May 25, 2013
Panama Fishing Report - Hannibal Bank Tunas and Pacific Provider Mothership - April 26 & May 7, 2013
A Panamanian Captain friend called me and mentioned that a yacht anchored at Coiba was looking for a charter boat. I called the number he gave me and spoke with Captian Nelson of the Pacific Provider...West Coast Fishing Club's mothership. Nelson mentioned that their ship was anchored at Punta Hermossa on the northwest side of Isla Coiba and were in need of a boat for a day of fishing. I jumped at the chance. I wanted to check out the mothership I'd heard so much about and get back into the Tunas around Hannibal Bank as I hadn't fished in two weeks.
Steve and I ran out of Pedregal (the marina just south of the city of David) and out 60 miles to Punta Hermossa the afternoon before to stay the night on the boat. We showed up around 6pm just in time for a gorgeous sunset. We tied off and bumpered the TOP Cat on the stern and were met by Elliot Stark the General Manager/Director of Fishing of WCFC. Elliot was kind enough to give us the grand tour and it was apparent that this rig was no joke! 160 feet, 90,000 fuel storage capacity, 7,500 gallons a day freshwater maker, 900 #s a day ice makers, 6 luxury staterooms, full restaurant/bar/club lounge with commercial kitchen, and four 500 gallon livewells on the huge back deck. This boat is a fisherman's dream. And for it to be anchored at Coiba, only a few miles from Hannibal Bank, was truly awesome!
I got to talking to one of the Pacific Provider's engineers Dominic, a neighbor of mine in Pedregal, and he was nothing but amazed at the systems that this boat had installed. The boat's 650 hp diesel engines and monster A/C units are are keel cooled...which means that the engines pump the coolant through pipes on the outside of the hull where the surrounding seawater cools the coolant before it is pumped back into the engine so salt water never enters the engine or engine compartment! Also a diesel centrifuge which is a high tech fuel filtering system that cleans fuel ten times more than standard filters and is usually only found on large ships. All the boat's systems, he mentioned, were commercial grade and built to last. So apart from being a magnificent looking mothership it is also a top of the line ocean going mini ship!
We fished the first trip on April 26th with Ted & Ted father/son team and real nice guys from Canada. We left the calm protected waters at Punta Hermossa and shot directly to Hannibal Bank which was only a short 18 mile run. It was kind of a dreary day with some rain clouds and wind moving through the gulf. En route we ran across a group of working Porpoises with diving Birds and it was apparent that they were with Yellowfin Tunas. Right off the bat we hook one on a live Blue Runner and Ted Jr. catches his first Tuna that went about 65#s. We go to the high spot on Hannibal and there is a nice mark on the sonar. We drop a bait down and Ted Sr. gets a nice AJ. I had plans to fish the Hannibal for a Marlin but a storm with lighting moves in and I decided to run to Isla Montuosa to try our luck. Plenty of Tunas around at Montuosa but no takers. It was one of those days where they are busting around you everywhere but just won't eat! Frustrating!
We returned to the Pacific Provider on May the 6th after being invited by Elliot again to come out and fish with Dale Wills and friends. Dale is the publisher of InTheBite magazine and CFO (chief fishing officer) of the Release Ruler (www.releaseruler.com) a cool invention that lets you measure and estimate weight on big fish before release. Dale and his buddies Cliff & Bubba from Galveston Texas joined me for what turned out to be a pretty good day. After a failed attempt at finding them a Roosterfish inshore (we did get a nice Blue Trevale though).....we got into some pretty nice YFTs and saw some good action with the biggest Tuna going about 125#s. There was alot of bait at Isla Montuosa in our search for Marlin. One of WCFC's boats released an estimated 500# Black right next to us that day but we didn't get our shot. All and all it was a good time fishing with these guys even tough we didn't get to bust out the Release Ruler.
Special thanks to Elliot Stark, a super nice guy, for his hospitality and the opportunity to fish/stay on the Pacific Provider we had a great time!
Capt. Shane Jarvis
Propiedad de Paradise Lodge
Isla Paridas, Panama
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April 23, 2013
Roland, Gary, Jimmy, and David fished with me on the "TOP Cat" for a two day charter out of Boca Chica. These boys from Houston, Texas were in Panama for the first time and were chomping at the bit to get offshore! The first morning we shot directly towards Hannibal Bank. I noticed a huge mark on the radar a couple of miles north east of Hannibal. As we moved into the area it was probably a mile square of birds, Porpoises, and busting Tunas! No big surprise to me, as this is the norm this time of year, but it is always cool to see the looks and reaction of the clients as they see it for the first time. And these guys were pumped!
