Deep in the remote equatorial Amazon River basin, virginal black coffee-colored waters are seething with toothed, rod-bending fishes to include not only colorful peacock bass and piranha, but even “a fish with ribs like a pig.” Sounds like a paradise as described by my buddy Brent Mooreland of Acute Angling. An avid and well-travelled duck hunter himself, Brent tells about a world-famous associate he used to shotgun with before wading off chest-deep into Amazon peacock bass fishing adventures in one of earth’s truly last remaining wildernesses. Heck, he had me at “a fish with ribs like a pig,” but it’s been a long time since a place so captured my imagination and I absolutely cannot wait to visit!
Holler at Brent Mooreland and tell him you heard him on Duck Season Somewhere podcast! Acute Angling Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing
Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season Somewhere where I am in Saskatchewan with a good friend. You know the world problem just solve running up and down the roads at 05:00 in the morning, heading to a goose field. And the more you get to know people, just having those conversations and sharing time with them. Joining me today is Brent Mooreland from Texas. Brent, I’ve had a great time up here the last few days. How long you been coming up here?
Brent Mooreland: I’ve been coming up into Canada almost 20 years.
Ramsey Russell: 20 years. Talk about that. Because you told me on the way up one morning that this was you and your dad’s hunt.
Brent Mooreland: Me and my dad’s hunt would come up here once for a week and it was our hunt and then it got to the point to where he couldn’t come anymore and I just lost him last year and I haven’t come for the last couple of years, so I decided I wanted to come back this year with my friends that continuously came.
Ramsey Russell: Is that who you grew up hunting with, your dad? Was he your main most hunting buddy?
Brent Mooreland: He was.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about getting started hunting. Where were you, when were you and hunting with your dad when you were young?
Brent Mooreland: I was in Louisiana and he was a real big deer hunter and he’d always take me. But I had uncles that would let me go as they were working in the picking cotton and stuff, I’d always have to be jumping in the baskets, packing down all the cotton. And one of my uncles said, hey, you want to go shoot a duck? And I did. He told me to shoot it over here, not over here. Well, I shot it in the wrong place.
Ramsey Russell: What do you mean? It fell in some deeper water or something, in brush?
Brent Mooreland: It fell into the Black River and I was getting ready to go after it and he said, no, you’re going to drown if you do that. He said, you just learned a real important lesson and after that, I’ve been hooked on bird hunting.
Ramsey Russell: How old were you?
Brent Mooreland: 12.
Ramsey Russell: Okay, so it was your uncle that really started off taking you.
Brent Mooreland: And he didn’t even realize what he was doing. He just thought, this is some kid just wants, yeah, go ahead and do it.
Ramsey Russell: Creating a bird killing monster.
Brent Mooreland: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: When did your dad get into duck hunting with you? Because from 12 years old now, this became you all’s hunt. How did that go? Did you drag your dad into duck hunting?
Brent Mooreland: He started taking me about 16 years old when I was 16 and we would go into Katy Prairie and Lissie Prairie and duck hunt and then we’d go over east of Houston and goose hunt and it just kind of blew up. I got out of high school and I’d go by myself and it just grew. At that time, he was working all the time, but he would go with me whenever we’d plan trips. So I’d always plan trips for us to go together.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Oh, yeah. It was a real treat.
Ramsey Russell: What are some of the trips you all did besides this? Because you’re a world traveler now and you and I spent a couple of weeks down in Argentina this year together, hunting in that big marsh and I really got to know you down there and learning how much travel you had done. You’ve done a bunch of travel around the world. Did you and your dad do any other trip besides this?
Brent Mooreland: We did all in Texas and a couple of times in Arkansas, but most of the international travel, I just wanted to go by myself and I’d just say, what would you want to go do? And then I’d plan it out and go do it to where, I guess I got that wonder lust where I just want to go see new things, new places, I want to hunt different things, but I’d always go back to bird hunting. That’s my favorite. And as you know most people bird hunt fish, most people that fish bird hunt.
Ramsey Russell: You fished a lot growing up?
Brent Mooreland: A lot, I still do.
Ramsey Russell: I know you do, that’s what I’m leading up to. Talk about fishing growing up.
Brent Mooreland: Fishing growing up –
Ramsey Russell: In Louisiana or Texas?
Brent Mooreland: In both. Every morning we would get up, there were a gang of kids in the neighborhood and in the summer go down and we spend all day long fishing for brim and bass and then mom and dad would come down there and get us, hey, it’s dinner time, we didn’t care if we were going to catch them or not, but we just stuck with it. And then it just kind of progressed that and then I moved to Texas and started doing the Gulf coast, trout, redfish, flounder and it just kind of blew up and grow. I got a lake behind my house, I’m always bass fishing with the grandkids and stuff like that now.
Ramsey Russell: When did you get the travel bug?
Brent Mooreland: I got travel bug about 30 years ago. And what I wanted to do was there’s got to be more to where I live and I said, well, I’ll start going. And I’d go up to Canada, Alaska and then it just kind of blew up from there because I enjoyed it and I just continued to go and the more exotic it was, the more I wanted to do.
Ramsey Russell: The world’s a whole lot bigger than our backyard.
Brent Mooreland: And a whole lot different, too.
Ramsey Russell: A whole lot different. And ironically, the first place outside of Mississippi that I went and dreamed of going was right down there in your backyard in Katy Texas Prairie and the Garwood Prairie, back in the day. You know when I go down Katy Freeway now, I don’t know where it is that I hunted because we were right off the freeway.
Brent Mooreland: Probably a shopping mall there.
Ramsey Russell: It probably is because I go down there now and I’m like, where did I hunt? Where are the rice fields? You got to get way outside of there now to see that kind of stuff, it’s gone.
Brent Mooreland: Well, get out there, there is places. I have a lease south of Eagle Lake and me and my buddies got our duck hole there and if we’re at home, we’re going duck hunting there. And we had some really good shoots, we don’t have the mallards, but we got pretty much everything else. And what is it, you go after what you got.
Ramsey Russell: I did not shoot a lot of pintails in the habitats I hunted back in the day and that was a plus when I went down to those rice fields around Katy, Texas. But what lured me there of all things, were the snow geese, that’s what I wanted to do. I grew up seeing them fly high overhead, heading down the Gulf coast and never dreaming that they’d eventually be proliferate throughout my hometown or my stomping grounds. But that’s what lured me down there, the limit was 5 and that was plenty it seemed like.
Brent Mooreland: When I started, it was 5, you had to work hard to get them, but in that area, now they’re gone. They’re not doing the same amount of rice production, they’re doing different farming practices, urban development is encroaching on, from what I’m seeing in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas is where they’re shortstopping now. We’re up here in Saskatchewan and we’ve only seen 2 big flocks right now. But we are in the middle of a drought up here and it’s tough hunting, but you can’t go when it’s just good.
Ramsey Russell: Well, you don’t know if you go. And it just so happens that this particular part of Saskatchewan is absolutely, positively the bone driest part of Saskatchewan I’ve seen in the last month, it is just dry and the birds are very spotty distributed and stuff like that. But hey, we still had a good time, don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some great hunts.
