Above is Andy Thillainayagam with a stunning 39lb golden dorado from La Zona - we were fishing close to the Salto Grande dam in the morning and Andy got nailed literally five yards out from the boat. This huge fish was sitting right behind a rock and obviously could not resist taking the Yo-Zuri surface lure that Andy was fishing with. Andy got the fishing bug two years ago and is doing his best to make up for lost time. He told me that he walked onto the Latin American Fishing Company stand at the CLA Game Fair and fell for it in a big way. I have a feeling that fishing in South America does that to many people, me included.
Dorado love to hang around structure, so Andy really had to work hard on trying to control this fish around plenty of rocks. Just look at those golden flanks catching the morning sunlight. Look at the huge head on this immense predator. These mighty fish are fast taking hold of me and I am already looking at various return trips out here to Argentina. What a fabulous country, and there is just so much fishing to explore throughout South America that I am going to do my best to try and see, fish and photograph......
The dorado fishing at La Zona takes place around the huge Salto Grande dam on the Uruguay river, for this place holds huge stocks of monster fish. Sometimes you will be fishing surface lures and flies over very shallow water, and at other times you might be blind casting and stripping into deeper water. However the conditions dictate that you do it, nothing can prepare you for the hit from a golden dorado - savage does not do it enough justice. Mind-blowing is getting closer, indeed these fish hit somewhat like their long-lost cousins over in Africa, the tiger fish (click here to see photos of them).
The damage that these dorado do to your lures and flies is incredible - cast a shiny new lure out, get hit a couple of times, and then take a look at it. The Yo-Zuri Surface Cruiser was doing real damage to the fish, and this brand new lure below was first cast out in the morning, and I then photographed it at lunch time. It has been spectacularly hammered by a number of angry fish. It is vital to replace the treble hooks on your lures, for the ones that tend to come already on them are simply not strong enough, indeed I smashed a few split rings up as well, so take some spares of them. 5/0 Owner trebles do the job well, and use a section of 50lb Tyger wire for the essential biting trace - dorado have serious teeth. Flies for this fishing demand the best hooks you can lay your hands on.
I fly back to the UK tonight, going Buenos Aires-Sao Paulo-Paris-London, so it is going to be a bit of a long one. Next time I will come via a far more direct route !! Very much looking forward to watching England (hopefully) beating Scotland in a little while before packing up and heading off to the airport. Argentina has been an incredible place to see for the first time and it will not be long until I am back out here. Aardvark McLeod is offering a range of South America fishing, so get in touch and experience some of this magical stuff for yourself. My wife told me that I would fall for South America, and she was right.