Can A 4 Year Old Fish For Piranhas In The Amazon Jungle?

Hell Yeah! A 4 year old CAN fish for piranhas in the Amazon, His name is Joshua and he’s my son and he did just that! In fact a team of us; 5 adults and 1 child (Joshie) where aboard a tiny motorized canoe in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the depths of the Amazon jungle when he caught the first catch of the day, actually he was the very first one of us to catch two piranhas which also happened to be the biggest! I was Astounded and yelling “My Joshie got a piranha, my Joshie got a piranha” whilst it was swinging and dangling from the wire and steel hook in our tiny canoe!

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Fishing Piranhas Is So Much Fun!

If anyone has fished Piranhas before they will know what I’m talking about when I say its SO much FUN! Just waiting for them to attack that piece of beef, yes BEEF! On the end of the hook was thrilling, tug and PULL, that’s it, hooked! Pull, pull, pull, and yank it up and Ta-Da, a big fat Red Bellied Piranha fish hanging by its razor sharp teeth.  I had absolutely no doubt about him fishing with us, I was hoping he would really enjoy it and still to this very day he asks me “Mummy, remember when we did that really cool thing – Piranha fishing!” I just smile and say “We’ll do it again soon Josh”.

We took the motorized canoe a few miles into the flooded jungle to find a good spot to fish, we tied the canoe to a tree trunk and stopped for some lunch; sandwiches, apples and juice, after we had finished we took out the wooden sticks with wire tied to the ends, we attached the iron hooks with a 1cm chunk of beef at the end securely by folding it over about twice to ensure the fast-paced piranhas didn’t nick and run with the bait.  We took one end of the stick and put it in the water to stir it up to alert the attention of the piranhas, then we placed the end with the hook in the water by about 40-50cm or so and held it still, after only a short period of time you would feel the bait was touched, when the next contact was felt you would quickly yank the rod up and hope to have a juicy piranha attached to the end.  Lots of times they would just take the bait so it does require patience but not too much.

At times we caught baby piranhas but quickly de-hooked them and chucked them about a meter away from the canoe so they wouldn’t get caught again.  So we were there, had lunch and was now fishing piranhas for our chef to cook back at the Samiria Eco Lodge, we only kept what we needed which was about 4 of them, the rest we would obviously place back into the water instantly hoping they would be someone else’s dinner.

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Baby Piranha.

Piranha Teeth!

Piranha teeth are no joke, they are extremely sharp, one touch is like a razor blade slicing, which bleeds and bleeds.  Their teeth are triangle shape, which locks onto food, hungry schools of piranha can strip flesh from the bones of large animals in only a matter of minutes. We went to Iquitos Zoo with another guide and saw them in a large pond where we gave them piranha feed, there were hundreds jumping out the water in a frenzy, they must have been really hungry, it was a bit sad actually because in the wild they aren’t like that.

That night for our 3-course meal back at the Eco Lodge was Piranha! It tasted absolutely divine, salty with the distinct taste of roasted chicken, 10/10 if you don’t mind me saying.

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Piranha Facts

  • One of the best habitats that you can find Piranhas is in the Amazon basin in the river and flooded forests.
  • There are up to 60 types of piranha species. Piranhas live collectively within a school of fish which can easily contain up to 1,000.
  • The indigenous Amazonia tribes use the teeth of piranha as weapons and tools.
  • Piranhas are normally about 14 – 26cm long.
  • All piranhas have a single row of razor sharp teeth in both jaws; the teeth are tightly packed and interlocking (via small cusps) and are used for rapid puncture and shearing – Ouch!
  • Piranha attacks tend to peak in the dry season when food is relatively scarce and the water levels are lower.
  • Some Brazilian rivers have warning signs about lethal piranhas.

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Another type of Amazonian fish eaten by locals.

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In-fact, we ate it too!

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Big teeth!

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Flooded forest, perfect for fishing piranhas.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’m a single mother in Sacramento, California. I’m on welfare and just got laid off from my job two days ago. Wanderlust has set in ever since I traveled to Mendocino. I want to travel with my son and make money as a writer. I would love to talk to you more about this. My kiddo is Gavin and he is 4 years old.

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