Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baddest of the bad!!!

Having had the opportunity to fish worldwide for bad ass freshwater fish, I am often asked which is the baddest!  There are many items to take into account when rating fish.  Here are 4 of my favorite.

PAPUAN BLACK SNAPPER, aka NIUGINI BASS--These brutes are found in the very remote areas of Papua New Guinea, the Province of Papua, and Indonesia.  The flights from the USA are extremely long.  Weather in these jungle environments can be downright nasty!  Malaria strict environments, possibility of running into unfriendly natives, extreme heat, muddy water, herds of mosquitos, and pouring rains exist!  However the fishing can be downright amazing!  New Guinea Bass are extremely difficult to land.  They swim around huge logjams which they use for their advantage in breaking off lures, etc..   They can be fooled by deep diving lures along with topwater poppers given the right conditions.  They are flat out bulldogs running into the snags and do not jump much.  Pound for pound there is nothing which can top this guy!!  Broken rods, reel gears stripped, hooks bent, lines snapped, destroyed lures are common each day!  I was knocked down on my face by the force of  my trophy PNG bass and I weigh over 200lbs !  The IGFA all tackle record is 46lbs caught on the Kumimaipa River by friend Jason Yip who runs fishing adventures into the remote regions of PNG.  Jason has seen bass much largers than his record!  Good luck landing that one!!
GOLDEN DORADO   These brutes are found in Argentina and Paraguay.  Currently, the largest dorado are swimming in La Zona which is a section of the Uruguay River near the Salto Grande Dam which seperates Argentina and Uruguay.  These guys are tremendous battlers often leaping numberous times to toss your lure. The golden dorado uses fast currents to their advantage.  Deep diving lures and topwater poppers and choppers are used to land these monsters.  In La Zona there is not much to worry about as you are not in a jungle environment.  The nearest town in Concorida which has all the luxuries of home.  La Zona Lodge is a top notch luxury lodge which books 4 anglers into the zone.  Another operator based on the Uruguay side offers the same.  Only 4 boats are allowed in the zone and only 4 days per week.  Weather does not get extrememly hot and 4 seasons are observed.  Broken rods, lures, lines, hooks, etc are seen each day with the dorado also!  The current world record is set at 55lbs 11oz, but larger dorado exist!
TIGERFISH  These toothy critters swim in the waters of Africa.  I fished in Tanzania on the Ruhuji and Mnyera Rivers which are a long ways from the USA.  Tigerfish swim in packs and destroy lures.  They are very fast swimmers and leap numerous times to toss the lure.  They can be landed on diving lures along with topwater.  Their teeth will literally destroy lures and lines.  The exist in a harsh environment where malaria exists!  Crocodiles and with hippos are swimming along with the tigerfish and pose a treat!  The scenery is tigerfish country is amazing!  Large herds of wildlife can be seen daily.  In my opinion tigerfish do not possess the power the PNG bass or golden dorado has!  However their teeth can be downright intimidating!  The current world record tigerfish is 35lbs 7oz.  These are not the goliath tigerfish you might have seen on the popular River Monster television show.
PEACOCK BASS--These brutes are very popular with American fishermen.  South American holds with largest peacocks espeically in countries such as Brazil.  The Amazon jungle is home.  Peacocks are very colorful, downright beautiful.  They possess extrememly fast swimming ability and have a downright mad attitude!  They hit all types of lures and are known for their ability to crush surface choppers and poppers.  The Amazon has malaria and other types of dangers.  Pouring rains and hotter than hell temperatures exist!  The current world record peacock bass is 29lbs 1oz landed on the Santa Isabel Do Rio Negro!  I believe there is peacocks larger than this.
I have also had the opportunity to land monster Mekong Catfish, Siamese Carp, Redtail Cats, arapaima, payara, huge lake trout, big king salmon, among others.  Still on the list are Nile Perch, taimen, plus others.

Which species is your baddest of the bad??  I have my opinion, but will keep it to myself!

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