Saturday, April 19, 2014

La Zona Golden Dorado Report for April 11 to 14

Had the opportunity to travel to Argentina once again to fish my favorite destination in the world, La Zona Lodge. La Zona Lodge is located in the town of Concordia which is about a 5 1/2 hour drive from Buenos Aires. Here, the largest golden dorado swim in the Uruguay River near the Salto Grande Dam. The section near the dam is restricted to only the 2 permits (2 boats) which are held by La Zona Lodge. On April 7th, I flew on United Airlines from Chicago to Houston then onto Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city full of great restaurants, great buildings and very nice people. I stayed at the Moreno Hotel is has the largest, cleanest rooms I have ever stayed in. I know my way about near the hotel and always go out for a few local beers during the evening and walk around town during the day visiting a few shops. The buildings in Buenos Aires have a high European influence. On April 9, friend Kevin Cleary flew into Buenos Aires and met me at the Moreno Hotel. In the evening good friends, Matias Pavoni and Fany Salas picked us up and drove us to the Pro Anglers tackle shop ( Here, many of the great local lures such as those made by Alfer and the TNT choppers are available. Owner, Facundo Ontivero made us feel right at home and give us a few beers and a great Pro Angler sweatshirt. Needless to say, I loaded up on the Alfer lures!! Afterwards, Kevin, Matias, Fany, and myself went to Las Nazarenas for some great steaks!! The beef in Argentina is the best worldwide! On April 10, the rest of our group, Cole Lundquist and Chuck Boyian, flew into Buenos Aires. We all met at the Moreno Hotel and the lodge provided a van to transport us to the lodge located in Concordia. While travelling throughout the country, we noticed many of the cattle fields were flooded indicating high water in La Zona. When we arrived, we set up in our normal rooms (1 room per person) and got our tackle ready for the next day. La Zona Lodge currently has a great staff of Cuban immigrants who do a fantastic job of attending to our every needs. On April 11,I am paired up with Kevin while Cole and Chuck are partners. The head guides this year are Elbio and Alejandro who put us immediately onto monster golden dorado. The assistant guides are Frank and Enzo who do a great job in handling and tagging the dorado. We were greeted by downpouring rains the first day which made fishing tough. However we still managed to land a few monsters. The following day we were greeted with 50mph winds which made fishing hard but again we still caught a few monsters. Kevin landed the first monster dorado weighing in at 44 pounds. Cole landed a beautiful 100 pound spotted surubi catfish. The following day the weather cooled down to an abnormal 39deg of which we were not prepared for. Later in the afternoon the sun came out and the dorado went on fire. The last day was warm and sun with great fishing. For the week, 22 trophy golden dorado were landed by the group. I consider a trophy of anything over 30 pounds. Of the 22 trophy dorado, 10 were in the 30 to 40 pound range, 11 were in the 40 to 50 pound range, and 1 was over 50 pounds. For the week, Cole landed 7 trophies with the groups largest at 50 pounds. Bob landed 8 trophies with his largest at 46 pounds. Kevin landed 4 trophies with his largest weighing in at 44 pounds, while Chuck landed 3 trophies with his largest weighing 46 pounds. The majority of the trophies were landed on Rapala Mag 30 or Yo-Zuri hydro magnums all in firetiger coloration. La Zona is a special place and should be on everyfisher person's to do list. Contact Steve Yatomi at for booking info or get in touch with me at I am already looking forward to returning next season!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Congratulations are in order for friend Jason Yip for winning the IGFA first-ever Anglers' Choice Award. After sorting though over 500 applications, the IGFA selected 10 approved records to go through a voting process in the entire month of March to determine which record Anglers from around the world thought was the best of the best. The 10 records competing for the prize were from 8 countries. Jason Yip of gathered over 1/3 of the entire vote for a total of 3293. Jason set the world record for Papua New Guinea black bass while I was in camp. I can attest that the PNG bass is worthy of the record! Jason will be awarded the trophy at the 11th Annual Achievement Award Ceremony at the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum on April 26th. Again Congratulations Jason!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Owner has always been associated with making the finest hooks avaiable on the market. Recently, Owner America has started to make the ST-76 treble hook avaiable which was only found in Japan. The ST-76 is the baddest hook Owner or anyone else has on the market to battle monster tough fish like golden dorado, PNG black bass, tigerfish, Nile Perch, etc.. These 5x strong, short shank trebles have 3 super sharp points, coated with a vacuum tinned finish, and are corresion resistant. These work perfect on crankbaits ready to get devoured by river monsters!!! The ST-76 comes in 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0 sizes. Why not fish the best when your spending a fortune to land your dream fish!! Check out the Owner ST-76 before you next adventure!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


During my upcoming trip to Argentina, I will be testing out Daiwa's Samurai braid spooled on the Lexa 400 baitcaster. The Samurai braid is said to be softer, smoother, and more flexible than other brands of braided fishing line, so this produces less friction thus longer casts. The Samurai braid is also known to be knot friendly whereas some of the other braids do not hold knots well. The golden dorado of La Zona will definately put this braid and the Lexa 400 to its ultimate test. If they had handle these monsters, in my opinion they can handle any freshwater fish on earth!! Watch for an update after my trip on how these items preformed.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


