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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

July 4 – Bermuda

July 12th, 2010 – 8:48 pm
Tagged as: Bermuda
Tournament season is here with a vengeance.  MAKO finished up fourth for the Bermuda Billfish Blast.  We came out of the blocks quickly with two Blues on day one.  We did ok but Que Mas released five Blues for the day.  What a show!  Well done Travis and crew.
Things were slower on day two, we missed a White bite and a possible Blue.  Not a bad showing, it would have been nice to catch that White and place.  The Blender was working overtime, even if the fish were not.  Congratulations to all the winners.
The Yellowfin Tuna have returned after the current broke.  They were on the Southeast corner of Challenger for the week. The weather was a little breezy for the tournament – nothing terrible but it wasn't flat out there.
– Capt. Allen DeSilva

Tournament season is here with a vengeance.  MAKO finished up fourth for the Bermuda Billfish Blast.  We came out of the blocks quickly with two Blues on day one.  We did ok but Que Mas released five Blues for the day.  What a show!  Well done Travis and crew.

Things were slower on day two, we missed a White bite and a possible Blue.  Not a bad showing, it would have been nice to catch that White and place.  The Blender was working overtime, even if the fish were not.  Congratulations to all the winners.

The Yellowfin Tuna have returned after the current broke.  They were on the Southeast corner of Challenger for the week. The weather was a little breezy for the tournament – nothing terrible but it wasn't flat out there.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

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June 27 – Bermuda

July 2nd, 2010 – 8:45 am
Tagged as: Bermuda

MAKO TAKES SECOND!

The Bermuda Billfish Release Cup just finished and MAKO finished second!  Chuck McKenzie and his sons chartered MAKO for the tournament and Chuck was able to catch the first Blue of the tournament. The play by play on the fishing can be found here.  Congratulations to Team McKenzie – great job guys!

Warm water is here. Tuna and bait are here. White Marlin are here (in droves) and Blue Marlin have appeared.

After a delayed start, it seems like the season is back on track. We are getting 3-4 White Marlin shots almost every day (don’t ask the hookup ratio on the big lures we pull in Bermuda). As of June 27, MAKO has two Blues under our belt. The first of the year was caught by Jay – his first!

Jay did a great job and brought the little 250 pounder to the boat in short order. Have you noticed how much less fun the traditional swim is now that everyone has phones, blackberries, iPods, etc. in their pockets? It is essentially impossible to sneak up on anyone anymore.

The Yellowfin Tuna have been accommodating. We are catching 4 fish a day in the 50 pound range when we stop on Argus. It sure is nice to have them back in Bermuda.  The Blackfin and Yellowfin both seem more than happy to hit topwater plugs – that sure keeps things interesting.

Tournament season is in full swing, with our friends on the visiting boats pretty much all arrived.  Thoughts are on the World Cup being fished on the 4th – if you are fishing it in Bermuda, you always have a chance.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

June 20 – Bermuda

June 22nd, 2010 – 3:39 am
Tagged as: Bermuda

Phew!

Warmer water to the South of the island had brought bait, birds and life to the South side of Argus.  With this activity came a flurry of Marlin and Tuna activity for the fleet.  We all feel much better now.

We had a good week with the Tuna and caught a couple of White Marlin.  Still waiting for our first Blue, but we are getting shots so it’s just a matter of time now.

We had Mike and crew, Black & Blue members, for much of the week.  They did their usual thing…Wahoo, Dolphin, White Marlin, put out a propane fire, Yellowfin Tuna…they managed to fill up their week!

On Friday we went 1 for 4 on White Marlin, the fleet went 2 for 10 on Whites and 0 for 3 on Blue Marlin.

Sunday was a great day with 6 Yellowfin Tuna in the 50 pound range caught in the chum, followed by going 1 for 2 on White Marlin on the way home.  We also missed a Blue that was FIRED up back there in the spread.  We saw a big one that did not want to eat.  She just swam under the right short and scared all of us.  You obviously want them to bite, but even seeing one of those big girls is exciting as hell.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

June 13 – Bermuda

June 18th, 2010 – 4:50 am
Tagged as: Bermuda

bermuda

Blue!

Blue water is good if you are looking at it from the bridge while trolling. On a sea surface temperature chart it is not so handy. The good news is that the cold water is finally giving way to some at least reasonable water – we got 74 degrees yesterday for the first time all year.

You can see the signs of the warmer water even without the gauge. Bait is showing up on the south side of Argus and there is some bird activity starting. It kind of reminds me of the second week in May instead of June.

We have been out pretty steadily. We have hooked and jumped off three Blues. Haven’t caught one yet – maybe today! I think the fleet is up to 3 Blues caught for the year. I hope that with the warmer water the bite picks up steam.

We have been seeing some really small tuna as well as some Yellowfin in the 60 pound range. They seem to like to bite on the troll more than in the chum so far.

The Wahoo are slow but steady. We catch one or two most days. We got a couple in the 60 pound range this week.

I am hoping this will turn out to be a transition week and we hit summer by my next report. I guess we will all have to wait and see.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

June 6 – Bermuda

June 11th, 2010 – 5:57 am
Tagged as: Bermuda

We just finished up a few days fishing with Chris Woodward and the gang from Sport Fishing Magazine as well as Eros from Bluefin USA. We were concentrating on using top water plugs to try and scare up some fish. The water was cold and bait was scarce, but we managed to get quite a few shots of the guys with Tuna.