Brent Mooreland: This morning was fantastic. I just love your dog Char, watching her work. We were shooting those giant geese this morning and half the size of your dog and she just struggled back with them, I loved it.
Ramsey Russell: Her tail thump, you can hear her tail thumping. Somebody asked the other day, is that somebody shooting in the distance? No, that’s my dog’s tail thumping on her mud hut. And as we start calling those geese getting closer, it starts, bing-bing, she’s waiting, isn’t she?
Brent Mooreland: If you notice everybody had their heads down and they will listen to that dog thumping that dog crate and you knew when it was time to shoot.
Ramsey Russell: Well, somebody asked, we were hunting a mud hole yesterday for ducks and talking about wearing a face mask, looking at the ducks, I don’t look at the duck, even if I’m calling to them, I’m looking at her, she’s looking at the ducks. And I know where the ducks are, if I can’t hear them just by watching her eyes, they’ll get bigger when the ducks turn our way or something.
Brent Mooreland: I like your dog, she just drives me nuts, because it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes we do miss and she’ll just kind of look at us like, hey, where is it? And that is so much part of the hunting. I mean, the thrill of it getting out there as a one. You, the dog and all your friends.
From Dallas Safari Club to Argentina: A Hunter’s Tale
Brent was at Dallas Safari Club and you came up one day, like a lot of people do and just introduced us that, I want to go on one of your hunts.
Ramsey Russell: We had a good time down in Argentina, but I want to talk about how I met you, because it’s been a while now, Brent was at Dallas Safari Club and you came up one day, like a lot of people do and just introduced us that, I want to go on one of your hunts. I said, well, come on. And no, I can’t go this year, I got something else planned, then you come back next year and touch base, no, I got something else planned this year, but I finally got you down there to Argentina.
Brent Mooreland: And I really enjoyed it. I mean, it was a 75,000 acres of marsh, it was just fantastic. You and a guide, it was just out of this world. You could not have asked for more than what we had there. I mean, just the accommodations, the only problem I had was that long drive to get there, but I knew about it beforehand, but that made it so remote and so pure, even to the fact, I don’t know if your listeners know this, but I saw a maned wolf that’s almost extinct there and I came back all excited and you’re kind of like, yeah, we saw him one other time, I was tickled.
Ramsey Russell: It’s always a special time. And the thing about it is, I’ve been down there for 10 years and never seen nor heard of a maned wolf and saw quite a few of them this year. Now, I’ll be honest with you, as dry as it was, the hunting was a little off, as it was, I hope I never see another one again. I revered those maned wolf as some kind of bad omen for duck hunting after this past season, I’m just going to be honest with you.
Brent Mooreland: Well, I’ve been down there 18 times, hunting and stuff, I’ve never had, it’s not a numbers deal, it’s the hunt and it’s the atmosphere and other people you’re with and stuff. So the drought down in Argentina like we have up here in Saskatchewan right now, it’s just part of nature’s cycle.
Ramsey Russell: And we hatched a plan this morning for the next time we’re down there, because you’re going back, what we’re going to do to get them to cook. You happen to be there on my birthday and I’d like to spend every birthday I have at that lodge or certainly in Argentina – I’m 53 years old, I’m older than that, I’m 56 first thing that goes, is your memory, how they celebrated a birthday was unbelievable.
Brent Mooreland: It was unbelievable. I asked you, hey, can we buy a lamb and do that again and have the whole crew eat and cook and stuff like that? And you said, in a heartbeat, we’ll do it. I was excited.
Ramsey Russell: They cooked that whole lamb and the mustard based chimichurri sauce they kept on to it, I was wondering how that was going to go and it was just delicious. Man, I hurt that night going to bed, I ate so much.
Brent Mooreland: What I really liked about it, watching them cook, it was everybody there was part of it. When we got back from the morning hunt, they already started it and everything, but they would take turns basing it and checking it and watching it, it was a team play occasion, but I really liked it.
Ramsey Russell: Circling back around, you went to Alaska for fishing, I’m assuming or was it hunting you went on? When did you start world travel?
Brent Mooreland: Alaska.
Ramsey Russell: What was your first international bird hunt?
Brent Mooreland: Argentina.
Ramsey Russell: Doves, pigeons?
Brent Mooreland: Doves.
Ramsey Russell: That was the big deal back in the day.
Brent Mooreland: Yeah, that was the big deal, I do like the pigeons. I did do some duck hunts while I was there.
Ramsey Russell: You told some good stories the other night, I spent a couple weeks with you down in Argentina been with you here several days and you started telling some stories about a pretty interesting character, used to hunt with that, you met in Argentina.
Brent Mooreland: You’re talking about Tom Knapp?
Ramsey Russell: Tom Knapp, who was an exhibition shooter.
Brent Mooreland: One of the world’s best exhibition shooter.
Ramsey Russell: How many clay targets was it that he would throw up in the air at one time and bust before he hit the ground?
Brent Mooreland: I’ve seen him do 10.
Ramsey Russell: And you met him in on a dove hunt, pigeon hunt?
Invitations and Adventures: Tom Knapp’s Unexpected Friendship
He was down there doing a TV show and I just happened to be there and he just kind of took a liking to me and we kind of expanded. He invited me to go ice fishing up in Minnesota.
Brent Mooreland: On a dove hunt. He was down there doing a TV show and I just happened to be there and he just kind of took a liking to me and we kind of expanded. He invited me to go ice fishing up in Minnesota and I’ve had him at my house and then we started doing other things together, hey, come on with me, I’m fixing to go here and stuff, so I would go. And then eventually he started working with me on some of his trick shots and stuff and it was really enjoyable, that man could shoot. And he told me the history of how he started. When he was a kid, he’d go trapping, that’s how he got his money and stuff and then he worked for the Parks Department and at that time, Winchester was in there doing some exhibition shows. He went up to the guy and said, I can do that and the guy said, do you think you can? He said, yeah.
Ramsey Russell: He had a hero growing up, which was who?
Brent Mooreland: Herb Parsons. And he was always talking about Herb Parsons.
Ramsey Russell: Really? Even when you knew him all these years later.
Brent Mooreland: Oh yeah, he’d tell me stories all the time.
Ramsey Russell: Did he ever meet him, Parsons?
Brent Mooreland: I don’t know, but I’m sure he did.
Ramsey Russell: So, he goes down to Winchester, he’s from Minnesota and he goes all the way down to Florida.
Brent Mooreland: Well, that’s what they said. Okay, we’ll try you out down in Florida, he went down there –
Ramsey Russell: Did he have to practice before he went?
Brent Mooreland: He shot all the time. You and I’d go to work, he’d shoot. I mean, didn’t matter what it was, but he had a really nice routine, he went down there and it was a 100 shots and display and stuff, he only missed two and at that time, Winchester signed him. And then he worked with them for a lot of years and then he went to Benelli.
Ramsey Russell: That’s the Tom Knapp I know is Benelli Tom Knapp. And that’s really. Hey, it worked 20 something years ago watching him at the Ducks Unlimited used to have a big festival in Memphis around their headquarters and watching that man shoot that Benelli, Boom, I got to have one.
