Zac Bajo

oday there are different spelling versions of this area known as Zac Bajo. Possibly today when the word Zac Bajo is used, people think of the restaurant (Zaak Ba Ajo) that recently went up into flames. However. in days gone by' Zac Bajo has other memories.

Zac Bajo is the water area that is kind of circular in shape and located behind the high school. It begins west of the restaurant and comes eastward and northwards all the way to the Reyes' home. The word Zac is possibly a Mayan word, but we all knew that Zac was also the name given to a small silver fish that resembles the sardine but not as large. Zac live in large schools under piers where it is shady and shallow and they are the prey of many flesh eating fish like the barracuda. Then the word 'Bajo" means shallow. Thus Zac Bajo is a shallow area where many Zac live and thus the habitat for many other fish.

Yes, Zac Bajo was an excellent fishing ground before it was populated. The areas under the mangrove used to abound with snapper. yellow tails. jacks and grunts. The northern area abounded with small barracudas 20 to 25 inches in length. Fishing for barracudas usually required trolling, which we children did with a dory using sardines as bait early in the morning or late evening. Barracudas don't bite too well at midday. Fishing for snappers was excellent at nighttime, and 25 years ago every night there were 4 or 6 small dories with boys and dads making their catch for the table.

Furthermore Zac Bajo also boasts of a blue hole known as "La Posa de Zac Bajo". This blue hole was also an excellent fishing ground for large snapper. jacks and grouper. Occasionally fisherrnen or skin divers would spear a jew fish at the blue hole.

Zac Bajo today in the San Juan Area is a residential and commercial area. 25 years ago it was uninhabited, quiet, dark, solitary and a sanctuary for fish of all species as well as a safe harbor during times of hurricanes. It was perhaps one of San Pedro's best fishing grounds along with Boca Chica, Hol Chan, Mexico Rocks and other blue holes of which there are several along the coast and in the lagoon area.

I went fishing at Zac Bajo about 3 months ago at night. The result was a disappointing nada". Nothing! There is too much sewerage and oil and soak away water pouring into Zac Bajo. It will never be the fishing paradise that it was 25 years ago.

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