Sunday, July 9, 2017

JACKALL GANTAREL

Besides fishing, one of my other hobbies is collecting fishing lures.  Having a "tackle store" in my basement, I have thousands of lures for multiple species.  While fishing for Yellowcheek on my recent trip to China, despite my low catch rate, I predominately used the Jackall Gantarel and Gantarel Jr. lures.  These are jointed body lures representing bluegills.  With a steady retrieve they swim slow and natural, or give it a twitch and the lure turns 180 degrees sometimes triggering a strike.  The body has a wire through harness with rotating hook and natural looking pectoral fins. On a steady retrieve the lure dives about 3 feet.   They come with feathered hooks, but I replaced them as I deemed them not very strong.  Am anxious to see if these lures can hold up to the fierce golden dorado of La Zona.

Friday, July 7, 2017

La Zona News

With water levels coming back to normal, fishing for golden dorado in the zone has been fantastic according to La Zona Lodge owner, Hector Bradanini.  Numerous dorado exceeding 40 pounds were landed the first weekend in July.  After a conversation with Hector regarding other options from La Zona Lodge,
it was decided that an option to fish for huge surubi catfish can be added to your trip.  A possible schedule would be to fish golden dorado inside La Zona for 4 days then fish for the surubi outside the zone for 2 or 3 days.
 This would take place during the good season for surubi which is July and August.  For more information contact Giulianabradanini@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

FISHING ARGENTINA

Now is the time to start planning your dream fishing trip to Argentina.  Monster golden dorado which are mean as hell are available on the Uruguay and Parana Rivers.  La Zona Lodge which is located in the town of Concordia offers the largest dorado on earth during the months of January through May then good fishing again mid September through December.  During the months of July and August, La Zona Lodge can set you up at a chance of a monster surubi catfish of your dreams.  I have fished here numerous times and dorado over 40 pounds are caught daily and perhaps a 50 pound will be caught during your stay.  I have fished La Zona each year since it opened to sportfishing and it is as good now as the first year I went.  This past January I landed two monster dorado exceeding 50 pounds!  There definately are dorado swimming around exceeding 60 lbs!!!The bookings go fast so act now before it is too late.
The most famous dorado outfitter on the Parana is Matias Pavoni.  I have known Matias and his wife Fany for many years.  Matias was a wonderful guide years ago at La Zona and definately can put you on big dorado.  He has since established his own guiding service and lodging out of the town of Corrientes.
In Southern Argentina in the famous Patagonia Region the best rainbow trout fishing on earth is available.  Jurassic Lake Lodge sits on Lago Strobel where thousands of double digit rainbow trout swim.  You have a decent chance at a rainbow exceeding 20 pounds during your stay.  The season beings in the Argentina Springtime and last until their winter months.  I have fished here numerous times and the fishing has been fantastic.
Argentina has rapidly become my favorite destination worldwide.  The people are very friendly, the beef is world class, and the fishing is beyond belief!  Make sure to spend a few days in Buenos Aires during your visit.
Write me if you need any information on any of the destinations mentioned above and I can put you in touch with the owners of the operations!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

YELLOWCHEEK IN CHINA

On June 2 I took Air Canada out of Chicago via Toronto to Shanghai China to fish for Yellowcheek Carp.  3 other friends from Chicago met me at the Shanghai Airport along with a representative from the fishing lake where we would fish for 4 days.  We rode in a comfortable van about 2 hours to a 5 star hotel, www.tey.sh.cn.  After unpacking and getting a much needed rest we took a golf cart about 5 min from the hotel to Mingzhu Lake where the big Yellowcheek swim.  Mingzhu Lake is a very small, shallow body of water which was originally a tributary of the Yangtze River's esturary then embanked into a lake in the early 1970s.  We fished out of very comfortable bass boats powered by 60 hp Mercury outboards.  The 2 areas of concentration on the lake is where there are flows of water which is on the north and south side.  This flow attracts bighead carp which is the main diet of the Yellowcheek.  The lures of choice were approx.. 6 in swimbaits such as the Jackall Gantarel and Gantarel Jr.  Fishing was on the slow side, however
, I did land a Yellowcheek and a Stargazer.  One in the group had did very well with Yellowcheek est. around 100 and 70lbs.  I have no clue as to why they are called "carp" as they have large pointed mouths with large V shaped tails which give them tremendous speed.  The last day of our trip I had an extremely large Yellowcheek exploded on my Gantarel but however did not get hooked.  During the stay I found the Chinese people to be some of the friendliest folks I have encountered.  They are extremely hard working people. I did not see the military presence nor the poverty areas we often of American Television.  If I did not know better I would have thought I was fishing in NW WI due to the numerous Pine Trees surrounding the lake.  The weather was not extremely hot with temp probably in the mid 80s.  We did have some rain during the stay.
 We had no problems whatsoever going through customs in China.  Hopefully someday I get the opportunity to return to attempt to catch the one that got away.  Will definately practice with some chop sticks too!! Believe me that American Chinese Food is nothing like "Chinese Food"!!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

