Brazil Checkout Trips — Learning From Other Operators’ Bad Service
Last week I told you about my ill-fated checkout trip to the Trombetus River in Brazil for peacock bass. This week I will tell you about two more checkout trips searching for that special river to catch the big peacock bass. The peacocks over in Lake Guri in Venezuela just were not the big trophy fish we wanted our clients to catch.
I had talked to my friend Ray Sasser who is the outdoor editor for the Dallas Morning News about looking into the rivers of Brazil for the big peacocks. Maybe a month passed when Ray told me about a new guy who was trying to start up a fishing operation in Brazil. The guy called me and we met in Ennis, Texas to get to know one another.
After the meeting, I decided to do a checkout trip with this fellow to the Madereina River out of Manaus Brazil. I really didn’t like the guy very much so I decided to let Ron Jr. take his group of fishermen on this trip. I didn’t know the guy so I wouldn’t pay 100% of the money for the trip in advance. I sent him 50% of the money and agreed to wire the balance when Ron Jr. called me and verified that this guy had a boat and was for real.
The guides were green as grass and the first morning one boat ran into the back of a boat that had stopped. Thousand wonders some one didn’t get hurt. The only real damage was John Billy’s Scotch bottle got broken in the accident and that was pretty serious stuff for John Billy.
The owner of the boat had a very nice room on the very top of the houseboat. The client rooms were fresh-painted and the odor of the paint didn’t allow the clients to sleep inside so they had to sleep out on the deck of a barge. This was very uncomfortable for them and if the fishing had been good maybe they could have overlooked this inconvenience. After several days of bad fishing the owner left in his private boat as the clients were getting pretty upset with him. While he was gone, Rusty Pool from Chicago went into the owner’s good room and he got the guy’s mattress off his bed and Rusty threw it overboard into the river.
Needless to say Rusty was pretty upset with the guy and said if the guy gave him any lip service he would whip his a—. Rusty played football for Texas A&M and was a pretty tough guy so no one doubted he would do it.
Upon returning to Manaus, the clients were taken to the Buffalo Restaurant and the owner of the boat brought all the clients prostitutes from Manaus. This made the situation even worse as these guys came to catch fish and that was a terrible failure and now this guy was trying to make it up to them by offering them prostitutes. Everyone turned down the offer and told the guy they just wanted to go back to the USA.
Needless to say, this was the last group we ever took to this promoter and we were still looking for the right boat owner and that special river that held the monster peacocks.
About one year later Ron Jr. took another group of his friends on a boat called the Amazon Clipper. Well his group hit the MOTHER LOAD. I followed Ronnie with another group and met his group at the airport when he was leaving. Next week I will tell the results of those next two checkout trips, which I’m sure you will enjoy.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FISHING & REMEMBER TO WEAR THAT LIFE JACKET!