Richard White

Richard White

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

Fishing Highlights – July 14 – July 27, 2019

Summer season is in full-swing. The Blue Marlin bite started to turn on and even a few Black Marlin were a part of the action at Tropic Star. The Pacific Sailfish have been coming through in waves in incredible numbers– some boats raising over 30 a day! The big Mahi Mahi are here, which always gets people excited.

The big Yellowfin Tuna are bending rods too. If you have never gone toe-to-toe with a big Tuna or Marlin it is an experience like no other; and in July we present the opportunity to take on both. Inshore, the first Wahoo are showing up and the Roosters, Cubera Snapper, Bluefin Trevally and the rest of the inshore gang are still testing our guests strength.

The seas have been calm for the most part with the handful of bumpy days in July. The winds have been moderate from the south bringing the afternoon rains helping create the current lines with flotsam. These current lines and areas with good thermoclines have proved to be extremely productive fishing. The water temperatures have remained consistent offshore around the 82-degree range which is a little lower than earlier in the month. The current has been coming up strong from Colombia and with it the beautiful clean water. We have been experiencing showers most afternoons cooling off the anglers after a day out on the water.

Toke Aw and Big fish Bob Yokoi where back and fishing with Capt. Jose on Scandia. The stories that we swopped were amazing and it is always good seeing old friends return to Tropic Star Lodge. Toke and Bob fish all over the world, pretty much for everything from Golden Dorado in South America to Bluefin Tuna to Juvenile Black Marlin off Australia. Toke and Bob had a great trip releasing multiple Sailfish, catching numerous huge Dorado and also fighting monster Roosterfish inshore. We can’t wait to see these two again. Also, a big congrats to Toke on becoming a grandfather!

Harry Brickley is 93 years young this year and it was great seeing him return to the lodge to take on Blues and Blacks with his long time Captain, Candelo, on Miss Australia. The two have been fishing together for years and it is great seeing the gents have fun together. On this trip, Harry took Hayden Houser out with him to help out on the boat as a practice mate and standby angler. For the week, Harry’s boat released five Marlin, three Blue Marlin and two Black Marlin. Harry caught two of them and Hayden sat in the chair for the other three. I was fortunate enough to spend a day fishing with Harry and managed to get some great shots of his Black which was a memorable experience. We will be seeing Harry in January for more fishing fun and crazy stories of the Pico Grande.

Renaud Pelat and Patricio Garcia visited us from Peru. The two are crazy about fishing and have a great wealth of angling knowledge. We enjoyed spending time with the gents who are extremely humble for two such accomplished anglers. The fishing duo won the trip to Tropic Star Lodge at an IGFA auction and we loved showing them how we do things here in the Darien. The guys enjoy casting poppers, stick baits and jigging for fish. They had some fun chasing Tuna boils and bringing up some huge Almaco Jacks from the depths of the Zane Grey Reef. Cubera Snapper engulfed their artificial bates but they didn’t have luck bringing them all the way to the boat. It was great meeting the guys and learning some new tricks to try out and we look forward to seeing them in March for some crazy inshore antics.

This year Ernst and Gunda Esletzbichler brought their son, Stephan down to Panama to fish with us. During their stay, the fishing trio had excellent fishing with Capt. Vicente on Miss South Africa. They released over 30 billfish including Pacific Sailfish, Blue Marlin (one of which was over 500 lb) and a few more around the 300 lb mark. They also released a Black Marlin. The Dorado, Roosterfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Snapper kept the family busy in between the billfish action with bent rods and great stories.

Rexy Hamlin and his son, Eric, Hamlin with their friends, Trevor Foster and Chris Koenig, have made the trip to Tropic Star Lodge three times in the last two years. The guys normally join us in the inshore season and this trip was their first taste of the offshore bite here at Tropic Star. The guys had a great time as always and it was a lot of fun sharing a rum and recounting the fishing tales; be the story of Eric‘s battle with a giant Yellowfin or Trevor’s never-ending Marlin fight. Trevor and Chris both released their first Marlin and the guys released loads of Pacific Sailfish and caught a few Tropic-Star-sized XXL Dorado.

The fishing has been on fire at the end of July. A big congratulations is in order to Walter Moss and Ray Uttaro for releasing over 30 Pacific Sailfish and more than a few giant Dorado during their stay. And to George Paret, who has been coming to the lodge for years. He released over 25 Sailfish during his stay. George missed a few Marlin, one of which was a huge Black that the Captain called well over 700 lb. He fought a whole boat load of Yellowfin and Dorado– the majority of which made it to the boat and a few into the cooler. Also, congratulations to Bruce Welsh and his son Zach. It is always a blast having team Canada here. Zach was on a very large Yellowfin Tuna for over three and half hours and after a long fight he had to put the heat on as it was getting dark. Unfortunately, the line parted right as she was next to the boat.

The fishing in July has been great. Experiencing anglers walk the plank for their first billfish release with cheers from everyone has been incredible. The Sailfish have provided for more than enough fun and hearing guests tales of big arm stretching Tuna is always fun to hear. More friends were made and the junior anglers had the time of their lives! The summer is such a fun time to come and experience Tropic Star as both inshore and offshore are on offer.

Tight lines and fair seas.
Capt. Richard White

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