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Panama 9-30

October 12th, 2010 – 6:58 pm
Tagged as: Panama

What a trip!  Bruce, Capt. Allen and Jeff flew down to Panama for 2 full and 2 half days of fishing and it was going on!  We really missed Super Dave, who could not make it because of work commitments – see you in Costa Rica soon, Dave!

We ended up going 7 for 8 on Marlin, caught 4 medium tuna, a couple of sails and enough dolphin to keep us fed.

Day 1

We left Panama City around dawn after the guys had dinner and a night at a hotel the night before.  The hotel is about 20 mins from the boat so it is a really easy trip.  Panama City isn’t New York, but there is plenty to do and some pretty good food to be had.

We ran about 2 hours from the marina before we put our lines in.  We had not been fishing for a while so we were scouting as we went south.  We picked at them pretty steadily with a couple of sails and some dolphin.  The highlight came when Bruce pitched a bait to a Black Marlin that came up in the spread.  To be honest, I have kind of lost track of how big which fish was…I recall it being medium sized, say 300 – 400 pounds.  When we picked up the mooring in the bay we decided that we had had a pretty good half day.  After dinner and some drinks and the requisite story telling, we hit the rack early, looking forward to Day 2.

Day 2

Day 2 started cloudy but the wind had quit a little.  Because the reef did not produce yesterday, we ran a little bit and started trolling.  We caught dinner, then we saw birds in the distance and Capt. Mike ran over to investigate.  Among 1 million birds, 100 million Bonito and a pile of porpoises we found some Yellowfin Tuna.  There were some big ones in the school, but we caught 4 30 pounders before they melee ended.  It was just like Blue Planet….so cool!

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We picked up a Marlin on the way home – what a great way to end the day.

After quite a debate, dinner was decided and Capt. Mike made a great veal dish which complimented the Fleur de Cana perfectly.

Day 3

Amazing.  Four Marlin on Zane Grey Reef.  Live baiting with Bonitos.  It was going off.  We were getting bites every hour, if not more frequently.  What a great way to catch them…slow trolling with 50’s and these fish were not small!  We had to find the shoulder harness a couple of times – the gloves at least once.

The Dorado became dinner as we talked about what might have been the best Marlin fishing most of us had ever experienced.  Check out some of the pics.  Awesome fish.

Day 4

This was a half day, we had to get back to Panama City before dark.  Well, after yesterday there was no question where we were going – to the reef for live baiting.  By 11:30 am we had 2 releases and lost one right at the boat.  Wow, what a trip.

A very nice boat ride back to Marina with sunny skies and a look at the beautiful Las Perlas Islands and we were back at the dock with the driver waiting for us.  Thanks Mike, Chowie and Aurturo!  Cannot wait until next year!

Marlin 1

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 2

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 3

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 4

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 5

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 6

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Marlin 7

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Almost Marlin 8

From Pacific 2010-09-28

Aug 19 – Panama

August 18th, 2010 – 6:24 pm
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

Too big for heads
Whoa!

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.

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

Panama – Aug 3

August 7th, 2009 – 9:38 am
Tagged as: Panama

We finally were able to fish Panama when the water conditions were right. It is always tricky when there are weeks between trips to keep track of fishing conditions. Schedules being what they are, you have to find a gap in the work schedules and hope for the best.
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Well, we got lucky. Four of us flew down last Wednesday, took the 20 min taxi ride to the boat from the airport, hopped on the boat and ran 60 miles to San Jose Islands. We anchored up for the night there. The islands are essentially empty but provide a great way to break up the run (I think of it as South but it is really mainly East) to the fishing grounds.

We woke up early Thursday and ran another 20 miles to fish down towards Pinas Bay. The first day we went 9 for 12 on Sails and caught a few nice Dolphin. Day Two we worked the Zane Grey Reef for a while, trolling live baits for Marlin while catching Yellowfins and Amberjacks with poppers cast from the bow. Later on in the day we moved offshore for a bunch more Sails, big Dolphin and an estimated 250 pound Blue Marlin. We had a great dinner on De Mako and had a few cocktails as day turned to night and recounted all of the stories from the day.  Not a bad day at all!

Friday (Day 3) was “The One”. It made the trip! Like the previous day, we started off live baiting the reef in hopes of a big Black Marlin and we got her! Captain Mike Springer, who has caught his share of big fish, estimated her to be 700 pounds. On a 50 pound outfit. Stand up! I fought her for close to three hours and we got a great jumping release. I sure was glad to have a trained professional along (Kenny the dentist) to take care of all those teeth I had ground down to nothing during the fight.

smilebox_2366176We moved offshore, caught a Sail quickly and then caught an estimated 500 pound Blue to complete the De Mako’s first ever slam! I won’t go on and on about the Blue because I was not the angler.

Day Four consisted of a bunch more big Sails and Dolphin and finished with the heart breaking loss (because I was the angler) of a 200lb class Yellowfin after a three hour battle with under-matched spinning tackle (looks like I am going shopping!!).  Overall, an amazing trip!

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I am really glad Black and Blue had a great trip in Panama to make all of us anxious to return next year. De Mako is making the trip up to Los Suenos shortly so that the boat is in place to fish the Marlin run off Flamingo in September / October.   By December (hopefully November) the action should be heating up off of Los Suenos. I know we are all anxious to make it back to Costa Rica this winter.

So anxious, in fact, that the days are being booked faster than I would have expected. If you are a member and have not picked your days for this winter, I would suggest that you take a look at the calendar and start picking. If you have been waiting to join, we have a few more months before we close out the “Founding Member” category (they get first cut at scheduling days), so you might want to get in touch and become a member before that ends.

