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Incredible tuna fishing on a mothership at Panama

Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kil Song Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Incredible tuna fishing on a mothership at Panama
    Posted: 15 May 2018 at 4:33am
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When you arrange a trip, you never know what kind of fishermen you get.
But we had excellent fishermen and they are fun to fish with.
We had 8 anglers from NY, NJ and California.

We took Copa Airline. I took from JKF, NY to David, Panama. There is a new system that you don't have to recheck your luggage at Panama City Airport and all luggage go to David directly. But you have to go through security check at Panama City. I don't recommend to bring any reel in your carry on bag.
When leaving David, they didn't allow reels without spool and had to check in. It cost $175 for extra luggage !

One guy missed connecting flight to David at Panama City and one bag didn't arrived. But the angler took afternoon flight and the lost bag arrived at the lodge in the evening.

Capt Tony and Capt Carlos were assigned to our boats.
Geoff who tagged tuna in Panama for years and asked me to have Capt Carlos as their Capt as they worked together for tagging for years.

After spending one night at the main lodge, we went out to Hannibal Bank. I asked John, the owner of the lodge to have bait and live well on the boat before the trip. We got sardine and live bait from commercial boats who worked nearby. That was a huge help when tuna were not on surface feeding.

We got some small tuna on poppers, but we got them mostly on bait.
Whenever we drifted over, some got hookup.
On the first day, Geoff boat tagged 12 tuna while we tagged 4 as we were not used to tagging and released many without tags.
But second day, we tagged 22 while keeping some as they were breeding.
Geoff brought 85 tags and we used them all by fourth day. We released many for the rest of the trip.
On the third day, we opted inshore popping for rooster and cubera snapper after catching tuna in the morning. But it was slow.
Many anglers who visit Panama for the first time, are thinking about catching rooster and cubera. You can catch them here and there. But I don't recommend it as tuna is the prime target here.

5 days went fast and we got many tuna on all 5 days. We got blessed with light wind for all 5 days except last day while running the boat wto the main lodge. As soon as we got to the lodge, it poured with thunders.

Our anglers want to do it again next year as they had so much fun together. So the next year trip is booked already.

Here are pictures.

Heru Skipjack lures were hot. I used 60g, 90g and 120g, and all worked.



I brought heavy 8'6" prototype Black Hole popping rods, but I switched to ultra light 10' Black Hole Suzuki rod as tuna on surface were small.

When using bait, the problem was you don't know what you catch next as all sizes were mixed. when tuna were 50 - 80 lb range and we opted to use light setup. Then 150 lb - 180 lb tuna were hooked up next and we had hard time to land them on light tackle. Mel who comes from California complained that he did not bring bucket harness as I told him most tuna were 50 lb - 120 lb range. He swears to bring heavy stuff on the next year trip as he had to fought 1 1/2 hours to land 180 lb tuna. But I am sure he had tremendous fun on this trip.








I used light 6'8" Black Hole Charter Special Slow Pitch rod and IRT 600 duel drag reel for small tuna.









Everybody is fighting tuna.







John using custom Black Hole Cape Cod 80g rod for big tuna


I used ultra light 10' Black Hole Suzuki rod/ IRT 500 reel for popping


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kil Song Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 5:09am
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Mel having a hard time to fight 180 lb tuna using his custom Black Hole Cape Cod 250g/JM PE10 reel. He regret not to bring his bucket harness after the fight. :)





popping


Mel fighing tuna with his custom 8' Black Hole Magic Eye 804S popping rod. The soft and light rod is perfect to catch 40 - 80 lb tuna here.



Mel fighting a small tuna using ultra light Black Hole Tai rod. The blank weighs only 1.4 oz and the rod weighs only 3.8 oz like trout rod. It is wonder of rod technology.





Look at the baited hook. who said tuna are line shy and hook shy. :)



Geoff's group boat



my bull mahi mahi using ultra light 10' Black Hole Suzuki rod/IRT 500 filled with 40 lb Jerry Brown Hollow and 100 lb mono leader line.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kil Song Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 5:44am
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Geoff explaining how to tag





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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rozboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 12:19am
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http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y2/ksong/panama2018/20180509_094209_zpses9yvhrc.jpg

How did this rod not just explode... and what was the guy thinking putting it in that situation??!?
</div><h1>Bug Squishing...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kil Song Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 1:20am
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Originally posted by Rozboon Rozboon wrote:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y2/ksong/panama2018/20180509_094209_zpses9yvhrc.jpg

How did this rod not just explode... and what was the guy thinking putting it in that situation??!?



I thought the rod would explode. The angler is very experienced angler, but it seems he did not use light rod for big tuna until now.

https://youtu.be/PAHwcuV61nM
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 11:53am
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What do you think of the IRT reels Kilsong?
Looks like a great trip

www.kavemantackle.co.nz
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote PJjnr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 1:36pm
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awesome photos mate, what an epic trip
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kil Song Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 12:28am
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Originally posted by kaveman kaveman wrote:

What do you think of the IRT reels Kilsong?
Looks like a great trip


IRT reels are made in the US by former employees of Penn.
They use the best material available.
They are very solid reels, but they need more testing as the reels are new.
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