tap

"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
Boat
n/a
“Touchy Tuna”
Arriving at PSFL on May 15th, I met our anglers for the week including friend Seth Hartwick and his buddies Dan Watson and Paul Clark. Seth had enticed Clark to fish Panama after they met on a giant trevally trip. “Nothing pulls like these yellowfin”, he said as a challenge. We overnighted on the 78’ mothership and began fishing aboard the 34’ “King Cat” at daybreak planning to rendezvous at the Bahia Hermosa anchorage at Isla Coiba by evening with the rest of our three boat fleet. Both Hartwick and Watson are tuna fanatics and somewhat purists with popping and deep jigging their preferred techniques. It didn’t take long to discover that a variety of methods would be necessary with this group of tuna that had settled in on the Hannibal Bank. According to Capt. Chombo Antonio some scattered commercial boats were catching 100 lb. tuna with handlines and chunked sardines. After a popping/jigging workout we conceded and matched the chunking method, landing four yellowfin between 80 and 120 lbs. the first day. The most excitement, however, came at mid-morning when Hartwick was deep jigging and a 300 lb. black marlin snagged his jig near the surface and made a greyhounding, head-shaking leap just yards from the boat before disappearing within seconds.

The next day was a relief as the tuna responded well to the poppers and jigs along with live bait and chunks. Fishing broad, scattered schools a few miles north of Hannibal a total of 23 tuna between 15 and 40 lbs. were released. Like Hartwick said “I’d rather catch 40 lb’ers. on a popper than 100 lb’ers. on bait or trolling any day”. The rest of the week the popper guys were rewarded with bigger tuna over 150 lbs. Some other guests, such as Kevin Green, brothers Dave and Mike Benbenek and later Paul Clark wanted to try the inshore variety fishing so I jumped ship and tagged along. Reportedly, the inshore fishing had been slow as Chombo had tried a few days earlier and landed one fish.

The skies were getting darker with spotty rain and a choppy 87 degree seas. We checked out Isla Jicarita for wahoo but didn’t raise any so we concentrated on Coiba for eight species including roosterfish, bluefin trevally, jack crevalle, pargo Colorado (achote), yellow snapper and almaco jack. Lots of fun for guys that like variety and are new to tropical fishing. The Hybrida Tropical jerk bait that I ordered direct from Germany again out fished everything we had including live bait. I left all four of them with the crews.

Captain Lucho Saldana and I knew there had to be wahoo at Jicaron/Jicarita so we started fresh the next day where we proceeded to get seven wahoo hookups losing all of them. Eight bluefin trevally, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, almaco jack and needlefish were the consolation prize. On the last day, Paul Clark joined us from the tuna grounds and we landed one wahoo at Twin Peaks, three smallish cubera snapper and three bluefin trevally as we made our way back to PSFL.

Owner John dela Cruz has big plans to accommodate more anglers for this mothership style of fishing by adding larger vessels. Anchored in a calm bay 50 miles from the mainland with all the creature comforts a mothership offers, close to the most popular fishing grounds as well as access to remote inshore fishing, providing an opportunity to take advantage of a late afternoon tuna bite when most of the other land-based boats have already departed for home (usually a two hour run vs. 30 minutes for a PSFL boat to return to the mothership) and just more fishing time on the water makes this a popular choice and a long term trend for the future. (panamasportfishinglodge.com; 1-843-816-7663 U.S.).

Tony Pena
“The Roving Angler”

IMG_6249.jpg

IMG_6143.jpg

IMG_6127.jpg

IMG_5872.jpg

IMG_5877.jpg

IMG_5878.jpg

IMG_5879.jpg

IMG_5885.jpg

Paul Clark with his first yellowfin
IMG_5890.jpg

IMG_5895.jpg

IMG_5899.jpg

IMG_5906.jpg

IMG_5914.jpg

Seth Hartwick releases a tuna
IMG_5915.jpg

IMG_5916.jpg

IMG_5927.jpg

IMG_5930.jpg

IMG_5935.jpg

IMG_5938.jpg

Dan Watson with a rainbow runner
IMG_5941.jpg

IMG_5950.jpg

IMG_5952.jpg

IMG_5960.jpg

IMG_5993.jpg

IMG_5996.jpg

IMG_6002.jpg

IMG_6005.jpg

IMG_6008.jpg

IMG_6010.jpg

IMG_6013.jpg

IMG_6035.jpg

IMG_6037.jpg

IMG_6041.jpg

Kevin Green and almaco jack
IMG_6048.jpg

IMG_6052.jpg

IMG_6061.jpg

IMG_6070.jpg

IMG_6079.jpg

Mike Benbenek with first roosterfish
IMG_6094.jpg

IMG_6100.jpg

IMG_6113.jpg

IMG_6126.jpg

Capt. Chombo Antonio amid forest of spinning tackle
IMG_6139.jpg

IMG_6144.jpg

IMG_6146.jpg

IMG_6155.jpg

IMG_6157.jpg

Hybrida Tropical from Germany
IMG_6172.jpg

IMG_6179.jpg

IMG_6186.jpg

IMG_6199.jpg

Dave Benbenek with a cubera snapper
IMG_6209.jpg

IMG_6223.jpg

IMG_6230.jpg
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0
Jun 3, 2016
2
0
40
Germany
www.koeder-laden.de
Name
Michael Bengardt
Boat
Feelfree Lure 11.5 Desert Camo
Thank you Tony for your report. We have update our stock.
Now we have:
  • candy mackerel (CM) - 10 items (for next time sold out)
  • true mackerel (TM) - 12 items (for next time sold out)
  • crystal sugar (CS) - 6 items (here we can order more)
Contact us, maybe we can give you some shipping cost discount.
 
Upvote 0