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Isla Secas Resort

50Panama City Mountain Top View

For the BD Outdoors crew, the trip to Isla Secas begins with a few nonstop flights from both coasts to Panama City. Moments after arrival, a resort representative had us sitting comfortably in a lounge, beer in hands, while they expedited the customs and baggage clearance.

49Brant Panama City View

Typically on a trip to Islas Secas, you spend a night in Panama City, and then catch another flight to David in the morning. We decided to spend a whole day checking out the city before continuing to the resort.

48Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo was rebuilt after the pirate Henry Morgan destroyed the area in the late 1600s. Its geographic location made Panamá Viejo an important stopover where lots of gold and silver passed through.

47Panama City Tides

Looking over the old wall of the city you notice a void of water during the dramatic tide swings of the Pacific bay. Shallow coastal water and long extending mudflats cause tidal variations of up to 700 cm compared to 70 on the Atlantic side.

46Fish Market Panama City

A good way to get an idea of what you can expect to fish for is to visit the local fish market and check the day’s catch.

45Panama City Fish Market Pargos

A pile of pargo rojo ready for market.

44Panama City Fish Market Dorodo

Plenty of dolphin, wahoo, amberjack and Pacific snook for sale.

43Panama Canal

If you have any time in Panama City, be sure to check out the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal. Because of this engineering feat, vessels can take the 48-mile shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans rather than circumnavigating South America.

42Panama City Dining

With plenty of good food in Panama City, you can feel comfortable veering away from the Bennigans and trying something a bit more local.

41Eating the Local Seafood

A seafood platter, with fried fish, octopus, lobster, calamari and muscles, topped with French fries and fried plantains.

40Flying to Isla Secas

When it came time to continue our itinerary to the Las Secas Archipelago, our resort representative was there to shuttle us through our flight to David and water taxi to the islands.

39Islas Secas Water Taxi

We boarded a comfortably large Panga with twin Suzuki four-stroke outboards and set off for the 25-mile run to the resort.

38Isla Secas Taxi Pangas

The resort owns several immaculate panga-style vessels perfectly suited for inshore excursions and guest transport situations.

37Pulling up to Islas Secas

Pulling up to the island you can see Casita Mogote, one of seven eco-friendly Pacific Yurts that make up the Islas Secas accommodations.

36Islas Secas Mai Tai Greeting

Arriving at the dock you are greeted with a Mai Tai and a friendly staff that’s ready to take your bags and show you to your casita.

35Islas Secas Solar Powered Casita

The resort features seven Pacific Yurt “casitas,” which are modern adaptations of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries. Completely solar powered, these casitas offer low-impact, green, double-occupancy accommodations.

34Inside Islas Secas Accommodations

Comfortable bed, hot shower, mini fridge, Wifi internet access, VHF radio and a killer view.

33Lunch at Islas Secas

After settling into our casitas, we met back at the terrazzo for a gourmet lunch prepared by chef Eric before going on a sunset island boat tour.

32Isla Secas Lunch Cuisine

Our first meal consisted of fresh salad, seared tuna and kiwi sorbet for desert.

31Snorkeling near Islas Secas

After lunch we loaded a panga with some snorkel gear and headed to a nearby reef to cool down and check out some of the underwater life.

30Isla Secas Island Tour

isla secas resort

Wrapping up the day and our arrival, we circumnavigated the islands while our guide Thomas showed us out several private beaches and interesting points of the archipelago.

29Islas Secas Frigate Bird Population

The islands of Isla Secas are home to one of the largest breeding populations of frigate birds in the area.

28Sunset Island Tour

Catching the sunset on our way back to the resort.

27Islas Secas Breakfast Table

Beginning each day at the terrazzo, Breakfast is ordered a’la carte with choices including pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, eggs Benedict and juevos rancheros.

26Islas Secas Food Preparation

Because the resort only hosts 14 guests at a time, the staff is able to provide tailored service. With us on the island was a family from Boston who said they choose Islas Secas over other options because of the resorts ability to accommodate a peanut allergy.

25Islas Secas Breakfast Menu

Aside from killer breakfast, the team of chefs prepare gourmet boat lunches which are a far cry from the typical sub sandwich.

24Meeting Carter at the dock

Meeting Carter Andrews at the dock to load up into the 34-foot SeaVee center console.

23Isla Secas Sea Vee Fleet

As director of fishing operations, Carter overseas a fleet of two 34-foot SeaVees, and a 55-foot custom Donzi walkaround.

