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Fellow subscribers looking for feedback on the new dorado and peacock camp in Bolivia will be glad to know the experience provided is truly wonderful. A friend, Dr. Stephen Schwartz, and I just got back from there, and we had a wonderful time, right from our arrival in the town of Vera Cruz, where the charter takes you into the camp along the Mamore River.
Dr. Schwartz and I decided to stay in Vera Cruz three extra days before going to camp simply to get a feel for the country. We found the place to be pleasant and very inexpensive. A cab ride anywhere in the city costs about three dollars, and the restaurants, many of which are very nice, are equally inexpensive. I highly recommend a stopover in Vera Cruz for the sightseeing and shopping, and simply to relax.
Once into the jungle we found it to be unspoiled. The lack of river people has left the jungle untouched and pristine. We saw many birds and animals, incredible scenery and unspoiled beauty. The food and accommodations were very good, and the people at the camp were great. We fished primarily for peacocks, although pacu and dorado had been plentiful only a week or so before our arrival. We also caught sardinita on fly and jigs. The peacock are mainly in large lagoons, and the fishing for them is unusual in that the fish are very tightly grouped in schools and there seem to be few fish under five pounds. This was my sixth trip to South America for peacocks, and I have never seen them this way. The largest we heard of was about 12 pounds. When you get into the fish, you may catch 30-plus fish from five to seven pounds on almost anything you want to throw at them – jigs, poppers, sliders, rattletraps, spoons, jerkbaits, stickbaits or propbaits.
There are only a few small drawbacks to this operation. Sometimes we had to take an hour-plus boat trip to the fishing areas, although the birds and scenery kept it interesting. We were also afraid that the peacocks would become over-fished because of their habitat. We discussed this with Jorge, the camp owner, and his partner, Chi-Chi. They were quite amenable to any ideas on keeping the resource as pristine as possible. Also, though the camp is comfortable, I think it will prove to be a bit Spartan for most wives. Jorge will take them for rides into the jungle, incidentally, where they will see many birds, monkeys and other wildlife. We almost ran over a wild turkey once.
For those brave souls willing to fight the mosquitoes at night, there are huge catfish to be caught. The water also has more piranha than anywhere else I have been, so you should bring ample lures. I highly recommend the overall experience, and I will be happy to answer anyone’s questions.
(Editor Note: This lodge is booked in the US by Frontiers)