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fish Go fishing in the Pantanal! Help for fishing

Challenge energetic fish of the Pantanal.
fish for bait
Pacu of the Pantanal
pacú, caranha
Piaractus mesopotamicus
Pacu Among various fishes in the Pantanal, pacu is one of the most favorite for its taste and strong resistance against landing.
bait:Crab, palm fruit, dough ball, etc.
Crabs are everywhere among aguape(water hyacinth). Be careful of snakes of poison when catching crabs.
Indigenous fishermen use as bait small fruits of wax palm, pacu's favorite food. With a rod and a line, each about 3m long, they hit the surface of water with a fruit to make a sound to attract pacus.
A pacu has strong teeth. It sometimes bends the pinpoint of a hook. Check the hook after each bite of pacu.
cooking:Pacu is tasty. Grill or fry. For Japanese, soak large pieces of pacu in miso (bean curd), if available, for a few hours before grilling. At the table, be careful of Y-shaped small bones. Or, as professional cooks do, you may like to cut bones to pieces.


Piau of the Pantanal
boga, piau
Leporinus friderici

Piau Pretty fish with three black spots and a red accent in the eye. It grows up to 50cm long, while the most common size that you will get in your hand will be around 30cm.
bait:Dough, small fish, corn, etc.
Once hooked, it runs around drawing your line horizontally. It's easy to learn hooking a piau. Sometimes you will come across with a large group of piaus and enjoy repeated bites. Usually, scattering of bait works. Try it.
cooking:Open the body to two, right and left like a hinge. Add onion, tomato, garlic, salt, pepper, salad oil, etc. and grill with a charcoal fire.


Dorado of the Pantanal
dorado, dourado
Salminus maxillosus
Dorado Black dotted lines on the golden body.
release:In case you hook one, unhook it by loosening the line. If unhooking fails, release it immediately after landing.


Piraputanga of the Pantanal
Brycon microlepis
Piraputanga Looks like a smaller version of dorado. If your fish is without black dotted lines, it is not a dorado. A piraputanga's mouth is smaller; and the eyes tenderer than those of a dorado.
bait:small fish, dough, corn, etc.
Like dorados, piraputangas jump repeatedly even after landing.
cooking:Too many fine bones all over the body. What to do?

Piavuçu of the Pantanal
boga, piavuçu
Leporinus macrocephalus
Piavuçu Overall appearance is similar to carp. A piavuçu, however, has teeth in the mouth and no whiskers on the jaw
bait:Dough, corn, leg of crab, etc.
For daily fishing, throw bait for several days into the same point of the river.
Local inhabitants indifferently call various Leporinus species "boga", and often other fishes of similar shape and color as well.
cooking:"Asado" or grill. Although piavuçu has low commercial value, it is quite tasty.


Karimbata of the Pantanal
karimbata, curimbatá
Prochilodus lineatus

Karimbata Your local friends may call karimbata (or curimbata) "boga". Karimbata belongs to the family Prochilodontidae, while Leporinus species is a member of the family Anostomidae.
bait, cooking:Practically same as piavuçu above.

Pintado of the Pantanal
surubí, pintado
Pseudoplatystoma coruscans
Pintado Pintado means "spotted".
bait:Living small fish such as tuvira, sardina, etc.
You can either hold or leave the rod on the ground or board. Wait until a large catfish drags the rod by 1 or 2 meters, then, powerfully hook the fish.
The fish will desperately resist three times or so, trying to run away with its full force; but you will almost never miss it. Drag adjustment will be needed for your reel in case a very large one bites.
Be careful of the sharp edge of fin.
cooking:Grill, fry, boil. It's gourmet fish without small bones.


Surubi of the Pantanal
surubí, cachara
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum

Surubi Tiger-like pattern and shovel-nose.
bait, cooking Exactly same as pintado.
If you catch one, remember the point of bite and cast the rig exactly to there, possibly for the second and third fish, etc. This applies to pintado, too, of course.
Surubi has high commercial value and illegal fishery is an official headache.

Manguruyú of the Pantanal
manguruyú, jaú
Paulicea luetkeni
Manguruyú The large head makes it look different from surubi. Yellowish or greyish body with dark greyish spots. Ones shorter than 1m are still young and we should immediately release them, they say.
bait:You may happen to catch one when fishing surubi and pintado.
cooking:Tasty as surubi, but remember it is a young child if shorter than 1 m.


Barbado of the Pantanal
Pinirampus pirinampu

Barbado Named for the very long whiskers.
When hooked, it clings to the bottom of water as stingleys do in resistance. Landing requires patience and energy.
bait:You would get a barbado unexpectedly when fishing surubi and pintado.
cooking:The taste is not exceptionally good or bad. Release or give it to a hungry person.


Piraña of the Pantanal
piraña, piranha
Pygocentrus ternetzi
Piranha Well known for super sharp teeth.
bait:Meat, fish, worm, bug, etc. Anything from animal will do. Use cheapest available bait.
Be very careful when you take the hook off piranha's dangerous mouth. Long hooks are easier to hold and unhook. See how indigenous fishermen handle piranha.
Where piranhas are dense, it is hard to catch other fish-eaters. Women do not like to cook piranha as, they say, piranha would bite a cook's hand even on the cooking board. There are many stories of horror. Keepers of piranha in aquarium may say piranha is timid. Timid and strong, a piranha would be surely a dangerous fish.
There are various piranhas. The species in the photo looks like a pacu and grows over 40cm long. Big species in general are tasty and are kept for the kitchen.
cooking:Soup is served as "energy suppliment" rather for tourists. Response to the taste varies person by person. Sashimi (raw and sliced) is not rich with fat and raises opposing opinions.
Piranhas are almost omnipresent and active under any weather; you will not starve near the river.


