I was feeling terrible, a few days before, I had got a cold but I wouldn’t let that dissuade me from fishing. I brought my nets out of our rented van and plunked them down on the shore. I looked across the igarape looking for the best spots. Bang, bang, bang, red ants were all over my feet and biting me in numerous places. Great.
In the deeper, open water swarms of 6-7 inch Bryconops looking fish were swimming in circles flexing their elastic bodies. Closer to the bank, hordes of young Aequidens sp. darted into the lilypads.
I saw a few Apistogramma hippolytaes in with them and hoped there would be a lot of apistos. I was not dissapointed, and my very first fish was small black apisto. I was really excited, it had been way too long since I had last caught an Apisto. It was in some plants in a mere 5 or 6 inches of water.
I did not know what species it was so I went back for larger ones. In a few minutes I was successful in netting a subadault. For the first time I began to think they were A. agassizis.
I caught a few more juveniles and my first A. hippolytae of the trip. I continued down the banks catching several Acaras and my second Hypselecara coryphaenoides of the month.
Everytime I go fishing I promise to myself that I wont take home yet another Apistogramma hippolytae. I just have too many of them. But my resolve crumbled when I caught this.
I caught few fish besides cichlids but I was able to catch a few tetras, a fish that reminds me of a Crenuchus spilurus and a Hoplias malabaricus.
I also caught the ever present Acaronia nassa and a few larger A. agassizi
When I was done fishing I jumped in the cold water with my snorkelling mask. I didn’t observe very many Apistos because they were mostly shallow but it was amazing to see the Satanoperca sp. (I don’t know what species, but it looks similar to S. lilith) and Aequidens behaving naturally in their habitat. I was very pleased to see my first Crenicichla marmorata in the wild. I only saw two at first and I thought they were big at 10 inches until I saw an adult. It was GIGANTIC I would say close to 22 inches and it had a school of around 30, three-inch juveniles swimming around it. I also saw some large Hypselecara coryphaenoides and a 5 inch Cichla occelaris.
Once back on land, I put my catches in a plastic box with some plants for my pond.
When it came time to pack the fish I did a very poor job of it because I was feeling bad and the percentage of fish surviving was very low, probably only around 50% surviving.
On the car ride back home we passed a lot of beautiful streams.
At home all of the female agassizis were fine but all the males died shortly after arrival.