Posts Tagged ‘gear’

Fish of the Week: Catfish – Sorubim

September 26, 2011
Sorubim

Sorubim

Our “Fish of the Week” is Catfish – Sorubim, which is a beautiful species sporting an elegant pattern of hieroglyphic black markings on a silver grey background dorsally and stark white ventrally. The common name sorubim is used for several similarly shaped species in the genus. Body markings, typical habitat and maximum size differ. P. tigrinum is commonly encountered by anglers in Amazon lowland, highland and Guyana shield fisheries.

The Sorubim is distinguished by its flattened head, elongate body and large terminal mouth. Its silvery gray upper body with heiroglyphic markings dorsally, and tiger stripes laterally, also set it apart. Sorubim’s fin markings continue from the body, evolving into spots toward margins. The silver gray on its dorsum changes abruptly to white on its ventral sides, as well as its abdomen. Specimens up to one meter in length and more than 100 pounds have been reported. The genus contains eight recognised species, and although all are similarly elongate, many are uniquely marked and have separate ranges. Common names include Barred Shovelnose (English); sorubim, suribim, cachara (local); and Bagre rayado.

This catfish can be found in Brazil, Peru, Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Suriname, Columbia, Venezuela and Argentina, particularly in the Amazon, Orinoco, Essequibo, Corantijn and Parana drainages and river basins. They usually occupy lotic (moving water) environments in blackwater river systems. Primarily feeding on fishes, P. fasciatumis are readily encountered with cut bait on shallow sandbars in river channels. Although mostly an evening and nocturnal feeder, anglers are often surprised by large sorubim attacking artificial lures in open water at any time of day. The current IGFA record is 35 pounds, 10 ounces.

In addition to being a great angler’s target, the barred sorubim is a pleasant adjunct to any fishery. Its habit of attacking artificial lures and then fighting like whiskered tuna, makes it endearing to peacock bass anglers and catfishermen alike. In most high gradient fisheries sorubim can be targeted by anglers at evening time. They tend to congregate and forage at the edges of shallow beaches with nearby drop-offs to deeper water. Small live bait or pieces of cut bait are equally effective when cast onto the beach and allowed to drift naturally to the nearby drop-off. An effective rig consists of a 10/0 to 14/0 circle hook (or smaller J hook) with a wire leader and relatively light sinker (approx. 1 oz.), enough to keep it down while still allowing the current to slowly carry it. The take is usually quite forceful. Once hooked, sorubim will fight in open water with strong runs and surprising stamina.

Pintado

Pintado

Pintado – Psuedoplatystoma corruscans – up to 1.5 meter
This larger catfish is found outside the Amazon in the Pantanal and the Sao Francisco and Parana river basins
(Illustration from “Peixes do Pantanal” – Embrapa – poster)

Pintado

Pintado

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Fish of the Week – Redtail Catfish (Pirarara)

June 14, 2011
Our “Fish of the Week” is redtail catfish, also known as pirarara in Brazil. One of the most ubiquitous of the giant cats, it appears to have very few habitat limitations, just as happily living in acidic, blackwater lowlands streams as it is in alkaline highlands rivers. They can be found in all parts of clear (blue) water, blackwater and whitewater (sediment carrying) rivers, including small tributary streams.
Redtail Catfish

Redtail Catfish

Their unique markings and bright coloration makes them very easy to identify – their bright tail is an instant giveaway. Their dark upper body contrasts sharply with a cream to white segment below the lateral line posteriorly. The mix of contrasting colors highlighted with red makes this catfish one of the most striking of the big cats. Its body color is dark olive to shiny black, its abdomen white and lower fins red. Its dorsal fin and adipose fin are fringed with red.

