Mojarra, Guapote, Sardines and Tilapa

Alexis in NicaraguaBy Crooked Trails guide, Alexis Bonoff

One Friday afternoon, when school was canceled for a teacher’s meeting, I took the boys of Si a la Vida fishing. We walked down the dusty road to the port where the overnight ferry leaves twice a week. I had found a tackle box in the storage closet and had raided the lures and hooks, weights and line. The boys scoured the grounds for the perfect stick to use as a pole and we wound yards of nylon tight around them.

The port was empty except for the syolies, small flying insects that  linger by the lake. The port is concrete and raised with big heavy tires lashed to the sides. The boys had brought plantains as bait; the native mojarra and guapote were apparently just as fond of the fruit as the Nicaraguans themselves. It was a still day, overcast and not too hot and the boys tossed the lines into the dark waters.

Fishing in NicaraguaThe worst part about fishing is the waiting. For maybe an hour the nylon sliced in and out of the water, the boys intent on finding the perfect spot in the rocks or the best method of casting. Then one by one their attention wandered and before I knew it Nelson had been thrown in the water. Pretty soon the boys were jumping off the rubber tires and diving from the concrete pilings. Even the dogs went for a swim.

Just as the sun was starting to hide behind the volcano, there was a joyful shout. Junior, the youngest of the boys at age 10 , pulled a mojarra out of the water. It was six inches long and certainly large enough to eat. He proudly displayed it for a photo, then tossed it in the plastic bag to fry up for dinner.

As the shadows grew longer and the day´s heat began to subside we made our way down the dusty street comparing angling techniques and making bold predictions for the next adventure. It wasn’t the most successful of fishing trips but it sure was a wonderful day.

Has this little slice of Nicaraguan life whetted your appetite? Join us there this November, when Crooked Trails inaugural Nicaragua Volunteer Travel Program visits not only the boys of Si a la Vida but also ventures into the countryside of Ometepe Island to help register citizens to improve their access to better education and healthcare! Click here to read more and apply for the program.

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