Fishing Report - 12/22/15
Experienced father and son Les and Chris Lockwood out of Jersey, along with birthday boy brother/uncle Bill from Florida tried every method to catch fish they’d always wanted. Remarkably, Les and Chris had an exactly timed double hookup on mahi, AND a double hookup on roosters! Almost everybody on the trip that targeted roosters caught them, but Bill never had the luck… until the last hour of the trip on Friday when he took an absolute beauty. Everybody on the Hannibal were so pleased for him. Amazing how things can work out sometimes.
Dr. Allan Maples and good friend John Conner out of Alabama caught a little (a lot) of everything. As John said, he was king of the jacks - over 170 crevalle, horseye, goldens, and bluefin trevally were fought this week, many on poppers inshore. Waters were often glass calm, so surface hits were a riot to watch occur. These two fished hard, caught many, lost a few really big cubera and roosters. When you fish relatively light tackle in these Panama islands, you are going to get bested. 40lb line and 60lb leader may sound heavy. It’s not.
Father and son Thomas and Steve Chung came to us by way of California, sent to us by our friends at Central America Fishing. At a very young at heart 87, Tom is spry of body and very quick of mind. He kept telling me a what a pup I am at 65. It is impossible not to be moved and impressed with people like these two. Steve has made his life’s work helping needy children, follows his dad’s good energy and spirit. They smiled always, enjoyed their fishing and dining, were delightful to have met. They took trevally, shark, bonito, snappers, grouper, jacks, and so forth. Steve eventually landed a gorgeous rooster which really delighted me.
Seven time returners Ron Smith and Jim Chell out of Florida - superb, seasoned, savy, well traveled guys, brought along pal Bryan Hatfield, good angler in his own right, to concentrate on true light tackle and flyrod inshore fishing. Bryan took a beautiful rooster, a picture fish, the salty equivalent of a 10 out of 10 blonde date. Ron had back to back light tackle, under gunned battles with a nice mahi on fly in nearshore glassine water, and hooked a cubera ON the beach in 18” of water that really worked him for a quarter of an hour, repeatedly digging for the only rockpile in the vicinity. As Ron said, it was a fish to be proud of, not for sheer size, but for the evenly matched victory that took all the skill he had using 10lb line.
But Jim set the bar this week, spotted, stalked, hooked with fly, and was towed up a tidal river by a 28lb rooster (we’ve never seen one in this river in 15 years). Later in the day this group spotted bulging, waking vees of large fish within 100 meters of the beach over crystal clear water only 5-15 feet deep. Capt Tommy stalked them and Jim was able to make a good cast, leading a fish like a tarpon, and got PUNISHED by a mahi - jumps, shakes, long runs. We’ve never seen them here either.
Heckuva week - fish where we’ve never found them before, double/double family hookups, tons of inshore fish, an ocean as calm as an inland lake at first light. El Nino is for real and is fun to try to figure out. We are and we will. January fishing ahead, peak sails to follow in February. Come join us! I always have a boat or two available, and we specialize in pairing up single anglers.
Happy Holidays to all,
Capt Mike Augat
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