December 24, 2016

Florida State Record Mayan Cichlid

Appears the vacant Florida state record for the (invasive) Mayan Cichlid was filled at the end of November by an angler named Jonathan Johnson.

Mr. Johnson's 2.37-pound catch is an impressive feat. I've caught a few Mayan Cichlids while visiting my in-laws in Boca Raton and I'm not sure if any of them even approached a pound.

One of my palm-sized Mayan Cichlids from a few years back
More about the Mayan Cichlid from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission:

The FWC made the Mayan cichlid, a nonnative species from Central America, eligible for state record status in 2012. But, the record has remained vacant until now. The Mayan cichlid was first reported in Florida in the early 1980s. During the mid-1990s, the fish began expanding its range and has become common throughout south Florida’s freshwater lakes and canals. Both local and out-of-state anglers target the now-popular fish using methods similar to those used for sunfish. The bright red coloration and scrappy disposition of the Mayan cichlid when caught caused FWC biologists to nickname it the “atomic sunfish.”

Coincidentally, I'm back in Boca Raton for the holidays, so maybe I'll give that cichlid record (or some of the other state freshwater marks) a challenge.  On tenkara of course (ha!)  - that'd be pretty cool.

Probably not gonna happen, but doesn't mean I can't break a few rods trying...


  1. I went out on the net and it looked like the Mayan cichlid comes in a bunch of colors. Nice looking for an invasive species, but then so is the Brook Trout.

    1. They're damn tough fighters on light tackle. That's what I'm talking about!