Brent Mooreland: And he was great at selling them. Now, he did change over to CZ after a while and everything, but if you could have been with him when he wasn’t in front of an audience and stuff and hey, try this and stuff like that, the man was incredible. It didn’t matter what type firearm he had, he could hit it. I saw him shooting the 10 ring at 100 yards once with a 45-1911.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Couldn’t believe it.
Ramsey Russell: I can’t believe that. Because you were saying the other night, he was an incredible shot gunner, but he could shoot everything.
Brent Mooreland: It didn’t matter what it was.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about his gun collection.
Brent Mooreland: He had quite a fancy gun collection. He had old musket loaders.
Ramsey Russell: How many guns did he have? How big were his safes?
Brent Mooreland: They were about half the size of truck and whenever he finally showed them to me, I think there were 4 of them in there.
Ramsey Russell: And how long had you known him when he trusted you enough to show you his gun collection?
Brent Mooreland: About 3 years.
Ramsey Russell: He had old blunder bus muskets, everything.
Brent Mooreland: Oh, he had everything. Stuff, I don’t even know what it was.
Ramsey Russell: But he probably shot them all.
Brent Mooreland: Oh, yeah. Today I’m going to shoot this, I’m going to do this. The most funniest times I had, when I was at his house and we just go in his backyard, that’s where he shot.
Ramsey Russell: You all came back from Argentina, you stayed in touch, did he come to Texas first? Did you go to Minnesota first? How did you all hit it off like that?
Brent Mooreland: He called me and asked me to come up there and fish with him.
Ramsey Russell: Ice fishing.
Brent Mooreland: Ice fishing, which I’ve never done before.
Ramsey Russell: Tell that story, because that was a good story.
Brent Mooreland: So we were going up to northern Minnesota and you got to realize, I’m south of Houston, we don’t know what ice is unless it’s in a glass. So we were driving up there and we were driving about 3 or 4 hours and going to this big lake and I said, Tom, when are we going to get on the lake to fish? He looked at me and said, Brenny, you’re a dumb ass, you’ve been on the lake for 40 minutes. That’s going to draw me into some stories. We would go up there and he wanted to go eat at this bar restaurant and you got to realize where this was, this is so remote.
Ramsey Russell: This ain’t Minneapolis, this is out in the woods.
Brent Mooreland: I guess, we’re about a half hour from Canada and stuff. So we went in there and there’s no secret, he liked his Jim beams, so he got his Jim beams and we ordered dinner and stuff. Well, all the people in there started recognizing him because of that booming voice of his. So some cute little girls came up and said, Mr. Knapp, can we have a picture with you? And he said, certainly, with that big old deep voice and stood up and kind of hugged them a little bit and got pictures and stuff. Next thing the boyfriends and all the other guys in the bar came up there and said, can we have a picture with you? And I’ve never seen him turn anybody down for a picture. He’d talk to the lamppost if he didn’t have any people to talk to, he always was friendly and talked to people. So next thing you know, one of the guy said, my shotgun’s in the truck. Can I get it and take a picture with it? I’m from down south in Texas, not far from Houston, next thing that guy dragged a shotgun into that bar, standing there taking a picture and I looked around there were 4 other guys with them, no other place in the world. At that time, it was the customers, they had all different types.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, they just had whatever they had.
Brent Mooreland: Whatever they had in the truck and they brought in there and took pictures and I’m thinking, man, I hope we don’t go to jail for this. It was all good, the bar owner said it was okay and then they took them all out and then we had dinner, it was fantastic.
Ramsey Russell: What was it like ice fishing with him?
Brent Mooreland: It was real funny, you’d pull up there and he’d say, get in back truck and get that auger and drill a hole here and he said, now get in the truck and drop that trailer on top of it. And you’d go up and he had a really nice ice house, he’d turn the TV on and the cameras on, watching the deal and then we sit outside and barbecue steaks and then have Jim beams and fish all night for a couple of days and it was good, it was fun.
Ramsey Russell: What did he do when he came down to Texas with you?
Brent Mooreland: He’d go shoot pigeons with us.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Was he a pretty good pigeon shot, too?
Brent Mooreland: He was. Now, at first said, guys, I’m exhibition shooting, this is a different kind of out of my wheelhouse and they said, well, we understand and we just want you to shoot with us, next thing he was knocking them out like you wouldn’t believe.
Ramsey Russell: He just had to get his sight picture right.
Brent Mooreland: It didn’t matter what he was shooting, how he was shooting, he could figure it out real quick. It was fun.
Ramsey Russell: Was he into money or could he have been?
Brent Mooreland: He would not bet.
Ramsey Russell: He wouldn’t do it.
Brent Mooreland: He would not put the money, nobody cared, they wanted him to shoot with him, but he would not get into any of the gambling.
Ramsey Russell: Had his principles. You were telling me the other night that he got older, his health started failing and he decided he wanted to show you and go through you with his routine. What was his routine? For those who hadn’t seen Tom Knapp shoot from start to finish, what would he do and what did he show you about it?
Brent Mooreland: Well, he would have different deals where he’d set up 4 balloons on a stick and then throw two clay birds up in the air, bust one, bust all 4 balloons and go back and shoot that other clay bird before it hit the ground. One trick that took me forever, he kept telling me what I was doing wrong, but it took me a while to figure out, he could drive a paint can in the air, probably close to 90 yards.
Ramsey Russell: Really? How?
Brent Mooreland: He’d shoot the bottom bucket that had a can on top of it with a little water in it and then he’d just start driving it and you got to shoot about 2ft under it, but you got to keep dropping the gun as it gets further and you could drive that paint can, it was interesting, it was. And then he would do trick shots, throw them behind his back, under his leg and that reminds me something, I’m going to go back. The reason why he took a liking to me was we were in Argentina and he had all those other customers there and he was putting on a little show and stuff and he called me up there and he said, I’m going to throw this bird up, I want you to shoot it. And for some reason I’m like, this doesn’t sound right. He threw it out there about 4 foot and I dropped the shotgun and hit it, he kind of like, oh, okay. So that’s when he took a liking to me.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah, it was neat.
Ramsey Russell: Did you go to his funeral?
Brent Mooreland: No, I did not. I could not get up there, I was doing other stuff. I know that sounds bad.
Ramsey Russell: Well, I mean, life happens, I just wondered, we didn’t talk about that. You were traveling around the world, you’d gone to Argentina, you met Tom Knapp, what other trips did you do down there? You said you’ve been down there 18 times, did you just keep moving around, browsing around?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah. Half of them were duck hunting. It’s kind of hard when you go with Tom Knapp down there, you’re down there for 8 days shooting 1000 birds a day, after a while, you’re kind of like, I want something else, my favorite was decoying pigeons.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, absolutely.
Brent Mooreland: And the duck hunting, I’ve been to Africa, done the bird hunting there, I’ve shot a few animals there, but always go back to bird hunting, that’s my fishing and bird hunting is what I’m going to do.
Ramsey Russell: But for reasons we’re going to talk about a little bit, you fish for a living. Do you ever get tired of fishing and just go do something different?
Brent Mooreland: No. My main operation is in Brazil in the Amazon. I have 6 operations down there that we have after the peacocks and payara all that. So we’re down there in and out about 5 months a year, it never gets old.
