Rainy Season Black Marlin, Roosterfish, and More!
We fished only three days in the past couple months here out of Propiedad de Paradise Lodge. We have been keeping busy working on expanding the lodge and maintenance on the boats as it is the height of the rainy season and technically the “off-season” here in Panama right now. Dealing with the rain and wind is part of fishing this time of year but we got pretty lucky with some decent days and the fishing was pretty good!
The last week in October we had a day charter out of Boca Chica with Robyn, Scott, and Liam. These guys wanted to stay inshore so Scott could check a Roosterfish off of his “bucket list”…so no pressure to get one!!! Although they are caught year-round…the rainy season is generally the best time of year for Roosters. We had great luck catching Blue Runners in the early morning and easily filled the livewell with 30 nice baits. We focused our efforts right around Isla Paridas as there was a quantity of bait around, and the seas were a bit bouncy, so sticking close was a good idea. We slow trolled bridled baits around the rocky points and shorelines and casted our poppers every now and then to see what we could raise. We had quite a bit of action with some big Jack Crevalles, Horse-eye Jacks, Spanish Mackerels, and Needlefish. Finally later in the day Scott got his shot at the Rooster we were looking for. We had both baits get eaten at the same time by a pair of Roosters! One immediately spit the hook but luckily the other fish was hooked well. Scott did a great job handling the Rooster with the super smooth Shimano Talica 10ii and Terez rod spooled with 65# Momoi braided line. Check that one off the list Scott!
Josecely, Franky, Egas, Doc, Juaquin, and Antonio our new friends from Brazil chartered both boats for the week from our private island lodge…so we had Capt. Bartolo fishing the “Scandalous” and myself captaining the “TOP Cat.” Blue Runners were plentiful right around the island and in front of the lodge here on Isla Paridas. Each morning we had no problem filling the livewells with 20 or 30 baits in eah boat. The guys were looking to find the tunas but they were hard to find. We did find some small Yellowfin Tunas out at Hannibal Bank, one day out of five fishing there, and had a good run one morning where we caught a bunch of small 10# to 15#s on poppers and little jigs. Good fun! Other than that morning….the YFTs were no where to be found. There was a great mark of bait and life on the high spots at Hannibal Bank pretty much each day. The best action we had was drifting our live baits over the high spots. We caught some nice big Cubera Snappers, Almaco Jacks, Rock Snappers, a bunch of Mullet Snappers, and some big Rainbow Runners mixed in at Hannibal Bank. Frankie jumped a small Marlin at Hannibal the second morning that ate a drifting Blue Runner. It scared the shit out of us as it came about 2 feet from jumping in the boat before it spit the hook!
Gary, Bob, and Lee fished with me out of Boca Chica on the “TOP Cat” November 12th and 13th. Day one was slow. We had a hard time catching Blue Runners for bait around Isla Paridas….as is normal when the moon is waning after being full on the 8th. The seas were not bad…2 to 4 feet…cloudy, wind blowing 10 knots, and a few scattered rain storms. We ran strait to Isla Montuosa on Tuesday and found green water, no activity, and dead. We dragged the plastics around for a while and nothing so we headed to Hannibal Bank. We found the same dirty water but did find some Bonitos busting and caught a few to put in the tubes. As we were attempting to catch bait Gary was reeling in the Bonito rig and had a Marlin come up and try to eat one of the hooked baits. After that we dragged live Bonitos around for a while with no luck. The plastics produced a couple of nice eating size Dorados and we got dinner for our efforts.
Day two was better. We caught a few Blue Runners on the way out and headed strait to Hannibal Bank. A little bouncy ride on the way out with seas 3 to 5 feet….but not too bad on the “TOP Cat” We had a bit of rain in the morning and the seas laid down slightly as the day progressed. We had a little difficulty getting the Bonitos at first but managed to get a couple and start fishing. Had some action with big Dorados attacking our Bonitos but no hookups. A little later a Marlin came up and sniffed our baits lit up in the spread, swatted one of the baits, and then disappeared. As the day went on the concentration of bait increased and we saw some more action. Finally we get a hookup as two Marlin come up to check out our baits again and one inhales the live bridled Bonito on Gary’s rod. He does a great job setting the hook and reeling down hard on the fish as it’s jumping and trashing wildly back behind the boat. Thank God we hooked the fish on the Shimano Tiagra 8/0 spooled with Momoi 100# monofilament! Gary got him to the boat in less than 20 minutes with a little help of backing down. Johnny my mate wires him easily to the boat, we put the tag in him, remove the hook, take a couple of pics, revive for a few minutes, and set him free. We got lucky it all worked out good with the fish looking real healthy on the release. We ended up missing a couple Dorados and catching a couple later in the day. We headed back to Boca Chica and luckily the sea laid down pretty smooth with clear and sunny skies!
Thanks for the business guys and hope to see you back again soon!