venerdì 10 aprile 2020


Yesterday I was putting some order in my pletora of lures to spend some of this quarantine time trying not to get too bored; sometimes it is just fine to take care of our toys if we cannot go fishing.

So I stumbled upon the tackle box with the lures I used in past September in Brazil; the box is a Mehio Versus that has been following me in a lot of freshwater trips without any problem, strong and very practical on small boats but the lid itself was deformed by direct exposure to sunrays and heat, even if I don't remember extremely high temperature in those days, something in the mid 30° celsius for sure, but never uncomfortable.

Some lures also suffered from the heat, several had been deformed and their finish cracked; it happened before to me with some low quality local brand to see them split open like nuts but never until now on first quality Japanese ones.

Not all went the same path, the ones who mostly suffered were Megabass and Evergreen, but not all models, also some Jackall, Tackle House and Mann's, while Imakatsu, Lucky Craft, Duo and River2Sea didn't show any problem, as, of couse wooden lures of various brands.

Maybe I should have covered the box with a white towel, maybe I should have brought a white or light colored box to reflect part of the rays... I don't consider this to be a fault of the lures, just a lesson learned for next time and a tip for reflection ....

Question now is: "where can I find a light colored and cooled lure box?"  :D

mercoledì 8 aprile 2020

Andaman Islands April 2018 - Video memories

A bit late, but taking advantage of this quarantine time, here comes a partial video of a super funny experience, as usual with Andaman Angler ... who wanna join for next year? Just contact me at alleslures@yahoo.it :)
In the while I wish a positive end of this "covid" situation to everybody.

domenica 22 marzo 2020


To many of the friends who have fished with me in the past two decades it is no mistery that one of my favourite fish groups, and possibly the favourite group, is the snappers family.
Form the smallest species to the giant Cuberas I simply love to fish for them; I love their ambush behaviour, their strong fight and their intelligence; they not only seem to know exactly how to take full advantage of their environment while trying to escape, but some species also learn quickly lures and presentations, they learn by their mates actions and know pretty soon how to recognize our lures if fishing pressure is high.

It happened to me several time to catch a couple specimen of Caribbean Mangrove Snapper from a hole in a flat or a channel among the tree roots and have no more strike, only to see several dozens of them hiding in the same place upon visual inspection; sometimes even loosing a fish on a hookoff was enought to completely shut down the bite, maybe they still followed, looked at the lure from inches, even hit it with the snout but never really taking it.

Not that all the species react the same way, many time we can see competition, some species are very gregarious, other are badly territorial at some times; I rememeber many situation in which caribbean Cuberas were completely unactive toward our poppers or sticks, but it was enough to have a barracuda try a bite to trigger a super aggressive reaction, with them either stealing the lure from the cuda or hitting directly the competitor, no matter if as long as them... a badass fish that surely is in the top of my personal favs.

I think I will talk a lot about my experiences and theories on different species, environment, way to catch them and to fight them, and of course the right tackle and lures; but, being a very big world, probably worth several books that I am not able to write, let's make it in small digestible pieces.... this time it will be just a list or gallery of the species I have encountered.

I want to begin with caribbean waters, more specifically cuban waters, because those are the places where I moved my first step into exotic and tropical fishing.
There are several glamorous species and some less known ones, here they go:

-Mangrove Snapper ( Lutjanus griseus ); as it name suggests it loves trees roots especially in juvenile sizes up to a couple kilos, then they usually migrate to deeper areas.

-Mutton Snapper ( Lutjanus analis ), pargo criollo in Cuba; it preferes reefs, weed flats and, the center of the canals between the mangroves and more open environment than the previous and normal size inshore is anywhere from 1 to 5-6 kilos but biggest I have seen, not caught by me, was around 14 kilos.

-Dog Snapper ( Lutjanus jocu ), pargo jocu in Cuba, always confused with the cubera as it grows big, but it doesn't have the same XL canine dentition and also lacks its big sister's strenght, it can be recognized by the light stripe under the eye; it likes the same environments of the mutton and they sometimes mix; my bigget was around 15 kilos.

