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Richard White

Richard White

Capt. Richard White, Fishing Director for Tropic Star Lodge, brings you the latest news from Piñas Bay.

February 2022 Fishing Report

The Marlin bite in February started off with Blues and Blacks being almost equal in numbers of releases. Anglers were raising more Blacks, but they were not being very aggressive. That changed fairly quickly as the number of Black Marlin soon out outweighed those of the blues by 4 or 5 to 1. Boats had multiple shots each day at Black Marlin, and it was great being able to be part of the fun with guests who got to tell stories of their incredible Black Marlin experiences. Black Marlin are the rarest of the Marlin species, and are only targetable in certain areas around the world. Even in these areas it can be tough to achieve a single release – so we are so excited to share that in February we had over 50 people experience first time Black Marlin releases. We had multiple people get these for their Royal Slams which is a great achievement for any angler. The Dorado numbers here always start decreasing during February. This year was no different – but we were in for a surprise with the number of Sailfish that were still around. Most boats were releasing Sailfish almost every day! The Tuna didn’t show up in big numbers during early February, but they did start to show up right at the end of the month, and we got a few over 200lbs meaning that they are on their way.

The sea temperature stayed at a nice 82-85 degrees all through February, so we are expecting the cold water to show up in the early to mid March. The water clarity has remained very good, with great water all the way up on the inside. The winds did change often, and this changed the bite a lot. As the winds blew from the Southerly direction, we had more Sails and Blues biting, with nice calm seas. Then when it switched and came out of the North, we all got excited knowing the Blacks would fire up. The water got fairly choppy, with white caps forming. The white caps brought the blacks on the bite and it was great seeing these amazing fish tailing down sea.

Guest Highlights 

Bill and Nikki Wilson have been coming to the lodge for many years, and have fished the world over. Their favorite kind of fishing now is Billfish on fly, and they are pro at it. The couple have been chasing the Marlin world record on 20lbs tippet, and this year on February 18th Nikki achieved a massive feat by landing a pending world record of a Blue Marlin weighing in at 143lbs, caught on fly. The fight was close to 3hrs and Nikki, along with her crew on the Miss England, were victorious. During their stay, they had more Billfish on the line and a few nice Dorado. On one day, they even did a little conventional fishing that saw them release 3 Marlin – but then it was back to the fly! It was great being part of something so phenomenal and we are so proud of Nikki for getting her Marlin – and what a cheerleader she has in Bill. We love you guys!

The Canary Island crew got back to Tropic Star Lodge, and they even brought some of their buddies over from Spain. The entire group are avid anglers who regularly fish tournaments, and for fun. They fished on Tropic Star with Jacob and Elio, Darien with Walter and Arlin, and Spain with Azael and Ricardo. Salvador Garcia caught his first Black marlin, Blue Marlin and Pacific Sailfish, weighing in at 350 pounds, 300 pounds and 100 pounds respectively. Alfonso Caballero de Rodas reeled in his first 350 pound Blue and 450 pound Black Marlin. Alfonso Valls de Quintano caught his first 400 pound Blue Marlin. Pedro Bonny caught his first 450 pound Black Marlin. It’s always very special witnessing guests catch their first of a celebrated species like these, and being part of that with such a cool group was loads of fun for everyone. 

The Baldwin crew – Matt, Sam, Ray, Rob and Will joined us from Texas for the week and, oh man, what a time they had! The 5 brothers had heard of Tropic Star Lodge and wanted to test the waters, and they got to experience what makes Piñas such a famed fishing ground. On DAY 1 out on the water, Will managed to land a Grand Slam! Releasing a Black and Blue Marlin along with a Sailfish. In fact, Rob and Will both got to release their first ever Black Marlin, and with them being 400lbs and 500lbs, it made for some great fishing. Wills Blue Marlin was called at 300lbs and his Pacific sail at 120lbs making for some very good fishing stories.

Billy Howell joined us for the second time in a month! We have gotten to know Billy and his wonderful wife Dee very well and they are an amazing couple! Bill has completed his Royal slam once already, and needed a few more species to get it a second and third time, one of which was a Black Marlin. He fished on Hawaii with Vicente and Ricardo. Billy has been looking for a black marlin for the last 16 years, and he finally found it! Billy caught a 350lb and a 600lb black marlin. To say that it was emotional would be an understatement. Congratulations Billy, you are well on your way to achieving your second and third Royal Slams! Just the Swordfish to go!

