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.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Piranhas: Fish That Bite Back!

I remember as a kid watching some late night movie about a couple of guys in the Amazon and one fell in the river and was caught in an eating frenzy of a school of piranhas.

I think a lot of us are curious about what it's like to go after these carnivorous fish. Let me tell you, it's a lot of fun. They will hit on just about anything but bacon or raw meat or cut up fish is best. They love to steal your bait when you are fishing for dorado or pintado and will bite your line when reeling in other fish.

This is a red piranha and they can get as big as 8lbs. This one was almost 5lbs.

You can see by the size of these teeth that this is not something to play around with. We advise our anglers to let their native guide remove them from a hook.

For the most part piranhas aren't dangerous. They won't attack unless they feel provoked or sense fresh blood in the water. It is never a good idea to swim in the Paraguay River is you have some sort of open wound. Piranhas travel in groups with as many as 100.

Fishing for piranhas you want to use a medium action rod, 14-17lb test line and a 3/0 to 4/0 size hook. Most days you can catch as many piranhas as you want, especially if you are using some type of meat that still has blood in it.

Piranhas are delicious and are best fried or in the famous Piranha stew which many believe to be an aphrodisiac. I don't know about that but it is definitely some good eating.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

New Fish Discovered in Brazil

Researchers Rodrigo Moura and Kenyon Linderman began studying a species which many believed to be a snapper that inhabits the Northeast region of Brazil. Bauna or carapitanga was already well known by local fisherman and identified by its six white vertical stripes but researchers realized that this fish had never been cataloged.

Named Lutjanus alexandrei, in honor of Alexandre Rogrigues Ferreira, a 19th century Brazilian naturalist, it has been found as far north as Maranhão down to the south of Bahia. Bauna are predominately nocturnal. They hatch in thick seaside marshes where food and protection are plentiful and then migrate to deep waters. They are usually found around coral reefs.
The information for this article comes from the latest online edition of Pesca e Cia, Brazil's largest sportfishing magazine. The article is only in Portuguese but it can be found at: