We are located at Northern Pantanal, region wich has a lot of river confluences and many lakes and creeks that are consequences of the floods. The most known rivers in our region are the Cuiabá River, the São Lourenço (“Saint Lawrence”) River, the Perigara, the Três Irmãos (“Three Brothers”) River, the Piquiri and the Paraguai River.
In our state Piracema happens. It is the period when fish reproduce – during this time, fishing is forbidden. This period starts in October 1st and ends in February 1st.
• PINTADO E CACHARA
Fishing Rod: 15 a 30 lbs – Lines: 0.50 ou 0.60 mm
Hooks: 6/0, 7/0, 8/0 attached to steel wire
• PACU E PIAUÇU
Fishing Rod: 15 a 25 lbs – Lines: 0.50 mm
Hooks: short shaft 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 already attached to steel wire from 5 up to 10 cm
Fishing Rod: 15 a 25 lbs – Lines: 0.50 ou 0.60 mm
Hooks: 6/0, 7/0, 8/0 attached to steel wire from 15, 20 up to 25 cm
Fishing Rod: 50 lbs ou mais – Lines: 0.70 ou 0.80 mm
Hooks: 6/0, 7/0, 8/0 attached to steel wire
• PIRANHAS, PIRAPUTANGAS E OUTROS PEIXES MENORES
Fishing Rod: 12 a 25 lbs – Lines: 0.35 a 0.50 mm
Hooks: 1/0 a 4/0 attached to steel wire
Lead Weights: small (light) for shallow fishing, medium e large (heavy) for deep fishing.
SPECIAL TIP: fishing rods can be only two: one for heavy equipment (for cachara, jaú, dourado and pintado fishing); and another with light equipment to catch small fishes
- Remedies for headaches, sickness, diarrea, antiflu, alergies, anti-inflammatories, muscle pains, eye drops, etc. DO NOT forget everyday medicines.
- Sunglasses – DO NOT forget your prescription glasses;
- Flashlight, penknife, fishing box, gloves;
- Shirts with UV protection are essential. Long and short sleeved cotton shirts can help protecting from the sun – if possible, in light-colors;
- Always bring light clothes, pants, bermudas, but also get connected to weather services to know how's the weahter in Pantanal, since we can have southern winds wich cause temperatures to drop;
* Hat or cap with long flaps and with ears and rearneck protection;
* Thermical bag to take the fishing quota;
* Photo or filming camera;
- PANTANAL FISH
Brazil is a contry rich in nature, options, flora and fauna. Pantanal region has a great variety of fish, with more than 260 species catalogued in all its area, making it an plentiful place and one of the best freshwater fishing spots in the world. Among this great variety of fish species from Pantanal, get to know some of the highlights:
PINTADO (Pseudoplathystoma Corruscans)
It is considered a noble fish in Pantanal because its meat has few thorns and is very tasty. It can grow up to 1,5 meter and weigh more than 40 kilos. It's a “leather-fish”, with black transversal stripes and black spots all over its body. It is usually found in river's channel mouths, creeks' mouths and under islets of floating aquatic plants. It prefers the river's ground, where it is sandy. It's minimum size allowed is 80 centimeters. You shall use your equipment for medium/heavy to heavy action, since this fish can grow up to 80 kilos – even though it is very hard to find individuals of this size nowadays, for predatory fishing is intense. With natural bait (tuvira, cascudinho, jeju, lambaris, piaus and fish slices, you can round fish or remain anchored.
JAÚ (Paulicea Luetkeni)
It exists in the Amazonic Region and in the Prata's Bay – in the last one, it is the largest species found in that area. It is usually found in the great pit areas where it stalks its prey. Jaús can measure up to 2 meters, and weigh more than 160 kilos, being one of the largest freshwater fish in southamerican rivers. It's a dark and smooth fish, but sometimes can be found light and yellowed. Lives in waterful rivers and hides under submerged rocks. Jaús can be captured all year long, since it isn't much affected by climatic adversities. Its minimum size allowed is 90 centimeters. You shall use equipment for heavy action. By anchoring your boat a little up the pit, you proceed by throwing the bait so that it stays really near to the bottom. When it's hooked, have patience, because this fish can fight for more than hour before giving up. If in the beggining of your fishing you only catch some abotoados (granulated catfish), do not give up, since they are Jaús' main food source, showing a Jaú might be around.
