Argentina - Rio Paraná - Isoro Nature Reservation
There are many good reasons to travel to Argentina, which is obvious. Although the eighth largest country in the world on the South American continent is not exactly in our neighborhood, the special charm lies especially in the great variety of landscapes. Tearing waterfalls in tropical primeval forests, glacial lakes in the Andes, endless plains in the pampas, traditional pastureland, and of course Tierra del Fuego in the extreme south.
In addition, Buenos Aires is a capital city that can be described as the active cultural center of the country. Here you will find numerous historical buildings from the colonial period as well as modern Argentina – and not to forget, of course, the living tradition of the tango. Buenos Aires is therefore always worth a visit.
Fishing trips to Argentina
What many people here in Europe don’t know is that Argentina has a lot to offer to anglers. The following lines are about fishing in the Rio Paraná and in the nature reserve Isoro, which is located about 700 km north of the capital. The reserve is fed by the waters of the Paraná, a river that flows over 3200 km in a north-south direction from Brazil through Paraguay to the Rio Uruguay and then joins the Rio de la Plata, which is up to 220 km wide and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Isoro Reserve is part of a complex system of wetlands with streams, lagoons and estuaries covering a total area of about 100,000 hectares. It is virtually a green labyrinth of a seemingly infinite number of river branches with breathtaking flora and fauna.
Since the entire reservation is protected, not only is professional fishing completely prohibited here, but also sport fishing is limited to a few. Therefore, you will meet only a very small number of boats in the vast area.
Fishing vacation in Argentina
In addition to countless bird species, caimans and meter-long anacondas also have their home here – and of course a whole range of interesting fish species, which we would like to discuss in more detail below.
One – if not THE most important fish in the Isoro Reserve is the Dorado. Do not confuse it with the dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi) from the sea, but similarly beautiful in color. It is a salmonid that lives up to its name in shape and color, and is probably one of the most beautiful sport fish around. The Argentines also call the fish “river tiger” – and if you have ever had such a specimen on the hook, you know why: fighting wildly with acrobatic jumps, the Dorado not infrequently manages to shake off the hook again in the fight.
Fortunately, in the Isoro Reserve you usually have so many bites that you can easily get over the fish lost in the fight – because a 50% loss rate is quite normal. Even the smaller specimens in the 1-2 kg range, which you will mainly hook, make a pagan theater on light tackle – but with the right luck you can also hook very big fish that can weigh 5, 10, 15 kg, or even more, because the theoretical maximum limit for this fish species is beyond the 20 kg mark.
However, it has to be mentioned that a good portion of patience, endurance and, of course, luck are necessary for the larger calibers. The dorados are mainly fished with artificial lures (spinning – but also very well with the fly); however, they also go with natural bait fishing in the main stream from time to time on the hook.
The Surubi is also one of the target fish in the Isoro Reserve and the Rio Paraná. It belongs to the genus of the Antenna Catfish and is also known as the “King of the River”. There are 2 subspecies: The striped Surubi, which is also known as “Tiger Catfish” in Guyana, and the spotted Surubi, which can grow much larger than its striped relative. Fishing is mainly with natural bait – and this often results in the piranhas making life difficult for you – because there are plenty of them in the river as well….
Once hooked, the catfish delivers a leg-high drill. The Surubi is not only found in the Isoro Reserve, but also in the main stream of the Rio Paraná, and the annual Surubi World Championship is held in the town of Goya, a good 50 km from the Isoro Ranch. An excellent food fish, it can reach sizes beyond 150 cm and about 80 kg. But even here, a good portion of luck is needed for the big specimens – they are there, but you have to get them on the hook first.
In the Isoro Reserve there are numerous other fish species that cannot all be mentioned here – but one should be mentioned here because it grows monstrously large: The Argentine Freshwater Stingray. Already the scientific name “Potamotrygon brachyura” suggests in the 2nd word of the name, that one has to do here with “brute” force.
And indeed, the angler who wants to take on such a monster has to be aware of quite a few things. The rays become with a diameter of up to 150 cm enormous 200 kg heavy. It is hard to imagine that these giants can be found in water depths beyond 10 meters (mostly even shallower than 5 meters). If you are after something like this, you not only need a lot of stamina, but above all very stable equipment, otherwise rod breakage is almost inevitably the result…
You can take a direct flight (Lufthansa) from Frankfurt non-stop to Buenos Aires. It is up to you whether you want to spend a day in the capital after your arrival or whether you want to continue your journey right away. After all, there are more than 650 km to go. Most anglers drive the distance from Buenos Aires by bus to Goya and are then picked up by the ranch owner there. A domestic flight (to Corrientes) can also be considered, but it will only bring you about half the distance closer to your destination. You can also consider driving a rental car. For groups traveling individually, just ask us about the best option.
