panama marlin fishing

Black/Blue Marlin, Roosterfish, Cubera, & Dorados!

We hosted two groups of fishermen, and fished five days, the first week of December 2014 from our private island lodge here on Isla Paridas, Panama. Our first clients of the season got to enjoy a couple of nice improvements to our operation that we made over the rainy season….Our main boat the “T.O.P. Cat” a 33′ World Cat center-console catamaran recently got repowered with a pair of brand new 300hp Suzuki 4-stroke outboards. And we were also very lucky to be able to bring aboard Lee Campbell as our new chef! Lee successfully ran and operated a lodge here in Panama for many years and achieved a great reputation and following by his clients, not only for his awesome cooking…but also for his hospitality and professional treatment of his guests. Those two excellent additions, and some pretty good fishing, made for a great start to our season here in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama!
First timers to Panama…Greg and Chuck from Washington D.C. were our first guests. The first day went real well with smooth seas and clear skies for the run to Hannibal Bank. Lots of bait on the high spot and all by ourselves…first thing in the morning were the ideal conditions for a Marlin. After only about 15 minutes a big fish comes up behind the short bait and hammers the bridled Bonito. Greg handles it perfectly and lets her eat the bait for a good 5 or 6 seconds before moving the Shimano Tiagra 8/0’s lever to “strike” and reeling down hard on the fish. As soon as the line goes tight we see a big Black Marlin explode out of the water and jump wildly but directly toward the boat! To get the line tight I jam the throttles forward to pull away from the fish while Greg is reeling down hard. 20 minutes later we have the beautiful fish boat side for a tag and a photo before releasing her! On the way back in we ran across Great way to start the trip!
The next couple of days we didn’t see any more Marlin after putting some time in each morning. We did get a few decent gaffer size Dorados as consolation prizes while trolling the plastics though. Also, got a couple decent Dorados on a floating log we came across with an OTI Mini Wombat popper that is my mate Johnny’s favorite popper. For some reason we didn’t have much luck with the live Blue Runners at my favorite high spots around Isla Montuosa. We did multiple drifts on a few different rocks each day and were rewarded with a few nice Mullet Snappers. I had great time with these guys even though the bite was a bit off. We did make a big score on the second day and came across a shrimp boat with a thirsty crew. We traded a 12 pack of Panama beer for about 20 pound of fresh shrimp!!! Between the Dorado we caught, the Shrimp we bartered for, and the Lobsters Lee got from the local fishermen back on the island….we ate like kings!!!
Our second group of the week was Brad and Mike from Naples, Florida. These guys were also new to Panama and only had a short time to stay and fish. But even with the limited time these guys were pretty lucky! On the first drop around Isla Ladrones Mike catches a 30# plus Cubera Snapper on one of the brand new super smooth Shimano Talica 10II reels we just got for the lodge! Gorgeous fish! We also got a couple hard fighting Jack Crevalles. On the second day we make a bumpy ride to Hannibal Bank but it paid off as Brad released a beautiful Blue Marlin! And for the icing on the cake…on the way in we stop to slow troll the last two live Blue Runners we have left at a spot right near the lodge and we catch and release a 30# Roosterfish! Although we didn’t exactly have constant action for the two days…these guys caught some great fish and got a great introduction to the great fishery we have here in Panama!!
Thank you so much for the business guys and I hope that you can make it back down soon!

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