Fishing Report - November 2017
I’m back in my wooded glade south of Buffalo after this season’s first Panama adventure, wondering how I was so lucky to find this unique place and thinking how every time I have visited over the last 21 years there have been moments etched into my memory that will never fade. This November, the left flipper of a humpback whale repeatedly waving as she herded her calf along with our boat. Three roosters charging my popper from three directions, zigzagging as only they can do, combs waving wildly. And a bull mahi chasing a large needlefish, both greyhounding in and out of the water to gain speed, both SO fast, vaulting across a glassine bay, the hound slowly outdistancing the dorado…
Guests included a father son team, a father-in-law and son team, and a great mixed bunch of guys from coastal Mass, Florida, Minnesota, and all over, sea-savy good anglers. They set the bar high for me - gonna be tough to match the good time I had with this group. They fished hard, took over 20 species, came back to cocktails, wine, appetizers and music on the fantail every night with good stories and nary a complaint. Irina and Manny cooked up a storm, the crew worked from 4am well into the evening, and Pesca Panama showed why we are so famous in the fishing world. I’m very proud of every captain and mate team we have, it’s been a learning process, the angling skills are there, and now we have a spirit, an attention to detail, kindness, cleanliness, smiles and excitement that are simply unmatched. Good job guys.
A few big AJs were taken, many lovely trevally, mahi were just ramping up, and we jumped some large fish. The cubera population is known worldwide and we caught and released some beauties, a large lemon and blacktip shark were fought and released, crevalle were everywhere when you needed a good pull, and some anglers who spend a great deal of time chasing tarpon near Boca Grande were slow trolling a large quiet bay when a giant silver exploded behind them, jumping repeatedly, finally throwing the Mad Mantis Jambo plug. The guys saw it time and again and estimated it in the 180lb class. We’ve never seen one in this area or on this side of the island, so we were all excited.
But to me the stars of the show were the roosters this week. November and December in this region have literally zero boat traffic, not something many of us can say about any place on the oceans these days. To run out to Hannibal Bank, see NO boats, jump two black marlin in two hours is remarkable. To be able to get to Panama from the States in only a few hours and find this kind of fishing is even more so. And because the near shore mahi and wahoo and roosters are so unmolested, they gather and hunt in schools. If you fish a three mile long beach in depths of 2-20 feet, prospecting with poppers and walkers and swimmers and flies, you can find them, and when you do the action can be the stuff dreams are made of. I played around in the panga one day after getting the Ocean Masters headed out in different directions, some to chase mahi, one crew to troll wahoo, one headed for marlin, one bottom fishing for cubera and AJs. I searched a favorite beach that I may know better than anyone on the planet, took my time, sat, listened, watched, trolled, cast. Found large pompano, crazy strong golden jack, sand jack, bonito, snapper, blacktip shark, many crevalle, saw small bull shark close to shore, and finally found a group of my quarry. I didn’t get it right, had 14 chases and follows¸ some bumping my popper, one beach balling it, many charging, comb up, coming… nah, comb down, gone. Released three. Next day, had figured the tide, thought out the color and retrieve, exact same 100 square meters of ocean, released 14, had chances at over 20 more, a day for the ages. Let me tell you, casting as fast as you can, heart pounding, fighting these crazy strong multi-run fish, then trying to release them unharmed alone as they go berserk at boat side is an athletic event that left me tired, a little shaky, sitting alone in a vast bay smiling in wonder at it all. I AM an addict!
Cool trip, and we do it again in December. We have the week of January 14-19 open as is February 11-16, both excellent dates. After that we are booked into mid-June. So I’d like to offer a good deal to any anglers, 1-16 can be handled, for these dates. Please call or email me for details. Come do this with us, it’s an unforgettable one of a kind angling experience I’d love to share with you.
Capt Mike and the entire Pesca team, including those onshore and for sure Ted and Eben up north, we thank you guys!
Capt Mike Augat
Co-Owner Pesca Panama
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