Travel time: September- May
In the reserve only artificial baits and single hooks may be used. Outside, on the Rio Paraná, natural baits (live baits) are also used.
As already described in the introductory text, such a trip can be combined with a city tour in Buenos Aires. At the end of the fishing trip you can spend as many nights as you like in Argentina’s capital before your return flight. By the way: If you still want to do some sightseeing, you can also take a day trip by ferry to Montevideo/Uruguay.
Absolute top boats for fishing in the nature reserve. 6-6.50 meters long, usually powered by 60 hp outboards (sometimes motorized higher), the boats are optimally designed for 2 anglers. However, it is certainly possible for three to fish. In the bow and in the stern of each boat there is a raised platform from which you can spin fish very well.
The comfortable seats in the stern allow optimal natural bait fishing – and also trolling. Equipped with depth sounder/GPS and normally an electric motor at the bow for spin fishing in the reserve or on the Rio Paraná.
Rancho del Isoro
Rancho Del Isoro” consists of 3 cozy cabins in total, just a few steps from the water and the jetty. The cabins offer enough space each for 4 people. 2 cabins have 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each and the 3rd cabin also has up to 4 beds in 2 sleeping areas (which are not firmly separated from each other). In addition, there is a bathroom with shower + toilet, a dining table and a small kitchen with stove, sink, refrigerator and kettle. Normally you won’t need the kitchen, because you are fully catered at the ranch. Outside on the veranda there is a barbecue and a comfortable sofa with a beautiful view right on the water.
The “ranch kitchen” with a large table and benches is used for daily meals. Speaking of catering – as one can already assume in Argentina, this is usually quite “meat-heavy”, but special requests – as far as the possibilities allow – will also be gladly considered. The chef prepares delicious dishes and desserts – accompanied by excellent Argentine wines (if you like), or otherwise of course beer or soft drinks. You can decide during your stay if you want to return to the ranch for lunch, or if you want to take maximum advantage of the fishing time and then take a lunch box with you on the water.
..and even if certainly nobody comes here to spend a beach vacation, it should still not be forgotten that there is also a pool, which can be a pleasant refreshment especially for guests who come in the summer in the south (i.e. in our winter months), when it can get very hot.
Considering what a remote place you are in, you are already experiencing a very high level of comfort.
For already existing groups of 2-4 or even more people, we will be happy to make you an individual offer.
Accompanied tour (also for single riders) from 15.9.-26.09.2024 to the Isoro Reserve in Argentina
Dear Sport Anglers,
in September 2024 we are planning an guided group trip to the Isoro Reserve. See below for schedule and details.
Direct flight from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires (night flight with Lufthansa). Connecting flights to Frankfurt are available on request.
Arrival Buenos Aires in the early morning hours. Then bus transfer to the Isoro Reserve (about 8-10 hours drive). Arrival at the ranch in the early evening. Check in, set up fishing gear, dinner.
8 nights in Rancho Del Isoro (3 participants per lodge). Full board (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner at the ranch). 7 days fishing (8-10 hours each) 2 anglers per boat with guide.
Return from the ranch to Buenos Aires.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Buenos Aires (double room).
If no prolongation days in Buenos Aires are required: Return flight to Germany with Lufthansa.
Arrival Frankfurt. Participants who spend 1-2 additional days in Buenos Aires will arrive in Frankfurt accordingly later.
Direct flight Frankfurt-Buenos Aires h/r (Lufthansa’s longest non-stop flight). Connecting flights from other airports possible with extra charge. 1 x 23 kg free luggage + hand luggage.
Transfer Buenos Aires- Ranchos Del Isoro (h/r)
8 days accommodation in the ranch (cabin for 3 participants each)
7 days fishing in the Isoro Reserve and in the Rio Paraná (8-10 hours each). 2 anglers per boat
One night (double room) in a hotel in Buenos Aires before the return trip
Full board service during your stay at the ranch(breakfast, packed lunch and hot dinner at the ranch)
Equipment + bait service**
Guide: Kai Witt, Global Fishing Adventures
*Per person either 2 bottles of red wine or alternatively 8 bottles/cans of beer incl. for the time at the ranch. Additional alcoholic beverages can be purchased at the ranch.
** If required, fishing tackle (rod/reel/line) as well as artificial bait or natural bait systems are available. The Argentines fish here almost only with light Baitcaster equipment, which is not suitable for large rays. If you are used to other equipment, it is better to bring it yourself. Participants who want to use the equipment / bait service, please inform us in advance, so that the tackle is prepared here.
- On request: Extra nights in Buenos Aires before the return trip.
- On request: Costs for connecting flight to Frankfurt
- Costs for sightseeing in Buenos Aires or also Montevideo/Uruguay
- Food costs beyond the time we are at the ranch
- Extra alcoholic drinks (see above)
- Costs for additional luggage on the flight