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Larsen Awarded All Tackle World Record
for Payara

    Larry Larsen with World Record Payara FishLAKELAND, FL - Larry Larsen has just been awarded a National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame all-tackle world record for payara, or the "Dracula" fish. The 31 pound, 42.5 inch long fish with two prominent canine teeth measured 25 inches in girth.  Larsen caught the giant payara on a large diving plug in a swift Paragua River run below Uraima Falls in the State of Bolivar in eastern Venezuela.

    Larsen, who was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame in 1999, caught the big fish with heavy bass tackle.  He used 65 pound braid spooled on a baitcaster, mounted on a 6-foot, 4-inch heavy-action rod. A 20-mph current and the angler's position near the stern of a 30-foot dugout canoe kept the battle very interesting! 

    "The fishing at Uraima on January 24 was unlike any I've experienced in South America over the past 40 trips," says Larsen.  "Not only did I catch the new all-tackle record for payara, South America's second most popular species, but I smashed the camp record for number of payara caught and released during one day. I caught over one thousand pounds of fish that averaged 12 pounds each. It was a day I won't ever forget."

    Larsen caught and released 86 payara that day by casting and trolling payara-laden waters below the area's two falls.  Twenty-seven of the toothsome fish weighed over 15 pounds. The line, cross-lok steel leaders, reel and rod performed perfectly during the onslaught.  The angler, who had an all-tackle record for the same species briefly in 1995, landed another 47 more payara in his 2 1/2 trip to the Rio Paragua.

    "Larsen had an awesome trip," notes Uraima Fall Lodge historian Erik Benettsson.  "The fish were packed into the area around the falls chasing giant schools of baitfish.  He averaged over 53 payara per day and had a 23, 24, 25 and two 26 pounders in addition to his new world record!  While we don't expect his one-day quantity lodge record to be broken anytime soon, we do expect the fabulous fishing to continue."

    Larsen has several line class world records for peacock bass and often fishes for giant fish around the world.  He has authored four books on peacock bass and payara, including  "Peacock Bass & Other Fierce Exotics" ($17.95 postpaid), "Peacock Bass Addiction" ($18.95 postpaid) and "Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing", all available from the author at Dept ."PR-P1", 2640 Elizabeth Place, Lakeland, FL 33812).


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