without zippers for serious saltwater use, Plano’s Z-Series 3700 Tackle Bag features a waterproof base, PVC fabric and easy-access attachment points. The bag comes with two 3700 StowAway utility boxes for customized interior storage. Exterior, mesh side pockets hold small leader spools and other necessities. The bag measures 10-by-18.8-by-10.2 inches.

9,22€ | savage-gear.com

$79.99 | planomolding.com

BAJIO NATO SUNGLASSES Bajio Nato Sunglasses offer premium construction and features for the angler who demands the most of his equipment. Bajio Sunglasses utilize polarized lenses that surpass the competition with a focus on Blue and Yellow Light Management, greatly reducing eye strain and fatigue under any outdoor conditions. Anti-reflective coating on the back side of the lens cuts glare from light penetration from the top and sides of the sunglasses. Frames are constructed from a proprietary plant-based material that is durable and sustainably produced.

$199 | bajiosunglasses.com

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TACKLE NEW GEAR

SAVAGE GEAR WEEDLESS SHRIMP

MUSTAD MINI INKVADER

The Weedless Shrimp’s innovative design allows it to run true even at faster retrieve rates and without spinning. The shrimp’s legs are shaped to flutter on the fall, then sit upright on bottom making it incredibly versatile and completely lifelike in presentation. Its built-in rattle combined with a scent-infused Duratech body help this shrimp stimulate feeding at every sensory level.

Mustad Mini InkVader Jigs are built with the same proven life-like TPE body that made the original InkVader Octopus Jig so popular. Quickly and easily switch out patterns of you favorite Mini InkVader for that extra edge. These Mini InkVader replacement bodies fit on our Mini InkVader Tenya and Mini InkVader Double Assist variants. Sold in packs of two!

$7.99 | savage-gear.com

18,90€ | mustad-fishing.com

OKUMA ITX REEL The ITX’s machined aluminum handle screws directly into the reel assuring maximum security and stability. The 7HPB +1RB high performance ball bearing system keeps the reel running smoothly in freshwater and inshore with the precision machine cut brass pinion gear. The machined aluminum 2-tone anodized spool is surrounded by Okuma’s Cyclonic Flow Rotor system that increases air flow through the ported rotor, increasing drying time and minimizing corrosion throughout the reel. Housed in the spool is the multi-disc, carbon fiber drag system with hydro-block asket keeping water out and your drag running smoothly.

okumafishing.com

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NEW GEAR TACKLE

SEA FALCON S IMPACT JIG Made in Japan with premium components and hand painted finishes, this jig is specifically made to be used when slow pitch jigging. Differing from the Z slow jig, this lure has a more compact shape, with a much more asymmetrical belly. This lends this jig tp have a greater advantage in deeper water with long turns of the handle, though when jerked the jig will swim in a tight «S» shape. The 120g model is 3.5» long, the 160g model is 4» long and the 200g model is 4.5» long.

$29.30 | seafalconusa.com

SEAGUAR SMACKDOWN

GAMAKATSU GIKA RIG

Offered in bright, easy-to-see green coloring, the Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line Flash Green delivers a super thin construction in comparison to other braids in its class. Offering several key advantages, like increased line capacity, the Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line Flash Green stands out in the water and enhances performance techniques that require visual bite recognition.

Perfected in Japan, and making its way throughout North America, the Gamakatsu Gika Rig is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to catch bass. Combining the natural appeal of finesse applications, with the speed of power fishing, the Gamakatsu Gika Rig delivers a deadly blend of techniques that bass find irresistible.

$29.99 | seaguar.com

$6.29 | gamakatsu.com

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TRAVEL CHILE

CHILE

AUSTRAL KINGS Text and photos by Ben Etridge

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T

he Southern Hemisphere is a mercurial place for a fisher to visit. There’s both a familiarity and strangeness about fishing here if you’ve travelled North - South. The Andes are part of the same chain encircling the Pacific rim, the rivers they feed feel and move in the same manner as the freestone streams of the Rockies or Cascades. There are volcanoes, forested 68

wildernesses, trout and rugged mountain people. But in the depths of Chilean Patagonia, so far south the roads stop and the rivers run with a wicked clarity, there are also King salmon. This electrifying experience has to be considered the apex of salmonid fishing. Widely considered the hardest fighting salmon after a week at Austral Kings in 2018, living in verdant rainforests chaSPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

This electrifying experience has to be considered the apex of salmonid fishing.


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TRAVEL CHILE

Successful teamwork! Landing a big king salmon on the fly is something one will never forget!

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sing magnificent Chinooks in pure, wild rivers, I too find myself hooked on it all. Fishing here is both a blast and a small mystery too - why are these big-ass fish here in Chile? In recent years the Chilean fjordland has experienced the latest boom in destination fly fishing. The Trochine brothers Alex and Nico set up the Austral Kings operation in 2016 after finding healthy runs of these enormous fish there. It was known that the fish were there but the rivers

had not been recced and worked out for visiting anglers. “My Mum is from Puerto Montt, Nico explained, and we knew there were Kings here. But until Alex and I fully scouted the river we didn’t know how many fish are coming into the system. What we found over those two seasons looking was simply unbelievable.” They found something truly special. The Vodudahue river flows through a pristine valley. The terrain isn’t wide and powerful, rather a jagged

This king couldn’t resist a well presented Frances fly. 72

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What we found over those two seasons looking was simply unbelievable.


