The combination of natural beauty and a wide variety of fish species makes the state of Mato Grosso the ideal destination for sportfishing lovers. It’s an absolutely astonishing destination!
Located in the Brazilian Midwest, the state of Mato Grosso is home to endless amazing locations for sportfishing enthusiasts. Several rivers cross the state, which is located between three drainage basins: the Amazon basin, the Tocantins-Araguaia River basin, and the La Plata River basin. The La Plata River basin is, in turn, subdivided into the basins of the Paraná and Paraguay Rivers. As a consequence, Mato Grosso State has fish such as the “pirarara” (redtail catfish), the “piraíba” (goliath catfish), the “barbado” (flatwhiskered catfish), the “dourado” (freshwater dorado), the “pintado” (spotted sorubim), the “pacu”, the “piraputanga” (brycon hilarii), the “piavuçu”, the “jaú” (gilded catfish), the “cachara” (tiger shovelnose catfish), the “piranha”, and the “tucunaré” (peacock bass), among many others.
Located in a privileged position, the state of Mato Grosso is home to three of the main Brazilian biomes, which makes it a reference when it comes to nature destinations. Fishermen traveling from the city of Cuiabá can go fishing in the Pantanal region, in Mato Grosso, in the Amazon Rainforest, in the Cerrado region, and along Araguaia River.
When visitors get to the Transpantaneira Highway, which connects the municipality of Poconé to the town of Porto Jofre, they will find not only rich wildlife, ranging from jabirus (icons of the Pantanal region) to jaguars, but also several options for local tours and accommodations. Those who want to experience local biodiversity will definitely enjoy the “Encontro das Águas” (Meeting of Waters) State Park, an ideal location to watch local birds, reptiles, and mammals.
Between the months of February and September, visitors can easily catch more than 300 cataloged fish species in the Pantanal, including “pacu” fish, “cachara” (striped catfish), “piraputanga” (Brycon Hilarii), “barbado” (flatwhiskered catfish), “piavuçu” fish, and the “dourado” (freshwater dorado), the main attraction in sportfishing. The region, renowned for being one of the largest wetlands in the world, has endless river options for sportfishing. The period between the months of February and April receives heavy rainfall, so the use of a four-wheel drive is recommended when visiting local attractions.
Home to traditional cuisine and diverse infrastructure, the Pantanal region is one of the few in the State of Mato Grosso which authorize lodging in boat hotels. In addition to enjoying the Pantanal hospitality, visitors will be able to navigate while enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets in the state. Those seeking modern settings will also find hotels and inns that offer contemporary architecture and leisure options such as swimming pools and game rooms, providing the perfect balance between modernity and comfort.
There are so many fishing destinations in Mato Grosso that even the State Capital, Cuiabá, boasts one of the main rivers for sportfishing. Cuiabá River extends for about 820km and fishermen will find fish species such as the “pintado” (spotted catfish), the “barbado” (flatwhiskered catfish), the “dourado” (freshwater dorado), the “pacu”, and the “piranha”.
The capital of Mato Grosso, however, is not the only alternative for sportfishing. Chapada dos Guimarães National Park is a gorgeous location where visitors will find charming inns and rivers with crystal-clear waters in which they will be able to enjoy fly fishing, baitcasting, and traditional fishing. Sportfishermen looking to catch the famous Freshwater Dorado should visit the region between the months of May and September. On the other hand, if the intended prey is the Brycon Hilarii, the ideal period to visit Chapada dos Guimarães is between the months of February and April.
The region known as Araguaia, located in the transition area between Brazil’s Legal Amazon and Mato Grosso’s Cerrado region, is home to two renowned rivers for sportfishing, Mortes River and Araguaia River, both of which are located in the municipality of São Félix do Araguaia. Sportfishing and ecotourism blend perfectly in this region, and visitors will be able to go fishing and also enjoy the relaxing atmosphere surrounding local rivers and lakes.
Visitors to Araguaia will have a welcoming experience whether they choose to stay in cozy chalets or in comfortable rooms on local boat hotels. There are plenty of sustainable activities in the region, one of which is Catch and Release Fishing. Fish species include different types of catfish (redtails, kumakuma, spotted sorubim, tiger shovelnose, sorubim lima, palmito fish, flatwhiskered catfish, and firewood catfish) as well as the popular local sport fish (peacock bass, bicudas, apapás, freshwater dorados, silver croakers, pacu fish, piau fish, needle jaw fish, and piranhas). Regardless of whether visitors choose to visit the region during the warm, dry winter, between the months of June and September, or during the wet, rainy summer, between the months of October and May, there are always freshwater beaches and boat tours in store for you.
Tourists who turn to the north of Mato Grosso will come across the Amazon Rainforest. When visiting local cities such as Alta Floresta, Aripuanã, São José do Rio Claro, and Juína, fishermen will be able to enjoy some catch-and-release fishing while they marvel at the natural beauty of the Amazon region.
Local rivers are quite deep, which provides excellent opportunities for adventure while visitors are trying to catch the main attraction of local fishing, the “tucunaré” (peacock bass). There are plenty of destinations in the state of Mato Grosso, but visitors will only find fish species such as brycons, kumakumas, spotted catfish, piranhas, and pacu fish in the Amazon Rainforest portion of the state, where the Apiaká, Teles Pires, Arinos, and São Benedito rivers are located.
Local rivers have an abundance of fish, which makes the Amazon Rainforest portion of Mato Grosso an ideal fishing spot all year round. In addition to the great variety of scaly fish in the region, local catfish species (leather fish) provide fishermen with an amazing spectacle and intense battles that can last from a few minutes up to a few hours.
By Plane | Airport
+55 (65) 3614-2500
Cuiabá International Airport operates direct national flights from major Brazilian capitals and also international flights. From there it is possible to reach different destinations in the state.
+55 (65) 3621-1515
There are bus routes departing from the capitals and large Brazilian cities to Cuiabá Bus Station.
Private or rented car
You can rent a car to travel around the various fishing destinations in Mato Grosso.
Discover Mato Grosso
+55 (65) 3613-9325
Cuiabá Tourism Sector:
+55 (65) 3617-1261
Military Police: 190
Fire Department: 193
110 – 220v
The state of Mato Grosso has a variety of climates, but the super-humid tropical monsoon prevails, with average temperatures above 24ºC.