Ramsey Russell: And when you go down there, you fish a lot.
Brent Mooreland: I do. I try not to fish with customers, but I do like it.
Ramsey Russell: I duck hunt all the time, as everybody knows, I duck hunt 300 days a year, let’s say and it surprises people to know that I like to shoot birds.
Brent Mooreland: I know you like that.
Ramsey Russell: But it’s not uncommon on trips like this, I’ll go out in the morning, but not the afternoon, down in Argentina, I ain’t going out in the afternoon because I feel like I do it so much, I don’t want to get too burned out. But when people ask me what I like to do for fun, since I do what I do for a living, it ain’t duck hunt, I can tell you this, my idea of a vacation is not duck hunting, it’s not even shotgun, it’d be eating, drinking and fishing, only most times I don’t say fishing, which kind of leads me up to a real bucket list trip that I have coming up with my youngest son, Duncan, he and I are going to join you down in the Amazon this year and I probably came by your booth, whether you remember or not, before you came by mine at those shows, because that was one of the booths I’d always come by, you all got a hell of a display, got all them big fish hanging up, I mean, a massive, big display and I’d walk around and look and always dreamed, always said, one day there’s two bucket list trips I’ve got have nothing whatsoever to do with waterfowl and both of them have to do with fishing and I’m not a huge fisherman like yourself, Brent. But I want to go the Amazon and then one day I want to go somewhere to Africa and catch tiger fish. I know I’ll never have the money and wherewithal to go on a $20,000 crocodile hippo hunt, not that I really have a compunction to want to go shoot either one of them critters, but I think it would be wild to float down a river in Africa, catching them great big old gnarly tiger fish and see them critters out there. To see a 14 foot or bigger crocodile swimming and sinking underwater, see hippos doing their thing, I just think that would be a trip. But I’ve also wanted to go to some of the most remote places on Earth, you cannot duck hunt in Brazil, can’t hunt anything.
Brent Mooreland: We’re not allowed to. Only the natives on their reservations.
Ramsey Russell: That’s right. But you can fish. And I just think to go off into something pristine and wild like that is going to be just an epic vacation.
Diverse Waters, Diverse Fish: Exploring the Amazon’s 3000+ Species
The other deal is there’s over 3000 known species of fish in the Amazon.
Brent Mooreland: It’s truly the last frontier. You got to realize, the Amazon floods in Rio Negro region 30ft to 50ft every year during the cycle and floods out to where you cannot stay in there all year long because it’s going to rain 3 months straight and flood everywhere. So what you want to do is get into certain areas as it drops, chasing the dropping water for the different fish. The other deal is there’s over 3000 known species of fish in the Amazon, there’s 288, I’m close, somebody may correct me on that in the North American continent. So there’s things down there just unreal that you’re going to catch and see.
Ramsey Russell: We’re targeting peacock bass, but that’s not going to be all we catch.
Brent Mooreland: No, it’s not. But I mean, like if we have other operations that the payara, which is a vampire fish, it’s got teeth like tiger fish on the bottom that come up and they’re pretty vicious.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, I want to see one.
Brent Mooreland: The wolfish and people underestimate the wolfish, it’s just vicious, it gets up and dances and jumps and a lot of people have a hard time landing them, but they get big and then all the different huge catfish, we got arapaima, we have an operation that we do arapaima there. So there’s a big variety, a lot of people want to target these species, but they don’t know where to go because it’s so remote, now that’s why we are constantly moving and it’s float plane access only.
Ramsey Russell: How did you go from somebody that likes to fish and hunt and travel a little bit to owning Acute Angling to being a co-owner of Acute Anglin and doing this for a living. How did you get into this?
Brent Mooreland: I started taking customers there and then I liked it and I kept going and then Paul Reese asked me to help him start doing shows and stuff. Because I’ve been there, I knew what to do and stuff and it just kind of grew and I just started doing more and more and more to where now it’s just second nature.
Ramsey Russell: What did you initially like about it?
Brent Mooreland: The last frontier, people that have no idea what it’s like till they show up and they’re like little kids at Christmas, kind of like, oh my goodness, I cannot believe a place exists like this and it’s so remote. Most of the places we fish, you may see a native in a canoe, that’s about it and we only take 8 at a time because it’s all the fit and flow plane.
Ramsey Russell: What kind of cell phone signal will we have?
Brent Mooreland: Better have a sat phone. For security, all the boats and everything SOS in case something happens, it doesn’t, but customers need to know that to be comfortable.
Ramsey Russell: Let’s walk through this program I’m fixing to do, how are we going to get there?
Brent Mooreland: Well, you’re going to fly to Manaus, spend the night in a hotel, the next morning, we’re going to put you in a float plane, fly you up in the upper parts of the Rio Negro, land right by that operation is a floating hotel, you’re going to go in there, we’re going to discuss things about be careful, drink plenty of water, you’re on the equator, you will sunburn and stuff, introduce you to your guides and it’d be you and your son and one guide and you’re going to go out that afternoon and fish and he’s kind of getting to know you and you’re getting to kind of know him and after that is 6 days of all fishing and he’s going to learn, the guides that we have, we’ve had forever. He’s going to learn you and your son’s technique, how far you can cast and stuff like that and he’ll adjust that. He’s going to go to the shortest casters distance from where he knows the fish are and stuff and he’s going to pretty much stay in that distance for you. Those guys are so competitive, they want you to catch the world record.
Ramsey Russell: What’s a rod and reel look like and what kind of baits will be?
Brent Mooreland: Carrado reel, we use bait casters and you’ll have a spinner reel.
Ramsey Russell: Heavy or medium heavy rod?
Brent Mooreland: It depends.
Ramsey Russell: 7 foot, 6 foot?
Brent Mooreland: No, we like the 6 foot.
Ramsey Russell: Really? Trigger stick, pistol grip?
Brent Mooreland: No, the midway ones.
Ramsey Russell: Okay. I like to put that right there on my arm and have that leverage, that handle. I like that handle coming down on my arm a little bit, like leverage on that.
Brent Mooreland: We’ve learned that most people bring the wrong things down there, so we just apply everything, it’s all just part of it. The choppers, the super rod reels.
Ramsey Russell: How many rod reels you all go through a year?
Brent Mooreland: I know for a fact, I think I picked up 240 reels and I still got in my warehouse, a bunch of rods, I got to get down there.
Ramsey Russell: Those fish will eat a good reel, they just eat the bearings.
Brent Mooreland: We change the bearings out all the time. But most people going down there, you got to have them top notch, top of the line equipment and newer equipment, because these guys know what’s going on. I’ll tell you one thing, we fish black water and it’s so acidic that there’s no biting flies, mosquitoes and stuff, we do have some horseflies and we got bees and stuff. And I was always looking at the water is black and we were throwing the green line. Well, I met Ben’s line and at some of the shows started talking to him and Dave, and I’m kind of like, hey, Dave, can you make me some black line? And he said, well, I don’t know, it may fade and stuff, about a year later, he gave me a couple rolls, have you guys tried this? So that’s all we’re using. So what I’m saying is progressively, we’re getting better in knowing what to get so that we can make what’s best for the customer, because I want – and the reason why we do that is you don’t get cut off so much by the piranhas because that other line, they can see it, swashing in there, you got a peacock and stuff in there and we use the best baits and lures we can find.
