TROPHY FISH IN THE CARIBBEAN
There are Dog tooth Cubera and Red Snappers that put up a fight to get loose and it is incredible. There is a huge list of game fish in the Caribbean Sea.
Saltwater fish of the Caribbean
The size of the Jack Crevalle here can be impressive. In fact, we have measured examples that beat all records from southern coasts.
Besides the Tarpon , there are many species in the Caribbean that are also very exciting to fish. In our Tarpon trips you will find trophies but also there are other species to fish that can grow to monster sizes.
There are Snappers of Giant sizes, groupers , mackerels, giant cudas.. that equally offer an unforgettable experience and are unfortunately not as talked about. Some fish are not edible because of the ciguatera toxin.
This area has been called the “Forgotten Coast” of the Caribbean and its experiences are only comparable to the West African coast. Some short description of the Nicaragua Saltwater Fish Species below.
Jack Crevalle ( Caranx hippos )
The crevalle jack, Caranx hippos (also known as the common jack, saltwater jack fish, black-tailed trevally, couvalli jack, black cavalli, jack crevale and yellow cavalli) is a common species of large marine fish classified within the jack family, Carangidae. The crevalle jack is distributed across the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean
The Jack Crevalle reminds one of the Permit but is part of the Caranx family which is highly sought after by sport fishers. Its older brother is the Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis) and it is found in areas of the Pacific and it is one of the most valued and desired species.
There is also a variety in the Pacific called Pacific Crevalle Jack (Caranx Caninus) Which is smaller. Both species are similar and can have different colors, some are whiter and some are darker according to the environment they are in.
In Nicaragua, fishes can grow up to 66 pounds. The Jack Crevalle is a fish that aggressively attacks bait even biting several times during the same throw. They are very active during days when other fish are calm. Their diet is based on shrimp, small sardines and other types of crustaceous like crabs that emerge from the sand when the sea level is low. This is also why it is easy to catch them from the shore with Jerk baits.
They are very fast and offer an important resistance when captured; they tilt their bodies generating a stronger resistance by using their weight. If they come out of the water they make a very distinct sound and that is the right moment to put them back in.
These fish are easy to find because they are quick to swim all along the coast where they prefer to swim. Due to their speed, it is not rare for them to bite twice when fishing them with bait, or even while the bait is still in the air. They are also found in rivers with the high tide.
In the Caribbean, there has been specimen catalogued weighting more than 50 pounds or more—in 2015 our record was of 62.45 pounds—. They can be caught in rivers where they show their strength. When the tide is high ora after heavy rains, the Jack Crevaslle enter the channels chasing schools of sardines or other prey. They are more active here and show they are more vigorously aggressive than the Guapote.
To enjoy fishing the Jack, one must have 20 pound equipment and a spool of 5000 in size with a 20 pound braid Or a 12 wt rod with a strong spool. Fishing them from the beach is especially fun.
The smaller Jack Crevalle is caught with sabiki. Like other fish, the Jack also eat sardines. These smaller fish can be used as live bait for the Sabalo Real.
The Jack Crevalle search their prey in group, they corner them and attack using a lot of energy so that they do not have to be active later. This is the right moment to try a bright fly or a small popper that can move the water. The flys are also effective in rivers, fish simulations in the sea pulling them quickly using 12cm jerckbaits The combination of feathered Jigs with vinyl is especially attractive for them..
Its meat is red and reminds one of hunting. They do not have a neutral taste like other fish like the Robalo or the Calva. It has a uniquely intense and acquired taste. That being said, one must know how to cook them well to get the most out of it. Our cook is an expert and makes very appetizing recipes.
Great Barracuda ( Sphyraena Barracuda )
The Barracuda is a saltwater fish of the genus Sphyraena, the only genus in the family Sphyraenidae and is found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide ranging from the Eastern border of the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and the Caribbean Sea.
The Great Barracudas are predators that continuously hunt or stalk other fish. We never go and exclusively fish Barracudas but we have accidentally caught some while trying to catch other fish. However, the population of Barracudas in our waters is lesser than in other countries we have visited. And yet ours are the largest.