-Atlantic Cubera Snapper ( Lutjanus cyanopterus ), the king ( or queen as cubera is femenine name ) of west atlantic snappers and one of the meanest and biggest of all family worldwide as can reach over 60 kilos in truly uncatchable specimens. People often ask me if it is harder to catch a big GT or a big Cubera, I just answer telling them to look around in books, magazines and socials; they reach somewhat similar sizes but while you see plenty of 40-50 kilos GT on popping tacke you almost never see comparable cuberas caught with same tackle ... guess why? :D
Not so simple of course as trevallies are fantastic adversaries and maybe big cuberas are not so easily encountered, but it helps to develop the idea.

-Lane Snapper ( Lutjanus synagris ), one of the less glamorous ones, not of big size, I only caught them up to 2 kilos more or less while fishing for muttons to which they resemble for aspect and attitude and environment choices; the few times I found them they gave me the idea to prefere weed environment rather than rock or coral, but it was just a limited field observation.

-Schoolmaster Snapper (Lutjanus apodus ), another little brother, my biggest maybe 1 kilo and half, in my experience it tends to hide more than other species and to love shadow and seldom roam free waters... but this goes in contrast with literature so I am probably wrong :D

-Yellowtail snapper ( Ocyurus chrysurus ), not a "Lutjanus" but still a snapper, rubia for spanish people; a small fish, max 4 kilos, more often in the 0.5 to 1.5 kilos range, but very gregarious, love free water and often very aggressive striking lures as big as itself... not a challenge on medium tackle but possibly a blast on light game.. too bad it is a favourite snack for many bigger predators, first of all the great barracuda, always ready to steal it from your line.

-Silk Snapper, ( Lutjanus vivanus ), Pargo del alto in Cuba... I put it and the following one in the list just to complete it as I caught very few ones only on deep jigging on southern cuban waters; I don't even have the pictures handy so I put a Fishbase one .... of very little or non interest for our fishing techniques... but very good eating :D

-Black Snapper, ( Apsilius dentatus ), another deepwater specie of small proportions, I caught just one specimen in Cayo Largo while deep jigging many years ago, again no picture and no interest; Fishbase pic again.

There are a handful of other species in that part of the world that I haven't caught, the most important among them is probably the Red Snapper ( Lutjanus campechanus ), a sought after catch in all southern USA... someday I will have to add them to my search list.

Next time the snappers of another part of the world.

lunedì 11 novembre 2019


La mia storia di pescatore  spinning è nata col bass, quello largemouth per capirci, tanti anni fa, il primo contatto con i classici jigs da flipping e pitching si perde negli anni '80 ed è stato subito amore per la capacità di arrivare ovunque, specialmente nel fitto degli ostacoli, e la propensione per attrarre pesci di taglia. Oltre ai bass si fecero presto vivi i lucci e qualche altro pesce occasionale.
Con l'arrivo del siluro l'uso di tale artificiale mi ha dato subito soddisfazioni, ma anche difficoltà legate agli ami generalmente piccoli e leggeri di cui erano armati i classici, non adatti spesso a combattere pesci di taglia notevole.

My fishing career as lure tosser was born with the Black Bass, the largemouth one, many years ago and first contact with flipping and pitching jigs dates back to the 80s; I soon loved them as they can reach everywhere especially in wood and weeds, and because of their appeal to big size fishes.
Not only bass as pikes were quickly in the game, big sizes too, and some other very occasional fish.
When wels catfishes became well present in our waters I soon used the jig to target them; I had lot of catches but also some difficulties and lost big fishes due to the relatively light and small hooks in a lure projected for other tasks.

Si trattava di trovare quei pochi modelli con amo oversize e magari pesi fino all'oncia o più, ed ho risolto con le testine Jigzilla della Gambler, da dressare con skirt a piacere, uno o due a seconda del volume che vogliamo ottenere; in foto si può vedere la differenza con la testina tradizionale seppure armata di 5/0.

I had to search for very few models with oversized hooks and I finally solved with Gambler Jigzilla heads, to be dressed with one or two skirts depending on the volume we need; in the pic below the difference with a "big" 5/0 bass jighead is evident.

Il trailer gioca spesso un ruolo determinante, a seconda delle situazioni i pesci preferiscono nettamente una vibrazione e un volume differente, le mie scelte vanno dal classico shad, adoro i Keitech Swing Impact Fat da 5.8", ai grub sia a coda singola che doppia, alle creature, le mie preferite quelle di Gary Yamamoto, a, talvolta, vermi dritti e piatti.