Ramsey Russell: What do you think the time of year we’re going in January, what kind of baits will we be throwing?
Brent Mooreland: You’ll be throwing super spoons, you’ll be throwing the wood shoppers, you’ll be throwing jigs and you will be throwing probably red fins.
Ramsey Russell: And you don’t drag these jigs on the bottom like I would for a large mouth bass.
Brent Mooreland: They’re cichlids, they’re not bass. They bite on the acceleration, so ideally, if you’re going subsurface, you want 2ft to 3ft because that’s their main hunting area and the top waters, they’re going to come up there and just knock the fire out of it. If they hit that big lure and just want to get rid of it, you immediately grab your other rod and throw a jig in there and they’re going to eat it, so it’s not so much just getting away from it.
Ramsey Russell: So the jig is not going to the bottom, I’m going to be in the top 3 foot.
Brent Mooreland: You got to keep it moving. But not in a straight motion, you want it darting and then you better hang on. I can’t tell you how many times the guys got to go swimming because customers don’t realize how strong these peacocks are and they’ll just pull the rod and reels out of their hands.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: It happens all the time.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll be hanging on.
Brent Mooreland: Well, I’ll talk to you about it, we’ll see. It’s a shock sometimes.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about the lodge. You said it’s a floating –
Brent Mooreland: The one you’re going to be in is the floating hotel, we have two motherships, we got the bungalows and we got two lodges up in the fast water for the variety species.
Ramsey Russell: Where I’m going to be is going to be that 8 bedroom Deluxe Lodge floating and from there in the morning, I’ll step off in the boat, me and the Duncan go fishing and then come back to the lodge. But you told me one time the lodge is probably going to move while I’m out fishing.
Brent Mooreland: Pretty much.
Ramsey Russell: So every day we’ll be hitting new water.
Brent Mooreland: Well, I’m going to say that there are sometimes where the customer go, no, let’s stay here one more day and I say, are you sure? So we’ll do that, we’ll accommodate them on that. It’s the dropping water and you got to get in bank and they’re into the lagoons and the creeks and on the edge of the big water and stuff.
Ramsey Russell: Do your fishing guides have to cut their way off into some of these areas?
Brent Mooreland: I will tell you, we made our own boats with 40 horsepower and reason why we did that with casting decks on it and everything, to get in these lagoons when the water is dropping, we needed something they could drag two grown men and the boat through the jungle and get into those lagoons and stuff and that’s what we came up with because they get trapped and isolated in there and nobody rarely goes in there, maybe a native or something. And that’s where we want to go. You’re going to have virgin water. The only problem is you get in there and there’s a family of otters, you better get out of there because they’ve already caught, they’re the best fishermen in the world and those otters are over 100 pounds, they’re huge.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yes.
Ramsey Russell: Good gracious. What kind of food will we be eating? What do you eat in the middle of nowhere?
Brent Mooreland: We have gourmet meals, fine wines, you’re going to have a fish dish, a Portuguese dish –
Ramsey Russell: Fish that we caught?
Brent Mooreland: Well, it’s more of a catch and release program we have, but you’re going to gill one or two a day, we’re going to eat that.
Ramsey Russell: What kind of fish might we eat?
Brent Mooreland: You’re going to eat the peacock.
Ramsey Russell: Oh, they’re good?
Brent Mooreland: Oh, they’re real good. And they’re not in this part of the country, but we will do a barbecue on a tambaqui, which is a big drum barreled looking fish, it has ribs like pigs and pork.
Ramsey Russell: A fish with ribs like pigs.
Brent Mooreland: Yes.
Ramsey Russell: Dear Lord, please let me catch one. That sounds like a gift from God.
Brent Mooreland: It’s going to be there because –
Ramsey Russell: A fish with a rib like pigs, big, thick ribs.
Brent Mooreland: They’re not thick, but it’s just meaty and they’re full ribs and stuff. Out there, they’re more down into the further south where they’re native and stuff, so we always buy them and bring them in and stuff. Now we do have a place out of Manaus, the preacher has it and that’s where we have all the Arapaima and stuff and he has tambaqui in there and it’s becoming more and more popular that people want to do that.
Ramsey Russell: And what else going away besides the fish with ribs like a pig, I’m going to dream about that.
Brent Mooreland: Well, you’re going to have steak, you can have chicken, I mean, the cooks are just out of this world. You’ll have a dessert.
Ramsey Russell: Like, when we were in Argentina, we go to Texas, we’d eat a Texas steak, we go to Argentina, we’d eat Argentina steak, does it got like a Brazilian flair to the menu?
Brent Mooreland: It does. And then also you will have a soup before every dinner and a lot of people, I don’t usually do that and then by the second night, hey, what type of soup? And everybody’s like, it’s just kind of old school and everybody likes it.
Ramsey Russell: Is it Portuguese or something else?
Brent Mooreland: Portuguese.
Ramsey Russell: Okay. Is it spicy or some of the foods got a spicy flair to them if you want?
Brent Mooreland: It can be. Manioc is their main thing, it’s a root, it’s poisonous till they treat it and they take, then drain the liquid off and then it’s kind of crunchy, but that’s their rice.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll be darn.
Brent Mooreland: And then the peppers, we get it from the natives a lot of times. And you got to be careful because some of those will light you up.
Ramsey Russell: Well, a lot of the – we did a podcast with Tabasco recently and a lot of those peppers, a lot of our peppers came from Latin America, came from that part of the world, South America.
Brent Mooreland: The other thing we try to do, go by the villages and stuff and purchase stuff from the natives out of their orchards. The ugliest bananas you’ve ever seen are the best tasting you’ve ever seen. They’ll go take them off the tree, bring them to us.
Ramsey Russell: Are there any fruits down there like that or vegetables that you eat that you’re not going to find in grocery stores up here? I’m sure.
Brent Mooreland: Yes. And it also depends on which region you’re in.
Ramsey Russell: The reason I asked that question is I was down in Peru and I want to say, when they told me the number, I went and looked it up, you all look up how many varieties of potatoes there are. If you go to Walmart, there’s 5 or 6, I think there’s 30,000 varieties of potatoes, it’s some astronomical number and you don’t get them outside a lot of these countries, we’re going to eat russet potatoes and golden potatoes and sweet potatoes and that’s about it.
Brent Mooreland: They have different berries that they’ll bring to us and stuff and all that and then the Brazilian nuts, they’re kind of frown on that. But we’ll get one every once in a while because that is where they go get them and stuff like that, so it’s fun. The sardines, the ones I like are about a foot long are fantastic fresh water just get you a little jig, they’ll just bite it and have the ladies fry it up.
Ramsey Russell: Really? They fry the whole thing, head and all.
Brent Mooreland: They do. The piranha, everybody says, well, I don’t want to get in the water and all that, we get in the water all the time. The piranha is not going to mess with you, the piranha is the Amazon’s perch. Now, the red crescent piranhas, I like, the black ones, I don’t. They get up to 8 pounds, they taste a little tough for me.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Does it taste like a blue gill? Kind of, sort of.
