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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

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

Feb 2 – Costa Rica

February 25th, 2010 – 10:54 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Costa 186Last week I had the opportunity to fish four days of a wonderful six day vacation with Black and Blue Fishing, in their Los Suenos location. Invited by club member Rich Allen and club owner Jason Doyle. I flew into San Jose with Capt Sean O’Neil, Yacht broker J.T. Welker and Jamie Naven.
Our all star fishing team was picked up at the airport by ‘Carlos’, Black and Blue’s competent and friendly Tico driver. He had ice cold drinks and AC awaiting us in the van and made the beautiful hour and half drive over the mountains to Jaco both comfortable and exciting. “Ask to stop and view Costa’s enormous Crocodiles along the way”. This was my first time fishing with the Black and Blue clubs Los Suenos operation. The entire week was made so pleasurable by this first class, smoothly run operation.
Costa 162Our first day of fishing we met up with Capt Mike Springer, his Mate’s Chowie and Arturo at 7 Am. The weather was beautiful and the hour ride to the fishing grounds was so comfortable aboard the 57 Sonny Briggs that I actually slept on the way out! The day was a great introduction to the Pacific Sailfish and Marlin with our crew going 11 for 21 on the huge pacific sails. Capt Sean managed to catch an acrobatic Striped Marlin after a frantic teaser bite! Unfortunately we missed a Blue Marlin on a aggressive teaser bite. Capt Mike and his crew were superb ship mates and the fishing, breakfast and lunch were truly excellent on the DeMako.
After fishing a “cool down” Imperial beer was ready in the cockpit drink box and up at Los Suenos Marinas Hook Up bar. Then back to the ice cold air conditioning at the Black and Blues well equipped condo. Staying inside the Los Suenos compound was safe and luxurious. The condo’s covered veranda overlooks the golf course and part of the harbor and is surrounded by Costa Rica’s picturesque mountains.
Day two fishing was once again accented by calm seas and highlighted by a couple of sailfish double headers. Our team tightened up after our practice on day one and combined for 16 for 19 sails and some more big mahi! It was a great day of fishing and the beer again was ice cold at the Hookup! After showering up at the condo, we took the short cab ride into Jaco for dinner, each night a different venue and never a bad meal!
Day three started with Capt. Mikes egg & sausage burritos and after the ride to the fishing grounds the sail bites started quickly. We caught a few doubles and missed a few other opportunities. The fishing was pretty constant and when the diesel smoke cleared we were 14 for 28 on the sails. Another great day with lots of sail bites. Although a few too many misses on our part. Mike and his crew as always did their part and out fished the fleet considerably!
Day four Capt. Sean and I wanted to experience Costa on Land. While the others were busy catching 11 for 18 Sails and missing 2 shots a Marlin. Ole Cappy and I were Zip –Lining thru the forest canopy in the mountains with Los Suenos canopy tours. Local gringo friends recommended this particular outfitter as being one of the better Zip tours in Costa Rica, and it was also the closest. It was a blast whipping thru the treetops in a harness connected to a stainless. A couple of friendly guides accompany you along the hour and a half tour ensuring your safety. The steep tractor ride to the upper starting point added to the experience. The humid sweet greenery of the mountain was defiantly a diversion worth trying.
The next morning we were all tired enough to leave Los Suenos but no one really wanted too! While we waited for Carlos to pick us up we all lingered around the condo area. A last view from the porch, a quick dip in the beautiful pool, a laugh from the past week, it was a trip to be remembered, and made extremely memorable by all those involved with the Black and Blue fishing club. The people and the amenities made it a wonderful experience.

Sincerely,

Capt. Chris Dudzek

Costa 133

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.

December 31 – Costa Rica

January 3rd, 2010 – 6:27 am
Tagged as: Costa Rica

Ending the Year on 97

We set out from the Los Suenos Marina on another beautiful Costa Rican day.  The last day of the year, and Capt. Mike jokingly said that we had to catch six marlin to get he and Chowie to 100 for the year.

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Well, we didn’t quite make it but we sure gave it a try.

For most of this season there have been so many Dolphin around that it was hard to fish for anything else.  We had a similar experience shortly after we put our lines in.  After catching enough for Chowie’s mom’s New Years party that night, we just dragged teasers for a while and watched scores of 20 pound Dolphin try to rip the teasers off the boat.

DSC_9920We managed to leave the pack of Dolphin in our wake (finally) and made it into some really pretty blue water and started looking for those marlin.

The sailfish showed up first and we managed to catch 4 of them by the end of the day.  With only one angler, things were busy in the cockpit.

Finally we saw that BIG splash we were hoping for.  We got the hook set and we were in business with a Blue Marlin around 200 pounds.  Perfect for the 30 pound gear.  The fish put on a show, tail walking and coming 10 feet out of the water.

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After the release, we didn’t have to wait long and another marlin hit.  The jumps were far out and into the Sun we we had to wait to get it to the boat before being sure it was a Striped Marlin.  We were all pretty excited now.  Mike and Chowie needed four Marlin to hit the 100 mark for the year and we had just caught two in 50 minutes.

Well, the reason you are reading this here and not watching the made for TV movie on ESPN 87 is because we did not make it.  We caught one more Striped Marlin but that was it.

What a great way to end the year.  One Blue Marlin, two Striped Marlin, four Sailfish and enough Dorado to keep Chowie’s mom happy.

Hope you had a great one too!

– Jeff Radke

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