How To Catch Mayan Cichlids (Everything You Need To Know!)

By Get Fishing •  Published: 09/08/22 •  6 min read

Mayan Cichlids are a beautiful fish that can be found in the United States. In this article, we will teach you how to catch Mayan cichlids and everything else you need to know. Where to find them, what they eat, and what lures work best for catching them.

How to Catch Mayan Cichlids
Mayan Cichlid (Mayaheros Urophthalmus)

What Are Mayan Cichlids?

Mayan Cichlids (Mayaheros Urophthalmus) are freshwater fish that live in brackish, hypoxic, or warm waters. They are a freshwater fish that is native to Central and South America, but after introduction have maintained a healthy population in South Florida.

They are oval-shaped fish with brad vertical striping, a turquoise ring on it’s tail, and spiny fins. The olive-brown colors that can almost be seen as a deep dark orange along with the black vertical stripes are why the Mayan Cichlid is also known as the Orange Tiger.

Where can you Find Mayan Cichlids?

Mayan Cichlids are native to Central America, and South East Mexico, but can be found in Southern Florida and some parts of Southern Texas. Know to live in the Everglades and Florida Bay, they can be caught all throughout South Florida and found as far north as Lake Okeechobee.

While they are a freshwater fish, they can live in brackish water very comfortably. Mayan Cichlids are very adaptable and call live in rivers, marshes, lakes, and highway canals. They can handle different levels of salinities and also live in low oxygen environments.

What do Mayan Cichlids eat?

Mayan Cichlids are carnivores, and they prefer to eat other fish. They will also eat insects, worms, and snails. Mayan Cichlids are not picky eaters, and they will often eat whatever is available to them. When fishing for Mayan Cichlids, it is best to use bait that imitates their natural diet. Some good baits to use for Mayan Cichlids include: minnows, crayfish, and worms.

What is the best bait for Mayan cichlids?

Mayan Cichlids are not picky eaters, and they will often bite on any type of lure that is presented to them. An effective way to catch them is to use live bait like worms, crickets, small crawfish, and grass shrimp.

Some good lures to use for Mayan Cichlids include: spinners, spoons, and crankbaits. Basically any bluegill lure will work for Mayan Cichlids. It is best to use lures that are brightly colored or that have a lot of action. Mayan Cichlids are attracted to bright colors and movement, so lures that have these characteristics will usually be successful.

The best bait for Mayan cichlids is minnows. Minnows are a type of fish that Mayan cichlids like to eat. Crayfish and worms are also good baits to use for Mayan cichlids. When fishing for Mayan cichlids, it is best to use bait that imitates their natural diet.

How to Catch Mayan Cichlids

Catching Mayan Cichlids is easier than you think. You’ll want to focus on areas where they live. This can good thing is that this can be anywhere in South Florida. The highway canal, a lake, river, or marsh. They prefer clear, shallow water that is usually 6 feet deep.

Using a good ultralight rod and bluegill reel is a great way to enjoy the fight as you’re catching Mayan Cichlids. You can still enjoy fighting them on other heavier tackle, but ultralight fishing for them provides the most thrills.

Work a lure that imitates baitfish or use live bait under a float rig and you will be catching fish quickly. Anglers say it’s as easy as catching bluegill. Once you’ve got enough to fill a stringer you can take them home and prep your catch!

Can You Eat Mayan Cichlids?

Yes, Mayan Cichlids are edible. They are a type of freshwater fish, and they can be prepared in many different ways. Mayan Cichlids are a popular fish to eat because they are delicious and they provide a good source of protein.

Mayan Cichlids are a delicious and nutritious fish to add to your diet. They are a good source of protein, and they can be prepared in many different ways. If you are looking for a new fish to try, Mayan Cichlids are a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the Mayan Cichlid.

Whats is the World Record for the Mayan Cichlid?

The IGFA World Record Mayan Cichlid was 15 inches and weighed 2.5 pounds. Maximum reported age was 7 years.

Are Mayan Cichlids invasive?

Yes, Mayan cichlids are an invasive species. While they are not native to the United States they have established a strong population in South Florida and have become a favorite fish for anglers to target. Mayan cichlids are a popular fish to catch because they are beautiful and they put up a good fight when they are caught. They are also a popular fish to eat and many enjoy them on a regular basis.

Are there regulations for the Mayan Cichlid?

Yes, there are regulations for the Mayan Cichlid. In some states, it is illegal to possess or transport Mayan Cichlids. In other states, there are no regulations regarding Mayan Cichlids. It is important to check the regulations in your state before you attempt to catch or possess a Mayan Cichlid.

Since they are considered a non-native fish, you can catch and keep as many as you want just as long as you don’t try to transport them or possess them in states where it is illegal.

Is a Mayan Cichlid a Tilapia?

The Mayan Cichlid is a member of the Cichlid and related to the Tilapia. Tilapia are also a members of teh Cichlid family.

Is a Mayan Cichlid an Oscar?

A Mayan Cichlid is not an Oscar, but it is related. An Oscar is another Cichlid, but has a red border around its black dot while a Mayan Cichlid has a black dot with a turquoise border.

Are Mayan Cichlids Aggressive?

Mayan Cichlids are known to be aggressive and highly territorial especially during the spawning season. They will attack fish even if it is larger than them and will eat any smaller species.

Can Mayan Cichlids live in Saltwater?

Mayan Cichlids can live in brackish water with decent amounts of salinity, but they are a freshwater fish. While they are a resilient species, it’s not ideal for them to live in pure saltwater environments.

How long do Mayan Cichlids live?

In captivity, the Mayan cichlid is known to live to at least 11 years. IGFA has reported a 7 year old Mayan cichlid in the wild.

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