RadioProfile | The Battle of Otter Island

Text by Rodolfo Agustín Perri.

The fact of being astride the cotton filament, the bamboo cane, the 120 gram lead and all the genealogy of fiberglass, Kevlar, 18 nylon and the tenuous leaders of steel and silk, has not prevented from keeping, in the most intimate, the same respect reserved for the most heroic times of fishing. of whips and hooks defended by little bronze chains that today seem to me to be medieval artifacts, destined, by the tropical imagination of the users, to underwater monsters that can only exist in legend. From there arose “the murderous surubí of Bajo del Temor”, the ray that towed a canoe for more than 5 kilometers, and other sagas of the impossible, and in need of verification.

But let’s go back to the aforementioned respect. Once the range of artificial deceptions or “lures” appeared, without a doubt, fishing became more subtle, but the controversy did not end there. That an artifact of hesitant movement and bright colors, served to deceive tarariras in their millennial lethargy of lagoons and camalotes, I accepted it, and I came to verify it; but for the same team to be useful in the Silver process, and with the battle-hardened gilts of the outer rim no less, that was already the realm of wildest supposition.

One night, dedicated like many others to meeting in a common rite, that of stories, fishing jokes, and slow-roasted offal, things ended in an unavoidable challenge. The following morning, in Lito’s boat, together with Antonio and Roberto, we headed for a place previously chosen to settle the dilemma: that was the edge of Otter Island, which at that time marked, with a faint line of reeds, the beginning of the of the river or the end of the Delta.

Lito, at that time, started sailing, so the adventures and humorous situations multiplied. We enjoyed it, because we had plenty of time and the desire to enjoy the island atmosphere. Upon landing on Nagüe Island, “Coco” assured that there were gold “everywhere”. I chose the Márquez stream, then with a free outlet on the Bajo, right where today a levee rises that barely covers the high tides and that is the base of an already very closed and thick mountain of sauces. We left the baggage, and the usual phrase sounded:

– “Coco, at sunset, light the fire.”

The crossroads had little depth and immediately we found ourselves in the stream, still unknown to many today. I had had big crappie and didn’t hesitate to use my preferred float line; there is always a. Meanwhile, Pocho and Antonio assembled the, for me, extremely fragile fiberglass rods and chose between colorful lures and polished spoons.

To everyone’s disappointment, the golds did not appear. Some tararira that gobbled up the tasty morsel that we offered them, and a few boguitas, complying with their capers prior to the final liberation. Before the scheduled time we moored to the Nagüe pier, under those plane trees, the logs of dry sauce were already raising the blue smoke precursor of the barbecue. It was a long night full of anecdotes about Coco, who, barely twelve years old, with his father, was already setting 200-hook lines in front of the mouth of the Paraná Mini, and sailed the cargo to the port of San Fernando. His suggestion was also to dedicate the second day to the edge of Otter Island, and I stuck to my decision to use natural bait when the challenge entered its second phase.

When we reached the wide bay, in the center of which a small stream marked its double levee inland, we saw that it had gone a little ahead of us. Two speedboats, anchored in the center, recommended a lagoon aspect as on a Sunday. But we are in full Silver. We did a forecast survey and we visited different anchorages.

The real “battle” was fought there. And before the sun warmed, the energetic acrobatics and the tails of a deep yellow, almost red, spoke clearly of a feast of goldfish.

The water was, as always, cloudy enough to call into question the use of lures; So, I kept trying always with my mojarras as bait. Pocho and Antonio overwhelmed me with their repeated captures. Among all the lures, the Swing Number 4 spoon, gold, copper and silver, prevailed.

But the zenith was a dorado, weighing just over 6 kilos, we calculate, that Antonio was able to nail in one of his pickups. He had nylon 18, and the beast was able to fight in open water. We all stopped fishing because witnessing that was a separate spectacle. The real battle had, in principle, only one winner, the golden one. In a run, the fish reached the other shore and there, between his escapes, he wrapped a bush of reeds with the thread. He was, in seconds, almost exhausted and I proposed to go look for him.

-“Leave it. This is between him and me.”such was Antonio’s final order.

The fish, already recovered, began an impeccable jump and the fragile nylon burst in the air, after being under tension for such a long time.

My unfit gourmet mocked will still resound on the island, and the joyous applause of Antonio, who, I have no doubt, was only interested in bidding on the fish, and emphatically refused any useless form of slaughter.

by Juan Ferrari

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