Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To Russia With Love

Everybody has at least one unbelievable story to tell. I have a new one it might just be one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever heard.

About two months ago, Eric Hanson, a longtime friend, was traveling to Russia. He was flying on S7 airlines and during the flight decided to look at their inflight magazine.

He started flipping through the pages and since it was in Russian (which he doesn't speak), he was just really looking at the pictures. He opened to an article that was apparently about piranhas. Being an avid hunter and fisherman it piqued his interest. When he turned to page 114 he saw something completely unexpected.

That is really me in the bottom left hand corner holding a piranha. Eric was shocked to say the least. He mailed me a copy of it when he returned home.

Evidently S7 copied this picture from either our website or my Flickr page. Either way, they didn't ask permission but I figure Russia is probably a lot like Brazil and they could care less.

It would have been nice if they had mentioned our business or fishing in the Pantanal but they didn't. They didn't even mention my name or Brazil.

I've written S7 requesting they acknowledge what they did and at least mention our website.

I'm not holding my breath.

You can see more of our pictures at:




Friday, April 27, 2007

A Request From The United Nations

Yesterday I received an email from Franz Dejon of the United Nations Energy Program requesting the use of some of my Pantanal photographs. They have asked to use them for Biodiversity Day which is May 22. They are hoping to bring awareness to issues like global warming and it's effect on different ecosystems.

While I don't agree with them completely about global warming, I am all for anything that increases awareness of the Pantanal wetlands.

Back in the day I was published a few times by a local community newspaper for some sports photos but the photos they have asked for were from my first attempt at wildlife photos.

It's an honor just to be asked to be a part of this event. You can find out more about Biodiversity Day at this link:


Monday, April 23, 2007

Payara - The Dog Fish

The Payara is one of the meanest looking fish you could ever expect to find. Known as cachorra or "dog fish" here in Brazil, it is a fish that is not appreciated by the locals because of its hundreds of tiny bones that make it impossible to eat.

Also known as the "vampire fish", payara love to hit the same bait as dorado and like a dorado will make huge acrobatic leaps out of the water once hooked. The main difference is that they tire easily and can be reeled in fairly quickly.

You'll want to use basically the same equipment as you would fishing for dorado. You'll need a 14-25lb test line and a 4/0-6/0 hook. They will hit tuvira and large worms as well as plugs.

We always ask our clients to please allow the guides to remove the hook from any payara they catch. These fish are much more dangerous than piranha and can cause some real damage.

We'll make sure you'll get plenty of photos of your catch of this unique species.

When you are ready for this kind of adventure, give us a call - 1-800-582-2105

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Video for Rio de Vida Fishing Excursions

Check out our new video with all new scenes and clips from our Pantanal fishing excursions. Our website is being overhauled as well and should be up by the weekend.

If this gets your heart pumping about fishing the Pantanal, pick up the phone and call us - 1-800-582-2105 and reserve your place for the fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

ESOX Hand-Made Rods Now a Sponsor of Rio de Vida Fishing Tours

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I snagged a pretty good size dorado and was reeling him in when all of the sudden my brand new graphite rod snapped in two. Thankfully Rogerio had brought an extra rod with him.

The situation helped me realize that no normal rod is made to handle the type of fishing we do on the Pantanal so my search began for just the right rod.

After some pretty extensive research, I kept hearing a name that I wasn't familiar with, ESOX rods. The reason I wasn't familiar with it is that they have not started shipping rods to Brazil. Until now.

I sent an email to their company and was surprised to hear back from Brent Moorehead, president of ESOX that same afternoon. After just a few minutes of hearing his passion about the perfect rod, I knew this was the company we were looking for.

We are proud to announce that Rio de Vida Fishing Tours will use ESOX Hand-Made rods exclusively for our fishing excursions.

These are no dime store fishing rods. According to Brent, most of the rods they sell are to professional tournament anglers.

Our goal at Rio de Vida Fishing Tours is to provide the best quality equipment for our clients and with ESOX, we are definitely assured of that.

Go over to their website to see their great selection of rods, hand-made in the USA.

Thanks Brent and ESOX for your willingness to partner with us.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Intruder Joins The Rio de Vida Family

In my last post I wrote about the live bait we use most in the Pantanal and I promised to share about artificial lures in the future. Thankfully I've got better news than that to share with you.

Intruder Baits has now become an official partner of Rio de Vida Fishing Tours, our very first. Our goal is to offer our clients the best equipment and tackle possible and with Intruder Baits, we are confident that we are doing just that.

For the past several days I have been talking with Dusty Moulton, owner and designer of Intruder Baits. Beyond being a super nice guy, he is a man with a desire to make the best lure possible at the best price. And I am not exaggerating. He has the best priced high quality lures I've found anywhere, bar none!

This is his Pro-Shad line and it is just what the doctor ordered for reeling in the really big dorado and payara. With 3-D eyes, moulded gills and hand painted bodies, these rascals will fool even the craftiest fish. Fishing for dorado and payara is quite similar to bass, except the catches are much larger and the fish have a lot more fight in them. Intruder lures are tough and will help you land your trophy.

Don't wait to come to Brazil to try them out. Go to your nearest bait and tackle shop and pick up some Intruder lures today. Or you can purchase them online at their website:


Dusty also makes custom knives that are beautiful. I have honestly never seen anything like them before in my life. Each one is a work of art. Check out his knife website at:


We are proud to be partnered with a great company like Intruder and a fine man like Dusty Moulton. Thanks Dusty!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Let's Talk Bait

This is the tuvira or banded knife fish and is the best known bait for dorado and the large catfish of the Pantanal. It is a type of eel that emits a small electrical charge that attracts sport fish.

It has yet to successfully be raised in captivity. All tuvira used as bait are captured and then sold to fisherman. For this reason they are extremely expensive but don't worry. We supply our travellers with plenty to ensure they hook something like this:

or maybe this:

The best technique is to use a small weight and cast near the banks, allowing your boat to drift as your bait moves along the banks. Generally you won't have to wait long before you are caught up in the adrenaline rush of one of these badboys leaping out of the water and trying to rip your rod right out of your hands.

Dorado and some of the giant catfish also hit on lures and artificial bait. Over the next couple of days I'll be talking about that as well as flyfishing for dorado in the Pantanal.