Monday, March 22, 2010

Pacific Panama Fishing

March 22, 2010 1:00PM CST
Position: 07°43'N 081°48'W
Enroute from Cobia Island, Panama towards David, Panama.
Nautical miles sailed year to date: 1758

Fishing in Pacific Panama is spectacular. In the Las Perlas islands we caught so many fish I stoped counting after fifteen when we started getting picky about which fish to keep. Bonita Tuna also called little tuny, jack, or aku depending where you fish were practically jumping in the boat. Bonita are decent table fare, but with other more desirable fishes in the sea we practice catch and release unless the fish was gravely injured. Spanish Mackerel a firm white fleshed fish were prolific as well and I think we caught and kept at least seven of these. En route from the Las Perlas islands to Coiba island we hooked and landed a nice Mahi Mahi also known as Dorado or Dolphin again depending where you fish. Later we hooked into a nice looking 80-100 pound Marlin at jumped, thrashed and tail walked enough times we even got in on video. Unfortunately, the leader was only 50 pound mono filament and was severed by the sharp bill of the Marlin after 10-15 minutes of battle. All the better as we planned to release the fish anyway as we didn't have sufficient refrigerator space to store a fish of that size without taking all the cold beer out of the fridge.

Once at Coiba for the night we dropped anchor around 4:30PM or what we consider 'shark thirty' the time after which we usually like to be out of the water. Sharks prefer to feed at night! But, it was very hot and we needed to check the anchor so we jumped in for a swim. In just a short time I'd spotted a pretty big Leatherback turtle and a smaller Green turtle. Visibility was decent and the turtles unperturbed so I swam up close for a look. Very COOL!

Lots of live oysters on the sea floor and something similar looking to a Caribbean conch. Plenty to see, but with fading light it was time to get out forteh evening.

This morning we got back in the water to check out the underwater landscape of a nearby island. Lots to see with a variety of box and puffer fish, four green turtles, seven white tipped nurse sharks? and two white tipped reef sharks of which the biggest was maybe five feet. We also swam in a school of 100+ 12" Trevali, 40+ 16" barracuda and a few smaller schools of various fish. Coral was limited in quantity and color with mostly rock out crops shaping the underwater world.

Now underway toward David, Panama we will likely stop for the night near Isla Cavada then push on for David tomorrow to drop off more guests.

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