22Islas Secas Fishing Operation

The hub of the Islas Secas fishing operation is the World War II landing craft that houses the mates, fuel, spare parts, and even a spare 300-hp Suzuki outboard!

21Islas Secas Fishing Boats

Carter Andrews is a well seasoned captain and guide with experience ranging from chasing marlin in the Bahamas to trout fishing in Wyoming. Carter’s fishing operations have been featured in many magazines and television shows including the Spanish Fly with Jose Wejebe.

20Live Bait Fishing Islas Secas

Carter and his crew do a lot of slow trolling live skipjack which are plentiful in the area. The dramatic pinnacles that form the fishing grounds of Hannibal Bank provide the perfect situation to drag a bridled skippy around in hopes of a large tuna or black marlin.

19Catching bait islas secas

Chasing down schools of skipjack with a butterfly jig and a spinning rod, we make a few choice baits before heading to the bank.

18Trolling Live Baits

With Hannibal Bank being perfectly situated to capture the ocean currents and create a constant upwelling, about 90 percent of the marlin are caught slow-trolling live baits.

17Trolling lures islas secas

During our time offshore we were having an issue with the porpoise terrorizing our baits. Switching to lures solved that problem and was a good way to cover a lot of ground when the live bait bite was slow.

16Shimano Tiagra Islas Secas

The entire Islas Secas fleet is outfitted with some of the best Shimano gear including Tiagras, Talicas and Stellas, all spooled with PowerPro braid.

15Islas Secas Outrigger Clip

Putting baits on the long and short rigger lines, flat lines and even down riggers helped to mix up the spread and increase our chances.

14Islas Seacas Juan watches spread

Carter’s mate Juan was on top of his game, always ready to jump on a bite or set up a rig for another situation.

13Islas Secas Dorado

Trolling around Ladrones, the rigger clip pops for a nice dorado.

12Derek Islas Secas Dolphin

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Derek follows suit with another dodo for the box. The chefs on the island will prepare our catch and serve it up back at the Terrazza.

11Large Cockpit Sea Vee

isla secas resort

We were all impressed with the ride of the SeaVee fleet. Fast and comfortable to fish several people.

10Switching to inshore Islas Secas

With the bite offshore slower than usual, the numerous inshore options became very attractive. We decided to fish baits on rock piles and throw poppers along some of the inshore rock formations.

9Throwing Poppers

Leaving no stone unturned, we threw poppers and swim baits into the turbulent shoreline waters in hopes of cubera, roosterfish, mullet snapper and bluefin trevally.

8Ali panama rooster fish

One of the prized inshore game fish of the Pacific, the roostserfish will readily pile on a popper and provide a good flight on spinning tackle.

7Islas Secas Bluefin Trevally

Another member of the jack family, bluefin trevally school up all along the coast.

6Dramatic Panama Coast

The view never gets old when you’re inshore. Surging water reveals rocks just bellow the surface and many choices for your next cast.

5Derek Islas Secas Roosterfish

A brief moment to admire the ribbons of this rooster before we release it to fight another day.

4Giligans Island

It’s a mix between Jurassic Park, the set of Lost, and Gilligans Island in every direction. You hop from one lush tropical island to the next thinking any one of these will do.

3Islas Secas Mullet Snapper

isla secas resort

Chumming rock piles for mullet snapper. This was another species for Derek to mark off his list.

2Rotating Fishermen

isla secas resort

To give the arms a rest, Carter would cycle out anglers as we tagged miles of shoreline.

1Derek Culbera Snapper

isla secas resort

Derek was dying to catch a “Supper Cube” on this trip, but settled for this smaller cubera.

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Before becoming the Creative Director for BD Outdoors, Derek Redwine owned and operated the web development and design firm BoldWater for more than 16 years. Derek has an extensive fishing resume, and began his career working as a mate on various charter boats based out of central Florida. He started fishing the Bahamas at an early age with his father, and has traveled to some of the world's best fishing locations including Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nova Scotia, Alaska and the Caribbean. He's appeared in many magazines over the years and has been a guest on the television show Spanish Fly with his close friend Jose Wejebe twice. At BD Outdoors, Derek is able to combine his passion for fishing with his artistic designs. “As a graphic artist, I think my best attribute is visually explaining a place, product or experience to someone,” Derek says. Derek lives in Merritt Island, Florida, with his wife Cory and son Alden.