I am happy to say I have been fishing like crazy. Although I had the chance to fish some great spots in North Carolina for a number of days in the past months, I also spent several weeks in Brazil visiting my family and friends and fishing. Y'all know quite a bit about how great fishing in North Carolina is, so I will focus your time and attention on my fishing trip to the Northeast of Brazil, going after Tarpons.
My first stop was in the Curimataú River, a 2-hour drive from Natal, the capital city of one of the Brazilian northeast states (located right by the Atlantic Ocean). This was such a trip to the past to a certain lifestyle that we do not see often or even hear about anymore. The drive from the airport to the river is already something to remember, with the car sharing the road with horses, stray dogs, and chickens at times, while crossing miles and miles of sugar cane fields and, later, shrimp farms.
The Curimataú River is a really well-kept secret. During my two days of fishing in its pristine waters, surrounded by amazing birds and native vegetation, I only saw a handful of other fishermen around. Its waters are home to tarpons, snooks, red snappers, pompanos, and a bunch of other tropical saltwater fish. In addition to the fishing, Barra do Cunhaú (the small, laid-back village that I chose to stay for the night) has a nice beach with kiosks where you can have a beer and enjoy the sunset. Now, if you are really into beaches, Pipa Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, is only 40-minutes away.
Anyway, I was there for the tarpons, so let's talk about fishing. The tarpon fishing in that region is not the classic "sight fishing" that it is prevalent in the flats. This river's waters are not clear and one will have to hunt the fish. My guide did a great job in spotting tarpons when they rose to the surface. We actually saw so many tarpons in so many different directions that it was disturbing to the point that it was hard to make a decision about where to cast.
That was a good problem, though! Once you see them rising, you cast and hope that the fly will get right in front of one of them. If it does, you will get a bite and see them jumping like popcorn. I had two days full of action in that river. I landed a great number of baby and juvenile tarpons, but was not lucky enough to have the fight of my life with an adult tarpon despite the fact we saw them rising everywhere. I felt like if I had stayed one extra day that would have happened. I certainly plan to go back and try again. Next time, I will bring a reel spool with a sinking tip line to get a bit deeper - where the big boys are.
Contact-me if you'd like to know more or interested in this trip.