Found only in Uruguay, this species is a true phenomenon, to the point where catching a tararira is on many fishing enthusiasts to-do list, especially those from border countries like Brazil and Argentina. This intriguing fish lives in closed-off water environments, which are usually hard to navigate; it is incredibly sedentary and territorial, so it is necessary to throw caught specimens back into the water to protect the environment's equilibrium. An adult tararira can spend more than 20 minutes out of the water and return to it without trouble, as long as it is not hurt neurologically.
Season and Places
The Iridescent tararira season goes from the end of August to March or April, depending on the fall rains.
At the beginning of the season (August, September, and October), they can be found in smaller, shallow channels of water where the average temperature can reach the 18 ºC that the species needs to stir from its winter lethargy.
In streams such as the Salsipuedes Chico, the Tres Árboles, or the many others that flow into the Río Negro, fishermen can wade for 12 or 14 kilometers, fishing tarariras and returning them to the water, drinking delicious crystalline water straight from the source.
Fishing and Equipment
In order to fish for the Iridescent Tararira, one must get in touch with specialist guides who hold permits given to them by the owners of different areas. The fishing method during the early seasons is exclusively spin fishing, which is practiced on the clear banks of different streams, where it is possible to escape the suffocating heat and potentially dangerous insects.
Once November starts, the temperature of deeper channels rises to adequate levels and the iridescent adventure can expand into trolling methods, a type of fishing technique that allows one to discover the most exquisite corners of nature in the country, reaching the most distant water arteries. To practice trolling, 3 or 4 meter boats are needed for these small channels, with motors from 2.5 to 10 hp. Light equipment that can be stowed when avoiding rock slides is also required.
The Tararira is caught by throwing lures or spinning spoons that work under the surface of the water. The fish catch the decoy quickly with a violent attack soon after the lure hits the water. After the fish takes the bait, it quickly tries to swim to the riverbed, and, while trying to free itself, jumps out of water, displaying its slender body over the tranquility of the water’s surface. This is an unforgettable spectacle for fishing and nature lovers.
In order to minimize risks, it is best to use a small net when landing the fish, especially when fishing from a boat. Good fisherman will then put the animal back into the water, being careful not to hurt its gills.
For spinning, surface and mid-water lures that descend as far as 3 or 4 meters are used, depending on the fisherman's preference. Generally, lures that stay on the surface, such as sputters, plops, or jitters are used to wake and irritate the tararira, to later catch them with others that can descend into the water no less than 50 centimeters.
With the trolling method, lures that can descend up to 6 meters are used, as their main function is to work at river bed-level, where the largest tarariras dwell.
Fishing rods for both spinning and trolling are 7 feet, for 25-30 pounds.
For better handling while casting, ergonomic, centrifugal or magnetic reels with several breaks are recommended. Nylon 20 pound-lines should be used, or alternatively the new, lower-caliber but more resistant micro filament lines.
The tararira has a powerful bite, so the fisherman must have two pairs of pliers, a curved one for holding the fish by its mouth, and another with rounded ends that will help in removing the triple hooks of the lure without hurting the fish.