In Search of Gold or the Golden Dorado of the Uruguay River Exclusive Tail Waters
In October 2011 I finally had the fortunate opportunity to fish the Uruguay River Exclusive Tail Waters beneath the dam of Salto Grande reservoir located at the Argentina-Uruguay border for Golden Dorado. Over the last few years I had heard some pretty incredible stories about this destination and the fresh water dynamo – the Golden Dorado – that reside in this river. After having been there and immersed in the challenge, I can verify that these astonishing accounts about the monster Dorados of Salto Grande were not simply “fish stories” but were absolutely genuine.
Ed DeVries, President of The Bowfishing Assn. of Illinois reports. Looks like a new State Record Grass Carp has been caught for the bowfishing record book. The first ever submission for a IDNR bowfishing record was submitted today with this 33.7lb fish shot by BAI member Jacob Dupes in the DesPlaines River near Wilmington.
Jacob saw the fish about 15yds in front of his boat near the Dupage river channel marker and made a nice long shot. After the fish pulled his boat around the river for a while, he was able to get it close enough to gaff and set the new record. The fish was 41 in. long and had a 24in. girth. The BAI congratulates Jacob on setting the new official IDNR record for grass carp!
Ed DeVries, President Bowfishing Assoc. of Illinois
Read more at the link above about Jacob Dupes and his new IDNR record grass carp.
Subject: Venice, LA—Clark Group: First Day Fishing Report for Bull Redfish
a fishin’ expeditions report
The Bulls are back in town and on the beaches of South Pass!
Tom Gantt, Jim Quinn, and I arrived for our latest trip to Venice, LA on Monday with a fair amount of trepidation. Reports of a high Mississippi River, along with a weather forecast calling for strong winds, rain, and a passing cold front had us a bit uptight to say the least. Adding to these potential problems was fog that met us at the launch ramp. Captain Keith was very confident however, and knew precisely where he wanted to start. A run of about an hour took us to that spot where we were met with pretty green water and a few rollers, but no bites.
Not to be deterred, Captain Keith then made one move down the beach and BINGO, we were into the Redfish…the bull reds that is! Everybody got bit, but Jim showed us what was to be the bait of the day—a black and chartreuse H & H Cocahoe Minnow on a jig head. He nailed a 30 pounder and then one that went 36 pounds. Tom and I kept pace and around noon,then I hooked up with the beautiful 40 pound Redfish shown in the photo. If I look like I’m struggling to hold it up, it’s because I was!!! With the weather deteriorating, we called it a day about 2 PM and headed back after boating some 25 redfish, with most weighing 20 to 30 pounds.
All the very best,
Well friends, the Giant Bull Reds of South Pass are on the beaches and this is my favorite time of year to hunt them. I’m headin’ down with a group May 30. Season is fully in gear…several groups are already booked so spaces are limited. Pick some dates and give me a call. I’ll do my best to get you hooked up with the best in Bull Redfish action!
618.755.4950 for Redfish
Golden Dorado were in my dreams but sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. Gary Clark and I have been trying to get down to Argentina for two years now to “test the waters and the ware” of these Giant Golden Dorado. The area know as Salto Grande is the principle place of residence for the true GIANTS of the Golden Dorado. This is proven world record class territory. The opportunity didn’t work out for me this month but it did for my fishing partner Gray and here’s his report:
I just returned from Salto Grande in Argentina (actually Uruguay) where I finally experienced fishing for perhaps the ultimate freshwater game fish—the Golden Dorado. I’ve wanted to make this trip for several years, but dates, permits—whatever—have not allowed until recently. Three friends invited me to be the fourth in a group to Luis Brown’s River Plate operation on the Uruguay side of the river, and I jumped at the invitation. Since you may have heard of the area as “LaZona”, I use that term to refer to the fishing area Salto Grande and not for another fishing operation with a similar name on the Argentina side.
Let me give you a bit of the not so good news first. Unfortunately, we arrived to find the water high and muddy. Rains to the north have filled the reservoir with very muddy water and of course when the turbines generate, the flow into the river is not a pretty sight. Having said that, the fishing I experienced as a first-timer was terrific! Two of my companions had fished the area previously and they assured me that numbers were down considerably, but the action I experienced was most impressive nonetheless. We caught 219 total. My partner caught a 40 pounder on the second day, and the other guys each had a 30 pounder later. I was the little fish guy managing a pair of 24 pounders over the four days of fishing with many more up to 18 pounds or so. We only used artificials and no live bait. Our best fishing occurred over the two days on the weekend when the turbines weren’t cranking as much and the flow of muddy water was diminished.
The River Plate operation has been running only a few months, but I can assure everyone that it is first rate. The manager is Luis Brown’s son, Patrick, and he is one of the nicest young men you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. He is 27 years old, a graduate of TCU, and worked outside the business for a few years before joining the family business. With his business sense and pleasant accommodating personality, he is certain to make a success of the operation. They use the Horatio Quiroga Resort Hotel on the Uruguay side of the dam, and it is a very impressive place. The rooms are private singles and are very comfortable and spacious. Breakfast meals are served in the main dining room while the lunch and dinner meals are served in a private dining room.
