December 24, 2014

Panama Fishing Report - Monster Mullet Snappers and Dorados! - December 19-22, 2014

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 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!!!
Capt. Shane Jarvis

December 10, 2014

Panama Fishing Report - Black/Blue Marlin, Roosterfish, Cubera, & Dorados! - DEC 1-5, 2014

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!
Capt. Shane Jarvis

November 18, 2014

Panama Fishing Report - Rainy Season Black Marlin, Roosterfish, and More! - OCT/NOV 2014

We fished only three days in the past couple months here out of Propiedad de Paradise Lodge. We have been keeping busy working on expanding the lodge and maintenance on the boats as it is the height of the rainy season and technically the "off-season"  here in Panama right now. Dealing with the rain and wind is part of fishing this time of year but we got pretty lucky with some decent days and the fishing was pretty good!
The last week in October we had a day charter out of Boca Chica with Robyn, Scott, and Liam. These guys wanted to stay inshore so Scott could check a Roosterfish off of his "bucket list" no pressure to get one!!! Although they are caught year-round...the rainy season is generally the best time of year for Roosters. We had great luck catching Blue Runners in the early morning and easily filled the livewell with 30 nice baits. We focused our efforts right around Isla Paridas as there was a quantity of bait around, and the seas were a bit bouncy, so sticking close was a good idea. We slow trolled bridled baits around the rocky points and shorelines and casted our poppers every now and then to see what we could raise. We had quite a bit of action with some big Jack Crevalles, Horse-eye Jacks, Spanish Mackerels, and Needlefish. Finally later in the day Scott got his shot at the Rooster we were looking for. We had both baits get eaten at the same time by a pair of Roosters! One immediately spit the hook but luckily the other fish was hooked well. Scott did a great job handling the Rooster with the super smooth Shimano Talica 10ii and Terez rod spooled with 65# Momoi braided line. Check that one off the list Scott!
Gary, Bob, and Lee fished with me out of Boca Chica on the "TOP Cat" November 12th and 13th. Day one was slow. We had a hard time catching Blue Runners for bait around Isla is normal when the moon is waning after being full on the 8th. The seas were not bad...2 to 4 feet...cloudy, wind blowing 10 knots, and a few scattered rain storms. We ran strait to Isla Montuosa on Tuesday and found green water, no activity, and dead. We dragged the plastics around for a while and nothing so we headed to Hannibal Bank. We found the same dirty water but did find some Bonitos busting and caught a few to put in the tubes. As we were attempting to catch bait Gary was reeling in the Bonito rig and had a Marlin come up and try to eat one of the hooked baits. After that we dragged live Bonitos around for a while with no luck. The plastics produced a couple of nice eating size Dorados and we got dinner for our efforts.
Day two was better. We caught a few Blue Runners on the way out and headed strait to Hannibal Bank. A little bouncy ride on the way out with seas 3 to 5 feet....but not too bad on the "TOP Cat" We had a bit of rain in the morning and the seas laid down slightly as the day progressed. We had a little difficulty getting the Bonitos at first but managed to get a couple and start fishing. Had some action with big Dorados attacking our Bonitos but no hookups. A little later a Marlin came up and sniffed our baits lit up in the spread, swatted one of the baits, and then disappeared. As the day went on the concentration of bait increased and we saw some more action. Finally we get a hookup as two Marlin come up to check out our baits again and one inhales the live bridled Bonito on Gary's rod. He does a great job setting the hook and reeling down hard on the fish as it's jumping and trashing wildly back behind the boat. Thank God we hooked the fish on the Shimano Tiagra 8/0 spooled with Momoi 100# monofilament! Gary got him to the boat in less than 20 minutes with a little help of backing down. Johnny my mate wires him easily to the boat, we put the tag in him, remove the hook, take a couple of pics, revive for a few minutes, and set him free. We got lucky it all worked out good with the fish looking real healthy on the release. We ended up missing a couple Dorados and catching a couple later in the day. We headed back to Boca Chica and luckily the sea laid down pretty smooth with clear and sunny skies!
Thanks for the business guys and hope to see you back again soon!   

Capt. Shane Jarvis
Propiedad de Paradise Lodge
Isla Paridas, Panama
Panama Cellular Phone 011-507-6675-7191