Fishing Report - 5/12/17
I met Ted Levine Sunday morning at the airport in David Panama. We had coffee while we waited for the Air Panama flight to arrive with the rest of the guests that would be fishing this week. Once the gang was assembled we left for Marina Pedregal and boarded our fishing boats and headed out to sea. Along the way we caught up to the Hannibal chugging downriver, stowed our gear and had lunch. Our guests included Pesca partner Eben Huston and his wife Diane, son Aaron and Elizabeth Atwood, veteran Pesca anglers John and Dave deVries and Jim Beadle. Jeff Tedesco, a fishing captain friend from years ago, fished with Ted Levine and I. Longtime fishing buddies Shawn Spivek and Dave Zaboroski rounded out the group.
We spent the night on the river near Boca Chica, and on Monday morning we all headed offshore in search of tuna. We’ve had a lot of rain lately as the seasons are starting to change in Panama, and we have been hoping that it would get the tuna bite going into high gear. Jeff, Ted and I got a late start and luckily missed a tropical rainstorm brewing offshore. The rest of the group weren’t so lucky and started the day off wet, but after the rain passed, we all enjoyed a great day chasing tuna.
Shawn and Dave had great tuna action all week and landed a 210 pound yellowfin. They also caught a 150 pound tuna, but most of their fish were smaller. Their big one was over six feet long, as was the 73” x 52” tuna Tim and Gary caught the week before and we calculated as 230 pounds. They also caught a nice dorado.
Eben, Aaron, Diane and Eliz were also in on the action and caught plenty of tuna. In fact, it was Elizabeth’s first time fishing and her first fish was a nice tuna, and then she followed up with a great roosterfish a while later. The Hustons also enjoyed great inshore action and caught rock snapper, bluefin trevally, jack crevalle, cubera snapper, mullet snapper, and a wahoo. The deVries group; John and son Dave, along with close family friend Jim Beadle, had their hands full all week long with big tuna as well. They also enjoyed some inshore action and released a nice cubera and several jacks.
There was good tuna action every day offshore, and the anglers were lured offshore most days to chase them. The action was so hot that you could see marauding schools of tuna and porpoise from miles away as they attacked schools of bait near the surface creating a feast for the birds and porpoise nearby. But for the most part, the tuna were moving too fast to stay with for very long so we would chase the schools and get a few casts into the mess in hopes of a hookup before moving on. Jeff caught several nice tuna on poppers, as did I. The rest of the tuna that we caught hit bait. Ted Levine, who was fishing with us manned the bait rods while we threw plugs at the large frantic schools of tuna busting at the ocean surface. It was an impressive sight, and with the adrenaline flowing through our veins, the time passed too quickly. Jeff and I were bested by a six foot tuna who both broke our rod and then straightened the hook when mate Chi Chi tried to hand line the fish the last few feet to the boat.
On Friday morning, the final day of our trip, there was a steady rain all morning and the fishermen stayed inshore and returned early to have lunch and get ready for the flight home. A few fish were caught and some lost. It was a good way to wind down from battling tuna all week!
Until next time — Ted Merletti
Co-Owner Pesca Panama
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