|Heart Pounding Gold|
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Heart Pounding Gold
Golden Dorado cruising the warm rivers and vast marshes of Northern Argentina are sure to leave visiting anglers thrilled for months! "Dorado, dorado!" our guide Javier Enriquez yelled as I turned to see the golden flash beside my partner’s hooked piranha. George Liska had hooked the toothsome fish while casting in the marshes.
Javier, who calls this section of brown water in the Parana River his "casa," quickly explained that on occasion, the following dorado can be caught.
"Arghh," my partner grimaced as he set the hook into another four-pound yellow piranha. Fortunately, this time, I had just retrieved my lure and was prepared for the quick response. I lobbed the plug 20 feet toward George’s fish as Javier again noticed the crimson-tipped fins and unique reddish black spot on the tail of a following marauder. The strike was immediate.
The big dorado grabbed the vibrating plug and pulled drag as it grey-hounded off toward a clump of bulrushes. It made a spectacular turn, quickly dove into the depths and took off across the channel. Unable to free the unfamiliar tether, it took to the air, repeatedly somersaulting above the shallows. The lure attached to its massive head rattled loudly with each jump. It was a typical aerial display for which exciting golden dorado are famous.
Fortunately, my Rat-L-Trap hooks stayed implanted in the fish’s jaw as I gained line after each jump. The brilliant fish used the current to its advantage until I was finally able to garner some control over the situation. Finally, the golden tired and Javier placed the BogaGrip in its gaping maw. It was my second 13 pounder’ of the morning and a beautiful specimen.
We were fishing what the locals call, "The Delta Reserve," an area just off the Parana River. South of Goya, the waters spread out and form the delta marsh, formally called Esteros del Isoro Reserve. Catch and release restrictions are in full effect here, and only artificial lure and fly-fishing is permitted. The delta runs about 65 miles to the south, where the Parana River rejoins the Salada River.
Under normal conditions, four main tributaries move through the delta. At the back of the delta, about an hour’s boat ride from the main Parana channel, lie La Catorce and Arroyo Aleman where George and I spent some time. The water there was a little clearer than the main river, but was still coffee-stained in color. During low water conditions, like when we were there, the marsh is primarily only three to five feet deep, and a mudline is often present where the sloughs with minimal current abutted the muddy streams that push water through the area.