Cebaco Bay, Panama Popping-WOW! January 2-5, 2010

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"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
Boat
n/a
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Short scoop: 22 species of fish out of 52 caught inshore. Five fish over 40 lbs. in one day. Full moon-so what.


Full scoop: I went to Panama solo to catch up on some Continental miles and gave Capt. Jim Wiese a call. "How long are you down for Tony" asked Jim. "Until January 7. Then come out to Cebaco and check out our new lodge plans and fish awhile. Sure". Who could pass that up?


So I'm fishing solo on the 31' Bertram "Extreme" with Capt. Arial Medina and Mate Ervin Santos for the first two days before the Chuck Bilter (a partner with Wiese) family arrives and we are to switch over to the 47' Buddy Davis "Legend".


I get my Shimano rods and reels rigged with poppers, Butterfly jigs and 9/0 circle hooks since we have plenty of live cojinua in the well. This is going to be strickly inshore self-indulgent fishing since I don't need anymore marlin photos at the time and can just concentrate on having fun.


The first rock we come to is Roncador and is visible about 30' below looking like the Matterhorn with steep sides. The popper gets a splash and then the live bait starts clicking so I hand off the popper rod and set the hook. A sailfish starts jumping and we release it as I look up to Arial and say kiddingly "hey, we're supposed to be catching INSHORE fish!" Next stop is one of my favorites on the entire Western Tuna Coast because it is so remote it is rarely fished-Punta Mariato. The green jungle-clad mountains fall steeply into the sea here and the 1,000 fathom line is only a few miles offshore. Anything that swims can show here.


I start jigging over a peak 100' deep surrounded by 500'+ water and after three drops get conected after one jig swing. The fish rips short bursts of line off the Torsa 20 with 80 lb. Power Pro Spectra and keeps pulling for about 15 minutes to color. Amberjack. 45lbs. and it looks like he's bringing his pals with him as other fish come to the surface. No matter how deep the water-when the fish come up it's popping time.


For the next hour we had non-stop action with roosterfish and cubera snapper from 40 to pushing 70 lbs. as the fish would foam on the surface and disappear again. Just cast a popper (I was using the OTI Wombat and Yo-Zuri GT mostly) into the melee and something would stop it. We also caught bluefin trevally, rainbow runner, jack crevalle, school yellowfin and dorado while fishing Mariato and we hadn't even moved over to the rocks yet! When we did we added sierra mackerel, African pompano, mullet snapper, bigeye trevally and others to the mix.


During the first two days fishing solo on the Tuna Coast we caught and RELEASED 15 species of fish out of 33 caught. We kept a cubera and yellowfin for the barbecue and sashimi.


Fishing with Chuck Bilter and his family (sister Karen, son Andrew and daughters, Angela, Alex and Kathy) who I fished with last year as well, was a lot of fun watching the kids handle the fishing with enthusiasm while catching mostly dorado and other trolled fish. They probably had just as much fun catching jack crevalle and bait from the mothership. The "Legend" is a little big for inshore fishing, at least the way we like to do it. The Bertram is perfect as well as the pangas that Cebaco Bay Sportfishing Club has available.


Manager Hennie Marais, also an accomplished angler from South Africa, is enthusiastic about the construction of the new lodge accommodations on the shore of Cebaco Bay that will have all the amenities including swimming pool and fine dining. Currently, the 110' mothership "Cebaco Bay" serves very well as an air conditioned "hotel" that also provides fuel and service to private yachts in-transit. "Best of all" Hennie said "we're getting five new pangas for all you guys that like to fish inshore because we think that's our future here. The Westerly Tuna Coast is one of the few untouched regions in Panama and soon anglers will be able to experience the style of fishing that you did this week at an affordable cost. Of course, we will also have five larger boats for offshore fishing from Aguja Reef to Montuosa Island. We'll go wherever the fish are" concluded Hennie.


Come to think of it, we never did see another boat in four days of fishing. Cebaco Bay is located on Cebaco Island east of Coiba and a 3 hour drive from Panama City with a 11/2 hour boat shuttle to the anchorage from Puerto Mutis near the town of Santiago. For more information, contact Cebaco Bay Sportfishing Club at: www.cebacobay.com; 011-507-317-6670; or 011-507-317-6188.


