Brazil is a special place for me; almost a second home and culture since meeting my wife, a native of Rio de Janeiro, in 2003. Over the years, we’ve gone back many times, mostly visiting Rio De Janeiro and her family there, but also venturing further out to places like Salvador, Olinda, Recife, Ouro Preto and the Northeast region. Despite all those visits, however, I had never managed to organize a fishing trip, not to mention a kayak fishing trip. This time would be different. In 2016, Hobie brought their Hobie Worlds kayak fishing championship to Leeville, Louisiana, not far from my home in New Orleans, and through our local club (Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club), I volunteered to help show the Brazilian guys around, translate for those that didn’t speak English, and try to give them some pointers on fishing in Louisiana. It was a fantastic experience, and through the friendships I made, I knew I now had some opportunities to fish the next time I made it to Brazil.
It would not be until winter 2017 that we had another chance to go back to Brazil, this time with our 9-month old son in tow. Because of my wife’s work schedule, we are pretty much limited to visiting during Christmas holidays, a time of year that is traditionally a vacation period for most Brazilians, so I was a little bit worried about whether I’d have a chance to fish or not. Finding a high-end fishing kayak to rent or use can be a bit of a challenge in Brazil, but my contacts there absolutely went above and beyond in their efforts to help me out. A couple of opportunities just didn’t work out because of the crazy holiday schedule, but eventually Rafael Renzetti and I made a plan. He had an extra kayak available, and a trip planned, and all I had to do was jump on the overnight bus from Rio de Janeiro, fish with him for the day in São Jose dos Campos (near São Paulo), and jump on an overnight bus back. A whirlwind trip, but I absolutely had to be back in time for Christmas! We had a great trip, the camaraderie was second to none, and the Brazilian guys were extremely warm and welcoming, as is their nature in all things. I was able to snag a couple of tucunaré (peacock bass) on topwater lures, which was an absolute blast.