The Panama Fishing Report - Yellowfin Tunas are back! - February 9-13, 2013
Propiedad de Paradise Lodge welcomed Jim Foreit from Washington D.C. to the island for a few days of bluewater hunting here in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama! Jim was celebrating his 70th birthday and specifically wanted to the chance to catch a Roosterfish. The receding tide in the early mornings meant that our best chance to get a Rooster was in the afternoon with the rising tide. We decided that heading offshore to chase Tunas in the morning and hit the Rooster spots in the afternoon would be our gameplan.
The water temps offshore have been varying from day to day. One day cool water is up in and around Isla Montuosa and the next it's out off well southeast of Hannibal Bank toward Isla Jicaron. The movement of the Tunas and Marlin are most definitely more active with the cooler water. We found hot water with alot of Bonitos, Dorados, Jack Crevalles, and Sailfish around Hannibal and Isla Montuosa areas most days. We searched further south we found bird activity and eventually got into the Porpoises that were with the Tunas in cooler water. One day we found, due south of Isla Montuosa, the Porpoises working a small school of Sardines. They were working together, in textbook fashion, moving quickly and herding or "Bufalo" as we say down here...... to group the bait together and feed. We ran the boat fast in front of the moving school a number of times to stop and drop our baits in front of the moving Porpoises in hope of puting the bait right in front of the following Tunas. We got lucky on a couple of occasions and were able to put the gaff in some nice YFTs!
The afternoon attempts at the Roosterfish weren't very successful. We dragged liveys all around with no luck. Except on the last day we got a flurry of three fish back to back to back in the same area. We got two Roosters that shook the hook as soon as Johnny my mate grabbed the leader next to the boat. And another big one that Jim fought of a while jumped and threw the hook!
We fished a day charter with Paul and Patti from Boston, Mass. out of Boca Chica on the last day and slayed em! We caught and released some nice Amberjacks.....one monster. and eventually found the Tunas at the end of the day. Special thanks to the captain of the Aguja from Cebaco Bay who was kind enough to let me know that he was tight on a fish and into some Porpoises with Tunas a few miles south of Hannibal Bank. Paul whipped a nice YFT on light tackle setup to end the day! Thanks Cappy!