Trout fishing La Cocha

Fishing in Colombia as a foreigner.

Fishing in Colombia as a foreigner who loves nothing better than to fish with the added factor of moving to Colombia seemed exciting and yet apprehensive. Back in the UK  I knew where to go and what equipment to take. But importantly of all what bait would be the best to use to give me a fighting chance to capture those large fish especially my favourite fish carp! I have spent many a cold day sat on the river bank or around the shores of the lakes waiting for that all important bite! now I do the same but in a much warmer climate and with new ideas.

Working with Colombia Paddlers has given me a great opportunity to put my skills to the test and to learn or practice vital new techniques from bait use to a simple line attached to an old water bottle or cane.

On all our trips I like to try new things. For starters I like to try the bait used in other areas or even countries and see if they work here. Some times it’s very hit and miss and other times I have had huge success. Then I also have the times where I fail miserably and go home empty handed but had a great day fishing. But the only way to offer our clients the best chances to catch decent fish is by Colombia paddlers going out and trying this ourselves by using the good old method of trial and error in every location we visit. We try and vary the species we catch and this is another reason for trying new bait. What works for one does not mean it will work for other fish in the same water.

So far we have found what rigs we use plays a vital role here. We have found by fishing the Río Magdalena as an example. That we need to carry 12 different rig set ups for us to have the best chance of catching as many different species as possible. I’m not the greatest fan of lure fishing but here we have had some great results on lures especially with bass and trout. I personally like to fish like I was carp fishing in the UK. Baiting up the area, good presentation of bait and rig and sit and wait. Where as Carl is the opposite and can’t sit still. So he prefers lure and fly fishing with the constant movement of the line and bait.

We have found that using chicken hearts and cows liver to be of a great all round bait for the rivers and some lakes. However in the area of La Cocha (near Pasto) as obvious as it sounds! We found using trout eggs was the best way to catch trout on that lake. We also have entered some competitions here which is great because we get to see and mix with the locals. Also allows us to do a little spying to see what bait and set ups they use. It’s always a great way to interact with the local fishing clubs. As you know can’t beat local knowledge ever!

So far my experience here in Colombia fishing has been a huge learning curve. I also feel it has helped me become a better fisherman and what a place to learn. This country has huge potential for the keen anglers. Colombia is finding so many new species every year in the waterways. I don’t think I could ever imagine myself finding a better place to fish and build my skills. The upsides to fishing in Colombia is its extremely hot, warm or cold depending on the areas. No matter where you are the scenery is out of this world. Also the nature is so diverse and amazing you can’t help but be left speechless.

Myself and Colombia Paddlers like to practice the art of catch and release. We also ensure we only try to catch but specifically keep to eat fish of a decent size. We have tried to find fish size charts in Colombia to help maintain the healthy populations of stocks but this has been an incredible challenge. That’s even after contacting fishing agencies etc here in country. This is a great shame because we see all over the country small sized fish being kept. Where as in the UK we would certainly release them.

I will write another blog just about sea fishing at another date. But my true passion is land based fishing especially Carp!

If you have the opportunity to to get to Colombia and you get the chance to go fishing. Grab the chance and get going you won’t be disappointed.