GOLIATH TIGERFISH

I was recently introduced by friend, Etan Zimmet, about a book on Goliath tigerfish.  Author, Douglas Dann, wrote "The Largest Tigerfish in the World" The Goliath".  In the book, Dann discusses the history of the goliaths with top records, best lures, places and when to go after these beasts.  The best place Dann states is in the Congo which at this time is quite dangerous.  Since taking a trip to Tanzania for tigerfish, catching a goliath is a dream which hopefully will come true one day.  A missionary from my church currently preaches in the Congo.  Hopefully one day I get the chance to ask him about fishing for the goliaths.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

JURASSIC LAKE/ LAGO STROBEL REPORT FOR END OF APRIL

Friend, Terry McBrayer, had the opportunity to fish for monster rainbow trout out of Jurassic Lake Lodge, Argentina. during the last week of April.  Jurassic Lake a.k.a Lago Strobel is located in the Southern end of Argentina's Patagonia region.  Here, the largest rainbow trout on earth swim.  Terry reports the water was very low and did not fish in the Rio Barrancoso which flows into Jurassic located a short walk from Jurassic Lake Lodge. However the fishing was fantasic near the river mouth according to Terry.  McCloud River rainbow smolt were introduced into Jurassic back in 1989.  These wild rainbows had the perfect environment to grow to huge sizes, no predators and ice cold water full of an unlimited food supply.  Terry's 87 years old friend landed a huge rainbow pushing the scales at 22 lbs.  Terry says he did not hear of a rainbow under 10 lbs being landed at the mouth of the Barrancosco.  I can attest to the size of these rainbows having fished out of Jurassic Lake Lodge the past 2 years and already have booked for 2017.  For more information you can always contact me at doradokiller.hotmail.com or contact Jurassic Lake Lodge owner, friend Carlos at carlos@jurassiclakelodge.com

Saturday, April 29, 2017

VENICE REDFISH

With Spring finally here many are looking to book a trip for monster fish in a new environment.  Venice, LA offers some of the best redfish action on earth.  Numerous bull reds in excess of 40 lbs swim in these waters.  Venice is about a 2 hrs drive from New Orleans.  The top go to guy out of Venice is Capt. Keith Kennedy who operates Born To Fish Charters.  Capt. Keith has been guiding for big bull reds for many years and keeps on the action as to where the top producing areas are.  Many friends have fished with Capt. Keith and return each year for some of the best fishing action they have experienced worldwide.  Keith offers packages which include everything even  your fishing license.  The Capt. also is a great cook so expect to really enjoy some of the blackened redfish and other great seafood dishes.  Capt. Keith books fast but has a few prime openings still available.  Having had to opportunity to fish the earth, Capt, Keith offers one of the best deals available at a fraction of the cost as some of the International destinations.  You can contact me and I can hook you up with Keith if you need more info on how to get into the best bull redfish action on earth!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

IGFA 2017 Hall Of Fame Inductees/ Larry Dahlberg

The IGFA ( International Game Fishing Association) recently announced their inductees to the IGFA Hall Of Fame.  Included in these inductees is friend Larry Dahlberg.  Many know Larry from his television show "The Hunt For Big Fish".  This is one of the few shows where multiple species throughout the world are shown.  Not just the same old show after show of bass or walleye fishing!  Larry has fished in over 80 countries catching a wide variety of species. Larry along with friends from Shimano helped put La Zona on the map when he was guided years ago by Hector Bradanini. I still have numerous articles Larry wrote in "In-Fisherman" magazine years ago. To this day, the La Zona episode is my favorite
on his TV show.   He was inducted into the Freshwater Hall of Fame in 1996.  Joining Larry into the Hall of Fame this year is bass fisherman, Rick Clunn, Billfisherman Peter Fithian, Light tackle angler, Mike Levitt, and billfish biologist Dr. Eric Prince.  Over the past few years I have been able to meet, become friends,  and discuss fishing with Larry.  Congratulations to Larry and the other 2017 IGFA Hall of Fame inductees!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