Brent Mooreland: The red belly does.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah. More like croppy.
Ramsey Russell: But we don’t catch them on the same bait, we’re fishing for the big fish. Do you?
Brent Mooreland: We have.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: You throw on the other side of the boat.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll be dang.
Brent Mooreland: Now, we’ll do a shore lunch and then they’re going to go catch a bunch of piranhas and we’re going to eat those with a few peacocks.
Ramsey Russell: Will we stay out all day?
Brent Mooreland: It’s your trip.
Ramsey Russell: And eat a field lunch. Because I like the idea you were talking about the other day of – it gets hot for a couple of hours midday, find a shade, put out a hammock, eat a lunch, take a nap, get back after it.
Brent Mooreland: What they do is they find kind of a rise on these banks and they’ll put a hammock up there where that wind breezing through there, you get over there and eat lunch, take a nap. Next thing you’ll know the guy –
Ramsey Russell: There’ll be a couple of cold beers on a boat where I can drink a cold beer with lunch.
Brent Mooreland: It’d be more than a cold, a few if you want them, but they’re going to be cold, they’re all little.
Ramsey Russell: I take a good nap with a couple of beers.
Brent Mooreland: They’re all little. And we had a customer, I was laughing, he said, I don’t like these little beers, they go too fast, do you all have any big beers? So I knew we had a couple of big beers, so I put it in his boat the next day, came back with these 2 half drank beers and he said, now I understand why you use the little beers.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, a big beer gets hot before you get down the bottom of it.
Brent Mooreland: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Look, trust you me, I drank them cork beers back in the day and they used to get hot towards the end.
Amazon Angling Wisdom: Mastering the Super Spoon Technique
If people would just figure out the correct way to use a chopper, super spoon, they’re ahead of the game, they don’t lose a day or a day and a half of figuring out how to use it
Brent Mooreland: A lot of the times and I’ve talked to you about it because you haven’t been down there and stuff, if people would just figure out the correct way to use a chopper, super spoon, they’re ahead of the game, they don’t lose a day or a day and a half of figuring out how to use it, walking the dog and stuff. And most people on those big choppers, they watch all those TV shows and that thing’s throwing a 6 foot rooster tail up in the air. No, you just use your arms and your wrist, you face it and just bring the rod down real 2, 3 times, it’s the rhythm that just drives them, they want to kill it.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: That time of year, are we going to be chasing trophy fish or numbers or combination of both?
Brent Mooreland: Combination of both.
Ramsey Russell: Are there seasonal variabilities for guys that want to catch legit 20 pounders, what’s the best time of year? And for guys that want their arms to fall off catching a bunch of fish, what’s the best time of year?
Brent Mooreland: You’re looking at September and October for high numbers. We got places that we know if you fish, you can catch 100 peacocks a day per person and we got another operation that is on the other side of the region and it’s low water at that time and we fish that in September and October, let me tell you about this guy, I just got back 12 days ago from the Amazon and we told him, look, you’re only going to catch 4 or 5 of these temensis peacocks.
Ramsey Russell: What kind of peacock?
Brent Mooreland: Temensis, the bigger ones.
Ramsey Russell: Okay, temensis.
Brent Mooreland: And we told this guy and I really liked him, it’s a hard fishery, you’re going to have to stay at it. Most people think that they can do that all day long, what they really need to do is go to the place where we catch 100. He said, no, I’ve been down there 15 times, I want to go after the big one. And I’m kind of like, yeah, I’ve heard that before and everything. Well, I flew in on the flow plane with him and we were fishing in there, I didn’t fish with him because you don’t want to fish with a customer because it just creates problems. Now there are times I have to, if odd manner or something like that. When we sat down for dinner the first night, he said, are you trying to talk me out of this fishing trip? No, I just want you to know it’s hard. He said, I’m up for it, Jason caught his top 10 fish for the week was 207.5 pounds, his biggest was 26 pounds. We were flying back and I asked him, how many did you miss? About 7 or 8. What’d the guide say? Grande. But it made a believer out of me and then he said, thank you for telling me how hard it was and you weren’t talking me out of it, you just wanted to be upfront and honest about, it’s tough.
Ramsey Russell: What other kind of wildlife might you see out there in the middle of that jungle?
Brent Mooreland: In the lowlands, the problem with the wildlife is it’ll flood out 50 to 100 miles on the rivers and it takes time and we’re chasing, dropping water, it takes time for the animals to get back in there. I mean, you’re going to see Muscovy ducks, the real ones and all that and then Cayman, matter of fact, I’ve been going down there for all these years, last year was the first year, I saw a real harpy eagle.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Brent Mooreland: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Wow, that’d be kind of cool.
Brent Mooreland: Landed in a tree. I’m looking out there, I said, man, what is that? He flew off because he landed on a bee’s nest and his wingspans were probably 7 or 8 foot, huge. He was about 4 times size of these big greater we’ve been killing and next thing you know the guy was cranking out the boat and I kind of looked at him and he said, bees, we got out of there.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, killer bees or something. What about the bird life? Is there any macaw or parrots?
Brent Mooreland: The greens, the reds, a lot of wildlife. We see capybara in there sometimes, but if you go up into the highlands where the waterfalls are rapids on operations that we have, it is not so much flooding out so wide to where we see, that’s where some of the customers see jaguars.
Ramsey Russell: We won’t be up in there, will we?
Brent Mooreland: No. You’re probably going to be 1200 miles from there.
Ramsey Russell: Okay. Well, I’ve been parts of the world that I’ve seen jaguar prints, I’ve heard jaguars roaring, never laid eyes on a jaguar, but I’ve been in jaguar country.
Brent Mooreland: A lot of people have this Hollywood fear about the anacondas, the anacondas are everywhere down there, it’s just rare to see them because they don’t want to be seen. I have seen one swimming through, we were all going to a village and it was about 440 pounds and 24 foot long. Took pictures of it –
Ramsey Russell: What kind of anaconda would that be a yellow anaconda? Because I’ve seen them down on the Paranoia River. We walk out in some of those mud flats, when the water goes down, you see this great – to see a snake track 12 to 15 to 20 footer snake track, it’s making this s along, it’s like, holy, this is wider than this table.
Brent Mooreland: Yes.
Ramsey Russell: And one of the first times I ever fished, Martha was in the front of boat and there was a small 12ft, 13ft because it was cold, it was duck season. And I got the guy, he didn’t want to, but I got him to back up so I could take some pictures. And I looked at it, I said, Martha, look at it and I looked up and she’s literally standing on the trolling motor about to nose dive off the front of the boat, if we get much closer.
Brent Mooreland: If you don’t mess with them, they’re not going to mess with you.
Ramsey Russell: They ain’t going to mess with you. What about monkeys? You see any monkeys up the trees?
Brent Mooreland: They’re a pain in the butt.
Ramsey Russell: Plenty of them.
Brent Mooreland: Plenty of them and they’re screaming at you and all types of stuff, they got howler monkeys, they got these spider monkey, the Reese’s monkey, they got couple more in there, I just don’t like them because they get in the tree and start screaming at you and just make carrying on.