Have you noticed the new(ish) format for Sport Fishing?  I think it is really cool how they take a subject and really go into detail on it over a number of articles.

We had a great time fishing with everybody and I hope we can lure them back for another visit later in the year.

The link to the Sport Fishing web article is here.

Things seems to be picking up with water temp and life on the banks.  I am looking forward to this week.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

June 1 – Bermuda

May 31st, 2010 – 10:02 am
Tagged as: Bermuda
We have not quite gotten into the summer routine of fishing reports on MAKO, so we thought we would cheat and post all of May’s news at once.
The weather has generally been great and last year’s seaweed has stayed away so far.  The water temperature, however, is very cold compared to what history would have you expect.  Yesterday was the first day my machine read 70 degrees all year.  We have spend most of the month around the 65 degree mark.  Very odd – especially given the unusually hot water they are seeing around the equator.
Whether it is the water temperature or not, who knows, but the Spring Wahoo run has been odd.  There is not as much bait as you would expect and the bait that is there is congregating in unusual places for this time of year.
We have had some good days – the Teachers Rugby Football Club had their tournament a couple of weeks back and the girls handily beat the boys with a 62 pound wahoo for Kimmie and and WHOPPER 72 pounder for Sacha.  Melissa managed to beat the stuffing out of a 35 pounder and Rene caught a wahoo that weighed roughly the same as her at 50 plus.
The blender came out at that point as the girls were feeling pretty confident.  (An important note to those trying to eat a healthy diet – frozen yogurt is a terrible substitute for ice cream in blender drinks.)
The boys were the following day.  What a difference!  One bonito, lots of inside out South Africans.
Congratulations to the girls!
The fleet has, I think, one blue this year.  We missed one about a week ago and there were a couple jumped off Sunday.  A few Whites have been caught as well.
We are counting on Mr. Marlin to come on strong during June.  I will let you know how it goes.
– Capt. Allen DeSilva

We have not quite gotten into the summer routine of fishing reports on MAKO, so we thought we would cheat and post all of May’s news at once.

The weather has generally been great and last year’s seaweed has stayed away so far.  The water temperature, however, is very cold compared to what history would have you expect.  Yesterday was the first day my machine read 70 degrees all year.  We have spend most of the month around the 65 degree mark.  Very odd – especially given the unusually hot water they are seeing around the equator.

Whether it is the water temperature or not, who knows, but the Spring Wahoo run has been odd.  There is not as much bait as you would expect and the bait that is there is congregating in unusual places for this time of year.

We have had some good days – the Teachers Rugby Football Club had their tournament a couple of weeks back and the girls handily beat the boys with a 62 pound wahoo for Kimmie and and WHOPPER 72 pounder for Sacha.  Melissa managed to beat the stuffing out of a 35 pounder and Rene caught a wahoo that weighed roughly the same as her at 50 plus.

The blender came out at that point as the girls were feeling pretty confident.  (An important note to those trying to eat a healthy diet – frozen yogurt is a terrible substitute for ice cream in blender drinks.)

The boys were the following day.  What a difference!  One bonito, lots of inside out South Africans.

Congratulations to the girls!

The fleet has, I think, one blue this year.  We missed one about a week ago and there were a couple jumped off Sunday.  A few Whites have been caught as well.

We are counting on Mr. Marlin to come on strong during June.  I will let you know how it goes.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

Oct 4 – Bermuda

October 4th, 2009 – 11:48 am
Tagged as: Bermuda

As the weather moves towards Bermuda’s fall pattern, so are the fish.

In late September and early October a typical year would see a migration of “Ticker Mackerel” (that is what we call them in Bermuda, they are actually small Little Tunny or, thanks to the Florida Museum of Natural History, Euthynnus alletteratus) moving from the Harbour out to the Edge and the Banks.  Don’t ask me why they move from inshore, where they are the top of the food-chain to offshore, where they are everybody’s favorite snack, but they do.  These baits are small enough that they are bite sized for Yellowfin Tuna and especially Wahoo.  2009 seems like it will shape up to a year with a poor live bait season.  Those Ticker Mackerel are not to be found offshore – at least yet.  The only spot we have found them reliably is one small section of Bermuda’s Edge.

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The lack of Ticker Mackerel, together with a strong West tide, is making live bait fishing an unproductive use of time.  There is a bonus to all of this, however.  The lack of bait has made the Wahoo ready to bite and bite well on the troll.  Similarly, the Yellowfin Tuna that are around are ready to eat.  This has added up to a number of pretty respectable catches this week.  It seems like the Eastern Turn to the SE Corner of Challenger is holding the most fish lately.

Friday – Monday we had the Radke boys fishing with us and we produced a pile of Wahoo and a pretty good haul of Yellowfin Tuna.  I love fishing in October as the Wahoo strikes often come in doubles or triples (we had two quadruples this weekend).  Calling Wahoo fishing exciting for the guys in the cockpit is an understatement.  There is plenty of work for the Mate, the customers and the Captain.

We will try to get out a fair amount this week – weather permitting.  I hope to have more of the same to report next week.

– Capt. Allen DeSilva

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.

sep 19 211 sep 19 073

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