Monday 5 July 2010

Piranha Anyone?

People often ask me about the basic tools you need to fish for piranha....
Well ok they don't really ask but I like to tell them anyway ;-)

What you really need is some fishing line and a reinforced hook. All the rest you can do without.
The algorithm goes as follows:
1. Find small insects or grubs to use as bait for small fish
2. Catch small fish
3. Fillet small fish and use as bait for piranha.

Piranha are very shy and suspicious and they need to satisfy themselves that what they are about to bite cannot bite them back. So you cast your line vertically and let it rest on the bottom of the river. It will take them a couple of minutes before they start biting.

If you cast from the bank rather than a boat you risk your line getting tangled to the infinite number of submerged branches in the river.

Although they have a reputation of being very ...Image via Wikipedia
The little fella I got in my hand is a red-bellied piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) - reputably the most ferocious of all.

In my experience the danger is minimal. The native people think nothing of going for a dip in waters brimming  with piranha. I personally have bathed several times in isolated pools with piranhas in them in the dry season.

The only tricky bit is when removing the hook from one you just caught - you can easily lose a small but important part of your finger that way...

Piranha faceImage via Wikipedia

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