Joined: 06 Mar 2011
|Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:54 am Post subject: Tuna, Marlin, and more! Propiedad de Paradise Lodge, Panama!
|Week of February 21st, 2011
Calm seas are the norm, for this time of year, here in the Gulf of Chiriqui. And for the runs last week out to the famed Hannibal Bank and nearby Isla Montuosa it was no different. Only 40 miles from the lodge on Isla Paridas the ride out in the 33' World Cat Catamran "TOP Cat" is a breeze.
The Yellowfin Tuna were moving between Isla Montuosa and Hannibal Bank usually showing up late in the afternoon after the tide change. When the radar was marking large schools of birds we knew we'd find large groups of porpoises with the tunas not far behind. Frigate birds diving, dolphins hound-dogging, and Yellowfin Tunas crashing schools of sardines and bonitos as we ran ahead of the action to strategically place our bridled blue runners and bonitos in front of the oncoming onslaught. Sometimes the reward of a bait being picked up by a hungry tuna and sometimes not. The largest we managed to boat weighed in at a mere 120lbs. I know that we lost a couple of tuna 200lb./plus due to split hooks and on one occasion the stressed line touched the boat and broke. We only keep one tuna per day to eat and release the rest. A double header one day at Montuosa was cool and managed to get a good video of the action.
Late afternoon on the 24th the northwest side of Montuosa the current was really ripping and bird and bait was moving everywhere. After slow trolling the live baits (little tunnys and bonitos) for a couple of hours with only seeing a couple of sails up in the spread we finally got some action. Three times we had Black Marlin come up into the spread lit up and excited. Two of the fish, might have been the same one, came up and smacked one of the huge bonitos we were trolling but didn't inhale the bait in their mouth. Swerving in between and all around our baits I was sure, on both occasions that they would eat but ended up with only a wounded bridled bonito. On the fourth and final encounter, as I was setting a freshly rigged bait back into the spread, the bonito swam quickly to the port side and across two other lines as it was running from the marlin that was on it's six. He grabs the bait. I open the free-spool on the 50 wide. He's eating. Five seconds to seven seconds later I jam the lever into "strike" and reel like hell. As I smoothly lift the rod tip I can feel the weight of the fish as the 18-0 circle hook slides into the corner of his mouth. He's on! I hand the rod to Mike Tomlinson of Wildwood, New Jersey and the fight begins! Approximately fifty minutes later Mikes got the wind-on in the rod tip and we notice the size of the fish. A good 10 feet long and approximately 700lbs. Mate Johnny grabs the leader and snaps the hook off the leader to set the beast free. Mike's first Black marlin.
We also had inshore luck with Roosterfish, largest was 50lbs., Dogtooth Snapper which Mike's son Hunter caught a monster that was approximately 70lbs. on a live blue runner, and caught a few Sails.
I've attached the max 4 pictures but all the pictures and videos also can be seen on our Facebook Page for Propiedad de Paradise Logde. Check it out.
Enjoy the pictures........................
Captain Shane Jarvis
Propiedad de Paradise Lodge
Isla Paridas, Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama