2021 will always burn bright in my memory! After Covid left me jobless overnight, the dream was to start running my own fishing business here in Panama and even against all the odds with the global pandemic and travel restrictions in place, we still managed to achieve that goal this year. 

Amazingly, we have been able to welcome guests from the USA, Canada, Colombia, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Hats off to those guys for getting on a plane and dealing with the difficult travel procedures and testing that has been required to cross international borders over the last 12 months. Without these valiant travellers and their wanderlust we would have had a very quiet year.

My PB Corvina in the kayak!

Thankfully, travel to Panama is now much more straightforward and with the scrapping of the infamous travel ‘red list’ we have taken a good few advance bookings from UK fishermen already for 2022. Things are shaping up nicely. Our ethos is for providing affordable, tropical fishing adventures for DIY travelling anglers. We are incredibly passionate about what we do and provide a fantastic and varied fishing programme that will satisfy even the most experienced and well-travelled anglers amongst you.

We fish inshore and offshore and have a passion for popping, jigging, throwing lures, drifting big livebaits and trolling the deep blue looking for pelagics. Our fishing grounds here surrounding the Azuero Peninsula are as varied as they are large and there is never a dull moment. You get to do what you want, when you want!

Tackle crucnching Jacks are great sport!

If you are currently sat at home on a cold January day reading this and thinking of an overseas trip to warm the bones then perhaps you may consider us here at FISH PEDASi. We can offer new experiences with a good dose of adventure thrown in to the mix, targeting a wide range of hard fighting game fish. Click on through to www.fishpedasi.com for the lowdown on what we offer. We’d be happy to put together a bespoke package for you!

Our year in review

With Panama being Panama, things take time here. It wasn’t until late May that we were able to finalise all the documentation and paperwork for the business and new boat. By then the season was well underway with the Tuna and Mahi Mahi thick inshore. The maiden voyage with our boat ‘Buenas Vibras’ was in the first week of June and we stumbled across a big bust-up of school size Tuna and Mahi all hunting and smashing bait together. We hooked many fish and had a blast catching them on the popper. We couldn’t have asked for a better start. You can see some awesome footage from this trip in the video below!

This set the tone for the first couple of months and with it being peak season for these amazing fish we continued to target them by chasing schools of dolphins with ‘run and gun’ tactics and presenting our poppers in front of them where the Tuna were hunting. This is always exciting and provided many thrills on the light tackle. The Mahi would often be stacked up under the debris and trash lines so working steadily along these and casting lures at visible fish was a real treat for some of the lucky anglers that joined us during this period. There were some really big Mahi around early season.

June through August is typically when we find the bigger Roosterfish inshore, they seem to follow the schools of Bluerunners that we have present at this time of year. We catch them year round but for numbers of big fish then these are the killer months. With Roosters being such desirable fish and on the bucket-list of many travelling anglers, we spent a good deal of time looking for these incredible creatures. Fishing popper and livebait are how we do this and we were treated to some spectacular battles, bringing some truly fantastic fish over the gunwales. We treat these fish with kid gloves as they are actually rather delicate and we release all of them.

Schooly Yellowfin Tuna on the poppers

The Azuero Peninsula is one of the best places in the world for catching big Roosterfish. There aren’t many places that can compare to here. We see some very big fish every season and there is a realistic chance of catching them in the 80 to 100 lb bracket here. I’ve personally had 4 of this size over recent seasons with plenty of back up fish of a very respectable size. This is the place to do it!

Typically, we get some by-catch when fishing for these Roosterfish with top-water lures, most of which are stand out fish in their own right. Species such as Jack Crevalles, Mullet Snapper and the ever-obliging Sierra Mackerel are regular features in our catches at this time of year, always giving a great account of themselves. 

A big Rooster!

August through October saw the Cubera Snapper on the rampage on our reefs in good numbers. These fish are the masters of destruction and incredibly good at smashing up your tackle. Certainly, our trickiest customer here in Panama. We hooked many fish and lost just as many too, they favour the shallow reefs and are so good at getting back into their hidey-hole before you even realise they are hooked. Once again, top-water lures were very effective but also stickbaits and jerkbaits proved to be just as good at getting the initial bite…….that’s the easy bit! 

Fishing for these big, red angry fish is never a given and you always need a little bit of luck on your side. We had our share of successes and spectacular top-water smashes with guests that will forever remember those moments. The failures far outweighed them though and that is just the nature of the beast. 

The fearsome Cubera Snapper

The Wahoo put in an appearance around late September and we caught the second of the season in our area during a truly spectacular day of fishing in incredible weather. The complete opposite of Wahoo conditions if ever there was any! This marked an upturn in the action offshore that had been pretty quiet from late July and enabled us to catch our first Sailfish in the new boat also.

This was a great day and a fine capture of a really good-sized specimen. What made it even more eventful is that the big sailfish was caught on spinning tackle. It was an epic battle and gave us a really good show, leaping many times like they do. We caught several more when working the deep drop ledges offshore over the following weeks but the first one was the biggest. 

Wahoo!

There were plenty of Mahi Mahi around again at this time also. Although of a smaller average size than earlier in the year they provided some great sport for our guests and some great eating. They were pushing tight inshore aswell and we even caught them less than half a mile from the shore at times when popping for jacks and snappers on our inshore reefs. These fish are truly opportunistic and will follow the bait, wherever it is!

October through December provided us with some spectacular sport on the jig as we focused on some deep-dropping thanks to excellent conditions with very little wind. This enabled us to fish some marks that had previously been unfishable. This proved to be a wise move and led to the capture of some very nice ‘reef donkey’ Almaco Jacks and some excellent fishing for the incredibly beautiful Silk Snapper. There were also some huge Eastern Pacific Bonito around which are fantastic on the plate.

Plenty of Mahi Mahi in October

November and December gave us some great top-water fishing with the stunning Blue Trevally as they started to populate our offshore pinnacles and high spots we also found a few Roosterfish and some huge Needlefish. The highlight of this period and a very memorable capture was the huge out of season Tuna that gobbled up a whole bonito livebait we were fishing. This was the biggest fish to grace our deck this year and a very fitting end to a fantastic first season.

We fished the inshore reefs year-round with our jigs and found pretty consistent sport from a huge range of species. You never quite know what you will hook next which is a great part of the appeal. Corvina, Snapper, Sierra Mackerel, Small Yellowfin Tuna, Black Skipjacks and all manner of Jacks, Pompano and reef fish were regular features.

The Big Tuna that kept us guessing!

Personally, when I had free time for my own fishing then I would take out my kayak if conditions allowed and had 3 really very memorable fish. The biggest Rooster I have ever caught which took a live bluerunner bait was a truly insane battle that left me aching and sweating. An amazing fish which must have been getting on for somewhere between 80 to 90 lbs at a guess. Then there was the giant Broomtail Grouper that took a jig and a goliath Corvina that also took a jig. I love the kayak, the silence, the stealth, the challenge. It is a really very useful tool for targeting BIG fish. The boat can sometimes spook fish, but the kayak not so. Food for thought!

Get in touch to organise your trip to Panama! We’d love to hear from you….

www.fishpedasi.com

Sam@fishpedasi.com

WhatsApp or Call +507 61735191

Share on facebook
Share