Trailer choice is fundamental, depending on situations fishes prefere different vibrations and size, my choices span from the classic shad tails , Keitech Swing Impact Fat in 5.8" size is my fav, to single or twin tailed grubs, to creatures, love the Gary Yamamoto one, to, sometimes, big straight and flat worms.

Peso della testa, quantità di skirt e dimensione del trailer li scelgo in relazione al tipo di recupero che voglio, se un'azione di nuoto a mezz'acqua o caduta lenta o se un'azione di bottom tumping ovvero recupero attivo a contatto del fondo ove l'esca si alza e cade impattando gli ostacoli in modo rumoroso. Anche l'aggiunta di un rattler, sia esterno che interno alla soft plastic è una cosa che valuto di volta in volta a seconda dell'attività dei pesci, della sospettosità degli stessi e  del colore dell'acqua.

Head weight, bulkness of skirt and size of the trailer are choosen depending the type of retrieve I want, from midwater swim, slow fall or active bottom bumping with heavy and noisy impacts on the rocks and sand. Adding a trailer is an option too, either external or hidden in the soft plastic; just consider it well depending on level of activity and waryness of the fishes and color of the water.

Oltre ai soliti noti escono spesso specie inaspettate che attaccano aggressivamente il jig, nelle mie acque in particolare barbi europei e aspi.

I caught more species on them beside the usual suspects, with asps and barbels frequent on my line while looking for cats.

Come attrezzatura per me canna da casting tutta la vita, Yamaga Blanks Glazer e Xtremo abbinate a Shimano Scorpion 1501 o Curado 301, trecciato da almeno 40 libbre e terminale in nylon morbido da 100 libbre circa per resistere alle abrasioni del fondale.

My tackle of choice is baitcasting, of course, for me Yamaga Blanks Glazer and Xtremo paired with Shimano Scorpion 1501 and Curado 301 are  perfect; braid of at least 40 lbs and nylon leader of about 100 lbs to withstand bottom and obstacle abrasion.

Di recente sto sperimentando questo approccio con i predatori esotici, per ora voto positivo col trairao, mi riservo di provarlo anche con barramundi, papuan bass, snakehead e pesci gatto di varie razze.. vedremo, stay tuned. 

Lately I am experimenting this approac with exotic predators, thumbs up with trairao, I wish to try it soon with barramundi, papuan bass, snakehead and assorted catfishes.. stay tuned.

domenica 20 ottobre 2019


Tanto tempo che volevo andare a pescare i Trairao, avrei voluto in primis tornare in Guyana Francese, ma la voglia di provare un luogo differente ha prevalso ed eccoci in Mato Grosso, per la precisione presso il Rancho Serra do Cachimbo, una stupenda realtà brasiliana.
Arrivarci non è stato facilissimo, un volo Bologna-Roma-San Paolo con Alitalia, che spero di evitare in futuro, volo interno con Azul fino a Cuiabà, capitale dello stato, e poi altro voletto su Sinop... appena atterrati un buon churrasco, la carne sarà un motivo fisso di tutta la settimana, e poi 4 ore di macchina fino alla nostra destinazione finale.
Il lodge, o posada come la chiamano in loco, è splendido, l'accoglienza top level e il cibo veramente ottimo, già questo basta a metterci di ottimo umore; ma è l'intrico di lagune e bracci di fiume che si vedono a 20 metri da noi che alimenta l'entusiasmo.

I've been planning to go fishing for trairaos for long time, I would have liked to go back to French Guyana, but I also was tempted to try new places so here we are in Mato Grosso, specifically at Rancho Serra do Cachimbo , a wonderful reality in Brazil.
It has been a long trip to arrive there, a bad flight with Alitalia from Bologna to San Paolo, other flight to Cuiabà, the state capital, and another one to Sinop. After a good churrasco that wellcomed us, other 4 hours of road and we arrived to our final destination.

The lodge, locally called posada , is very beautiful and well kept, hospitality and confort are top level and food is great; all this surely boost our entusiasm, but not as it does the view of the lagoons right in front of us.

