From largemouth bass in Mexico to bill fishing in Costa Rica, there is a wealth of opportunity for an avid angler to have unforgettable adventures. This includes one of the best angling opportunities you’ll ever have: fishing the prized Golden Dorado in Argentina.

Here’s what you need to know about this fish and some tips on catching this mighty fish!

The Golden Dorado: Gold in the River

The Golden Dorado is not related to the salt-water Dorado (Mahi-Mahi). “Dorado” means “golden” in Spanish, and golden is what you get with this gorgeous fish.

Known for its gold-colored sheen, the Golden Dorado is a predatory freshwater fish found throughout central South America. It’s also called the “The Tiger of the Rivers” because of its ferocity in the water.

Dorado (salminus brasilensis): In the family of salmon fishes, the dorado prefers strong water currents, especially in the region of Parana river. Golden Dorados are migratory creatures. They migrate in groups, but when not migrating, they’re solitary fish. It can grow to more than one meter long and 25 kg., and can reach an age of more than 15 years!  It is the largest scaled freshwater fish in the Parana River. Since it is difficult to catch, the Golden Dorado is one of the favorite specimens for sport fishing,

Fishing the Golden Dorado

The aggressive nature of the dorado, its high jumps, fighting strength and stamina have created a competitive market among anglers from all corners of the world, traversing South American waters in hopes of hooking a dorado. For these reasons, anglers flock to the Parana River in Argentina to find them.

Fishing techniques for the Golden Dorado include using spinning reels, bait casting, and fly fishing gear. When spinning or bait casting, we use live bait. Morena, a dark “eel like” fish, is our standard bait that Dorado find delicious. After your guide baits your hook, cast the bait long and hard into the current. Allow the bait to drift a few yards before locking the reel. Before you know it, a Dorado will be knocking the bait. Once you feel a tug on your line, raise the rod swift and firm over your head to set the hook. Game on!!

Fly Fishing for Golden Dorado can be challenging, thrilling, and rewarding! During our warmer months, mid-October through mid-April, the Dorado are more active with high feeding cycles close to the water’s surface. Keep your eyes on the water and cast your fly close to the sighted fish or the ripples in the water, then strip strip strip! Don’t worry if you don’t hook up on the first cast, cast again to the same spot. More than likely you will have the Dorado’s attention and it will be there waiting to attack your fly!

For fly fishing, we suggest a 6wt or 7wt fast action rod with corresponding reel. The flies are big ugly streamers, usually with metal eyes and shiny materials. For line, we recommend intermediate sinking line with 40lb tippet and 45lb steel leaders. RIO makes a special Golden Dorado line that we highly recommend. Setting the hook – we use the strip strike method. When you feel the fish hit… strip the line hard and set high! Always keep tension on the rod or the fish will throw the fly out of its mouth.

Traveling to the Best Golden Dorado Hotspots

In South America, few locales rival the Parana River for Golden Dorado fishing. The Parana is South America’s second-longest river. It runs through central South America to the Atlantic Ocean, meeting the ocean just past Buenos Aires in Argentina to form the Rio de la Plata.

Our luxury hunting and fishing lodge is located near San Javier, a short flight from Buenos Aires and a short drive from the Santa Fe Airport. Parana Sunrise Lodge is situated directly on the banks of the Parana River’s deltas, tributaries, and island canals. This location provides convenient and superb fishing areas along the river that have resulted in some thrilling fights for our guests. It’s that kind of experience that can ensure a successful trip.

The Parana enjoys beautiful weather year-round, with temperatures ranging from 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter (May-August) to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer (November-March). Great weather helps you land your prize because it ensures more prime fishing days. And the scenery is beautiful; it’s easy to lose yourself on the river as you hunt this challenging fish and the hours melt away.

If you want to book a fishing adventure to experience the freshwater thrill of the Golden Dorado, you can join us at our luxury lodge and take part in some of the best fishing the world has to offer. We combine Golden Dorado fishing with dove hunting in our Cast & Blast adventure that gives you two thrilling experiences in one all-inclusive trip.

Contact us if you’d like to know more, or if you’re ready to talk to us about your next trip. If you love to fish, tackling the Golden Dorado in Argentina should definitely be on your bucket list.