Although the Tunas have been thick it has not been easy to put the hook in them. It seems that early in the morning and late, late in the afternoon have been the best times for hookups. As the late morning and afternoon progress it's hard to get them to eat. The tunas between Coiba and Hannibal are eating small crabs and the fish toward Montuosa are focused on small red sardines. Although the Tunas are still real picky....we got a few shots, missed a few, and caught a few.
The second day we went to Isla Montuosa first and found green water with little activity. We chased the Tunas around for a while but didn't have much luck. We did happen to catch some nice little Bonitos that we used to raise a couple of Sailfish. Jimmy got his first Pacific Sail and was elated! Enjoy the pics!...
Capt. Shane Jarvis
April 10, 2013
Warm green water moved into southeastern part of the Gulf of Chiriqui, around Hannibal Bank/Isla Montuosa, and put a damper on the hopes of Alan Barkdull's group of putting a hook in a Black Marlin. But plenty of Tuna hanging around Banana Bank and Isla Jicaron were a great consolation prize for the vacationing execs from Panama City staying here at Propiedad de Paradise Lodge on Isla Paridas. We had three days of running with the picky Yellowfin Tunas but did well enough for them to bring back plenty of tuna steaks to their friends and family. Enjoy the pics........
Capt. Shane Jarvis
Capt. Shane Jarvis
April 06, 2013
Propiedad de Paradise Lodge is truly "off the grid" located in the heart of the Gulf of Chiriqui on Isla Paridas 13 miles offshore the Pacific coast of Panama. One of the advantages to being out in the middle of "Jurrasic Park" is that we are that much closer to the action! Offshore the famed Hannibal Bank, Isla Coiba, and Isla Montuosa are all short runs from our tropical island lodge and at our doorstep is an insane inshore fishery! Much closer to the action than the land locked lodges. Everyday I count my lucky stars that I am able to fish these spots with my clients because it never gets old! Especially throwing poppers at boiling Yellowfin Tunas offshore!
It's even more special when you can experience fishing here with great people. Ronnie Wills and his son Noah, from Texas, spent a day with me out searching for Yellowfin Tunas and like so many days of recent there were plenty of Tunas around but not many would eat what we were throwing at them. After having thousands of Tunas busting all around us all day at Hannibal and not getting a bite we ran to Isla Montuosa to see if the Tunas there were in a better mood. Late in the afternoon, right before I was about to call it a day, we come across another boil with Tunas, Porpoises, and birds going nuts! First cast into the frenzy with a Popper and WHAM! Ronnie's got a BIG Tuna on! After all day of seeing the Tunas busting we finally put a hook in one! After battling for over an hour.....the fish gets close and we can see that it's foul hooked in it's side. Ronnie pulls using the harness and gets the Tuna boatside and finally to the gaff! It's amazing how much strength these fish have and then to foul hook one make it that much harder. Great job Ronnie!
Another great group of gentlemen....returning angler Ed Scarbourugh, Pierre Lebrenton, and Mike Kerpel joined us for a few days but our luck wasn't as good with the Tunas as in the weeks prior. Same story pretty much each day.... Plenty of Tunas busting all around but hard to put a hook in them. Very frustrating! The fish didn't want to eat our live baits and these gentlemen weren't into casting the poppers all day. We did get a few hits but not a stellar outing as I was hoping for these guys.
The following group of Brazilian sportsmen has some better luck offshore during their stay. Sergio Bodenmüller, Ari Coelho, Carlos Zago, Gervasio Silva, Tito Koerich, Dr. Paulo, Itamar Silva, and Ricardo Kuhnen were all full throttle on getting into the action offshore. Capt. Bartolo fished the "Scandalous" as we had a larger group this time and we were able to cover more ground. We worked various schools of Porpoises and Tunas as usual but had the same scenario as with the guests of the priors days.....picky Tunas that don't want to eat live baits but will strike the occasional popper. We kept at it, got our shots, and they caught some nice Tunas. Although the fishing was a bit slow these guys made the best of it and had a great time! Enjoy the pictures......
Capt. Shane Jarvis