Fishing Report - 12/1/15
What you learn to enjoy in life is partly an accumulation of past experiences. I summered along the Connecticut coast as a boy, netted fish, swam, caught my first striped bass, fell in love with the ocean and eventually became a light tackle saltwater guide in Maine. This week we hosted a group of anglers from near-coast Conn and Freeport, ME, and I found them to be everything I'd known in the past, stout, physical, boistrous, funny as hell, relentless at messing with each other, knew how to truly fish, and knew how to unwind and play. GREAT group to have onboard, would fish with them all anytime, anywhere.
Tim Kane put together this group, trusted us at Pesca to show them something special (thank you Tim), gathered Tom and Jim Loughran, Tom Coleman, Joe Fedorko, Ed Fitzwilliam, Dave Hill, and the irrepressible "rookie" angler Tesh Durvasula. We're just ramping up for the season so we're feeling out the rhythms of the huge area we fish and the possible effects of El Nino. What we know so far is that our normal patterns are different, not better or worse, just different. We're seeing fewer wahoo, cubera, amberjack, and marlin then usual at this time. The "snook hole" is virtually empty, and Hannibal Bank has been quiet. But the group took well over 20 species, found scattered large mahi and were treated to some excellent inshore action. I expect all of the normal species to come into form a little latter than usual.
So we went exploring. We tried a new group of islands and were rewarded with finding a school of tarpon mixed with big snook, jacks, and bull sharks feeding tight to shore in the surf. We found expansive pods of rarely seen large milkfish. And adventuring up a large tidal river one morning in my panga, with a croc watching from afar and howler monkeys cheering, I found the biggest school of snook I've seen in 15 years in the Pacific islands. I caught them on fly and light tackle, scatter casting in all directions, 34" my best, broke off 2 larger, saw 2 WAY bigger, released 15 in 1 1/2 hours, then watched the light switch go off as the proper tide passed, fell again in love with Coiba, as I always do.
Here are some catch numbers from the captains logs, not including many species like white and black tip shark, or the numerous fights with big roosters and cubera, and a tarpon that beat us:
mahi mahi 20
jack crevalle 100+
snook 20 (plus my 15)
mullet snapper 29
yellow snapper 19
bluefin trevally 23
rock snapper 9
rainbow runner (large) 13
horse eye jack 17
You get the idea, this is what we are famous for, variety and the ability to run and gun, changing methods and locations from dawn 'till dusk, with a swim and a cerveza or two along the way. And these guys dove right into it. They fished the reefs and rocks, caught pelagics, reveled in the sweet, calm waters the Pacific gave us this week, and each angler worked hard for their personal moments. I heard some stories, Tom Coleman's big mahi, Joe Fedorko's first snook, then his first rooster on a popper; Ed Fitzwilliam's really hefty rainbow runner, Dave Hill's big mahi, lots of mullet snapper caught by several guys;, the mornings trying to get rollin tarpon to bite, Tim's light tackle crevalle day, all the one's that got away, and of course rookie Tesh had the hot hand as is often the case when somewhat novice anglers mix with experts, I've seen it time and again. The word went out "if you want to have a really good day get on Tesh's boat".
And the guys were blast at night, laughing and teasing with Mary taking good care of all. Tim quietly said to me one evening, watching day's end from the fantail rail, light settling, lifetime mated parrots returning to their island roosts overhead, that he called this place in his mind Jurrasic Park. I loved this because that's exactly what I've felt all these years here. Come visit again next year guys - we'll all be here waiting for you...
Us and the dinosaurs.....
From all at Pesca, the captains and crew - thank you.
Capt Mike Augat
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