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Rigging up rods and checking the leaders and knots before mayhem!

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and sharp set of forms, with monolithic grey-granite rock faces soaring upwards from the valley floor. And in the middle flows an emerald river, sometimes milky, but for most of the season the river runs dreamy and crystalline. On arrival, after the customary two days of transfers and internal flights, the expected and obligatory ‘journey into the wild’, the fishing kicks off. Due to the near constant rain the water can be big. It’s finning down but we start on sink tips and full skagit heads. Two 30lb+ fish

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were landed by the group in the morning session. One of these first fish for the week almost broke the fisher. The power of the King salmon is undeniable, when you’re locked in with one you just feel like it’s never going to come in. There’s an element of force to fishing Kings, the battles take minutes and minutes, the line vibrates when it comes square and if the fish takes line, turning its broad side into the current you just have to hope it doesn’t run. I heard stories of fishers getting spooled here and of guides running to launch the jet craft

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

Two 30lb+ fish were landed by the group in the morning session.


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End of the fight for this Vodudahue River king salmon. The clarity of the water is mind-blowing during most of the season.

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All are super hardwon fights and require a team effort to land and measure.

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as the fish ran downstream. All sorts of things kick-off at Austral Kings. It’s a fishery of scale, one that rewards solid casting and persistence on a wide and powerful river. This is not a river where you’ll catch fish all the time (over the week all our group caught fish) but what you miss in numbers is made up for in exhilaration. All are super hard-won fights and require a team effort to land and measure. Of course, quick releases are essential for the fish’s health and the guides at Austral Kings are very big on this stewardship of the river and its residents. “The fish can knock themsel-

SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

ves on rocks on the way in,” Lucio explains, “and with the size of them we need to return them immediately so they can recover.” The fishery is being run in a beautifully sympathetic way with all people, the anglers, the camp team looking after luxury tented accommodations, and guides involved in conservation. The surrounding area is part of Doug Tompkins’ old ranch. He had painstakingly bought up parcels of land off local people, built dirt roads and fenced off areas to provide for cattle farming. And although now no longer alive I can’t


CHILE TRAVEL

Fishermen will enjoy the calm wilderness of the Vodudahue River.

help linking the progressive attitudes of the guides to the work of this great conservationist. Alex Trochine echoes this: “We all have to look after what we are doing. We absolutely need to engage with local people and travelling fishers to get this system protected. The more value we can add here this more likely it is we’ll see better fish numbers in the future.” Vladimir, an experienced Russian fisher, geared up with 5 metes of T20 sinking tip and a big red frances on day 2. He described the valley to me as one of the most

beautiful places he had seen earlier in the week. An incredibly well travelled angler, he’s undoubtedly a brilliant caster. He hooks up to a decent fish and we get it in a shoot pictures of it. Here’s someone with the salmon fishing of the world on his doorstep back home but has opted to come and fish here. There’s a magnetism to fishing for Kings in Chile. As if something is pulling you down there to the most beautiful fishery you’ll ever see...

shades of magenta down their flanks to teal on their backs, almost camouflaging them in the green-hued water. All the fish are chrome and muscular having left saltwater just a few miles away in the loch. The tails, man!, they are paddles and will dwarf a human hand. It makes tailing the fish a tricky business. But when you look back at pictures and see the size difference between the angler and the fish it brings a new perspective to fly fishing.

The fish are similarly unique and stunning. The colours range from ultramarine blue,

As an angler I had never fished Kings before. So to be able to fish them here, in a

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Releasing a Vodudahue king. Specimens over 1 meter long aren’t rare on this pristine river.

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Swinging flies in a stunning scenery!

majestic place I think has been transformative for me. I realised that among all the places, cold water destinations and trophy fish this is one of those that lives that little bit longer in the memory and stands out with a bit more colour. Maybe the memory of adrenalin is permanent. I’ll never forget guide Nico Gomez hooking a 40lb fish while we recced some new water one day. The way his rod tip started bouncing when he hooked up was bizarre, as if some strange force had taken 84

control of his gear. His fish, measured at 110cm is one the biggest and most impressive fish I’ve ever seen come out of a river. Despite that fact that obviously salmon are marine species, this fish was just rude and I think it sort of warped the proportions of what anadromous fish are to me. Austral Kings is a place for intrepid, species obsessed fisherman to visit. Nowhere will you find such blinding beauty mixed with draining days on the water. The place is wondrous and the fish leave you speechless. SPORTFISHING ADVENTURES | Q2 2021

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR benetridge.com ben@benetridge.com


Looking for the Patagonia Fishing Trip of a Lifetime?

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Sportfishing Adventures - Issue 14 | Q2 2021  

Sport fishing Adventures magazine brings exotic fishing action and inspiring adventure stories directly to you. Each issue features gear tes...

Sportfishing Adventures - Issue 14 | Q2 2021  

Sport fishing Adventures magazine brings exotic fishing action and inspiring adventure stories directly to you. Each issue features gear tes...

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