Ramsey Russell: So, I need to bring a slingshot.
Brent Mooreland: Well, you’re on your own on that one.
Ramsey Russell: You told me that one day, midday or something, we’re going to go buy and meet and interact with some of the local.
Brent Mooreland: Yeah. And we haven’t been able to do it last couple of years because of COVID and they were very strict with us about we’re not going to take a chance of anything happening to them. So it’s starting to ease up and they’ve all been vaccinated and all that and everything. You don’t need vaccination to get in there now. We’re going to go there, it’s pretty primitive, they’re going to show you their church, they’re going to show you their school, they’re going to show you one of their houses.
Ramsey Russell: What do they dress like?
Brent Mooreland: Clothes like we have now. Early years, it was pretty primitive and then they’re going to show you their orchards and how they make their manioc, it is really interesting. And we have a lot of customers, I don’t really want to go like that and all that and then once they go and they come back, they bring their teenage kids and say, how bad you got it right now? Come on.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Everybody needs to see that kind of stuff.
Brent Mooreland: You would not believe it, but they’re happy.
Ramsey Russell: What do they live in?
Brent Mooreland: Wooden houses.
Ramsey Russell: Simple little.
Brent Mooreland: They cut the trees and make their wood and build them, they’re simple, they sleep on a hammock, most of them are very tidy and clean, though, but they don’t have much.
Ramsey Russell: It’s so damn hot. I’ve seen parts of Mexico that they sleep in hammocks, it’s just so hot, you can’t sleep on a mattress.
Brent Mooreland: Correct. But that’s another thing –
Ramsey Russell: Do they cook their meals outside their houses? On fires, little rock ovens.
Brent Mooreland: Well, they’re getting a little more sophisticated, they kind of got something made out of mud with grills on them that are pretty good. And then we went into one village and there was a TV in one of the houses, I’m trying to figure out how he was getting reception.
Ramsey Russell: I’m sitting there wondering the same thing. There’s no cell phone signal, I don’t guess he’s watching TBS.
Brent Mooreland: That or he’s watching DVDs or CDs or something, I don’t know, but I just thought it was odd. They’re getting better and better. We had one area to where a lot of times we give them a medicine cabinet and stuff and to help them on the certain reservations we go in and I got a call here about 3 years ago and this certain chief died of a bladder infection and in the house next to him was that medicine cabinet nobody went into.
Ramsey Russell: Nobody knew how to use it or what it was.
Brent Mooreland: I don’t know. But also know something that you and I would take for granted. And those people are strong and very hardy, they get to work and you’re kind of like –
Ramsey Russell: Is there still a witch doctor around? They don’t practice that kind of stuff.
Brent Mooreland: No. A lot of the villages –
Ramsey Russell: I bet you get deep enough in that jungle, there’s people still do that kind of stuff.
Brent Mooreland: Yeah, but I don’t want to go real deep in there, no telling what’s in there. You got to realize it’s the last frontier. And those natives, they’ve been there thousands of years, they know how to protect themselves and all that, I don’t.
Ramsey Russell: I was going to ask you something else there, Brent. We’re going to have a good time, it sounds like. Here’s what I was going to ask you is, a lot of people go to Argentina with us and you’ve alluded to this earlier. A lot of people go to Argentina or go to Mexico and it’s a once in a lifetime trip, what’s the number of clients that go down – for me, for example, you know me well enough, it’s a once in a lifetime bucket list, what’s the high low? I may go back.
Brent Mooreland: I’ll see you in 3 years. The people that really enjoy the fishing and how remote and venture it is, about 2, 3 years, you’re going to see them again.
Ramsey Russell: Really. You all have a lot of repeat business.
Brent Mooreland: A lot of repeat. And what they want to do is they don’t want to do the same trip, they say, I want a different experience. So they’ll go to the highlands, if they do the Highlands, they’ll go to the lowlands because they want to see all the difference. You got to realize how vast that is in there. I’ll tell you another corny thing, you’re on the other side of the equator, you would not believe at night with no light pollution at all, if you go out, we have upper decks where you can have cocktails after dinner before you go to bed and stuff and people are just amazed at what they can see. Because most of them are around big cities and all that, but you don’t have an electric light bulb within 300 miles of a lot of places we fish and there’s no light pollution, you would not believe what you can see.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll be darn. I wonder if I should bring a pair of binoculars.
Brent Mooreland: Sure, I do. And I keep them in the boat. Put them in a bag though, because it’s going to get hot.
Ramsey Russell: Just for looking around, stuff like that.
Brent Mooreland: Look at the macaw, I didn’t have my binoculars whenever I saw the harpy eagle, I would have given anything to have that, it was just out of this world. And you’re going to see a lot of wildlife too that more so in the highlands, it’s really neat.
Ramsey Russell: I always want to go to the Amazon to catch peacock bass, I’m really excited because it looks like I’m going to catch a whole lot more, I’m dying to catch one of them pig rib fish.
Brent Mooreland: No, you’re not going to catch them unless you go it’s on a different operation, we have.
Ramsey Russell: Okay, well, I’m looking forward to eating them.
Brent Mooreland: Because they’re not in that black water.
Ramsey Russell: Do I need to bring my own cornmeal or do they fry fish with cornmeal.
Brent Mooreland: They fry fish in cornmeal.
Ramsey Russell: Not flour, not panko, they got cornmeal.
Brent Mooreland: They are so fixed on you, it’s your trip and if that’s what you want, we’re going to make it happen.
Ramsey Russell: Well, I’ll bring my own and it ain’t no big deal.
Brent Mooreland: I know it’s there, all you got to do is ask. That’s another thing that I have problems with customers. If there’s something wrong, like there’s an eye missing off their rod or something, tell us, we’ll give you a new one immediately. But they always wait till the end of the week. Dealing with you and stuff like that, if the simple things, if they would just tell you, I’m not talking about bitching or griping and all that, but just tell you if it’s legit, you’re going to fix it, adjust it immediately, but people don’t say anything and I’m just kind of like.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve always said the same thing, Brent, I’ve told you the same thing as a customer, if you’re down on a hunt and there’s anything wrong, don’t tell me when you get back, I can’t do nothing about it and I ain’t saying I can do nothing about it while you’re there, but I’m just one phone call away. If you need a new gun, you need a new guide, you need whatever more ammo, I mean, let me know, it’s all fixable. Most of it is fixable and it’s certainly all addressable.
Brent Mooreland: Well, the last operation I went with you down in Argentina for 2 weeks, you didn’t have to because everybody there, is there anything we need to do different? How are we doing? How was your hunt? Do we need to make an adjustment? I mean, it was like right on what I wanted and what I liked about your operation down there and I’m going to do others and I’m going to wind up in Africa, which I’ve bird hunted in Africa before and all that and everything.
Ramsey Russell: You’re going to end up in Africa this year, we got a spot waiting on.
Brent Mooreland: I do have to start the fishing season down there. Those people care and want you to have the best time of your life and I don’t understand it when people just don’t ask and it would make the whole difference. You’re not being rude, you’re not being mean, if they say we don’t have it, we’re sorry, you’re okay with it, instead of you sitting there just calling you 3 weeks later when you get back, hey, why not this and stuff. They’re customer sensitive and want them happy, I know your operation is my operation, we got to take care of the people because there’s a lot of competition out there and they’re going to go for the quality, the service and know that you care.
