The fish team spent the entire day in the sun, bending over tables the Ye'kwana had whipped together with saplings and lashes, breathing in formol as they packed preserved specimens in cheesecloth.
||"Piranhas were all over that bait like a cheap suit."|
The botany team finished sampling near our camp. The benthos team asked to be dropped off on an isolated rock to fish in peace, since there were many people on our small island and their specimens were already preserved.
PEOPLE: Meet José Garcia, invertebrate biologist.
TOOLS: More than meets the eye – water filtering reveals what's hiding in the water.
SPECIES: The Caura teems with strikingly colored butterflies.
I took a cue (and some hook and line) from Guido and hopped in the boat with the limnology team. While they surveyed one last backwater, I tied some ham rind to the hook and plopped it overboard, waiting for piranhas.
It turns out that getting a bite is not the issue when fishing for piranha. Piranhas were all over that bait like a cheap suit.
The hard part is hooking them because their mouths are so toothy and they flop around so much.
After two hours of fishing and wildly rocking the canoe every time I had a bite, I pulled in only one tiny ten-inch fish.
The last bite was surely the biggest of all, but it snapped the line right off and I lost my catch, Guido's hook and all. Time to go home.
— Reported by Jensen Montambault
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