A very powerful fighter, redtails are known for a sustained, line-pulling initial run and the ability to find a tangle of submerged logs at the end. Adults can grow up to 60 inches and can weigh more than 100 pounds (the IGFA world record is 113 lbs, 9 oz. caught in the Rio Negro). Found in the Amazon basin in Brazil, their seemingly endless appetite makes them easy for anglers to engage. They’re ominvores, as they feed on fish, detritus, crabs and fruit (we’ve actually caught them on pieces of watermelon!). They’ve been landed on everything anglers use, ranging from free-swimming live bait to a Wooly Bugger fly (cut bait is easiest, for practical purposes).
An entire head of a traira on a circle hook is a durable and widely accepted bait for redtails. Use an Amazon rig, configured as follows: “For Redtail Catfish, a large (14/0) circle hook haywire twisted to 12 to 18 inches of strong (120 – 220 lb. test) wire then twisted to a heavy (180 lb. test swivel. A two ounce (or heavier – as current demands) egg sinker is allowed to run freely on heavy line (50 pound or greater) braided line. This wire reinforced ‘Amazon’ rig helps keep piranha away from the actual running line and minimizes the loss of hook, line and sinker.”
Set up your road according to your preferences. Try a woodchopper rod (medium-heavy baitcaster or spinner) equipped with heavy braid (50- to 65-pound test). You’ll have fun catching these guys on light tackle – they’re very durable fish that don’t tire easily.
Several types of water are usually productive. In a river without a lot of features, a curve will often suffice. Drop the bait into the deeper, channel side. If deep pools with eddying water are available, select these types of water. Often, piranha activity on the bait is followed quickly by a take, which may summon the redtail. In any case, the traira head is a great bait even when almost entirely denuded. Let the piranha have their way and wait for your quarry. If there is a redtail there, you’ll usually meet up within 15 minutes. If not, move on.
To succeed with this tackle, you must survive the first run. Make sure your boat is ready to move upon the hookup. The “take” is usually a no-doubter – redtails grab forcefully and move on. With an open bail (or clicker on), allow line to be taken until you’re certain the fish is moving away from you and has had a chance to engulf the bait. Point the rod tip upward, engage your reel and allow the rod to be pulled downward until it points at the fish. With resistance occurring, a redtail will usually react with a screaming run, hooking himself with the circle hook in the process. This method is highly recommended because it will unfailingly result in a safe hookset in the corner of the fish’s mouth, never in its gullet or stomach.
Depending on the size of the fish and the underwater structure, anglers with light tackle can be spooled on the first run. Make sure the boat stays with the fish and you keep a reasonable reserve of line. Don’t try to stop him with a thumb or a tightened drag – you’ll probably just break him off. Let him burn off that first blast and then you can start to fight back. The key to landing a big redtail on light tackle is to get him off the bottom. If possible, get nearly over him, but offset at an angle, and work him upwards. If you can lever him into the water column, you gain the tactical and mechanical advantage and can probably land the fish quickly. If he is able to remain on the bottom, he will seek cover or structure and even though you may have survived the difficult first run, you can still lose him to an unforgiving snag. Once at the boat, redtails can be easily lifted from the water by their heavily boned pectoral fins. He’ll talk to you the entire time you take your pictures. Put him back to fight again.
If you’re record hunting or simply want to land the highest possible percentage, a heavier rig (i.e. – an Ambassador 7000 sized reel with a stiff, short and heavy Ugly Stick rod) can be used with line up to 100 lb. test. This is enough to slow down the runs and then muscle all but the biggest redtails off the bottom, the key to landing them.
John With Big Redtail

John With Big Redtail

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Tackle-Box.net

May 25, 2011

Let our tackle wizard outfit your trip on Tackle-Box.net, our proprietary online tackle shop.

Tackle-Box.net is proud to be the international angler’s source for specialized fishing tackle. Use our online, electronic tackle store to select and purchase the right gear for your fishing trip in any of three easy ways:

Tackle Wizard
We’ve used the experience of dozens of international fishing professionals to assemble the deadliest and most effective tackle for catching fish worldwide – by species, location and water type. Simply answer the “Tackle Wizard’s” questions and let him automatically assemble the ideal outfit of rods, reels, lures and accessories tailor-made for your trip. Customize it, if you wish (by adding or subtracting individual items), to fit your personal preferences.

Tackle Browser
Take a relaxed tour through our inventory and create your own customized tackle packages or just review the products and their detailed descriptions. It’s a perfect way to do some “window shopping” or simply learn more about the gear used for a particular trip.

Tackle Searcher
Looking for a unique or hard-to-find item? Use our search engine to quickly scan our database and add a special item to your existing tackle collection or change and upgrade tackle for a new trip. You can even design your own customized packages. Search for specific items, select them, and then add them to your shopping cart. Click on items to see a description and specifications.

To get started, please visit Tackle-Box.net.

Peacock Bass

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Part Five of Paul Reiss’ Interview with Bass Fishing Source: “What Peacock Bass Fishing Gear Do You Really Need To Land Monster Peacock?”

May 17, 2011

Paul Reiss, owner of Acute Angling, talks with Bass Fishing Source about peacock bass gear in part five of an exclusive interview. Read all about it below or click here.

What Peacock Bass Fishing Gear Do You Really Need To Land Monster Peacock?

The Peacock Bass fishing gear you need may surprise you according Paul Reiss of Acute Angling. The first thought may be to grab the biggest, heaviest tackle one can find in order to take on these beast of the Amazon. But before you head out and lay down your hard earned cash in search of your trophy see what it is you really need.