Tony Peña
"The Roving Angler"


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sailfish
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amberjack
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African pompano
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bluefin trevally
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Tuna Coast
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Big parrot fish and jacks at the anchorage
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Bloodydecks has landed
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OK-who remembers the name of this drink?
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mullet snapper
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bigeye trevally
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Jack interrupts the bait catching
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Beef tenderloin and Panama sausage (cubera next up)
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kraken33

Almost A Member
Jun 13, 2005
193
2
La Conner
classicmako.com
Name
T
Boat
Mako 230
great report! HAVE to get back down there!!! Topping off great fishing like that with a Harvey Wallbanger or four at the end of the day sure sounds like heaven to me!
 
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kraken33

Almost A Member
Jun 13, 2005
193
2
La Conner
classicmako.com
Name
T
Boat
Mako 230
you're close. If it wasnt for may father, a baby boomer, I would have no clue what to do with that tall yellow bottle. The credit should really go to him.

What do ya think that big cubera weigh in the first picture?
 
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BuonaForTuna

Newbie
Jul 27, 2008
16
13
Glendale Ca
Name
Jesse
Boat
BuonaFortuna 26' Seaswirl Striper
Great trip and awesome pictures to prove it..
 
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bhsquid

Member
Mar 16, 2008
340
2
Miri Malaysia
Name
Jason
Boat
boatless for now
Sweet trip thanks for posting it and great pictures.

I passed up a longrange trip this year and chose a Panama trip instead. I have been absolutey killing myself thinking I screwed up, but reports like this help put my mind at ease. I'll be down for a week at the end of the month.
 
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FAT CAT

FAT CAT
Nov 11, 2007
8,889
2,772
Baja Sur, MX
Name
Bill Burkett
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22' Twin-Vee Catamaran POLE CAT
Well Tony, you've once again made me wish I was you. Thanks for another great report and photos. I knew it was a Harvey Wallbanger too! And I'm old enough to have forgotten the name.
 
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"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
Boat
n/a
Tyler, the big cubera bottomed out a 50 lb. scale back at the mothership. It had such a huge belly I conservatively estimate its' weight at 65-70 lbs. (I've seen 70 pounders before). They're like a largemouth bass at that age-they don't get longer just wider.

Thanks for all your comments everybody.

Tony Pena
"The Roving Angler"
 
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Manhe

Newbie
Dec 4, 2006
49
0
Panama City, Panama
Name
Manuel
Boat
28 feet, custom, nameless
Hey Tony,

when you told me this was the BEST inshore fishing you ever had, I knew it was something beyond my wildest fishing dreams. Man, what a cubera!! I may try those spots in a near future, see you in March, Manuel.
 
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"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
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n/a
Manuel, you've got to fish that part of the Tuna Coast (the best part!). Thanks again for the great dinner at Gaucho's. See you later.

Tony Pena
"The Roving Angler"
 
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PSFL

Panama Sport Fishing Lodge - Boca Chica
Jan 19, 2009
564
11
Coiba, Hannibal Bank, and Pearl Islands
www.panamasportfishinglodge.com
Name
John Dela Cruz
Boat
35 Marlago FS
Manuel, you've got to fish that part of the Tuna Coast (the best part!). Thanks again for the great dinner at Gaucho's. See you later.

Tony Pena
"The Roving Angler"


Hey Tony & Manuel,
You guys had dinner in Gauchos and I was not invited , i feel like a Red headed step child !!!!!
 
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"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
Boat
n/a
Remember John-you couldn't make it the last night...and then Manuel called and drove us to Gaucho's. I was going to go to the New York Steakhouse in the Veneto by myself. Next time!

Tony Pena
"The Roving Angler"
 
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Ocean Gypsy

Newbie
Jul 16, 2007
9
0
Chino
Name
Russ Miller
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none
Tony, great information filled report and photos as usual. After reading it I will seriously consider Cebaco Bay as a destination for my next trip " down there ". Russ
 
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Ali

Master of Nothing
Admin
Apr 24, 2003
22,775
7,785
10
San Diego
Name
That Guy
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SeaVee 340Z
Just saw this Tony.

You are my hero.

I want to go down and fish just poppers and jigs.

That looks like too much fun.

Another great report. Thanks very much.

PS: next time hit me up and I'll arm you with a bunch of BD crap for your boys down there.

Ali
 
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spooledagain

Does it taste as good as it looks
Jan 30, 2009
235
14
41
san diego, c.a.
Name
mark
Boat
Konagold
Thanks for sharing those pics, as well as the cool report. For people like myself the local offshore spots will be all we ever see, know or fish for that matter. Thanks for taking me on an imagitive journey, of poppers, jigs and a land far away. Its really cool seeing that kind of fishing this time of year. Especially when most of us are lucky just to get out right now!!
 
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