In Spanish, this big sea fish that hangs out around crab flats in estuaries is known as corvina negra, and nowadays it seems to be present just about everywhere along the coast of the province of Buenos Aires except San Clemente del Tuyú, the only town that has achieved national status for a fishing tournament dedicated to it. San Clemente is the town nearest Samborombón Bay at mouth of the huge River Plate estuary, and in the good old days (during the early years of the fishing tournament) people caught black drum fish that weighed as much as 40 kilos and were as long as 1.20 meters in this area. Nowadays few fish make it to 30 kilos. As a result of overfishing allowed the fleets of Mar del Plata and neighboring Uruguay (thanks to a 1974 binational treaty on resources in the River Plate), and quite probably the daily takes of the two fishing boats that feed the marine animals of the local Mundo Marino oceanarium) as well, artisan and sports fishermen say that nowadays black drum fish can’t be caught by casting from the beach of San Clemente.
You have to go out in a boat in the Samborombón Bay, or in front of other towns further south. But the town’s traditional fishing tournament still takes place under the name of this drum fish, even though the fishing done during it is for any species that can be hooked from the pier or beach. The biggest fish wins.
During the festival there will be a float parade and a beauty queen contest. On Sunday Oct. 11, those present will enjoy a big corvina barbecue – presumably done with fish caught elsewhere along the coast.
For more information, try http://www.portaldesanclemente.com/
Other experiences in San Clemente del Tuyú: See the orca and dolphin shows in the Mundo Marino oceanarium. In the Bahía Aventura seacoast theme park, float in one of the marine thermal pools, learn about the local ecosystem during guided nature tours, and enjoy the views of Punta Rasa point and the surroundings from the top of the San Antonio lighthouse, built in 1890.
PHOTO CREDIT: Black drums. http://www.portaldesanclemente.com/