DOURADO (Salminus Maxillosus)
It is one of the largest freshwater scale fish. Can reach up to 1,60 meter and weigh 20 kilos. It inhabits running waters and its fishing is easy, since its is lured by everything that shines on water surface. Its large mouth has sharp teeth. It has a goldish color, with a spot in the tail and small dark parallel stripes all over its body. Dourados can be fished from february up to october, and the best period for it is during the river's water level drop, forcing small fish that were stuck in lakes to come out, serving a feast. To fish Dourados you must use equipment for medium/heavy action. There are two ways to catch them: a) with natural baits, you may use hooks attached to steel wire – size 8/0 – and use of some regional small fish as bait (alive if possible); then you try throwing at fast waters, such as running waters from a pit, lake mouths, etc. The best baits are: tuviras, sauás, piaus and jejus; b) with artificial baits, considered one of the most thrilling fishing modes, and practicing sports fishing; when a dourado strikes, hook it with strength, because its mouth is very hardened, making it more difficult to fixate the hook.
OBS: FORBIDEN! Fish and let go!
CACHARA (Pseudoplastystoma Fasciatum)
This freshwater fish is very similar to pintado and surubim. It is leathered and its size can exceed 1,20 meter, weighing more than 100 kilos in some cases. Its meat is very tasty. What distinguishes a cachara from pintados and surubins are its fins and its lightly red tail. Cacharas dwell in rivers, lakes, creeks and places were water speed is low, near igarapés (“water hyacinths”), where they stalk their prey. If you to catch a cachara, you must use medium/heavy equipment. The most used baits are small fish common to the fishing region, such as tuviras, piaus, jejus, muçuns, etc. You can also use artificial baits. Throw the hook and wait until it touches the bottom. When your rod goes down with the fish sprint, hook it strongly twice, so that the hook is well fixed. You must watch out for its side stings. Cacharas can be captured from february up to october – dry seasons are the best for it. Minimum size allowed is 80 centimeters.
PACU (Piaractus Mesopotamicus)
There are several species of these fish in Pantanal where it is often caught. It dwells in rivers and lakes during floods season, where it eats almost everything, from vegetables and fruits up to fish, etc. The most appreciated of its species is the one that has its back black colored and its tummy is yellow. This specie has an oval disc shape, is approximately 50 centimeters wide and can weigh up to 8 kilos. Pacus are known as a tough fight and fisherman really enjoy hooking them. Their meat is considered noble. Since fishing is forbidden during summertime in Pantanal (Piracema season), the best months to catch pacus are march and april, because water levels will still be high and there shall be trees dropping fruits into the water – that's the kind of place where you will surely find a bigger pacu crowd. Its minimum size allowed is 40 centimeters. Pacus can be caught using two methods: a) with rod beats: with your boat loose close to a ravine with fruitful trees, you can use a bamboo rod to beat some fruits (little coconuts or artificial food mass) into the water, two or three times, letting it dive and return to the surface until a pacu strikes it. Hook it strongly so that the hook is well fixated to the fish's mouth; b) with hook throws: you must use medium/heavy action equipment and, with your boat anchored close to the ravine, you throw the bait so that the hook stays in places like under islets of floating aquatic plants, ravines with fruitful trees, etc. The best baits usually have a sower taste: crab, staled fish fillet and regional fruits. In either methods, you must remain silent, because pacus disappear if they hear any noise.
BARBADO (Pinirampus Pirinampu)
It is a very common kind of catfish, found in the rivers of the Prata Bay and Mato Grosso's Pantanal. It can grow big – although it doesn't reach more than one meter, it can weigh up to 12 kilos. It has a very beatiful color, silver metallic, lightly green. A nice fighter, it is stronger than cacharas or pintados. Its meat, though, is not really appreciated by riverine people. Its a smooth leather fish wich has near to its mouth corner big fins – that's why it was given this name (in portuguese it means “bearded”). This kind of fish can be easily caught during pintado or cachara fishing, since it inhabits the same regions. Fishing material is the same used to catch pintados or cacharas, medium/heavy. Baits used are tuviras, pirambóias, minhocoçus and fish fillet.
JURUPENCÉM (Sorubim Lima)
Also regionally known as Bico de Pato (“Duck Beak”). As all surubim species, it has a flattened head, wide mouth, nocturnal habits, although it can also be caught during daytime, in hazy and deep waters. One of Jurupencéns main characteristics is a large difference between its upper and lower jaws. It has a longitudinal stain on its back and another on its body sides. Its fins colors come from a reddish tone up to a pinkish tone. It doesn't grow very much, its average size stays between 35 and 45 centimeters. Fishing equipment is light, although it is common for this specie to come up during bigger fishes catching. Most used baits are white and small, such as lambaris, saguirus, sauás, and also earthworms, minhocoçus, tuviras, slices of cattle heart and liver.
