Big Golden Dorado

Caught by our Clients at La Zona

La Zona Lodge - Uruguay River - Argentina

This page is dedicated to the Big Golden Dorado that our clients have landed at La Zona. The current world record is a 55-pound, 11-ounce golden dorado caught in 2006 at... you guessed it, La Zona!

La Zona Golden Dorado

Mike Sadar's' World-Record Golden Dorado, 2012.

Mike Sadar and Guide with World-Record Golden Dorado

In April 2012, our client Mike Sadar landed a world record fly-caught 50-pound golden dorado at La Zona!

Mike Sadar, 2019

Mike Sadar with a 54-pounder

Seven years later, Mike Sadar with his last fish of the trip, a 54-pounder, in 2019.

Kurt Pettipiece, 53-pound Golden Dorado on a Fly, 2022.

Kurt Pettipiece with 53-pound Golden Dorado with Dam in Background

Kurt Pettipiece with a 53-pounder La Zona, landed on a fly in 2022.

Mike Hughes, a giant fly-caught dorado from LaZona, 2022.

Mike Hughes with a Huge Golden Dorado, La Zona Dam in Background

Mike Hughes a giant fly-caught dorado from LaZona.

James Auman with a 52 pounder - 2023

James Auman with a 52-pounder, PowerLines in Background

Pat Love with a 50-pounder caught on a fly, 2022.

Pat Love with a 50-pounder, Dam in Background

Peter Ottesen - La Zona, 2016

Peter Ottesen with Large La Zona Golden Dorado

Dick Tron with a 47-pounder, 2012.

Dick Tron Hugging 47-Pound Golden Dorado

"Even though the water was very low, we had excellent fishing."
- Dick Tron

Jim Schmid with a 50-pounder, December 2022.

Jim Schmid with big smile and a 50-pounder at La Zona

"Water levels were extremely low, and the fish were very lethargic about 90% of the time. There were some brief flurries of feeding activity when they ran more water through the turbines, and the larger fish seemed to be the most aggressive…so we were able to catch a high percentage of trophy size (over 30 pounds). I FINALLY got a 50-pounder! This was my 12th trip there, so it’s been a LONG time coming! I hooked several large dorados that either broke the 60# fluorocarbon the guides put as my leader or had the fluorocarbon bitten off when multiple fish simultaneously attacked the lure! It was wild! I will be equipped with heavier fluoro next time!"
- Jim Schmid

Jim Kever with La Zona Dorado, 2022.

Jim Kever Seated with Large Golden Dorado

Jim Schmid with a 42-pounder, 2022.

Jim Schmid with a 42-pounder

We could dedicate an entire page to Jim Schmid's big La Zona dorado.

Jim Lampe, 2016

Jim Lampe with Huge Golden Dorado with Dam in Background

Ray Snyder, 2012

Ray with a Golden Dorado at Sunset.

Ray, with the last fish of the trip, a 33-pound monster caught on a titanic (mouse pattern).

Nick Stephens, with a 46-pounder, 2020

Nick Stephens with a 46-pounder

Nick Stephens with a 52-pounder, 2020

Nick Stephens with a 52-pounder

Nick Stephens' last fish of the day was a 52-pounder!

Farris Elassner, 2023 Hosted Week

Farris Elassner with Huge Golden Dorado

Brad Staples, 2023 Hosted Week

Brad Staples with Golden Dorado

Our agent, Brad Staples, made the page too, with his Hosted Week 50-pounder. Read Brad's 2023 Trip Report.

Herb Fritch, 2024

Herb Fritch, with Golden Dorado

Herb Fritch with a La Zona 50-pounder, 2024

Jim and Cindy Schmid - Kissing Couples, 2020

Jim and Cindy Schmid with La Zona Double

2020 Trip:  We recently visited LaZona, and I was particularly excited to share this special place with my wife, Cindy. She had fished in South America twice previously, but neither location had golden dorado available, so this would be her first opportunity to experience this sometimes moody, sometimes aggressive, but always hard-fighting and beautiful species. I have visited LaZona many times and always look forward to hooking up with my favorite freshwater species in the world, the golden dorado!
The Fishing Gods must have been smiling on us because even though the river was experiencing abnormally low flows, we had a fantastic first day. Cindy didn’t waste much time before setting the hook on a solid take, and after a lengthy fight, including 4 jumps, she managed to land a beautiful 34# female! Not bad for her first dorado ever! Her “first fish luck” must have rubbed off on me because my fly line soon went tight, and a huge slab of golden fish immediately shot into the air! After an even longer fight, we boated a gorgeous fat dorado that pulled the scale to 42#s! What a start!
Our first day ended with a total of 10 fish landed, and incredibly 5 of those were over 30#s…including a 40# and 42#! What a day!
The next day a storm blew in, the fish got moody, and the fishing became much tougher. We managed to land a few more over the next 3 days, including our only double of the trip:  two beauties of 24 and 32 pounds.
While this trip was challenging due to both less-than-ideal water and weather conditions and travel difficulties (because of the coronavirus), we were glad we went…and were very grateful for the exceptional fish we caught. Hard-earned trophies are the most meaningful, and LaZona was generous enough to share some of its golden treasure with us! Special thanks to the hard-working guides, lodge owners, and staff for the great food, accommodations, guiding, and overall exceptional service.
We can’t wait to go back.
- Jim and Cindy Schmid

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