They are silver with stripes and the larger ones have a darker color. They bite live bait, sardines, flies and practically anything that moves except they do not attack people. We have fished considerably large Barracudas in the sea but the two most striking catches have been when fishing for Snook with jerk baits in river heads.
Giant barracudas can literally destroy bait and are more fun to catch than one might think.
One must be careful when bringing them on board because they will bite. In the same way, one must be careful in areas where you find them. The barracudas are larger than a meter-and-a-half and have a very large head and two rows of very sharp teeth. Generally they are very still, and when they see the fish-like bait they attack it in a matter of seconds. This usually means they either cut the bait in half or if you are lucky, they do not cut the line and engage in an arduous battle.
A larger population of Barracudas was found in other parts of the central part of the Caribbean. We have only caught them along the coast but one can also find them in the deep sea. In previous times, these fish were a part of the local diet but today, its consumption is discouraged due to the fact they might be infected with ciguatera toxin or anisakis. Its meat is quite tasty however, but not worth the risk considering the amount of other fish one can eat without risking health problems.
We do not catch shark.We respect the sharks. But the Bull Shark swims through the San Juan River like in so many other rivers in the world, probably even the Cocibolca. Years ago, Captain Jacques Cousteau conducted a study on sharks along the Cocibolca Lake and reached the conclusion that this species of shark is unique to that lake and it is not a Bull Shark. Today, we do not know the location of said species.
What we do know is that we have caught smaller Bull Sharks in the delta and one time, a local fisherman saw one caught in some line. Bull Shark attacks are not common in any part of the river. The San Juan River has enough food so that a shark does not hunt anything else but what the river provides it with.
In the sea, the presence of sharks is caused by an absence of Sabalo Real or dolphins. Their presence is intercepted by the fish finder that display large stains that usually turn out to be sharks.
Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. Unlike most sharks, hammerheads usually swim in schools during the day, becoming solitary hunters at night. Some of these schools can be found near Malpelo Island in Colombia, Cocos Island off Costa Rica, and near Molokai in Hawaii. Large schools are also seen in the waters off southern and eastern Africa
Our beach is a passing area for hammer sharks but it population has diminished compared to previous years. Like bull sharks, there have been sightings of them in the area. Hammer sharks are neither aggressive nor detrimental for the environment. There have been sharks caught by other fishers reportedly measuring more than two meters long.
The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, typically encountered from 5 to 14 kg (30 lb), but is known to exceed 40 kg (90 lb). The entire body is covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales.
They are green with silver irregularities and yellow spots on their sides. The areas in which they travel are close to coral reefs. They are used in several typical dishes in the region for their gastronomic qualities.
These fish move constantly. They migrate south in early fall and travel north in the spring. The methods for catching them can vary. For example, with live sardine, live shrimp or with bait.
Spanish mackerel is a shallow water species, preferring sand bottom in depths of 10 to 40 feet (3 to 12 m), occasionally found as deep as 80 feet.
We can find two different kinds. Like the barracudas, we do not specifically go out to catch any of these fish but of course, we sometimes find them on some of our fishing days. It is important to know they have very sharp teeth and can cut through any kind of fluorocarbon leader.
And a rig to catch Sabalo Real is useless for this kind of fish, so one would have to use steel or titanium lines with grinds to avoid cutting the teeth. They can be caught with live fish, bait, flies or continuously using the same kind of lines.
Red Snapper & Dog Tooth Cubera Snapper
The dog snapper (Lutjanus jocu) is a species of snapper native to the Atlantic Ocean. Adults are generally found around rocky outcrops or coral reefs, while juveniles tend to remain primarily within estuaries and occasionally within rivers.
Its body is short and solid and covered in scales of predominantly pink tones. It eats small fish, seaweed, and shellfish by biting through their shells.
In sports fishing, these fish are sought after and are caught with bait or artificial lures. They are very strong species of fish who likes a good fight and need to be caught with strong lines and hooks.
We got very strong fishes in the mouth of these rivers.