Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pintado - Speckled Catfish of the Pantanal

At least once a week I'm going to talk a little about some of the fish we go after on our excursions into the Pantanal. One of my favorites is the Pintado or Speckled Catfish.

This is not your ordinary river cat. The Pintado, or pseudoplatystoma corruscans, is a real fighter and is known for putting up hour or more long fights. It is only found in the Prata and São Francisco Basins and is a favorite of Brazilian sport fishermen.

It is also one of the tastiest fish I've ever eaten. And the people of Mato Grosso are very creative in finding different ways to fix this versatile fish. One of the most traditional is called Peixe na Telha or Fish in a Roof Tile. The fish is literally cooked in a modified ceramic roof tile, similar to the ones that adorn most Brazilian houses.

Large fillets, together with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and a lot of seasoning, are slow cooked for hours creating a culinary sensation like you've never had before.

Now these are big fish so you are going to have to get out the heavy equipment to pull one of these in. You should use a medium to heavy rod, 20 - 30 lb test line and hooks between 6/0 and 10/0.

Most pintados are caught using live bait including river and swamp eels, minnows and the snake-like worm minhocuçu. They also hit lures, especially jigs in mid to deep water levels.

Pintados get up to over 100 lbs and in the Pantanal it is normal to catch the 40-60 pounders. I've leave you with this photo. This 110 lb pintado was caught by Johnny Hoffman in February of 2003 using an artificial lure.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Singing Fish

Singing Fish
Originally uploaded by anny's pal.
Just found this photo on Flickr. Never seen anything like it before. I can't figure out how in the world they got this picture but I still think it's pretty cool.

Independent British Conservation Group Buys Portion Of The Pantanal To Create Reserve

The World Land Trust has recently purchased 3,600 hectacres of land in the Paraguayan region of the Pantanal. The Sid Templer Reserve is designed to preserve this area as a wildlife refuge. The Paraguayan side of the Pantanal has largely been encroached on my farmers and cattlemen, destroying much of the vegetation and habitat for the region's wildlife.

Paraguay has been much more lax than Brazil in it's protection of wetlands and nature reserves. Hence private non-profit groups have had to step in.
In 1981 a federal decree was made for the establishment of the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, preserving over 180,000 hectacres of wilderness here in Brazil. I have been to PMNP and it is absolutely gorgeous. We will accommodate any group traveling with us who desires to visit the park and you should definitely choose to do so.
Our hats are off to World Land Trust for moving forward when governments won't or can't. After visiting the Pantanal for yourself, you'll understand why this wetland must be protected for the future.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What a Beauty!

This 17 lb Dorado was caught by Adriano Costa in March of 2006 on the Paraguay River in the Pantantal. One more example that the place to fish for this fighter is in the Brazilian wetlands.

I found this photo on the Pesca & Compania website. They are our version of Field & Stream. It's a great magazine and their website is top notch. Even though it is in Portuguese, you should check it out if for nothing more than to see what type and size of fish can be found in Brazil.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Man After My Own Heart

I generally comment on what's going on around Brazil, especially in the Pantanal but I had to blog about Kenny Schneider of Illinois. Here is a man who set a goal and conquered.

Kenny decided he would try to catch at least one fish every day for the entire year 2006. And he did it.

In the article linked below, he talks about the difficulties he went through and his perseverance.

Please read this article from the Centre Daily. You won't be disappointed.

Kenny, my hat is off to you. Parabens!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wildlife of the Pantanal

Our guests will want to know what type and how much wildlife they can expect on one of our excursions. Simply put, more than you can imagine or even take in. It's like trying to take a drink from a waterfall.

Take the caiman crocodiles for example. I grew up in Middle Tennessee and never saw anything like them before except on the Discovery Channel. After a day or two on the Paraguay River and seeing literally hundreds of them (there are over 30 million in the Pantanal) you almost quit paying attention to them. Well, almost.

When I took this picture I had grown accustomed to them enough to get in as close as I could. I was about 5 feet away and in a boat but he still had my full respect. Caiman are slow movers unless they are attacking and then they are lighting fast.

Any photographer will love the Pantanal because of its diversity of wildlife. Take this picture for example. Two capybaras seemingly posing and saying "cheese" for me while being accompanied by a great ibis in the background. What you can't see is a caiman croc just off to the right. I didn't see him til after this photo was already taken.