Fishing sessions are from 7:30 to 11 AM and again from 3:30 to 7 PM in the afternoon. These sessions are government regulated and actually work out quite well. The boats are stable,safe and very fishable. The guides are father/son teams who know the waters and rocks extremely well as they were previously commercial fishermen in the area. Best lures were Rapala Super Shad Raps, CD18′s, and Mag 30′s all in firetiger as well as some local lures with deep diving bills. The most fun I had was catching many however, one after another, on my homemade heavy wire spinnerbaits. The strikes were vicious and no matter how sturdy, they needed serious repair after only a few Golden Dorad. Please understand going in that you will miss MANY strikes and will lose numbers of fish on the jump. I had one that jumped NINE times by actual count. These fish have teeth and extremely tough mouths so wire leaders and numerous hard hooksets are a necessity.
My 24 pounders simply whetted my appetite for the real monsters up to 60 pounds and I can’t wait for a return trip to this unbelievable fishery later this fall. Do yourself a favor and get down to the marvelous fishery for the Golden Dorado just as soon as you can.
Fishin’ Expeditions has recently joined with the River Plate Anglers Operation to represent this outstanding destination and world class Golden Dorado fishery…Salto Grande. Over the next several weeks we will be adding detailed information to this new and improved Fishin’ Expeditions web site all regarding the operation located in Uruguay. In the meantime, if you are interested in a Golden Dorado trip, please call us at 618.755.4950 or drop us an email with any questions.
PEACOCKS FROM THE AMAZON SANTANA
Any true angler that has never fished for “Giant Peacock Bass” in the Amazon must absolutely put it on their bucket list! Those that have had the experience are, no doubt, looking forward to their next opportunity to return. My trip on the Amazon Santana was not my first time fishing in the Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised at the comfortable accommodations on the yacht. It “far” exceeded my expectations and was considerably better than previous houseboats from which I had fished on the Rio Negro.
Our group met the Amazon Santana at Barcelos on the Rio Negro, and the crew handled our luggage and rod cases from the time we got off the plane until it was delivered to our cabins. Those that chose not to bring their own rods and reels were provided with good tackle, unlike some of the other trips I had been on. After a hot buffet lunch, pairs of anglers joined their guides and were able to get in several hours of fishing on arrival day.
The experienced guides, most of whom spoke English, constantly amazed me. Although the Amazon Santana moved each day in order to fish new water,they seemed to know each area like the back of their hands. With no charts, no GPS and no channel markers on the river they navigated the thousands of islands, rivers, lagoons, creeks and hidden lakes in order to seek out the best hot spots. In addition to catching Speckled, Orinoco and Butterfly Peacocks, we caught numerous other species unique to the Amazon basin which was always fun. Our guide led us to several big Peacocks including a 23, 21, 20 and 19 lb bass. The 20 lb Peacock was caught on fly tackle.
Our week long experience included, on different days, a shore lunch, barbecue dinner on a sand bar, dining under the stars on the top deck, and even an optional visit to a local native village. Except for an occasional fly, mosquitoes and other pesky critters were almost non existent. Returning to the yacht each day after 10 or 11 hours of fishing, we were met with a cold drink and a welcome cold damp towel. The food was plentiful and the bar was open all week.
All in all, it was a great experience which I am looking forward to experiencing again some day.
Mike Leech, Former president of IGFA
Location: Rio Negro/Amazon River/Manaus Brazil
Trip Date: December 10 – December 18, 2010
Group Size: 17 Anglers
# of Days: 6 – (4 late-arrival anglers fished 5 days only)
Size: 10 lb.’ers – 6, 11 lb.’ers – 1, 12 lb.’ers – 2, 13 lb.’ers – 2,
14 lb.’ers – 1, 15 lb.’ers – 4, 16 lb.’ers – 2, 17 lb.’ers – 1,
18 lb.’ers – 2, 19 lb.’ers – 2, 20 lb.’ers – 1, 21 lb.’ers – 2,
22 lb.’ers – 2, 23 lb.’ers – 1, and 24 lb.’ers – 1
(non-published were under 10#)
Water Level: Although the water levels were by no means “too” high, the jungle was unusually quiet during our trip. This might have been one of the reasons that the fishing was a bit slow for this week.
Baits Used: Lures of choice for this trip were Jumping Minnows, Zara Spooks, and Jigs.
Could it be?
Tell me it isn’t so Bill Gassmann. Gassmann’s Monster Peacock, caught in February of 2010, was certified a few months ago at 28 pounds as a new world record by the IGFA.
Last week yet another Monster Peacock was landed and it appears that Glassmann’s record is in jeopardy and may fall quickly.
Information is sketchy at this point but it appears that yet another new potential world record Peacock Bass has been landed. We are advised that the necessary papers are being filed with the IGFA. The fish was reported to have been caught in the middle Rio Negro region Amazonas, Brazil and weighed in at 29.40 pounds! More to come as information becomes available.