PIRAPUTANGA (Brycon microleps; Brycon hilarii)
Piraputanga looks like a matrinxã (brycon sp.), with reddish fins and tail, and white scales all over is body. It is very agile when hooked. They can grow over 50 centimeters and its weigh usually stays under a kilo – no matter its size. Extremely tasteful when cooked, it is very contested by fishermen. They inhabit Mato Grosso's Pantanal, where they are found in large quantities. They feed of small fish, fruits, flowers and bugs. They are easily found in water pits, river rapids and under fruitful trees. Minimum size allowed is 30 centimeters. Fishing equipment must be for medium/light action. Most used natural baits are regional frutis, small fish, fish guts and cooked corn. If you want to use artificial baits, try little surface plugs, half-water and spinners. Keep the reel's clutch very well adjusted, because when it is hooked, a piraputanga shows strong pulls that can compromise your line. The thinner the line, the most recreational your fishing will be.
PIRANHA (Serrasalmus nattereri)
They live in rivers, lakes and dams, from Northern Amazon down to Rio Grande do Sul's west coast. Its the most voracious fish in Pantanal. The smallest sign of blood in the water is enough for piranhas to gather in a big school, ready to devour whatever's bleeding. It has scales and grows 35 centimeters at most, weighing no more than 4 kilos. In Pantanal, to get across a river or a creek with a herd, it is common to sacrifice an animal a few meters down the river so that the piranha school doesn't attack the herd. Its meat is good, although thorny, being mostly used for soups or broths. Its minimum size allowed is 25 centimeters. Piranhas can be caught all year long, always respecting Piracema season. Known as a ruthless chaser, they are always searching for meat, from fish or other animals – that's what makes piranhas easy to fish. If you want to catch a piranha, you may use any kind of equipment – what is important is that you use as bait a slice of meat, and it gets better if it is bleeding.
PIAU – PIAUÇU – PIAVUÇU (LEPORINUS MACROCEPHALUS)
They live in the river margins, under islets of floating aquatic plants and lake mouths. The Piau, also known in Pantanal as piauçu, piavuçu and piau três pintas (“piau three spots”), inhabits clear and current water courses. It is a fish of colorful scales and not so big, weighing four kilos at most and measuring about 60 centimeters. Its favorite bait is corn. It can be caught all fishing season long, wich goes from february up to october. Its minimum size allowed is 40 centimeters. You must use medium action equipment. Most common baits are: corn, crab, fruits and small fish. To catch a Piau, you must throw the bait and let it drown, keeping the line stretched. You shall hook it as soon as you feel short touches on the line, because piauçus can rob your bait extremely fast. Keep your reel clutch tuned, because this fish is a fighter, pulling several meters of line before it can be brought aboard.
PALMITO – MANDUBÉ – FIDALGO (Ageneiosus brevifilis)
This fish is one of the most common inhabitants of our current waters in the pantaneira region. Small sized specie, it hardly grows over 50 centimeters. Its meat is tasty and soft – that's where its name came from. Its back has a dark gray color, turning light gray in its belly direction. Its eyes can be considered large in comparison to its small head. The preferred material for this fishing is light equipment, wich adds a little more recreation to your action. A stainless wire is a good choice to protect your line from possible piranha attacks. For bait you may use tuviras, small fish or even slices of them, earthworms, grasshoppers or little bugs, slices of cattle heart or liver.
MANDI – BAGRE (Pimelodus spp)
Leathered fish. There are several species of pimelodus. Their body shape ir very similar: high in the beggining of the back fin, and getting thinner as it goes towards the head and the tail fin. A common characterist of this genre is the presence of a strong and acute spine in its back and torsal fins. It can measure from 20 up to 50 centimeters, varying from one specie to another, and the colors are also variable. Its drawing is a pimelodus maculatus. Its color is brown in the back region, turning yellowish on its sides and white on its belly. It shows from 3 up to 5 series of large dark spots all over its body and some stains on its fins. It can grow up to 50 centimeters. They are omnivorous fish, and feed of other fish, invertebrates, fruits/seeds and detritus. Mandi – bagre live in backwaters on rivers' banks. Use light/medium action equipment. Natural baits, such as earthworms, small fish or slices of them, cheese. These fish must be handled with care because the stings in its back and chest fins can cause painful wounds.
ABOTOADO – BOTOADA – ARMAU (Oxydoras spp)
They are found in deep water pits where it tracks the bottom looking for food. These fish can grow up to 70 centimeters and weigh 7 kilos. It is very usual to capture armaus when you're fishing Jaús, since both inhabit the same habitat and armaus are one of Jaú's prey. However, if the fisherman go searching for armaus only, he must use medium/heavy equipment and enough lead weight so that the bait can touch the bottom. You must proceed anchoring your boat near the pit, in a distance that allows you to throw your bait in a way that it will remain in the deepest part of the river. The best bait for armaus are minhocoçus, tuviras and fish slices. This specie can be caught all year long, respecting, of course, the reproduction season. Minimum size allowed is 35 centimeters.