Granada, Nicaragua, is on Lake Nicaragua. On the menu of most of the Nicaraguan restaurants you’ll see a fish that comes from Lake Nicaragua called guapote.
Guapote is a cichlid a lot like a tilapia, except that guapote are carnivorous while tilapias are herbivores. So tilapias aren’t aggressive, and you can’t catch a tilapia on a hook. But a guapote (which you may know as a rainbow bass or a peacock bass) can get up to six to ten pounds, and they are great fighting fish. Bass fishermen will tell you that the peacock bass or the rainbow bass is an excellent sport fish, and it’s also delicious.
So most Nicaraguan restaurants will have guapote on the menu, and they’ll serve it whole; head, tail, eyes, and spikey teeth and all on a plate. A small guapote will be six inches and a big one will be 18 inches. An 18-inch guapote will serve two people easily.
An hour and a half away from Granada in the Pacific Ocean, the sport fishing is fantastic. We have blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, mackerel, etc. I’ve gone a few times and we’ve never come back with nothing.
The San Juan River goes from the eastern side of Lake Nicaragua all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Spanish galleons and British warships got to Granada by taking the San Juan River. Vanderbilt brought steamships on the San Juan River. Taking the San Juan River is how the forty-niners came across from the east coast of the US on the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Nicaragua, on the Pacific Ocean. They brought paddle wheelers up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua, then across the lake to Rivas, and then from Rivas overland to San Juan del Sur and then on another boat north to California.
I recently went on a fishing trip to the San Juan River. The San Juan River has six foot, 350 pound tarpon. It’s catch and release. We caught two. One of them was caught by the gill, so after 45 minutes to an hour of playing time on 20-pound test, my friend brought in the tarpon. When we tried to take the hook out, the fish died, so we had to bring it into the boat.
You don’t normally get an opportunity to see a picture of a tarpon out of water because its against the law to keep them. However, this was a special circumstance, so we kept the fish, called the police, and donated the fish to the police. The police donated it to an orphanage, but not before we had the opportunity of hanging it and taking a picture of it (at the top of this answer). Tarpon fishing on the Rio San Juan is world class.
The San Juan River also has snook, which is a good eating fish and an excellent fighting fish.