August 31, 2009
We left San Jose with a perfectly calm Lake and cloudless blue sky. Eventually turning into the Southern Arm we passed between the Island City of Flores and San Miguel. Public launches were busy ferrying San Miguel residents to Flores to attend morning mass. As we left Flores behind us, we realized that we had the whole rest of the Lake to ourselves.
We entered the lagoon, lifted the motor and paddled easily to the center, which was clear of lilies and lowered the anchor.
The boys had their lines in the water before we had secured the anchor rode. They were soon hauling in fish and I was kept busy with the camera. Eventually our storage capacity, for keeping the fish alive, was full. I instructed the boys to return all the C. urothalmus, our most frequent capture to the Lake. There was a deathly silence. I suddenly realized that I had a possible mutiny on my hands. As an experienced Ship’s Captain I immediately thought of a compromise. I also did not want to be dumped overboard in such an isolated location. The boys had visions of their prospective dinner being put back into the Lake and were not happy. So I told them to empty the large food locker, fill it with water and use that as an extra 8 gallons of storage. The smiles returned.
By midday we had caught 70 fish and exhausted our supply of bait. So we relaxed, enjoyed the warm breeze, and ate lunch.
After lunch we tried some artificial maggots but the fish were not fooled. I noticed that the wind was increasing so we weighed anchor and paddled out of the lagoon. Our Lanchero Kush lowered and started the motor too soon and the prop became fouled, which we quickly cleared.
As we cruised down the Lake with a good tail wind I noticed Kush glancing at the sky and sniffing at the increasing wind.
We passed Flores and started to round the headland into the main Lake. As the Lake opened up the first big wave hit us and covered us in spray, very refreshing on a hot afternoon but not a good idea in a flat bottomed launch. We took a more westerly course so that we were not hitting the waves head on. This made us roll very badly but kept us dry. Kush then told me that we would not be able to make San Jose and trying to land there would be dangerous. San Andres is situated on a headland so we headed there to land on the lee side of the headland. Half way across the Lake we encountered a swamped dugout canoe with two paddlers. We did not offer assistance as dugouts are unsinkable and users are used to dealing with this problem.
Although we caught so many fish they were of only three species. C. urophthalmus was the most common followed by Thorichthys affinis. We think they are all of this species although there is colour differences. The highlight was catching a juvenile (4 inches) Petenia splendida. This was a first time for us. It is such an ugly fish with its gigantic vacuum cleaner mouth.
So we failed again with our quest for the Rocio and A robertsoni. I did make a note of where the cormorants gathered in large numbers to fish. Places that we have not tried, so no doubt we will return.
June 13, 2011
August 31, 2009
That is the very unique and infamous Petenia splendida. When adult the favorite food fish here know as Pez Blanco.
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