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Mayan Cichlids

Freshwater saltwater Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, Streams talk about the ones that got away. Show us the ones that didn't.
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HenryFan
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Mayan Cichlids

Post by HenryFan » Mon May 27, 2024 4:20 pm

For probably thirty years, I have made a trip from South Carolina to Lake Okeechobee, FL to fish. At first, I went by myself and over the last twelve or fifteen years, the trip has expanded to include retirees with whom I worked in days past. A great bunch of men and I call the annual trip "The Gathering of The Geezers".

In any event, I focus exclusively on bream (bluegill to some) and have often filled my live well with the limit. However, in the last few years, I seem to catch fewer bream and more Mayan Cichlids. If you have seen peacock bass, imagine peacock bream. Bream on steroids.

I have been told that these are aquarium fish that were released into the Everglades and have multiplied. There is probably something to this because I used to catch them in the 'glades but not in Lake O. Now, I seem to catch fewer bream each year and more cichlids in Lake O.

I am not upset about it because they are tasty and plentiful. I use simple tackle (bream busters, a #4 Aberdeen hook, a small sinker and crickets) and when you hook a big cichlid, they make the line sing in the water. Simple pleasure for a simple man, I guess.

With cichlids, I practice filet and release. I take home a cooler of bream and cichlid filets and have a fish fry for friends. Dredge the filets in French's yellow mustard, bread them with House Autry Seafood Breading (might not be readily available outside the South), cook hushpuppies, french fries, a loaf of white bread and the better half of the marriage makes a bowl of cole slaw. The feast is on.

Florida Wildlife Commission considers cichlids to be an invasive species so there is not daily catch limit or total possession limit. I am doing all I can to eradicate this invasive species from Florida waters but I hope I am not successful.
Last edited by HenryFan on Mon May 27, 2024 4:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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HenryFan
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by HenryFan » Mon May 27, 2024 4:24 pm

I forgot to mention oscars. I believe they are also aquarium fish released into the 'glades at some time. I have not caught them out of the 'glades but I guess that at sometime, they will migrate into Lake O as well.
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Hatchdog
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by Hatchdog » Tue May 28, 2024 10:00 am

HenryFan wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 4:20 pm
For probably thirty years, I have made a trip from South Carolina to Lake Okeechobee, FL to fish. At first, I went by myself and over the last twelve or fifteen years, the trip has expanded to include retirees with whom I worked in days past. A great bunch of men and I call the annual trip "The Gathering of The Geezers".

In any event, I focus exclusively on bream (bluegill to some) and have often filled my live well with the limit. However, in the last few years, I seem to catch fewer bream and more Mayan Cichlids. If you have seen peacock bass, imagine peacock bream. Bream on steroids.

I have been told that these are aquarium fish that were released into the Everglades and have multiplied. There is probably something to this because I used to catch them in the 'glades but not in Lake O. Now, I seem to catch fewer bream each year and more cichlids in Lake O.

I am not upset about it because they are tasty and plentiful. I use simple tackle (bream busters, a #4 Aberdeen hook, a small sinker and crickets) and when you hook a big cichlid, they make the line sing in the water. Simple pleasure for a simple man, I guess.

With cichlids, I practice filet and release. I take home a cooler of bream and cichlid filets and have a fish fry for friends. Dredge the filets in French's yellow mustard, bread them with House Autry Seafood Breading (might not be readily available outside the South), cook hushpuppies, french fries, a loaf of white bread and the better half of the marriage makes a bowl of cole slaw. The feast is on.

Florida Wildlife Commission considers cichlids to be an invasive species so there is not daily catch limit or total possession limit. I am doing all I can to eradicate this invasive species from Florida waters but I hope I am not successful.

:lol: Classic! :lol:
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Travlin
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by Travlin » Tue May 28, 2024 10:34 pm

Catch and grease.
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ditchparrot
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by ditchparrot » Wed May 29, 2024 1:39 am

I fished for the cichlids and small peacocks in the canals around Miami one time a few years ago. For a while we were fishing right across the street from Hard Rock Stadium. It was a really fun day.

It was spawning time for the peacocks, so it was mostly sight-fishing. You'd see one set up right next to an old lawnmower motor or something similar that had been tossed into the canal.

An incredible number of exotic pets have been turned loose in that state and established thriving populations. We saw a lot of huge iguanas sunning themselves on docks and rocks around the canals.

On that same trip I got this big ol' sow with the .357 Big Boy. That was somewhere closer to West Palm Beach, if I recall.

Old_sow.jpg
Old_sow.jpg (173.54 KiB) Viewed 1658 times
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HenryFan
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by HenryFan » Wed May 29, 2024 6:51 am

ditchparrot -

How much did that pig weigh? Looks like a lot of bacon there.
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ditchparrot
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Re: Mayan Cichlids

Post by ditchparrot » Wed May 29, 2024 9:56 am

HenryFan wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 6:51 am
ditchparrot -

How much did that pig weigh? Looks like a lot of bacon there.
220, I think. It was a hefty price to get the meat shipped home, but it was worth it.
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