Ramsey Russell: All things equal, that’s the secret. You almost taught me how to going on this trip and just talking about fishing techniques, arms getting tired, shoulders getting tired, my midline getting tired from jerk rigging and stuff, I’m like, are you trying to talk me out of this?
Brent Mooreland: No, I didn’t try to talk you out of this.
Ramsey Russell: But I remember asking you that when you got to telling me about, well, you going to get down there, I’m like, wait a minute, I’m going to have fun, not work.
Brent Mooreland: If you listen to the guide, even go to YouTube, learn how to walk the dog proper way to throw a wood chopper and stuff, you’re not going to hurt because you’re standing there facing it and you’re using your body, you’re using your wrists and arms.
Ramsey Russell: What taught me into finally pulling the trigger on this trip right here, seriously, is you said it earlier, fishing and bird hunting are kind of hand in hand. And even though there are some fishermen, fly fishermen that don’t like blood, so they averse from hunting at all, but mostly that is a very congruent, very complementary. And so there at the shows, we’ve got a lot of the same clients. And one particular year, I hear at every convention, every single convention, client or clients, plural, come up, where you been? We’re making conversation and they all been down to Acute Angling. And one year in Reno, about 3 or 4 clients over the period of days came by and talked and talked and I left and come to you all’s booth and picked up a brochure and said, all right, I was serious at that point, I was serious. And I don’t hear that about any of you all’s competitors on the floor, Brent, honestly. Nobody’s ever come up that said, I went to Amazon with somebody else. They all say they went with you all and had the trip of a lifetime and I’d guess every damn one of them has said they’re going back.
Brent Mooreland: And they do. And it’s funny, I bird hunt, really like the way you operate and take care, you’ve eliminated all the no’s and make it easy and I know that I’m going to get the real deal, well, we do the same thing. But what’s funny is when you’re in camp, like when I was in Argentina with you, everybody was talking about fishing and when I’m at fishing camp, everybody’s talking about bird hunting, it’s just kind of hand in hand.
Ramsey Russell: It is, isn’t it?
Brent Mooreland: It is. And the world is like, let’s look at – I’m going to change the subject on you, we’re up here in Saskatchewan, we’re in one of the worst droughts I’ve ever seen, I don’t know how long all this is going to keep going on with all the different stuff and all that. Well, I have no idea about the Amazon too, but I’m going to take advantage of while I can and what I’m seeing is, well, I’m going to do that one day and all that. And I’ve learned, and this is a personal deal with me. I’ve always got 2 or 3 trips planned, couple 3 or 4, 6 year out months, because whenever I hit the hard times, what that does, I can get through it because I know, hey, I know that I’m going to be in Argentina next May, it’s just things that I look forward to. I know I’m going to be in Africa, probably in August. A lot of people, man, you do a lot of traveling and stuff like that, but I’ve learned one thing. Yes, it is expensive to travel and the type of trips that we do, but you get what you pay for, but if you plan it out ahead, pretty much anybody can do it. We got people, they got 3 kids at home and husband’s always wanted to do that, he’ll book it out 2 years apart and they planned it, so when they show up we better have our T’s crossed and our I’s dotted because he’s so excited that dude planned this, he made it happen, we got to deliver what we said and I know you do the same thing.
Ramsey Russell: Do the best we can. When does you all fishing season?
Brent Mooreland: We start fishing the last week of August to the first week of March and we’re chasing dropping water the whole time except for the variety species up in the highlands and then we follow it.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, so that keeps you busy.
Brent Mooreland: Yes, and then we got conventions, January and February, March.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Well, I see you all the time, I see you everywhere. All right, Brent, I’m going to see you there. Are you going to be down there when I’m down there?
Brent Mooreland: I might, I think I am. Don’t get mad at me –
Ramsey Russell: I know, I mean I can’t be everywhere at all times either.
Brent Mooreland: No, I just can’t remember the calendar of all different people.
Ramsey Russell: You’ve been all over the world fishing, are there any fishing trips you haven’t done yet that you want to do? What’s on your bucket list?
Brent Mooreland: I’ve been to Fiji and Christmas Islands and all that and everything.
Ramsey Russell: Fly fishing? Is that fly fishing? Have you ever caught bill fish in Guatemala?
Brent Mooreland: Costa Rica and Hawaii. It was a fly fishing trip and I’m good with flying and everything, but I took some of the stuff I had in Amazon down there because it was giant. We were bone fishing and I carried one of the rigs I used in the jungle and I asked the guy when I got there, do you mind? He said, I don’t care. Well, the problem is it’s so windy and those big GTs coming through those tools and stuff and you got to cast it hard and low under that wind and get it out there and I just can’t throw a 12 weight like that or 9 weight really heavy like that. He said, sure. The next thing you know, I’m bringing in about 6, 7 of those big GTs with that and all the other customers that were in there, can we do that? The guy said, I don’t care. So I’ve been there 3 times and the next time I went, everybody had bait casters with their fly rods.
Ramsey Russell: Well, we need to do a tiger fishing trip together. The only thing I don’t like about tiger fishing or I’d already done it is the fact it doesn’t overlap with my bird hunt. You got to go, I think they told me like March, April or something like that, I think so. It’s going to take a special trip to go on that trip, but I’m going to do it one day. Got to.
Brent Mooreland: I’ll go with you.
Ramsey Russell: I figured you would.
Brent Mooreland: I got the same wonder lust you have, I want to go see something new.
Ramsey Russell: I know you do. Acute Angling, acuteangling.com. And you’ve also got a little Instagram page, acuteangling.com. If anybody listening is interested in this trip, call me and I’ll give you Brent’s number. If you contact him, tell him you want to talk to the man, Brent himself. And Brent, did you become a better shot having work with Tom Knapp? I forgot to ask you that. Did Tom Nap give you any good pointers?
Brent Mooreland: He taught me how to shoot aspirin’s out of there with 22. I don’t recommend that because you are shooting a rifle in there, but he did teach me how to do it.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Thank you for coming on, thank you for the invite to come up here and spend a few days with you in Canada. I’ve enjoyed it, I love Canada and I’m really looking forward to me and the Duncan going down to the Amazon and catching all kinds of stuff, it looks like.
Brent Mooreland: I look forward to see you.
Ramsey Russell: And the truth matter is, a week off the grid, my camera will be in my pocket just for taking pictures and videos, that’s it.
Brent Mooreland: You know what, these guides are so good with cameras.
Ramsey Russell: I bet they are.
Brent Mooreland: And he’s going to keep it cool because it gets hot and they’ll show it all, people are amazed at what they can do with that, but they’re used to it. And the customers don’t even realize on some of the pictures they get, oh, my goodness, I didn’t think you got that.
Ramsey Russell: Oh, I can’t wait.
Brent Mooreland: And it’s good.
Ramsey Russell: Folks, you all been listening to my Amazon Fishing Outfitter, Mr. Brent Mooreland, give him a shot, look him up. Thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere, we’ll see you next time.
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