Guest post by Anthony Giardenelli
This Incredible specimen of giant freshwater stingray was caught near Oran, Peru Lower Amazon River region. She weighed in at 154lb over 4ft long including her short tail. We were fishing on the point of two rivers combining when she sucked the live bait directly into her mouth. She managed to swim a distance until it became like a rock at the bottom of the river. We had to untie and follow her downstream. When a stingray is hooked, they bury themselves in the sediment practically suctioned to the bottom. They are very stubborn, and at this point, if you do not have the right gear, it’s really easy to lose.
After about 30 agonizing minutes, we had a crowd of other local fisherman in awe at the braided nylon fishing line that is almost as fine as thread. Some of them were very impressed and stayed until we had beached the ray. We decided to take it to Oran Village to weigh and distribute to villagers and fisherman who followed us. It took 2 men to pull this ray up on the front of my speedboat and had to be tied down in several parts due to its slipperiness.
Freshwater stingrays of the Amazon river Basin are unique from others due to their natural history of isolation through geological change (uplift of Andes Mountains approx 60 million years ago). All species of Amazonian rays have genetic roots with ray species found in the pacific ocean and none in the Atlantic furthermore solidifying the case that the Amazon flowed westward before the end of the Cretaceous period. There are over 20 species of rays here in the Amazon as well as many species of fish, mollusks and other invertebrates that evolved from marine dwelling organisms.
Fisherman catches a 70 kilo fresh water stingray from the Amazon River near the village of Oran and the Otorongo Lodge.
A guest post by my friend Anthony Giardenelli, a great fisherman, birder, falconer, outdoorsman and all around good guy. Ant and his brilliant, charming wife Ivonne own and operate Otorongo Expeditions. I highly recommend you click on the link and check out their web site.