February was some great fishing, if not a little unusual with the Sails and Dorado still being around. With all the amazing fishing stories each day, it was anyone’s guess if Marlin bar or the Jungle Pool had the more outrageous stories. What was common at both places was the excitement and laughter. There were a lot of congratulations going around as well as teasing – which is always to be expected when it comes to anglers! The season seems to be going strong and it is shaping up to be a cracker of a March, with the big pelagic species still around and the bait getting thicker and thicker!

Congratulations to all those who caught their first of these celebrated trophy species that we catch at this time of the year:

First Black Marlin

Mike Kurkendal – 400lbs – 2/16/2022

Rob Baldwin – 400lbs – 2/13/2022

Will Baldwin – 500lbs – 2/14/2022

Chris Persellin – 350lbs –  2/15/2022

Thomas Tasker – 400lbs – 2/17/2022

Manny Sanchez – 450lbs – 2/2022

Jeff  250lbs – 2/18/2022

Gary Krams – 450lbs – 2/19/2022

Sam Baldwin – 350lbs 2/18/2022

Tom Corcoran – 350lbs – 2/10/2022

Mike Rand – 350lbs – 2/9/2022

Joe Bonasersa – 400lbs – 2/10/2022

Kelby Krabbenhoft – 400lbs – 2/9/2022

Ramsey Akel – 400lbs – 2/7/2022

Ryan Bruinsma – 500lbs – 2/8/2022

Pedro Bonny – 300lbs – 2/7/2022

Alfonso Caballero de Rodas – 450lbs – 2/10/2022

Carlos Lagomasino – 400lbs – 2/8/2022

Neil Sullivan – 400lbs – 2/11/2022

Salvador Garcia – 350lbs – 2/11/2022

Dan Simpson – 450lbs – 2/21/2022

Holli McDonald – 400lbs – 2/20/2022

Mark McDonald – 350 lbs – 2/21/2022

Alex Depping – 400lbs – 2/22/2022

Phoenix Rogers – 250lbs – 2/20/2022

Joe Rogers – 400lbs – 2/21/2022

Colby Murphy – 400lbs – 2/21/2022

Sara Duff – 450lbs – 2/21/2022

Kendall Hendrick – 600lbs – 2/24/2022

Laura Hendrick – 250lbs – 2/22/2022

Benjamin Cart – 200lbs – 2/20/2022

Sara Cart – 250lbs – 2/20/2022

First Blue Marlin

Derek Loeffler – 300lbs – 2/16/2022

Will Baldwin – 300lbs – 2/13/2022

Jon Heslin – 300lbs – 2/14/2022

Rich Fehr – 200lbs – 2/7/2022

Alfonso Caballero de Rodas – 350lbs – 2/8/2022

Tom Corcoran – 300lbs – 2/14/2022

Salvador Garcia – 300lbs – 2/9/2022

Alfonso Valls de Quintano – 400lbs – 2/11/2022

Chris Murphy – 250lbs – 2/20/2022

Garry Tank – 250lbs – 2/20/2022

Jeff Spencer – 250lbs – 2/20/2022

First Pacific Sailfish

Mike Kurkendall – 85lbs – 2/13/2022

Rob Baldwin – 120lbs – 2/13/2022

Will Baldwin – 100lbs – 2/14/2022

Julie Snider – 120lbs – 2/15/2022

Chris Persellin – 85lbs – 2/16/2022

Jon Heslin – 80lbs – 2/18/2022

Thomas Tasker – 80lbs – 2/18/2022

Giovanni Cobielles – 100lbs – 2/14/2022

Jose Cobielles – 110lbs – 2/18/2022

Joe Bonasera  – 100lbs – 2/7/2022

Salvador Garcia  – 100lbs – 2/9/2022

Amber Simpson – 100lbs – 2/10/2022

Pheonix Rogers – 100lbs – / 2/21/2022

Joe Rogers – 90lbs – 2/20/2022

Chris Murphy – 120lbs – 2/20/2022

Colby Murphy – 130lbs – 2/21/2022

Tony Ketchu – 130lbs – 2/20/2022

Jeff Spencer – 100lbs – 2/21/2022

Christin Tank – 100lbs – 2/20/2022

Sara Cart – 90lbs – 2/20/2022

First Cubera

Hilary Loeffler – 30lbs – 2/13/2022

Derek Loeffler – 60lbs – 2/13/2022

Julie Snider – 40lbs – 2/15/2022

Laurie Krams – 60lbs – 2/18/2022

Giovanni Cobielles – 30lbs – / 2/14/2022

First Rooster

Hilary Loeffler – 50lbs – 2/13/2022

Derek Loeffler – 70lbs – 2/13/2022

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