Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Fishing in Brazil (2).

Although most of the fishing that Richard and I did in Brazil was in saltwater, he had discovered a couple of lakes close to where he lived which were reputed to hold tambaqui. Now tambaqui are worth catching. They are large, hard fighting, fruit eating, piranha-like fish with teeth like a set of dentures. We opted to give them a go. On our first session we were armed with sweetcorn, dog biscuits, bananas and spicy sausage as baits. After a recce around the lakes which revealed nothing useful (I thought that tambaqui might 'show' themselves like carp) we settled for free lining with a variety of baits in a convenient corner. Almost at once Richard had a bite on a section of sausage and to our surprise he hooked a traira. These are toothy fish a bit like giant gobies and put up a fair struggle as they are being landed. Any freebies introduced were instantly attacked by hordes of tiny, sharp jawed tetras which were clearly going to devour anything that was near the surface. We noted them as possible future baits for traira. In our short session we managed a couple more traira and lost several others that were lightly hooked because of their extremely hard mouths (a lesson learned).

Of course we had to have another go later in the trip and this time we thought we knew what to expect. Again sausage proved to be deadly for traira and this time we also had a couple of tilapia on sweetcorn and sausage. Still no sign of tambaqui though. As we were about to collect wives and children before leaving, Rich decided to have a last look around the margin of the lake and (at last) discovered a good sized tambaqui foraging under a fruiting mango tree. Next time I visit we'll no doubt be dangling slices of mango from the margin.

After our futile freshwater exploits it was back to the sea. We spent quite a lot of time (far too much) beach casting in daytime with the usual paternoster gear baited with prawn, octopus or fish. Inevitably our efforts produced a variety of small catfish, grunts, bream and croakers. Once or twice the hooks were removed with scarcely a tug - presumably by the toothy beaks of puffer fish (we caught small ones). None of this was really what we wanted but the urge to 'catch something' is strong.

Last year we'd had two big snook on lures fishing from a rocky reef at low water. Needless to say we had to give it another go. Sadly, despite several early morning sessions the snook refused to show this time but lure fishing did produce a variety of interesting predators, none of them were huge but they were all much bigger and certainly fought a lot harder than the usual product of beach casting gear. Each short session seemed to be blessed with something different. A couple of times we had hard fighting, silver-plated, leather jackets, up to a few pounds in weight, on both surface and sub-surface lures. On one morning we each caught a crevalle jack and on another occasion Richard had two beautiful lookdown fish. Clearly if you hit it just right there's plenty of potential for lure fishing from the shore (nobody seems to do it).

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

Tambaqui bait.

Richard baited up in anticipation of a biggie.'


One of the smaller victims of our spicy sausage.'


Difficult to engage however you try to set the hook.'


This little beauty took sweetcorn.'

--and another.

A bigger tilapia fell to spicy sausage.'

Silver catfish.

This tiny specimen fell to paternostered prawn.'


Two hooks and two baits produced two fish  - both small.'


Richard's lures certainly picked up better fish.'

A beauty.

Rich's biggest leatherjacket put up a decent show.'


After I'd had one of these jacks on a slider Richard caught this one.'


Another lure caught early morning fish.'

Close up.

It's always a pleasure to catch fish like these.'