the golden dorado
Salminus brasiliensis (Dorado, Golden Dorado, River Tiger or Jaw Characin) is a large, predatory characiform freshwater fish found in central and east-central South America. Despite having Salminus in its name, the Golden Dorado is not related to any species of salmon.
The Golden Dorado has a large bony head, with powerful jaws filled with sharp teeth. Adults are yellow-golden in color, but juveniles are more silvery. It reaches maturity around 37 cm (15 in) long. The average size of the golden dorado is about 3–10 kg (6.6–22.0 lb). The largest recorded size is 1.3 m (51 in) in length and 34 kg (75 lb) in weight. Females grow considerably larger than males, but otherwise the sexes are similar.
The Golden Dorado is the apex predator in its freshwater habitat. They are primarily piscivores, eating a wide variety of fish, but have also been recorded feeding on large insects, crustaceans and small vertebrates (for example, rodents, lizards and birds). One of the adult Golden Dorado's favorite prey is the streaked prochilod (Prochilodus lineatus), a species of schooling fish that also is migratory.
The Golden Dorado is highly sought-after by anglers, appreciated for its fighting ability. The aggressive nature of the Golden Dorado, its high jumps, fighting strength and stamina have created a competitive market among anglers from all corners of the world, traversing South American waters in hopes of hooking a Golden Dorado
The Dorado is an avid hunter but can be a lazy chaser. Anglers make use of either very slow or very fast movement of the flies/lures to spark attacks by the Golden Dorado, depending on the region and season, denoting a gregarious behavior and ambush feeding strategy. It would not move after prey and attack passing-by fish or react only when the prey are in deliberate attempt to escape.
The mythic Golden Dorado is clearly the primary fish to be targeted. Golden Dorado ranging in size from 4 to 20 pounds are quite common and caught in good numbers. Each season several trophy fish above 60 pounds (common in La Zona) are landed. Fishing is done from 22 foot boat with platform equipped with 140hp four stroke motors (Esquina), 20 foot boat with platform equipped with 90hp four stroke motors (La Zona). Additionally, each boat has a bow fitted electric trolling motor. These remote control engines allow the guides to silently approach each fishing area. Fishing primarily takes place in the tight channels and lagoons among the floating grass islands at the wetlands. River branches, at the head of islands and along deep banks of the main river where different structures (fallen trees, rocks structures and cut banks) generate ideal feeding spots for a natural hunter like the Dorado at Piracuá. In La Zona can fish only two boats at the same time, very close to the wall to look for the largest Golden Dorados, in case of more boats we are going to take turns to enter and be able to fully enjoy this fantastic place.
You can not only catch Golden Dorados, but also another fantastic species like the Surubi (large cat fish), a powerful and voracious hunter from the deep, who will make your fishing equipment work to the maximum. These trophies can weigh up to 140 pounds and provide a tremendous fight.
The best dates to fish in Argentina are from mid-March / early April to late December.
We can provide you with fishing equipment if you wish, but you can bring yours. For this kind of fishing we recommend the following equipment:
• Rods from 6 to 6.9 fts, 12 to 25 lbs medium/fast action
• Lures of 4.7 in max, Suspending, Sub Surface, Sliders. That deepen 17 to 22 in max.
• Soft baits work well too
• Reels: Freshwater reels (ex: Shimano Curado) with strong drag and good line capacity. Line capacity of at least 100 yards of 60 lb line.
• 60lb wire bite tippet to protect the line of teeth from Golden Dorados
Note: We provide special Argentinian lures designed specifically for Golden Dorados, recommended by the guides Live bait also available on request
From the 2000s onwards, the dorado has been increasingly recognized as a fly-fishing targeted species. Its aggressive behavior and initiative taking flies as an active predator, paired with great fight energy, frequently going airborne in the attempt to loosen itself from the hook, make this species a true gamefish.
This fish usually takes flies both on surface and sub-surface and anglers tend to make use of heavier fly tackle (#6 and up, reaching #8 in some places) for placing bulky flies which are seen to be more attractive for the Dorado. Also often used by fly fishermen are Intermediate and Sinking-Tip fly lines once the species feeds on fast currents.
Shiny, flashy material is very attractive to this fish, which led to the development of flies with much shiny, colorful material, or in opposition, dark or black ones suggesting lesser visual accuracy of the species. Fly fishermen use minnow-like flies, streamers and other fish-imitating flies.
Due to the Dorado's very sharp teeth, anglers use steel wire or fluorocarbon monofilament bite tippets, to avoid the fish cutting the line.
Our water conditions are stable and predictable throughout the season therefore every month fishes equally well. However, the outside temperatures and humidity are something to consider when planning when to visit.
March to May/September to November (Fall/Spring)
Usually sees daytime temperatures between 75-90 F and nighttime temperatures in the 55-65F. SubSurface Lures are effective during this time of the year.
June to August (Winter)
Daytime temperatures between 41-68 F and nighttime temperatures in the 32-59F. Lures that go deep 40/80in and slow movement are effective during this time of the year.
December to February (Summer/Raining season)
Daytime temperatures between 77-95 F and nighttime temperatures in the 68-36F. Surface and Subsurface lures and fast/very fast movement are effective during this time of the year.
In this season, the water of the Parana river turns cloudy due to the great amount of rains. Fishing is carried out in the area of wetlands, lagoons and some exclusive places such as Esquina and La Zona
Keep in mind that sun protection is very important, so you should consider bringing clothing with UV protection and fast dry, since we are going to be most of the day in the open.