There is nothing more exciting than seeing a monster golden dorado rise from the depths to smack your topwater lure. Kermett Adams of has recently designed some outstanding wooden topwater lures especially designed for golden dorado and peacock bass. The September Pop is a large wooden popper which is 5 inches in length and 1 1/8 wide. It weighs 1.5 oz and has a large cupped mouth which produces loud noisy popping sounds when jerked across the water surface. Kermett's Peacock Ripper Sowbelly is 6 inches in length and weighs 1.5 ounces. The rear of the body consists counter rotating chopper props which are attached with heavy duty screws. Attached to the hook eye is a small spinner blade for more attraction. The new Daly Diver grande is about 7 inches in length. It has a stainless steel lip to produce an enticing wiggle. All of these lures come with Wolverine triple coiled split rings and extra strong VMC hooks. Kermett also has designed many medium and deep diving lures which can tempt monster golden dorado and peacock bass. His GranSlam and Kermett deepdivers have been used by me in the past to land monsters! I highly recommend you take a look at these lures as they are of the highest quality available, much better than store bought lures. You can contact Kermett regarding his lures at

Sunday, March 9, 2014


My next dream fishing trip finds me back at my favorite destination, La Zona which is on the Uruguay/ Argentina border. Here, monster golden dorado are the target. When planning these trips many factors can come into play. Check out when is the best time to go for consitent results. Do you want to catch lots of fish or do you want a chance at a monster. Do you want to target a particular species or multiple species. Get as many references as possible and give them phone calls. Check out as much information on the net as you can find. Give reliable booking agents such as Steve Yatomi a call for advise. They can answer all the questions above and book the trip for you so you don't have to wire funds internationally. After you book a trip and place a deposit down there is still much preparation to do. Before booking your flight, make sure to check the regulations such as any restrictions on baggage lenth--1 piece rod cases are long, can fishing line be carrier on the plane? I have had a few instances where line filled reels could not be carried and had to be rushed back to checked baggage. You might consider travel insurance which protects you from flight delays, baggage getting lost/delayed, cancelled flights, sickness, deaths, etc.. Before making any trip I get as much information on tackle as I can. This is my favorite part of preparation as I often search the web for recommended lures then hit the tackle stores. I take off all store bought hooks and split rings and replace them with high quality terminal such as Owner hooks and Wolverine Tackle tripled coiled rings. Why invest a small fortune to have your dream fish break low quality tackle. All rods and reels need to be inspected. Make sure all the rod eyes are smooth as you do not want your line to cut on sharp grooves. Make sure all reels are cleaned and greased. Don't want your drag locking up. Before flight day arrives, I take off all hooks from lures and carry as many lures as possible on the planes. Hooks are not allowed as carry ons and normally can be replaced in larger International Cities, whereas quality lures cannot. Pack along a few spare spools on line as it is difficult to find quality line outside the USA. Check to see if any medication is needed. For my trip to Uganda I had to have proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination and had to daily take some malaria pills. Months before your trip make sure your passport is up to date and apply for any Visas you might need for your trip. Again a quality outfitter can take care of this for you. Check out the weather of your fishing destination and do not overpack on clothes. Many of the destinations will provide a type of laundry service. Remember all planes have tight weight restrictions, check on these also before you go. Make a photcopy of your passport and bring it with you, storing it in a different location than you passport just it case it gets lost. Get as many phone numbers and emails of your fishing destination as possible. Should your flights get delayed, cancelled, etc.. you need to let them know ASAP and make other arrangements for pick up. Let family know where you are going, when you are to return and any emergency phone numbers you can provide. Check currency exchange rates before leaving and you will most likely get the best rates at the final airport. Most USA airports charge a high exchange fee so don't exchange money here. However, many locations allow tips, etc to be in US dollars so check on that before you go. Always pack sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, etc before heading to destinations which are extremely hot. For first timers heading as you can see lots of homework and preparation is involved in International Trips. I highly recommend an outfitter before you are able to book trips yourself. Normally you will get the same rate from an outfitter as your would booking yourself and save lots of work. Outfitters are normally compensated by the fishing destination owners. I am always availble to give any advice. My email is As mentioned I truely enjoy not only the fishing, travel, sites, etc.. but enjoy the preparation which goes into these exotic trips!! BEST OF LUCK!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2- Piece Casting Rods

 Due to recent changes by airlines regarding length of baggage, 2 piece fishing rods are becoming a must. Many of the airlines will not even allow long rodtubes to be checked as baggage or charge hefty fees if in fact allowed. I have been using 2-piece 6ft 6in rods for a few years and they can be quite difficult to find. Bass Pro Shops has just come out with an improved Muskie Angler Rod. The rod is reduced in weight from it's previous model which I use, and has enhanced strength. It has a new casting mode fore grip and split grip handle. The 6ft 6in model is perfect for golden dorado, tigerfish, Nile Perch and countless other monsters. So before heading on your next International Fishing trip make sure to check the baggage rules before going and check out the Bass Pro Muskie Angler Rod as I am