If you’re willing to hit the water early in the morning, right now is a great time to go fishing off Panama’s Azuero peninsula. The “el norte” or North wind is still blowing pretty hard in the afternoon, but if you get an early start, it will be worth the sleep deprivation!
I hit the beach at El Ciruelo (between Pedasi and Playa Venao) at 5am on Saturday. There was not a trace of daylight. The wind was very calm and the Pacific ocean looked like a sheet of dark blue glass. The air is chilly that early in the morning, but it beats having the hot sun beating down on you for 8 hours.
By the time we reached our fishing destination, Los Frailes (two big rocks sitting about 10 kilometers off shore), the sun was slowly starting to rise. Because the water was still extremely calm, we decided to try our luck with jigging. We got a bite with the first jig that sank to the bottom. A bojala (type of Amberjack). Our success rate was about 50% with each cast off. By the time our arms got tired we had 9 bojala in the boat.
By about 8am we decided to take a shot at trolling. Within about 20 minutes we had our first tuna. A big, beautiful yellowfin. The rest of the tunas came pretty quick as well. At one point I had a tuna that I thought must have weighed about 50 pounds. It was putting up an incredible fight as I tried to reel it in. When I did get it on to the boat, it was obvious why the tuna, who weighed no more than 20 pounds, was fighting so hard. Judging by the teeth marks and stripped flesh, a shark was trying to eat it as I was reeling it in.
By about 1pm we headed closer to shore to see if we could catch a sierra (mackerel). We caught two and decided we had caught enough fish to feed all of our friends for a while. All told we caught 9 tuna, 9 bojala and 2 sierras on Saturday.
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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