TFD BIG FISH RODS

Recently I had the opportunity to test out the new TFD Big Fish spinning rods made by Temple Fork Outfitters.  These rods were designed by Larry Dahlberg who is known for his "Hunt For Big Fish" television show.  I was given the 8 ft 6 in 2 piece rods in power strengths of #2, #3, and #4.  The target species on this test was Giant Trevally out in the Indian Ocean out of the Islands of Maldives.
I teamed the rod up with a Daiwa Saltiga 6500H spinning reel spooled with 80 lbs Momoi Diamond Braid.  The rods were found to be extremely light which made casting comfortable in 100 deg temperatures.  The handles allow for both hands to be used to load up the rod to make extra long casts.  They are quite powerful and can handle about anything that swims in my opinion.  When I visited with Larry at the Chicago Sportshow, he held the tip to the floor and told me to pull up on the rod with all my strength in an attempt to break it.  The rod won!!  My favorite was the #3 which had no problem casting heavy stickbaits up to 6 oz.  The handles are made out of premium cork which again saves on weight.  As of today these rods are not yet available.  I believe a 9 ft rod in the same power strengths will be available soon.
The casting rods are available.  I did not try these out but have a 7 ft 6 in model Mag 3 ready to battle golden dorado on my next visit to La Zona and perhaps to battle Yellowcheek on my upcoming trip to China.  The casting rods are also 2 pieces.  They are available in lengths of 7ft 8in, 8ft, 8ft 6in, 9ft, and 9ft 6in.  Larry has a patented rubberized Comfort Trigger handle on them.  Both rods utilize Temple Fork's high modulus carbon fiber blank material.  These rods are again very light which will allow extra long casts throughout the day without get wore out!
I am sure that both the spinning model and casting models can handle the brutal punishment of a multitude of fresh and saltwater monsters!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

IGFA changes on line class records

Effective April 1, 2017, the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) has announced changes in their recognition of line class records.  The potential record catches will now be required to meet a minimum ratio between the weight of the fish and the line class category.  For line class records up to 10 kg, the weight of the catch must be at least 1/2 that of the line class.  For example a fish entered in the 10 kg line class must weigh at least 5 kg.  For line class records greater than 10 kg, the fish must be equal to, or greater than the line class  For example a fish entered in the 20 kg line class must weigh at least 20 kg.  Records previously announced prior to the rule change will remain intact with an asterisk next to the record catch.  For those of you who are record seekers, make sure to know the rules beforehand!

Friday, February 3, 2017

SIBERIAN WHITE SPOTTED CHAR

During the early 1990s, the Arctic Char was my favorite fish to seek along with the Amazon peacock bass.
 In search for trophy Arctic Char I was fortunate to fish the top destinations such as the famous Tree River in the Northwest Territories of Canada and High Arctic Lodge which is located in Nanavut, Canada.  Both places are way up north and have a window of about 6 weeks to fish as the ice comes fast up there!  In Alaska, we catch a relative of the Arctic char, the Dolly Varden.  Char and Dolly Varden's are sought after mostly because of their beautiful spawning coloration.
These silver colored species have their lower sides turn during spawning to a brilliant reddish orange.  Their backs turn greenish to brownish black and the upper sides have pink or red spots.  Their lower fins turn bright red trimmed with whte.  The lower jaw on the males get a slight kype.
Recently, I read a story in the IGFA "International Angler" on Kamchatka.  Here swim another species of which I was not familiar with, the highly prized sea-run East Siberian white spotted char.  These char have silver-gray sides with white cream colored spots.  They claim these Siberian char can reach 40 inches.  Hopefully someday soon I will get the opportunity to see one on the end of my fishing line!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

