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Aug 19 – Panama

Tagged as: Panama

I know, I know.  We have been crap at fishing reports this summer.  Well, that goodness for Todd, our newest member and maybe the luckiest guy in the world.  I have had a chance to meet the boys in the family and they are all top notch folks – makes me hate them just a wee bit less than jealousy would otherwise dictate.

Read the story below.  Outstanding stuff.  Congrats to all of you.

– Radke

WOW!!!  You said this would be a trip of a lifetime and it was that and more.  I have never been fishing where the variety and size of the fish were so numerous.  The images of this trip are still burnt into my mind and probably will never go away.  The trip began at the airport where Mike met us to head over to the boat.  We slept on the boat that night and headed out early the next morning.  The first day was intense with anticipation and looking into the horizon searching for that chaos in the water and birds crashing into the water.  Mid day thru Day #1 we saw a glimpse into what we thought was breaking water.  Mike

headed into the direction of the white capping water to see a large net full of birds and bait fish and crashing Tuna!  We first trolled thru to see what we could pull up but the bait and Tuna were moving fast.  Mike then shot over to cut them off and I threw a cedar plug on a 30 into the storm and started ripping it in the water.  Then it felt like I hit a brick wall and line started screaming of the reel, FISH ON!!!  After an hour of back breaking stand-off the colors shown thru the deep blue Pacific.  It was the largest Tuna I had ever seen live, and it was still 50 feet under water.  Finally, the gaff was speared into this beast of a Tuna and hauled into the boat.  As I fell in the floor of the boat with the fish in exhaustion, it quickly turned into absolute amazement.  This Yellowfin Tuna estimated at just over 200 lbs gave me a fight of a lifetime that I will never forget………..but it was just getting started.

The day ended with just the one Tuna only fishing about 3/4 day after traveling that morning.  The stories were relived and images flashed into everyones mind on the boat.  We anchored up in the bay of Pinas Bay that night.  Dinner was a given; Tuna steaks, sushi and anything else we could make with the fresh gift from the sea.  Drinks were mixing, stories being told and we were even watching the Braves game on TV.  Where on earth can you eat fresh 200+ lb  Yellowfin Tuna, that was just caught, hang out on the back of a boat enjoying the time, and watching baseball in Georgia 30 miles from Columbian border in the middle of the Pacific Ocean….DeMako is where its at.

Day 2 begun with a quick B-fast and the wonderment of what the day will bring.  Anticipation was high and rightfully so.  It didn’t take long before the lines started popping.  Unfortunately, we were a little slow on the reels and still working the rust off teasing and pitching to the fish.  We should have had 4 fish released in the first couple hours but not to worry, we were getting it together and just getting started.  Finally, a BIG flash on a teaser and running thru the cockpit grabbing lines and pitching baits.  Our first fish finally hooked….and it was a nice one.  Ryan, my brother, set into an estimated 500+ lb Blue within the first 2 hours of fishing.  The problem was, he had hooked this fish on one of the 30’s.  Oh well, hold on and enjoy the battle.  Mike did an awesome job maneuvering the boat so Ryan could fight the fish and release his FIRST BLUE MARLIN!  Well this is where the trip gets even better.  Before we had all the lines back into the water, in a minute or 2, a nice sail comes up into the spread and was hooked by my father, Chuck.  Dad did a great job of getting the sail to the boat fast so we could continue our adventure.  After a span of about an hour and 3 Sailfish later, another Yellowfin sounds off some line and was landed by John a few minutes later.  All of this action took place in about 2 hours, so total for 1/2 day, 4 for 8 Sails, 1 for 1 on Blues and 1 for 1 on Yellowfin.  As we looked back into the horizon we see that breaking water that gets everyone so excited.  Mike decided to break out the spinning tackle and tie on one of the Yo-Zuri top water plugs.  Initially, I was thinking Mike had no idea what he was doing.  Afterall, didn’t he remember the size of the Yellowfin we caught yesterday?  Now he wants me to try fighting this on spinning tackle?  I shot up to the bow of the boat to cast into the bait.  I wished I could have seen my face when 4 200-250+lb Yellowfin Tuna start fighting for that Yo-Zuri plug on top of the water.  They looked like Volkswagons flying out of the water crashing this Yo-Zuri plug on top of the water.  Finally, I was hooked up again on the biggest Yellowfin I have seen live in as many days.  An hour or so into this fight on some great spinning tackle, and an even better lure, another fish of a lifetime was landed.  I think I am going to buy some of those Yo-Zuri plugs just to lay around the house or hang around my rear view mirror to remind me daily of a fight that I will never forget.  The Yellowfin est. around 215-220 lbs.  Man it couldn’t get any better than this.  As Day #2 was coming to a close, what do you know but another white water crash on the horizon.  This time of was hoping for someone to experience what I had to endure fighting those Yellowfin.
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Dinner for 72
Dinner for 72

My brother moved to the bow and started casting into the bait.  Funny thing is he actually made a bad cast and I jumped on him to reel it in and cast again.  We were trying to stay in front of them and we didn’t have long since they were moving so fast.  Man was I wrong!  I know I keep saying this but its true, another Yellowfin Tuna, the biggest I had ever seen flies out of the water to crash that AWESOME Yo-Zuri.  We moved to the stern to fight the fish and within 10 mins or less the fish was out the boat.  How was this possible?  This fish is bigger than the one I fought for over an hour.  Am I just that weak?  Man, it was beginning to be a major ego bust.  My younger brother fought a Yellowfin larger than mine in 10 mins.  Well, actually when the fish was in gaff range we noticed the fish was tail wrapped.  Well, at least there was an excuse.  However, it didn’t stop there.  We tried to gaff the fish and pull him over the edge but the gaff slipped off the fish and he was off to the races to the bottom.  Sounding like he was fighting for his life, which he was.  My manhood was still in tact.  So 2 hours later the fish was in the boat.  This beast of a Yellowfin had a hole in him 2 hours ago but it didn’t stop him.  The Yellowfin est at 250 lbs was laying on the deck and I was just glad someone else got to experience that awesome thrill of seeing a 200+ lb Yellowfin pull and fight for hours like I had to experience.  Day #2 concluded, total 4 Sailfish, 1 Blue Marlin 500+ lbs, 4 Yellowfin Tuna (2 over 225+ lbs).

Todd, pick it up
Todd, pick it up

Day 3 started about the same way but today was travel day back to Panama.  The trip was just about over.  You could tell by the mood and silence of everyone that no one wanted to leave.  Action started fast as a HUGE flash came under one of the teasers but no hook ups.  It gets your heart started when you see ones of those beautiful beast flash her colors under the water.  Probably a big Blue or even a Black but no luck with that fish.  Then as we pass a floating tree, lines start popping out of the riggers, Mahi-Mahi!  Ryan and John fought 2 nice Dorado (1 est 45+ lbs the other 35+ lbs) and put them in the boat.

Thats the way the day ended.  We continued the search and pulled baits for another couple hours but that was it.  What more could we ask for?  We had a trip of a lifetime…..4 Sails, 1 Blue Marlin (500+ lbs), 5 Yellowfin Tuna (3 over 200 lbs), 2 Dorado.

If you are waiting to go to Panama.  Don’t wait, the only thing you are going to miss is memories!

–  Todd McKenzie

el hombre del traje azul
El Hombre del Traje Azul

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  1. 1

    After reading this and seeing the unbelievable pictures, I just have one question……can I PLEASE go with you next time?

    Mom

    Comment made by DeDe Smith on September 7, 2010 @ 7:55 pm


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