By Richard “Cassman” Castaneda www.casstours.com
I just returned from another great and fun fishing trip with Pesca Panama! We had 12 anglers on this trip fishing on 5 boats. We arrived in Panama City and were transferred to the hotel El Panama to spend our first night which is located in the business district of Panama City close to restaurants, casinos and shopping malls. Early the following morning we were transferred to the in city airport Albrook for our 45 minute flight to the city of David located just below the Costa Rica border, on arrival we were transferred to the mothership located in the marina at Pedregal just 10 minutes away. After getting our rooms we boarded our 27’ Ocean Master center console boats each powered by twin Suzuki 140hp motors for our first day of fishing, no need to bring fishing equipment if you desire as all the boats are equipped with the tackle you’ll need for the variety of fish you’ll encounter each day.
This first day of fishing produced Roosterfish to 50lbs, Jack Cravelle, a variety of Pargo including the Cubera Snapper, not a bad 1/2 day of fishing and a good tune up for the following 4 days of fishing the off shore areas of Coibal Island, Hannibal Bank, Montosa Island and Jicarron Island. I might add that during the second day of fishing the mother ship motors to Coiba Island where it will spend the next 4 nights, by doing this you only have a short 20 to 45 minute run each day to the above fishing areas.
The following 4 days fishing produced Yellow Fin Tuna to over 200#’s with the best tuna action at the Hannibal Bank where the boats were metering a tons of tuna 30’ to 60’ deep, our Captains said that they were feeding on red crabs which by the way we would see floating by our boat. As they did the previous week the crew began chunking sardines enticing the tuna to bite resulting in two or three tuna per boat per day ranging in size from 80# to over 200# with an estimated 250# lost at the boat. The Chicago Irish Mob team consisting of Michael Hanratty, son Connor Hanratty and friend John Brunning were the hot boat each day coming in with 2 to 3 huge tuna and each evening saying “no mas” only to return the next day to experience more pain and agony of pulling on these big fish, my hat is of to you amigos.
Not everyone was interested in fishing for big fish but instead wanted to experience all the different varieties of fish the area has to offer. We had some great catches of Amberjack to 45#’s, grouper to 100lbs, Cubera Snapper, Roosterfish, Wahoo, Dorado, African Pompano, Sierra’s, Rainbow Runner and Jack Cravelle. While fishing the Hannibal we had a special treat with a small Whale Shark swimming around our boats, though this was not an adult it was still as long as our boats.
Over all a great trip with lots of laughs and fishing stories at the Tiki Bar each evening, the food and service was great as usual. We finished up the trip with a group steak dinner at Martin Fierro’s Argentine Steak House on Friday night in Panama City. The guys on this trip were Dr. Gary Furness of Santa Rosa Ca, Michael and Connor Hanratty Chicago, John Bunning of Miami, Jim Welch of Torio Panama, Larry Eng of Sand Point Idaho, Kevin Oldenburg of Spokane Wa, Guy Bonas of Newport Beach Ca, Gary Litten of San Diego Ca, Don Schenk of Costa Mesa Ca and Jim Tobin of Santa Barbara, thanks again for joining be on this trip.