Fishing for Catfish on the Amazon River

This is one of the many fishermen who paddles the Amazon River each morning in search of catfish.  Villagers are dependent on fishing for their livelihood.

This is one of the many fishermen who paddles the Amazon River each morning in search of catfish. Villagers are dependent on fishing for their livelihood.

In December, Eric and I went on an Amazon River Cruise.  On one of our excursions in a skiff, we came upon some local fishermen who had a stuck net.  They were in a dug out canoe, about 4 guys, and we stopped and watched as they tried about everything to get their catch out of the water.

At one point, another dug out canoe, this one with a bigger motor, tied up and tried to help get this massive net out of the water. Another guy jumped in the water and tried to free the net. They all worked tirelessly to bring in the catch.

Eventually, they asked us our native guide we could help them out with our powerful boat.  We tied up to their canoe and pulled them this way and that until the net came loose, netting them hundreds of catfish into their tiny canoe.

We passed them all bottles of cold water from our cooler before setting off in search of more excitement.

This catfish was caught with a spear from a canoe that paddles along the river's edge.

This catfish was caught with a spear from a canoe that paddles along the river’s edge.

A short time later, we saw someone fishing for catfish with a spear.  That man let me hold one of his fish for this picture.  The other passengers got such a laugh over the catfish that the fisherman passed his spear in for me to pose with too.

In the Amazon villages, catfish is one of the main sources of food.  It only made sense for us to experience the local dishes, so catfish was served almost every day as one of many options on the buffet. It was cooked up differently each time and each distinct flavor was exciting to try.

 

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