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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

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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

Apr 1 – Costa Rica

April 18th, 2010 – 5:24 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

We just finished a week long family trip to Costa Rica.  Despite concerns about keeping non-anglers and new anglers entertained, the trip was a huge success.

From Pacific 2010-04-01
From Pacific 2010-04-01

Never has the drink box on De Mako contained so much apple juice at the expense of beer!  Chowie started referring to the juice as ceveza para los ninos!

From Pacific 2010-04-01
From Pacific 2010-04-01

Captain Mike and his wife Daphne really pulled together a great trip for us.  We fished four and a half days.  We saw one (!) dorado.  All the rest were Sailfish…and, were there ever a lot of them.  We are pretty poor at keeping score but we had at least 125 behind the boat and at least 100 bites.  We decided to have the mates stand down and do our own hook setting and our hookup ratio showed it!  Given the less experienced anglers (and the crappy performance of the experienced ones) it was to be expected, but it was certainly entertaining and great fun!  Scott got his groove back on the last day going six for eight – pretty good ratio for a guy who has been stuck in Manhattan over the past ten years.

The kids did really well too.  The senior member, at 9, caught three, the 7 year old caught 5, the other seven year old caught a sail and the four year old “caught” a ballyhoo to the cheers of the cockpit audience.

Granny Radke was pretty sharp, teaching the boys how it was done.  Grandpa Radke managed to do some damage to the Sails and the rum supply.  One of his fish produced three amazing pics – shown below.  Pic 1 the fish is hooked and all is well.  Pic 2 the hook comes out and you see the mono starting to spring back.  Pic 3 looks like one of the kids was scribbling on the picture – the mono is a squiggle and the Sail a distant memory.

Non fishing activities included a trip to Tortuga Island on the De Mako.  The island has a great beach with no waves or surge.  The kids predictably loved the sand, banana boats, jet skis, kayaks, etc.  The adults found a shady spot and with the help of the cooler Chowie packed, spent the afternoon sipping beer in the shade.  A special thank you to Arturo who was kind enough to oversee the banana boating operation.  Doesn’t he look fetching in his helmet?  No wonder the female staff of Los Suenos are fighting in the street over him.

From Pacific 2010-04-01

We also spent a day at Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos.  It is a bit of a ride, but well worth it.  The park and its animals are really cool to see.

Feb 12 – Costa Rica

February 25th, 2010 – 11:14 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Good three days of fishing.  Strange weather on day 2, 30 knot winds and 8 to 10 foot seas.  Not unlike a brisk day in Bermuda, but totally freaky for CR.  If we had been signed up for the tournament, we would have had second place overall and in the daily Calcutta. Clearly we were having fishing as good as it could be. Got a nice 225# marlin on 30#  and one BIG sail that they said went 150 – 180#.  I think we had 13 sails overall and held a respectable hook up ratio.  Three of four nice Dorados, too.  Oh yeah, we also  caught a turtle and a bird, both safely released.

– Bruce Dilke

Jan 28 – Costa Rica

February 25th, 2010 – 10:37 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

This is why you should not wait to do a fishing report. Hmmmmm, what did happen? Well, we made a boys’ trip down to Costa Rica to see Capt. Mike, Chowie and Arturo. Capt. Allen decided to come fishing for a vacation, Super Dave and Fletch (Bermuda’s favorite bartender) and I had a great time.

The sails were not super thick but how can you complain about double digits every day? The weather was beautiful and we had a great time. The most notable catch was Super Dave’s Blue Marlin. This fish obviously did not know about the “Pacific fish stay on top and jump around”. Poor Dave had to reel in 71/72 nds of a spool of line to get that fish in, but he did it. Great job Dave!

The next best show was put on by yours truly, emptying (virtually single handedly) the drink box on De Mako. This is why it is not a good idea to start the day with a rum. Ah well, live and learn. (I would like to point out that while walking was hard, I did go 2 for 2 on sails.)

I promise to do better on the report when I return at the end of March.

– Jeff Radke

Jan 6 – Costa Rica

January 7th, 2010 – 1:41 pm
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Well, that sure was a successful trip.  We ended up catching 5 marlin, 42 (ish) sails and innumerable dolphin for the 6 days of fishing.  Not bad at all!

The weather was predictably great with flat seas and sunny hot days which moderated at night.  Except for the last day, that is.  It blew in the morning!  We all thought we were in the Atlantic.  By the end of the morning, things had settled back down and we started seeing fish, especially after we ran a little to get a change of scenery.  It turned out to be a great call.

One interesting note – Chowie and his understudy, Arturo, managed to both hook the same fish twice in a day!  The first time is was a Dolphin that was apparently starving and the second was a Sail that decided he couldn’t eat just one.  Both circle hooks were right next to each other in the Sail’s jaw.  It was a pretty easy release.

Hope you like the pictures, more reports coming soon as De Mako is fishing pretty steadily for the next couple months.

Jan 5 – Chowie’s Ceviche

January 6th, 2010 – 7:01 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

This is Chowie’s Ceviche recipe. He makes it on the boat on the way out and then it is ready for lunch. Yum!