L'ambiente è bellissimo, un fiume importante ha creato un lago a seguito di uno sbarramento, inondando pianure erbose e creando un dedalo di canali dall'acqua insolitamente limpida per situazioni simili. Alberi sia morti che vivi sorgono dal mezzo delle lagune e i fondali sono costellati di tronchi sommersi, regno degli ambiti Trairao che qui non hanno alcun predatore in concorrenza, salvo forse i caimani locali.
E' il paradiso del pescatore di bass, anche perchè i pesci sono assolutamente abbondanti e presenti quasi ovunque, anche se questo non significa che siano di facile cattura.

Environment is very nice, a serious river has been blocked by a barrage and inundated the nearby plains, creating a labyrinth of lagoons and channels with very transparent water.
Dead and living trees grow everywhere in the middle of water and on the banks, and the bottom is full of sunken logs that create perfect hideouts for our beloved trairaos; they have no other predators to compete with apart the elusive caimans.

This is heaven for bass minded fisherman, plenty of fishes everywhere but that doesn't mean they are too easy to catch.

La fauna del luogo si fa intravvedere spesso sulle sponde e in cielo, armadilli, capibara, scimmie e onnipresenti pappagalli sono visioni comuni, mentre caimani e anaconda restano invece nascosti ma ben presenti.

Local fauna can be often spotted on the banks and the air, capibaras, armadillos, monkeys and ubiquitous parrots are common sights, while caimans and anacondas are shy even if present in good numbers.

Ma a noi interessa di più la fauna ittica :D

But maybe I am more interested in acquatic fauna :D

Come presentazioni i topwater eccellono alle prime e ultime ore del giorno, walking sticks, poppers, propellers e crawler recuperati non troppo veloci ottengono attacchi brutali, mentre nelle ore di luce alta gli spinnerbait la fanno da padrone, seguiti da swimbait, jerkbait, qualche gomma e qualche jig.
Con minnow e crank poca fortuna, non perchè non fossero adescanti, ma perchè gli attacchi su esche molto dinamiche risultavano quasi sempre in pessimi agganci in quelle bocche durissime, con conseguenti slamate durante i molteplici salti.

Best presentations are topwater at first and las hours of the day; walking sticks, poppers, propellers and crawlers have all their place; when slowly retrieved along obstacles and vegetation they produce brutal attacks. During sunlight hours spinnerbaits are number one choice, followed by swimbaits, jerkbaits, some plastic and some jigs.
With crankbaits and minnows we had bad luck; they were attractive to the fishes but we couldn't get solid hookups due to the mouth conformation of fishes, and almost all the strikes on dynamic lures resulted in a thrown hook during jumps.

Altro problema oltre alle slamate sono stati gli ami rotti, gli spinner distrutti e le ancorette aperte da quei piccoli draghi... è incredibile come basti a volte un pesce da un paio di chili a distruggere uno spinnerbait nuovo o aprire un 7/0 da saltwater.

Another problem was the number of broken spinners and opened hooks by these little dragons .... it is incredible how just a 2 kilos fish can destroy a new spinnerbait or straighten a 7/0 saltwater hook.

Peccato sia mancato il mostro, anche se gli amici Hristiyan e Peter hanno preso bei pesci, il mio max è stato 13 libbre, pesce onesto ma ben lontano dai mostri mangia iguane di queste acque... torneremo di sicuro a cercarli.
E' un pesce che da decisamente dipendenza, con la sua difesa violenta, i salti apparentemente impossibili vista la forma tozza, i denti da dinosauro e l'indole aggressiva.
Senza dimenticare il confort del dopo pesca, cene eccellenti a base di carne locale, dolci e ottima birra, cose alle quali sono sempre sensibile  :)
Poche le foto di tutto ciò, ma in quei frangenti mi dimentico la macchinetta :D

I missed the monster, my best one weighted 13 pounds on the boga, but my friends Peter and Hristyian had some better fishes, but we didn't touch the local iguana-eating monsters... we will be back to search for them for sure.
Trairao is an addictive fish, with its violent defence, the frequent jumbs despite its bulky size, dinosaur teeth and mean attitude.
Not to forget about after fishing confort, excellent dinners of local meat, sweets and good beer, and I am very sensitive to those things so that I often forget to take pictures :D