In this segment of our interview with Paul he explains the type of gear that gets results.

Peacock BassB-F-S: What kind of bass fishing tackle would you recommend in going after Amazon Peacock?

Paul Reiss: The tackle should always, always, always be geared to the lures being used. A pet peeve of mine is that first-time peacock bass anglers are often saddled with overly heavy peacock bass fishing gear because they went to a tackle shop to be outfitted.

Sure, the monster peacock is an amazingly powerful and violent fish, but rod and reel selections should be made based on the peacock bass lures you’ll be using, not the mis-perceptions of tackle salesmen who have never fished for peacocks. Heavy tackle makes you tired, snoozing anglers don’t cast and lures in the boat don’t catch fish. Peacock gear should be reasonably light so that anglers can fish without fatigue, make accurate casts and properly work the lures that will ultimately bring in their trophies.

We supply quality peacock bass fishing gear on our Blackwater Explorer yacht trips, however, anglers are always welcome to bring their own equipment. We recognize that folks are usually most proficient with the bass fishing tackle they’re used to.

If you’re bringing your own gear, I strongly recommend 3-piece travel rods. The new “Gary Loomis Signature Series” by Temple Forks Outfitters is a great line of rods for peacock bass fishing. They are relatively inexpensive, guaranteed, light, fast, durable and, of course, very portable. Two or three rigs will support all aspects of peacock fishing; a medium/heavy outfit; a medium and a medium light.

Read more about bass fishing rods.

medium heavy outfit will effectively cast and work the heavy prop baits. I recommend a baitcaster such as the Gary Loomis series TFG TRC 705-3 for best performance with these big plugs. If selecting another rod, avoid overlong (max. 7’) rods and never use long handled rods. They just make working the lure more difficult. Select a fast-retrieve reel, 6.3:1 or faster. We recommend a Shimano Curado reel (modestly priced and 7.0:1). Slow retrieving reels will not allow you to properly work your lure and will leave you very tired at the end of the day.

Medium/Light rig is best for the peacock rattle jig. With a properly set drag, a quality outfit in this category will efficiently handle even the largest peacock bass while providing casting ease and accuracy. For most anglers, a spinning rod is the better choice for this use, such as a Gary Loomis series TFG TRS 703-3 medium-light rod and a Shimano 2500 series spinning reel.

Read more about bass fishing reels.

Medium Outfit is not a must, but it’s a good backup for the other two rods (since rods can break) and it can be very comfortably used for Zara Spooks, Yo-Zuris and other medium size baits. This rig is a bass fisherman’s bread and butter tool. Bring your favorite reel since retrieve rate is not critical with this outfit. A good example would be a medium baitcaster such as the Gary Loomis series TFG TRC 704-3 with a Shimano Curado or Calcutta 250 size reel.

All of this peacock bass fishing gear can be purchased through Acute Angling at 866 431-1668.

More with Paul Reiss on Amazon Peacock Bass:

Paul talks with Bass-Fishing-Source.com about the awesome Amazon Peacock Bass.

Paul shares some priceless Amazon Peacock fishing techniques.

Paul discusses the best lures for Amazon Peacock Bass.

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Fish of the Week – Dorado

April 18, 2011

Our “Fish of the Week” is dorado, which are migratory gamefish that look similar to saltwater dolphin fish and mahi mahi, albeit not related. Physically, dorado might be described as a prehistoric golden trout or salmon with the jaws of a pit bull terrier. Ichthyologists originally gave dorado the Latin name “Salminus maxillosus” – Salminus meaning trout-like and maxillosus referring to dorado’s incredibly powerful jaws.

As gamefish, dorado are hard-hitting, incredibly strong, acrobatic fighters that can weigh in at more than 30 pounds. Dorado are often found in a massive watershed between southern Brazil/Bolivia and northern Argentina – specifically, the largest populations are found in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Southern Brazil and Bolivia. Surprisingly, dorado are a relatively little known gamefish outside of South America.

If you fish for peacock bass in the Amazon, then you’re in luck – conventional dorado gear and tackle is basically the same as peacock bass. Wire leaders are essential, and because dorado aren’t usually surface fish, the most productive gear are typically medium jerk baits, Rattle Trap-type lures, spoons and jigs. Dorado are often fished with an 8-9 weight fly rod and either a 200-grain, 24-foot sink tip line or a full floating line depending upon water conditions. Use a heavy steel leader, not mono line, as dorado chew right through it. Dorado are attracted to a variety of streamers, sliders and Atlantic salmon-style bombers during ideal conditions (all on 4/0 heavy, long shank hooks).

Dorado

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