Ingredients:
• one ziplock of fillet (usually Dolphin)
• One green pepper
• One medium onion
• One bunch of cilantro
• One can Ginger Ale
• Six limes

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Preparation:
• Mix water and a lot of salt in a bowl
• Cut the fillets into 1/4 inch cubes
• Put the fish into the salt water
• Stir fish, allow to stay in salt water for about 5 minutes
• Drain the fish and rinse with fresh water
• Squeeze the limes into a bowl.
• Put fish (only) in lime juice, stir and
• Allow to sit while you chop vegetables
• Chop onion, pepper and cilantro very finely
• Add chopped veggies to fish and lime juice
• Add about 1/2 can of Ginger Ale. Stir.
• Add two splashes of the Luzano Salsa
• Add Tabasco if you like it hot

Put the bowl in the Freezer for 30 minutes and then refrigerator for another hour and serve.

Dec 17 – Costa Rica

December 17th, 2009 – 3:29 pm
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Here is a fishing report that I cannot wait to write!  Over four days ending December 17, Black & Blue member Mike Rehberg had a bunch of guys down for a little fishing.

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Everything was proceeding as normal until they heard Captain Mike call out, “Killer Whale, right teaser!”.  What???  Check it out.  A Killer Whale came up and bit (and missed) the teaser.  Chowie said it was a sissy bite too.  Well, when that Whale jumped right afterwards everybody headed away from the transom and back towards the salon.

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The other great story is that one of the guys on the trip (another Mike) caught, from his wheelchair, a Sail and a Striped Marlin.  That is a pretty cool story to go with those great shots.  Way to go Mike!

December 10 – Costa Rica

December 10th, 2009 – 4:30 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Things are off to a great start this season in Costa Rica.  De Mako and Captain Mike have been out a fair amount over the past few weeks and Black and Blue members have had great luck.

While Marling numbers aren’t huge, Capt. Mike is finding them here and there.

Yellowfin Tuna in the 40 to 60 pound range are being caught pretty frequently and on the light tackle used, they put up a great fight.

Sailfish are all over the place.  A couple of days we have seen bites in the thirties and releases in the twenties.  Now that is fishing!

As we head into the holidays, we are out pretty much every day so we should have plenty of stories and pictures to share.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Best wishes for a spectacular 2010.

– Jason Doyle and Jeff Radke

Costa Rica – Sep 20

September 23rd, 2009 – 5:19 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

We just finished a six day trip to Costa Rica and were able to put together a great trip even though September is not known as the best of months in Costa Rica. What September often does see is a run of Marlin offshore from the town of Flamingo, about 150 miles NW of Los Suenos. This marlin run was our objective for the week. While things did not work out as planned, the trip really highlighted the benefits of Black & Blue over traditional chartering.

sep 19 180We began moving De Mako NW on Friday, fishing most of the way. We were able to catch seven sailfish out of about ten bites on the way. We made it into Flamingo Bay around nightfall the first night. The next day we fished off of Flamingo in the morning with no luck. No bites, no bait, no birds. It was a pretty ominous beginning. We ran into Flamingo Bay at lunch to pick up the rest of the members for the trip and headed back out for the afternoon. While the weather was great, the afternoon was more of the same – no signs of life at all. It was so bad that we all made a pretty quick decision when we got back to Flamingo Bay that night. With the water so empty off of Flamingo we decided to head SE in the morning and keep going until we saw signs of life. All of the anglers checked out of their hotel rooms and took a Pango out to De Mako at 6 am and we set out to the SE in the same green water. We ran quite a few miles in this unpromising water and then set out the baits as the water started to turn bluer. The fish we had caught on the way up were about half way, off the coast from the town of Correa and, sure enough, that is where we found them again. We caught three or four sails and and a 24 pound dolphin. By the end of the fishing day, we decided to run to Los Suenos and the condo to spend the night.

The next four days we fished out of Los Suenos. We continued to fish SE of the Elbow. We had a couple of double digit Sailfish days and ended up with about 32 Sailfish for the trip. The rain held off for us duing the day and we were able to fish in nice weather with the swell being significant on only one day. In addition to the Sailfish and assorted Dolphin, September is typically a good month for Yellowfin Tuna. We found this to be the case as we followed flocks of diving birds to find big schools of Tuna sep 19 199working in front of equally large schools of Spinner Dolphins. The Tuna would boil to the surface, eating small bait that looked like Krill and then go back down. There were several fish we saw that looked to be better than 100 pounds in the melee. We caught our share of Tuna out of these schools but we did not catch any of the big ones. I guess the big ones get big because they know what a bait or lure looks like! Even better than catching the Tuna was watching the show. Tuna jumping, Spinner dolphin chasing, birds diving….what a site.

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October is maintenance month for us, De Mako is getting hauled and we have the usual bits and bobs to get done before the Costa Rica season begins in earnest. November through March is generally the best fishing and we are really looking forward to this year.
We will be back with an update when we get back to fishing.

– Capt. Mike Springer

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