After over a month from the last time since I visited the Rio Negro I couldn’t wait to get back. I knew the river would be a lot higher than last time but was surprised when I looked at the river for the first time and realized, there wasn’t a beach anymore!The water had risen probably about ten to fifteen feet… in a month!
For me the name of the game was to go into some small inlets where the water was calmer and where there was more vegetation, after all most fish species will move to any plants, terrestrial or aquatic, to feed on insect larvae or for cover. The fish that preferred the open beach where often too fast for my nets.
On the way down to a small inlet that had been more or less productive last time, I found a great piece of driftwood.
This time I had two good friends of mine, Juan and Jean (John in spanish and french). I got to the water and dipped my net, made of pvc pipes and screen, into the water and brought up about 10 fry. My best guess is that they were some species of Brycon.
I continued along the bank very carefully, climbing over half-submerged boulders. I knew that close by there was a steep drop off and I wanted to avoid swimming today.
By the bank I saw some vegetation just under water. I dipped my net in and saw movement in the water. I lifted it out and a sub-adult Pike cichlid flopped like mad, trying in vain to escape. I seized it in my hands and ran to my new photography/holding tank.
This was by far the best catch I had ever had here and the pike was simply stunning! It was the prettiest pike I had ever found and it was the perfect size for one of my tanks. I have not identified it yet but I am pretty sure it is a female.
The next interesting fish came with the same net in the same place a few minutes later. It was a tiny tetra but the interesting thing about it was that it was almost all black. That went into the photography tank along with a 6 inch Hoplias sp. and a two-inch striking Leporinus fasciatus.
Yeah you guessed it, the Leporinus and the tetra disappeared mysteriously. Did I mention the Hoplias, aptly named wolf fish, was fat?
I caught a black, interesting Serassalminae, possibly a Mylossoma sp. It is only an inch long and nearly impossible to identify right now.
I also caught more Brycon sp. and Mesonauta insignis. One of the most interesting Fish that I caught was a juvenile predatory characin. Unfortunately it was too small and perished on the trip home.
Generally I don’t keep so many characins but that day I wasnt catching much else. I kept two more tetra species, One reminded me of a rummy nose. It didn’t have the striped tail or the bright red nose but other than that it was a very good match. The eye was bright pink and when I saw it I thought it did have a bright red head. It also has a pinkish stripe along the lateral line
We had to pack up after that, and I tried in vain to do it quickly.
We were just leaving the beach When we saw two brand new Porsches, a Boxster S converible, and a Cayman S the first non SUV porsches I had seen in Manaus.
Wait till the next few days to see more in tank photos of the fish!