THE TRUTH ON LA ZONA

Practically every day since I have returned from a very successful golden dorado trip at La Zona on the Uruguay River, I get letters stating that there are new restrictions on the area you can fish!  Truth is nothing has changed.  A few months ago the Argentina government placed a restriction of entering the waters, 500 meters from the Salto Grande Dam due to terrorist prevention.  When contracts were drawn up between the Argentina government and permit holder, Hector Bradanini, the restrictive area know as the zone was from the beginning of the dam walls out to about 1000 meters.
 This area, known as the zone, prohibits local boats from entering except those with permits.  The Argentina government has issued 2 permits  whereas 1 boat on each permit can gain entrance.  Currently, the government of Uruguay has not issued any permits.  Due to breach of contract, lawsuits are being heard between the government and permit holder to set the restrictive zone back to that stated in the contract!  However for now the TRUTH IS 500 METERS from the dam wall, nothing has increased!!!   As stated in my report from the first week of January, I had my best trip to date, having fished for golden dorado since the opening years ago.  In my opinion, to much valuable time is spent fighting 25 to 30 lbs dorado when fishing directly near the dam.  So fishing slightly away increases the odds of landing a 50 lbs monster!   So you will say that you will now not catch many per trip.  This again is nonsense.  My top session was over 30 huge dorado caught and released by my partner and I during the afternoon.  So do not believe what is floating around on the "net".  Jealous US outfitters so some reason are making up these false rumors of what is going on at La Zona.  The truth is they have no contacts down there and probably never made a booking for clients at La Zona.  They are just trying to make money and have clients go elsewhere for golden dorado and put the screws to them after they are lucky to catch a 10 lbs dorado!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SPARKY'S DORADOKILLER SPINNERBAITS


On my recent trip to La Zona for golden dorado, the key to our success was the Sparky doradokiller spinnerbait.  These spinnerbaits held up to the massive strikes and fighting ability of golden dorado up to 50 pounds!  The spinnerbait is made of the strongest wire available and the dorado was not able to bend it.  It has either single huge Colorado blades or Willow blades or tandem blades of either style.  The top colors for our group were blades in either fluorescent orange, red, or chartreuse.  The 2 ounce spinnerbait head has a free swinging 10/0 single hook which prevents the dorado from bending the lure during headshaking runs.  Long quality skirts of many colorations are available. While we used the Sparky doradokiller spinnerbait, we dragged the spinnerbait along the rocks during our drifts in the zone.  I highly recommend attaching the spinnerbait to a strong leader which has a split ring instead of a snap swivel to prevent tangle across the spinnerbait arm.  I have not found spinnerbaits which are available in stores which can stand up to the dorado.  So, when getting your tackle ready to battle the mightly golden dorado and other ferocious species, I highly recommend you purchase a few Sparky's doradokiller spinnerbaits.

Monday, January 16, 2017

La Zona January 6 to 9, 2017

Had the opportunity to fish for golden dorado on the Uruguay River in the section known as La Zona during January 6 to 9, 2017.  This was my 10th trip to his fishing fantasy!  There was much uncertainty entering this trip as a few months prior, the Argentina government placed restrictions on the "zone" due to protection against terrorist activity near the dam.  So, a new boundary of 500 meters from the dam wall was put into place.  The "zone" is an area where government permits are required for entry.  Originally, the "zone" was 1000 meters and after the new set of rules it was reduced into half.  The water levels were ideal with 4 to 5 meters being the norm.  Fishing was absolutely on fire!  Our group of 4 fishermen who previously fished La Zona landed and released 17 dorado at 40 lbs or better.  I got lucky as was able to land the 2 largest golden dorado of the trip both weighing in at 50 lbs.
 We also landed 1 at 49 lbs, 1 at 48 lbs, 5 at 46 lbs. 4 at 44 lbs, 1 at 43 lbs, 2 at 42 lbs and 1 at 40 lbs plus numerous between 15 to 40 pounds.  The top lure by far were the Clark doradokiller spinnerbait and the Sparky doradokiller spinnerbait.  Guides Elbio and Alejandro did a tremendous job putting us on top of trophy dorado each session.  Hostess, Giuliana Bradanini, received 5-stars from all in the group as she made sure every detail in our trip was too perfection.  Also all of us put a few pounds on with chef, Marcello's wonderful meals.
In my opinion, there are too many smaller dorado near the dam, so the odds of catching a monster over 40 lbs are not good.  When you hook into the battling 20 to 30 lbs dorado, your drift takes you out of productive areas since the boat is rapidly moving through the zone.  So, I truely believe the odds are increased to catching trophies by starting the drift slightly away from the dam.  Cannot wait until my 11th trip to golden dorado heaven comes about next season at La Zona!