Deep Sea Fishing Stories - Catching the Big One!

Days 1 and 2

Here's the most recent of my fishing stories. I spent the first two days of my second deep sea fishing trip in this beautiful area of Chiriqui on ‘Sailfish 1’. This time, the crew took me to Montuosa and the Hannibal Banks.

panama fishing

Here, I broke my personal record for pacific sailfish (140 lbs) and was treated to some nice-sized mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna.

panama fishing

Day 3 of Fishing Trip

It was a little chilly when we took off with the "Sailfish 1" from Pedregal that morning on Sunday December 2, 2007. Our destination was Ladrones, a small group of Islands about twenty miles off Boca Chica. This was my last day of fishing on this trip.

As we were speeding out of the bay towards our destination, I once again realized what a magnificent fishing area this is. I am a boat owner/fisherman myself, and I currently reside in Sint Maarten, Dutch Caribbean. Although deep sea fishing is not too bad where I live, the difference with this area is quite noticeable. Apart from much more pleasant weather and ocean conditions, the fish in Panama are both larger in average size and greater in abundance.

panama fishing

On my previous deep sea fishing trip to Panama, I even caught a fish you would not find in the Caribbean waters, like the famous roosterfish.

As we got closer to Ladrones, we encountered several schools of porpoises jumping and swimming off the bow. In the distance, manta rays could be seen jumping high out of the water and into the air.

panama fishing

Quickly after lines were in, we caught a nice 25 lb mahi mahi. We carried on past Ladrones and bumped into a very large piece of drift wood with an even larger school of mahi mahi hiding underneath.

As soon as we passed the driftwood, three of the reels went off and before we knew it we were right into a mahi mahi fiesta! We kept on trolling and reeling in fish until the mahi mahi’s turned green and would not bother to look at our lures anymore.

panama fishing We carried on. My fishing trip was gradually coming to an end. Then suddenly, as we were nearing Ladrones on our way back, the line in the port side outrigger snapped loudly. The Penn 50 started screaming. At first, we thought a large wahoo or yellow fin tuna grabbed this the lure, which was a white and blue Islander lure without any bait rigged (like ballyhoo).

It's a Black Marlin !

panama fishing

It took about twenty minutes before the fish showed itself by jumping twice in the distance. It was a huge black marlin! It then decided to dive deep and eventually positioned itself under the "Sailfish 1".

panama fishing

Although I have caught several Atlantic blue’s in my time, this was clearly the fight of my life. In my log of fishing stories, I recount the experience of how I caught a 424 lb blue in the waters off Antigua during the annual Antigua & Barbuda Sports Fishing Club Tournament of 1997.

I can’t wait to book my next fishing trip to these truly magnificent fishing grounds and to recount more fishing stories.

Capt. J. Snow

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