We fished three days last week on the T.O.P. Cat here in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama. Two days with returning client Gary out of our private island lodge on Isla Paridas and one day charter out of the Seagullcove Lodge in Boca Chica with father and son duo Rodrigo and Itoo. It’s definitely the start of the “dry” season here in Panama as we were blessed with smooth seas and clear skies. The run to Isla Montuosa from our lodge is much more enjoyable when the seas are flat calm!
The two days offshore with Gary we didn’t have to go too far south of the island before we ran across an area loaded with floating logs and trash. We pulled up the first day on a big log loaded with Bull Dorados! They didn’t want to hit the poppers so we pitched bridled live Blue Runners to them that they immediately attacked! Gary fought and landed 3 big Dorados all over 25lbs that he caught on our new light setup Shimano Saragosa SW6000 spinning reel loaded with Diamond Fishing Products Momoi 30# braided line matched with a Terez rod! Awesome!! On our way to Isla Montuosa we ran into a weed/trash line and got a couple more nice Dorados on the troll. Great time with Gary!
The second day with Gary wasn’t as action packed as the first. Another beautiful day with smooth seas! After catching a bunch of Blue Runners here in front of the lodge on Isla Paridas….we ran direct to Isla Montuosa and went non-stop past the logs and trash lines to go direct to try our luck and see if we could raise a Marlin. Nada! We did although get a nice Dorado consolation prize and had some luck later in the day live baiting the high spot with a couple of nice Mullet and Rock Snappers.
The last day of fishing was with Brazilians Itoo and Rodrigo. We picked these guys up early in the morning at the beautiful Seagull Cove Lodge in Boca Chica as a single day charter. We still had a few baits left over from the day before with Gary but we got lucky and caught a few more before we headed offshore. Thank God we did! Because we definitely needed them. It was non stop action! These guys wanted to do some inshore fishing so we hit Isla Ladrones. The first spot we hit it took a couple of drifts to find them but as soon as we did it was game on! From the get go….live bait after live bait got nailed! Big Mullet Snappers were on the feed. When they hit a bait they nail it hard….and take off like a freight train! We caught and released 6 Mullet Snappers, all nice size, and missed just as many at our first spot. As we were working the first location a current rip with some sea foam and debris came across our area. My mate Johnny gets up on the casting platform and starts throwing the popper as we are drifting our live baits over the high spot. Sure enough…on one of the casts a lit up Dorado comes under the boat attracted by the splashing of the popper. It’s pure live action as we pitch a bait to him, the Dorado hammers it right next to the boat, and Rodrigo does a great job fighting the wild Dorado as it jumps repeatedly!! Nice 25 pound Cow!!!
Later we try another secret rock near Ladrones and although it’s not loaded with fish like the first it does pay off big time. Rodrigo’s Dad Itoo hooks into a MONSTER Mullet Snapper. Itoo mentioned earlier in the day that he wanted to break his personal record for a snapper which he said was 12 pounds. He out did himself on this one because this fish was all of 40#s!!! This was the biggest Mullet Snapper I have seen here in Panama. The world record is 45 pounds 12 ounces and this fish was damn close. Itoo fought him for 15 minutes and brought him in on a Shimano Talica 10II and Terez rod with 65# braided line. We got him to the boat with the Owner 6/0 circle hook perfectly set in the corner of his mouth, took a couple of nice pics, and released him!! Great way to end the day with a couple of really nice guys! Hope to see you guys back again soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Panama!!!