Though I've been taking pictures for years, this was my first stab at wildlife photography. The Pantanal makes it easy and after you return home, you'll have plenty of National Geographic quality photos of your own to display with pride and show off to your family and friends.

You can see more of my pics from the Pantanal at my Flickr site

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Daddy Dorado

Check out this 22 lb Dorado caught in the Pantanal. This was caught using a leech as bait. The photo doesn't say who caught it but you can bet this little boy didn't reel him in. The fish is almost as big as he it.

I found this photo on a Brazilian website, Fotos de Pesca (Fishing Photos). Even though you won't understand everything, there are some pictures of some great catches.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just about Perfect

I am late posting to the blog late today because I have spent most of my day uploading pictures to our new Flickr site.

While rummaging through thousands of digital photos on my hard drives, I found this one that I had completely forgotten about.

I took this picture of these guys fishing on the Paraguay River in the Pantanal back in August of last year. We had spent the day just going up and down the river to see it's beauty.

This is definitely one of my favorite photos. Makes me want to be there right now. I don't think March can come fast enough.

You can see more of our pictures at our Flickr website:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Big Catch

Yesterday, while we were at Ilhotas Beach, my son Lewis grabbed this trophy while swimming.

Not big enough to keep but the only thing I saw anybody catch all day. You can see more photos of the beach at my Flikr site:

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Day at the Beach

Just got in from spending the day at Ilhotas Beach in Itapema. It is about 20 minutes from my house and not nearly as crowded as our beach. Took this picture of a couple of women fishing. Saw several others as well but nothing was biting. Didn't hear anyone complain, though.
Tomorrow in my personal blog, The West Nashville Gringo, I'll write more about this beautiful beach. Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just Beautiful

A sunset on the Pantanal is always breathtaking. Photographs don´t do it justice but these from Jason Conradt comes as close as any.

Brazilians will tell you that no place on earth has a more beautiful sunset than the Pantanal. They might just be right.

Check out Jason´s other photos at

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Monster Jaú

I found this picture on IBAMA's website. IBAMA is the Brazilian federal ministry of environmental protection. They are responsible for all wildlife and wildlife reserves in the country.
My brother-in-law, Osmar Cantelmo, is one of their main guys in the developing of sport fishing in Brazil.
This Jaú (Zungaro zungaro) or Giant Catfish was caught by Antônio Neves of São Paulo while fishing on the Apa River. It weighed 60 kg (132 lbs) and Antônio used a minhocuçu as bait. This snake-like worm is the most common live bait used in Brazil. Most breeds of catfish, such as Jaú, Bagre and Pintado will hit it readily as well as Pacu and occaisionally Piranhas. We always have plenty minhocuçu on hand for our anglers. By the way, Antônio released this fish right after the photo was taken. Many thanks Antônio!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Photos of the Pantanal

I was talking about deforestation earlier today and I found this photo by Sandra Figueiredo on Flickr. These types of scenes are not too tremendously common along the Paraguay River but happen more often than they should. Somebody who owns a herd this big knows they aren't allowed near the river.
Check out Sandra's other photos of the Pantanal using the link below. From time to time I'll be posting links to the best photos I find on the web of the Pantanal.

Deforestation of the Pantanal

Mike sent me this article about the destruction of the Pantanal wetlands due to increased farming and logging. Unfortunately, this is something that is happening due to the extreme poverty of the people and due to greed. I can understand the poor cutting down some trees to make a small homestead for himself. This however is not the real problem. Rich farmers and cattlemen have invaded the wetlands and are daily increasing the size of their ranches at will because the sheer size of the Pantanal makes policing it almost impossible. The Pantanal region is so large that it doesn't affect our fishing now but could in the future.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

2007 Nashville Fish and Turkey Expo

Senior sales rep Mike Christian reports that things went well this past weekend at the Tennessee Fairgrounds as we participated in our very first trade show. Several people stopped by the booth and were interested in Dorado Fishing. Luckily, Versus Network was showing an episode from "The Hunt For Big Fish With Larry Dahlberg" this weekend about when he was fishing for Dorado in Argentina. This sparked a lot of interest. Mike was joined by his daughter Adeana and another one of our reps Bobby Parks. Bobby has been down to Brazil several times and we are pleased that he is now part of our team. To all of you who stopped by to chat, OBRIGADO! (THANKS!)