Fishing Salvadoran style with a Nasa   6 comments

In parts of El Salvador, a tradition from Indigenous times is fishing with a “Nasa”, or trap.   The Spanish word nasa is used for many types of fish traps.  The one we refer to is made of bamboo, and incorporates rocks and the current as part of the design.

A small nasa in a creek.  CLICK a pic to enlarge…

see the basket-style shape of the "Nasa"

note the 'V" shape of the Nasa

hubby with some of the 'catch'

closeup of fish - and from a small creek!

Now let’s move onto the big time Nasa.  Much bigger, it needs 2-3 people to carry it.   Note how the trap is set up in the river.   Two lines of large rocks are set up in the water, in the shape of a “V”, wide at the upstream end, and narrowing to the point where the nasa is placed.   Once fish swim between the rock lines, the current helps guide them into the trap / nasa.   Water is always running through the trap, so the fish stay alive until you come get them for dinner.

CLICK a pic to enlarge..

walking the nasa into the river

placing the nasa in brackets in between the rocks

“Pescando con una nasa en el salvador”

6 responses to “Fishing Salvadoran style with a Nasa

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  1. The fish you have there are Mayan cichlid, juvenile tilapia and mosquito fish. The locals call them ubiquitously “Chimbolo”. I fish the “machacal” which is a drainage basin located just between San Lorenzo and San Sebastian. I love the photos. The net setup is reminiscent of the ingenuity of using materials at hand to have fun and a tasty fish fry. Wonderful photos.

  2. I gave a try with spearfishing in Laguna Apastapeque just east of San Vicente and also in the Rio Lempa just below the hydroelectric dam under the bridge as you’re driving toward San Miguel.

    Very challenging and scary as hell. The water in Apastapeque was murky as can be and could only see about 3′-4′ visibility. I ended up almost losing my mask when I collided into a submerged tree. Big carp and mojarra though.

    Rio Lempa is too dangerous if you are not a good swimmer. If you go under the bridge and the water is slow, there are large mayan cichlid, tilapia and catfish but the visibility is sketchy. Sometime I was able to see about 10′ and other times I couldn’t see past the length of my arm. Be very careful here because of the net. I carry a Gerber LMF knife with serrated edge strapped to my waist when I dive anywhere in El Salvador. Almost all the lakes and larger tributaries have abandoned cast nets or fishing wire. If you become entangled in it, a drowning is possible. I speared some healthy sized cichlid and tilapia here but no luck with the bagre.

    If you guys do spearfish, here’s my recommended equipment: 1) silicone free-diving mask w/snorkel, 2) fins, 3) neoprene booties, 4) pole spear (paralyzer tip, 6′-7′ pole), 5) sharp serrated dive knife.

    • Whoa, thanks for the advice. Since my husband does not spear fish, but sits on rocks along the river with a simple fish line with a hook and weight and not a spear, he would not be in clear danger, but I will warn him about the nets near the dams, as he wants to go fishing there, and can warn others who dive in. I think he would like spear fishing if he tried it. I’ll show him your comment here.

  3. how do you make the nasa

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