– Jason Doyle

Panama – June 1

June 6th, 2009 – 7:10 am
Tagged as: Panama

2652411We just finished a few days of fishing in Panama.  While the fishing was pretty slow, we did manage to fund enough action to keep ourselves entertained.  The trip started with a direct run east towards Zane Grey reef.  We anchored in a nearby bay just as it got dark and made a steak dinner.

In the morning we set out on our first day which is always a bit of a scouting mission as we have not been this way for a number of weeks.  The water looked much better than it had and as we trolled East towards the Columbian border (but not too close) we had a Black Marlin come up on the right teaser.  We pitched a bait to him and we were off to the races.  This fish, which was about 200 pounds, was acting more like an Atlantic Blue than a Pacific Black, digging down deep and staying there.  On the 30 pound outfits it is really hard to budge a fish when they want to do that, it is a matter of changing the angles on him and coaxing him up of his own accord.

After about 30 minutes, we got the leader but the fish was too green and jumped away from the mate.  We increased the drag at that point and put a little heat on the fish.  He did not like that much and De Mako was throwing smoke as the boat had to do quite a few maneuvers to keep the fish out of the props and out of the cockpit.

Some of the pictures came out pretty well – check out Chewie being stretched out by the fish.

We caught a sailfish later in the day and missed three others.  There were bonito everywhere!  It was actually hard to keep the baits away from them at times.  Not just on the edge, either.  They were all over.  We had a little luck with the sails, but generally it was quiet.

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We ended each day trolling live bait over the reef.  You might be interested in the display of the depthfinder – now that is BAIT!  We never got a bite live baiting but it was great to be out around 5 or 6 pm.  The bait came to the surface in big bait balls, the birds were working, it was quite a site.

We trolled back towards Panama City on our last day and spent the night anchored off Las Perlas islands.  Really pretty spot (but no fish live there).  On the way to the anchorage we were able to catch a couple of nice sized dolphin around floating drbris.  There were hundreds and hundreds of little 5 pounders swarming.  You had to get lucky to have a bigger fish get to your bait first.

All in all, a great trip.  Caught some fish in a pretty location, had a great time with great company.

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Look at all that bait!

– Capt, Mike Springer

First Panama Trip Report

May 12th, 2009 – 8:53 am
Tagged as: Panama

As promised, the first trip report from De Mako and the first from Panama!

After our trip from Florida around to the Canal, our first set of members came down to try out the fishing.  While the water quality certainly wasn’t great, we all had a great time and managed to catch a Black Marlin and five Sailfish.

After the members landed, they made the 30 minute trip to the boat using a driver that I have known for years.  Before long, De Mako was out of the slip and headed to overnight in the Las Perlas islands, about 60 miles from the Marina in Panama City.  The weather was ok, calm seas but cloudy.  We had a great dinner on the boat anchored in the lee of those beautiful islands.  We went to sleep anxious for what the day would bring.

I was concerned about the fishing as I had heard that an unusual amount of green water had pushed into the fishing grounds.  The first day of fishing we certainly found this green, green (maybe coffee would be a better description) water.  We looked for the blue water but did not find it that first day.  As we moored in Pinas Bay,  we were all hoping tomorrow would be better.  After a good night’s rest we set out in rainy conditions.

The water did seem a little better today and it wasn’t long until a Black Marlin came up on the short left teaser.  Jason was on the rod and decided to pitch the 30 because the fish did not look all that big to him.  Well, on the bite, we all changed our mind.  That Black looked like a rolling Tarpon as it took the pitch going away from the boat.  After about 30 minutes, Chowie released the fish – about 300 pounds.  Take a look at the photos the members took of the fish.  Pretty work on the rod and behind the camera, I would say.

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IMG_0156 cropper by you.

 

 

The day continued with what I would describe as pretty slow action.  We ended up catching 5 of 10 Sailfish bites.  The fish were their normal selves, putting on a show on the light 30 pound tackle.

IMG_0219 cropped by you.That night, the members had a cocktail and dinner at the Tropic Star Lodge.  They said that the food and atmosphere was great.  It sure is a beautiful place.  Quiet and still, with jungle all around.

The next day we steamed back to Panama City to catch the return flight.  All in all, a great start despite difficult condiitons.

We are going again soon, so stay tuned and book your flights down!

– Capt. Mike Springer

First Costa Rica Fishing Report

April 12th, 2009 – 10:07 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

We ran the first trip as Black and Blue Fishing Club this last week.  We fished out of Los Suenos in Costa Rica.

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We faced oddly challenging conditions for this time of the year due to green water (think of the Chicago River on St. 

Patrick’s Day – it was that bad).  We worked at it pretty hard and I am happy to report that…We put the BLACK in Black and Blue.  Our fish was about 300 – 350 pounds and ate the right rigger.  We fed her the bait on one of the 30 outfits and when we came tight and saw the first jump we all wished we had a 50.

I brought the boat back to the fish as quickly as I could and the fish cooperated by staying on top and putting on a show for all of us.  I would guess that we were able to release the fish after a 30 minute fight.  That light tackle sure lets these fish show off.

So, for the record Captain Allen…as of today, April 12, we have been waiting on you for four days to get the Bermuda Blue Marlin to finish off “Black and Blue”.

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As I said, the water conditions were pretty tough and we managed only one other fish – a sailfish that provided the normal aerial display. I love these fish!

This will be the last report for a while as we are taking De Mako from Florida to Panama over the next week or so.  While the trip is long, you do get to see a lot of pretty cool spots.  So, wish us luck and I will be sure to post a trip report when I am back to a computer.

I hope the first Panama Fishing Report will follow soon after.  Have a good Easter.

– Capt. Mike Springer