|Heart Pounding Gold - Cuddy Parana River Impacts|
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Cuddy Parana River Impacts
The mighty Parana is the eighth largest river in the world meandering 2,500 miles through its basin. From its relatively-clean headwaters lying in the Brazilian rainforests to the north, its waters become highly stained in Argentina. The Parana is intersected by the Paraguay River at the Argentina/Paraguay border just north of the Argentine sister cities of Resistencia and Corrientes. A few miles before that confluence, the muddy Bermejo River enters and introduces silt from the Argentine farmlands.
The waters of the Parana normally fluctuate up to 17 feet from low to high water in the Goya region. The Parana is a fast flowing river averaging more than a mile wide with sections as much as five miles wide. The Delta Reserve fluctuates also but has many smaller channels and protected lagoons throughout its labyrinth which normally produce good fishing throughout the numerous runoffs around scattered, land-based islands. Patches of open water with interspersed sandy bottom are everywhere, and the marsh is dotted with a few small, weatherworn willow trees.
Trophy golden dorado up to 25 pounds are not uncommon and an average catch may consist of 10 to 25 fish per boat per day. We found great fishing on the streams or "runs" throughout the delta and while neither George nor I caught any real whoppers, we did have a day where we hooked 27 dorado which all took to the air. As is usually the case with these powerful high-flyers, far from all were landed.
On a few occasions, I experienced a lucky streak of three or four successive fish landed, but my good fortune never exceeded that. The fish just seemed to have an aversion to joining us in a photo shoot. One surprising strike came right at the boat and just as I set the hook, the ferocious dorado leaped into the air and literally bounced off my partner’s lap. It left the spoon in George’s pants but thankfully, no physical harm was done. Overall, we landed approximately half of our opportunities, including a few very respectable fish in the mid teens. I had one fish of about 10 pounds jump eight times, proving that golden dorado rank high on the acrobatic list.
The freshwater golden dorado are a fantastic specie that strike with ferocity and as mentioned, offer explosive jumps as part of a memorable battle. The strong adversary is unique to south-central South America. In four trips to the region, I have fished them in Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. They are also found in Paraguay and Uruguay.
Conquistadors who ransacked South America looking for gold reportedly gave the dorado its name, which means "golden." The fish, with its muscular, salmon-shaped body sheathed in distinctive golden scales, is a member of the tenacious-toothed Characidae family. Its illustrious relatives include the fierce tigerfish in Africa and both the Dracula-fanged payara and toothy piranha in South America.