Pacu-peva of the Pantanal
Myloplus levis
Pacu-peva Flat fish like a disc. When looking for pacus with dough ball as bait, pacu-pevas "steal" the bait.
Once you learn how to hook one, pacu-peva is one of the easiest fishes to catch. A pacu, if present near you, would bite your rig before smaller pacu-pevas.
bait:Dough, fly, bee, and small insects
Not recommendable for cooking.


Armado of the Pantanal
armado, botoado
Pterodoras granulosus
Armado Armored catfish.
bait:Dough, meat, fish, corn, etc.
cooking:Not recommended. If you wish to try it, take just one to the kitchen. The "armour" that protects the body is so hard, that a knife edge could be damaged. Open the soft belly, and quickly remove the stinky stomach and intestines away. The remaining part will be only a small portion, but sufficient for soup.


Traira of the Pantanal
tararina, traira
Hoplias malabaricus
Traira With a greedy-looking large mouth and big eyes, you may like or dislike this somewhat grotesque fish. When they are close to river shore, you can see them in water.
Lower your hook with animal bait right in front of the eyes of traira, and in a moment it will bite the rig. At this moment, pull it out of the river. It is too easy to catch traira and many anglers get uninterested after they catch some.
This fish is valuable as free food in homes.


Dourado-cachorro of the Pantanal
Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro
Dourado-cachorro Cachorro means dog. A dourado-cachorro has golden color but no dignity of a dorado. It has teeth of a dog.
It is recommended to try fishing where there is little or no stream of water. Avoid where piranhas are dense.
bait:Meat, fish, fly, etc.
cooking:Not common.


Oscar of the Pantanal
Astronotus ocellatus
Oscar An eye on each side of the tail. Often observed swimming elegantly at river shore.
Oscar is a vital fish, but not dangerous. It is easy to catch and recommended for very young anglers. If your child catches an oscar, say bravo and cook it to eat together.
bait:Either artificial or natural fly or bee
cooking:Boil. Season with soy sauce or salt.


Corvina of the Pantanal
Plagioscion ternetzi
Corvina Similar to white croaker of the sea.
When you are waiting for a heavy bite of surubi, you may feel a light bite, wind it up, then you will see a corvina skiing toward you. You may have to hurry lest piranhas realize your fish is in an abnormal state.
cooking:Grill one corvina for one person. Enjoy it with lemon or salt while it is hot.


Raya of the Pantanal
raya, arraia
Potamotrygon motoro
Raya Stingley of the river. A young raya has a sting of poison. Your careless walk in water may surprise a raya and get its defensive attack on the foot or leg. Once struck, you will suffer from severe pain for a week or so. Local inhabitants fear rayas much more than piranhas.
You may not want to catch a raya, but it will bite either animal or plant bait you mean for other fishes. When you hook this flat fish, it will stick to the bottom of the river in resistance. Then starts the game of patience. In the moment the raya would leave the bottom in attempt to run away, you can pull and pull it without giving a chance of sticking to the bottom again.
bait, cooking:The taste is not bad, but few anglers would go for it.

Dogfish of the Pantanal photo to come soon
perro de pez, peixe cachorro
Rhaphiodon vulpinus
Dogfish Long tusks from the lower jaw go into the holes in the upper jaw.
When you are aiming a dorado, a dogfish may bite your rig instead.
When hooked, a dogfish repeats jumping and wiggling its silver body as a dorado does its golden body. A dogfish tends to run downstream; and a dorado, upstream.
A dogfish has an image of a dangerous fish in water, but it loses energy soon after landing.
Dogfish is usually not appreciated as gift. If you don't want to eat the fish, release it immediately after landing. Local anglers unwelcome dogfish as they lose time and bait. On the other hand, visitors will enjoy seeing this exotic fish.

Fish for bait

Tuvira of the Pantanal
morenita, tuvira
Gymnotus carapo
Tuvira Favorite of fish-eaters such as surubi and dorado. Ask any indigenous person where and who sell "morenita" or "tuvira."
Avoid fishing where piranhas are dominant, or your tuvira will be eaten up in a matter of seconds. If you aim piranhas, use meat or other fish as economical bait.
It is very slippery for a bare hand. A work glove of cotton will help you.

Mojarrita of the Pantanal
mojarrita, sauá
Tetragonopterus argenteus
Mojarrita Very handy bait. Easy to catch almost anytime and anywhere. Mojarrita is most valuable when tuvira is not available.
bait:Dough, soft meat, etc.
Usually mojarritas are many where stream is very slow. You don't have to catch more than you need, as they get weak in a short time.

Machete of the Pantanal
machete, sardinha
Triportheus paranensis
Machete Easy to find, catch, and handle as mojarrita above. It lives relatively longer in your bait container if water is fresh enough.
Once used as bait, it quickly gets weak, but remains to work well to attract fish-eaters such as dorado, surubi, etc. It shines like a silver spoon in water.

Common name
Spanish, Portuguese
Scientific name
Length of the fish in the photo

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