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Pesca Panama
3699 Lower River Road
Youngstown, NY 14174
Ph: 844-264-2246
Fax: 716-625-1430
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Fishing Report - 02/01/15

Another father and son team, Larry and Matt Schmidt, and brothers Kev and Kris Pento (all Jersey Boys), our decade long friend and The GPS Store owner, Drew Reger out of Virginia, and third time visitors Johan Bavernhofer and Herb Konlechner out of Austria all came to once again enjoy Panama and see what all the fuss was about the 2015 billfish bite.  Winds were up this week, the moon was full, and big tides were ripping, so the team decided to follow Capt Jaime Bernal’s excellent advice and anchor in two groups of islands nearer the mainland than Coiba, and make daily forays to the various offshore banks.  Pesca Panama has a fleet of boats that work as a group locating active fish over a widespread area which gives us a distinct advantage over other outfits. It also affords us a safety net in case of any emergency.  We’re a long way offshore here and it’s a comfort to know help is nearby if needed. These guys had a plan to chase fish with bills and were rewarded for it with 17 marlin hooked, 3 released (they are for sure a damn tough game), more raised, and the jumbo Panama sailfish pleased as well.
Our first day aboard the Hannibal is always a shakedown day.  Anglers settle into their quarters, eat and drink well, scheme and dream, organize gear, and fish a few hours.  Each boat enjoyed at least one catch and release roosterfish, plus sierra mackerel and jacks to kick off what turned out to be an excellent week of offshore fishing.  Monday, all boats headed to the Isla Montuosa region where they were delighted to find very cool 80 degree water, a good sign for active fish.  Drew was up first speed trolling lures and jumped a 450lb class black that he fought for 45 minutes.  Big, really big rainbow runners and jack crevalle were caught by this group as well on lighter gear.  Kris Pento took a 50lb yellowfin in the same area and more jacks were boated.  Fishing was promising enough that the group headed back to Montuosa Tuesday looking for more bills, but as is so often the case, something changed.  You’re out on these banks, everything looks the same as the previous day, and the bite changes dramatically for better or worse.  Sometimes it’s a matter of hanging tough, staying the course until the bite happens.  Other times, the billfish take a day off… but this is Panama, so the anglers were able to shift gears and catch mahi-mahi and amberjack. Herb and Johan battled 3 big cuberas up to 50lbs!  These guys are all experienced anglers - they put their heads together with the captains and mates, and again headed for Montuosa Wednesday because they had a feeling!  Matt got slammed this day by another 450lb class black which again took about 45 minutes and was a great fight.  Larry took 2 big Pacific sails.  Herb and Johan caught and released 2 sails and took a few good mullet snapper.  Thursday the fun continued with another 400lb marlin caught after nearly an hour fight by Drew, again biting a large trolling bait.  The last half day, with all anglers and crew tired and happy, the guys fished some near shore islands and reported as a group 17 light tackle sierra plus Kev and Kris enjoyed a sendoff from 15 and 35lb roosterfish.
It was a week of mechanical and crew complications; a cable snapped, radio failed, both were repaired as we worked.  Manny was injured (he's OK), Capt Jaime was a sick dog (he too is OK), but the crew stepped up and took care of everything. The wonderful group of anglers was patient, everybody made it look easy, and we again all had a blast.
Team B, come see us again and again! We love sharing this place of magic with you.  Drew, special thanks for your expert help with the electronics.
Well done anglers — warm regards from all of us at Pesca Panama!
Capt Mike Augat


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