Fishing Report - 3/3/18
We followed last week’s excellent fishing with another killer week. A trip to remote Pacific Panama needs nothing more than a few extra essential ingredients to be REALLY great: favorable weather and seas, lucky timing with pelagic species traveling through the offshore grounds, and a hearty group of anglers with great spirit and attitude. This week we had blue skies, light winds, calm seas, a really fun mixed group of Carolina personalities, and all kinds of fish offshore and in. The heart of this group were guys that joined us last year and who will return again in ’19 - Daniel, Walt, Bill, Hammer, Al, and they brought a crew of first timers who were a blast and had a blast. Basic captains tallies for the week (not counting many other species nor my catches) were:
Black Marlin: 3
Yellowfin Tuna: 12
Catfish: 3 (weird - big guys mixed in with black tip shark and jacks)
Jack Crevalle: 150+
We started by trying for marlin, working various offshore seamounts and banks. There were numerous sightings, sailfish were still scarce but some were seen, tuna were scattered about, and only a few mahi and wahoo remain until later in the season. I always quietly enjoy guests requesting “the best captain” - all of our crews are now so finely tuned, so completely professional and capable, absolutely the best in Panama, that it’s a roll of the dice who will have the hot hand for the week, and Capt Nava and mate Yeti had the horseshoe no matter who climbed aboard. 2 marlin, biggest rooster, biggest cubera. Crews for Pesca now are Capt Tommy/mate Felix, Jonathan/Roger, Nava/Yeti, Heber/venerable ChiChi, and excellent team Tatin/Pucho who run all of our fifth boat trips. Best group of talent since the early Capt Macho days, and we’ve learned a great deal more than was known then.
I moved the Barge from our normal anchorage over to the east side beaches for the first time in over a month so we could swim and explore, and Mother Nature rewarded us fervently. We found mixed species feeding tight to a half mile stretch of beach during the right tide for days. Sardines filled the water, squadrons of pelicans dive bombed the waters all around us eating them, jack crevalle were being the berserkers they are, roosters, pompano, shark, big crocs, frigate birds, rainbow runner, big ladyfish, cubera, and 10 lb. mangrove snapper (that’s huge) were all in the frenzied mix. This was the light tackle and fly rod heaven that we always hope for and often get to enjoy.
So the game this week was to fish hard and play hard. We are as intense an angling operation as exists anywhere in the world, offering long, physical days. Our crews work before the days start to gather bait, and hang together at day’s end to clean boats and socialize while the guests enjoy appetizers and cocktails on the fantail. These are our basic tenets, but as those of you who know how I like to drive fast cars rather quickly, and know I view road signs and double lines as suggestions rather than rules, I also think ALL rules in life should be occasionally malleable. This group really connected with us, so there was some partying on the boats days, and they invited the crews to join for cocktails at night. The fantail was alive and happy every evening, fishing was great, and the week simply flew by.
Thanks Walt and Daniel for spearheading this event. Dad Bruce and son Keith for creating memories together. Jay for letting me get to know him just a little bit. Hammer for being unduplicatable Hammer. Bill for his quiet humor. Al for his decidedly not quiet humor. Ray for his energy. Wes for being the hot stick all week, and good karma Kirk for being a good guy and a heckuva angler.
Wes took a good snook on the beach, 45lb cubera, and joined Daniel on a black marlin. Kirk and Jay each caught their first marlin. Al took a 50lb rooster. And on and on. New group heading in tomorrow, Pesca is booked until one open boat June 17 and the following two open weeks. Join us for this unforgettable angling experience. And please, think far ahead to 2019 dates which are selling steadily.
Heartfelt thanks All — enjoyed you immensely!
Angler’s note: We carry tons of gear: Shimano and Penn reels, Mad Mantis spinning rods and Crowder/Shakespeare conventional. But we can’t supply ultra-light rigs for the inshore aficionados who want to really enjoy snapper, small jacks, trevally, so forth, and the occasional larger fish/long contest. I included a photo of my all time favorite light rig, an 8-17lb 4pc travel rod from LL Bean. I take them everywhere, great for schoolie stripers, redfish, Alaska cohos, small tarpon, and my go to light rod for Panama. Fit and finish is superb, as is action and durability. Don’t leave home without one.
Next time — Capt Mike Augat
Co-Owner Pesca Panama
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