Fishing in Argentina
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Rich in its landscapes, with every type of climate you could desire, one of Argentina’s most appealing qualities is its natural beauty, its never-ending countryside, towering Andes mountains, lush tropics, immense glaciers, and, of course, the picturesque rivers and lakes that bring life throughout the different areas. It is these rivers and lakes that make Argentina a fisherman’s dream come true, with a variety of fish to be found in a variety of climates; there is something for everyone, in every corner of this vast country.
We will start in the north. Still largely unexplored by anglers, this area is rich with rivers, full of some of the most valued fish in the country — the trout and the dorado. With a subtropical climate, northern Argentina, especially in the provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero, and Corrientes, is home to several large rivers, none of which are frequently visited by fisherman. In the wet season, these rivers are often cloudy, but the dry season (March to November) brings crystal clear waters, with rocky beds creating pools throughout the rivers.
Trout are highly prized, but the dorado is the true test. With sharp teeth and a feisty disposition, these strong fish will certainly make you work for your catch. They will eat nearly any other fish, including piranhas, and your bait will be no exception. Despite their strength, however, they will suffocate quite quickly, and will need to be released nearly immediately when angling. If they are not released quickly enough, they will often fall prey to the piranha, not having the strength to fight back.
The dorado has quite the history in Argentina, originally being hunted for sustenance, although it has always been believed to have some divinity within it, as well, as original natives would worship the god of the gold. Even the Spanish saw this fish as something different and special, as it had a spirit not found in European fish. Today, two festivals are held annually to celebrate this fish, both of which practice catch-and-release, one in Entre Ríos and one in Corrientes. Both are a great way to understand and live the local angler culture. For more information on the areas mentioned in this article, please visit this Argentina Travel Guide.
The Cabral Corral dyke in Salta is another hotspot, full of the pejerrey and wolf fish, both of which are much bigger in this environment than fish of the same species found in other areas of the country.
As we move farther east, we have the Littoral, which is home to the Uruguay River and the Paraná River. Both are large, lush rivers, with many great spots for fishing. Concordía, in the province of Entre Ríos, is known as the best fishing area on the Uruguay River. The Paraná is full of pacú and surubí, both large, highly prized fish, as well as the dorado.
To the south and west, the Cuyo region is home to many dykes, dams and lakes, making it an ideal area for sport fishing. These waters are home to many varieties of fish, primarily trout and pejerrey. Malargüe, in the province of Mendoza, is rich in several rivers, making it the ideal place to call home base while on your fishing trip.
To the far south, Patagonia will amaze you not only with its incredible beauty, but with its world-renowned trout and salmon fishing, as well. Trout are said to swim in every body of water in Patagonia, and while each river is different, they will all provide you with the excitement you’re looking for. Junín de los Andes, at the mouth of the Chimehuin River, is frequented by fly-fishing lovers, and Tierra del Fuego, at the end of the earth, offers the Grande River is one of the best sites in the world to fish sea trout. Catch-and-release is an important part of fishing in these areas, and is practiced as a way to ensure the waters will remain plentiful, and the sport will be enjoyed for years to come.
While it is possible to organize your own fishing trip, there are many different companies that will help you organize the trip of your dreams, providing guides, equipment and transportation. It is a wonderful way to see the country and interact with its natural beauty.