Dorado News from the field

The Iberá Marshes: Pirá Lodge

The process of planning a great fishing trip starts with doing great research on the outfitter, and the area, the time of year, and the abundance of the specie you are after. 

Along those lines, we felt our fishing clients, who are always planning some time in advance, would enjoy a bit of background on the state of the golden dorado fishery in northern Argentina. It’s a story with a happy ending. There are a lot of dorado in the rivers now and reason for great optimism into late 2024 and 2025.

If you know about this part of the world, you may know that Argentina was mired in a “La Niña” weather pattern that starved the country of rain through much of 2022 and into 2023. You might have thought the “Nina” would be followed by the Pinta and the Santa Maria, but it was not- it was followed by an “El Niño” jet stream, and aside from just changing a couple of vowels, it basically brings more consistent rain, a lot of rain. Now, nobody likes to fish in the rain, so at this point you are probably asking, what is the big deal? This abundant rain recharged all the freshwater reservoirs including the big daddy of all reservoirs, the Iberá Wetlands, which is the second largest wetland in the world,(eclipsed only by the Pantanal in Brazil) that covers an area of over 7000 square miles. So, long story short, there is a lot of water in the vast area of the Iberia marshland that spreads out and provides warm, shallow water spawning habitat to literally hundreds of different species of forage fish as well as to the dorado. There are literally thousands and thousands of acres of water in Iberá currently.

A little more about the water, then we will get to the fishing. You should know the Corriente River, the main artery that flows out from the heart of the Iberá has this season brought a huge migration of schools of many kinds of small fish, which migrated from the Río Paraná into the Marshes as well. Again, long story short- we are in the late-middle portion of our season and we are catching a lot of dorado because we have a lot of dorado, because the forage fish are abundant and the dorado follow them and eat them. Also it helps that the water and fishing conditions have been largely perfect, and there are many, many, fish currently in the 2 to 10 pound range. Action has been fast and near the surface-lots of dorado fishing is on floating lines and with lighter gear. 

Finally, back to the planning. If you are thinking about knocking off a bucket list dorado trip, this is probably the best time to start planning now for a trip later in 2024 and into 2025. The great marshes of Argentina have always fished in a cyclical fashion with the coming and going of the rains. Well the rains came, and all those 2 to 10 pounders will be 5-14 pounders next year, the perfect size for ripping into your backing, and banging up your knuckles on the reel handle. There are far bigger fish in the system as well. True twenty pound plus fish are caught with some regularity, and on any manner of fly tackle they are a fish that leads to a prolonged, aerobatic and chaotic fight.  

We are anticipating a year where great numbers of fish will keep running into this vast marshland and the thousands of fish already established will develop and grow in a very healthy way. So again, if you are thinking about planning your dorado adventure- the best time to plan is now. We anticipate an amazing 2024-25 season and we hope to see you on the bow of one of our skiffs soon!


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