You are preparing for your fishing adventure in the jungle. It is supposed to be a trip of a lifetime. Of course you want the excursion to be perfect.
Well, like anyone else, I can’t secure you to catch fish, big or small. But I can share with you a few things I learned over the last years fishing in one of the most amazing places on earth.
Of course it depends also a bit with which operator you are going. Some are well equipped and provide everything you need while others concentrate their business more on outstanding fishing and expect you to come prepared.
I hope the following points help you with your preparations. Nothing is worse than being in the perfect fishing spot but you can’t fish properly just because you left something back home.
Here are ten essential things I recommend to bring with, at least in my humble opinion.
I intentionally left out out the the tackle and clothing part. These I will handle in separate posts. Plus, if you forget to bring your tackle on a fishing trip, I really can’t help you…
1 - Passport
This shouldn’t come as a surprise since usually you won’t get far travelling without a passport. I suggest you hold on to it during the whole trip and also keep it on the boat while fishing. Secured in a waterproof zip loc it barely takes up any space anyway.
Even in the middle of the jungle I already ran into military checkpoints and depending on the situation it helps a lot if you can identify yourself. Plus you avoid the risk of your passport getting lost somehow in the camp.
PBT tip: Some South American countries require your passport to be valid at least six months over your stay.
2 - Sun Protection
The sun can get pretty nasty in the bush. Without the right protection you risk damage to your body and sleeping/fishing won’t be pleasant anymore.
- hat: whatever style you like, just wear it!
- buff: If you don’t want your face all burnt, cover it! A buff protects your facial parts against hungry insects too, at least to a certain point.
There’s a wide selection on the market. I personally prefer the one from Buff with the extra wide neck part and air holes at the mouth piece.
- Sun screen: for whatever part you can’t/don’t want with clothes. If possible chose one with as less chemicals as possible to not pollute your fragile surroundings.
3 - Insect Repellent
Let’s stay with the protection for a moment. Depending on the part of the jungle you are visiting, you will have to deal with more or less mosquitos and other insects. To make it simple, whatever part of your body that isn’t covered somehow will be bitten and stung. There are various products, I usually use spray to apply on the skin. The easiest way is to buy it right in the country your visiting where they know what you will have to deal with. Pharmacies or supermarkets will help you out.
I once brought the “best” repellent on the swiss market with me. I figured out pretty quickly that it attracted the bush insects rather than keeping them off.
4 - Camera
Whether you are an enthusiastic photographer or the type that can barely handle their cellphone cam, you want to take some pictures to remember this great experience.
5 - Medicaments
There are dozens of pills, sprays, crèmes and there like that might be helpful in a certain situation. Ask your doctor about the necessary things for you.
Vaccines: You need a yellow fever shot to enter most South American countries so don’t forget your international vaccination certificate.
Malaria: Depending on the region, malaria risk is higher or lower. One option is to bring malaria medicaments which you take when you got it to stabilize your body in order to get to the nearest hospital within 24 hours. On the other hand there are malaria prophylaxes that you take before, during and after the trip which prevent you from getting malaria at all. Even if an infected mosquito stings you.
6 - Pliers
Bring quality pliers for quick and safe unhooking of the fish. In addition you might to open some split rings from time to time or to tune/repair bent lures.
PBT tip: Bring a quality side cuter too in case someone on the boat gets hooked or steps in a treble. Sometimes the only way is to push the hook through and cut it. Pure pain!
7 - Spare line, Split Rings and Trebles
Bring some extra line and terminal tackle with you! In the jungle, with each cast you have the chance to hook a super powerful monster. In the best case you’ll experience a hell of a fight and get cool pictures of your trophy. On the other hand, the beast empties your reel or bends split rings or trebles. So be prepared to exchange, there won’t be a BassPro just around the next tree.
8 - Flashlight
There won’t be any lampposts in the jungle so you have to bring light into darkness yourself.
Depending on the camp you are visiting you might be more than thankful for bringing a flashlight with you. Latest when you have to visit the toilet in the middle of the night.
9 - Menticol
To mention Snoop Dogg, “that’s da shit” – disinfection and relaxation in one. This alcohol-menthol mix eases the itching of insect bites within seconds plus it gives a warm feeling like Perskindol.
It doesn’t matter how tired I am, before lying down, I soak myself in Menticol. No more itching, wounds get cleaned and full body relaxation. Bath in it to float into sleep.
10 - Cash
Because there won’t be an ATM in the bush. Your credit card is nothing but a piece of plastic there. It’s usual to tip your guide and the camp crew at the end of the week. Bring dollars or the country’s currency and bring enough. Don’t be that guy.
Bonus – Patience&respect
Be patient and treat the people working in the camp with respect. They do their best to make you feel comfortable. There’s huge logistical work behind a week in the jungle. So you sometimes might have to wait for something or there won’t be everything available like back home. You are in the jungle, not at Walmart.
Plus if you don’t catch fish it’s usually not the guides fault. Most of the people that I saw blaming their guide, were the ones without any fishing skills.
As I mentioned before, this post nor I can guarantee you catching fish but I hope these tips help you prepare for your adventure in the jungle.
Thanks for your time!