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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.

May 2021 Fishing Report

The waters of change are upon us. The Roosterfish are starting to turn on and come through in larger numbers, giant Cubera Snapper are still beating up unsuspecting anglers, Bluefin Trevally are making reels scream leaving anglers freaking out over how strong they are. These 3 species make up the Inshore Slam and our anglers are achieving this more consistently with every year that passes. There are not many places in the world that you can catch and release trophy-sized Cubera, Rooster, and Bluefin Trevally, never mind in a single day, but at Tropic Star Lodge you certainly can! Roosterfish are aggressive and give run after run as you get them closer to the boat. Cubera Snapper is all power in the beginning, but if you can stop that initial run, then you normally have him. Bluefin Trevally, however, are pure strength from start to finish, hitting baits like a crazy fish with a vendetta. This incredibly beautiful fish is all power, which has us all wondering – “how could something this size fight so hard?”

Sailfish have started to show up, and although not in consistent numbers, they are targetable with boats being able to have a few shots each day. The Offshore bite improved throughout the month, with more Dorado being caught. The Tuna are becoming more plentiful and the odd Marlin has even been making an appearance.

We never really experienced a normal dry season this year, so the change of season was not what it normally is in May. The mangos started to ripen, though, which is usually a sign of the Roosterfish hoard taking up their usual residence along the coastline. Due to warmer water temperatures and a very short period where the cooler water came through the bait acted differently to years past. There wasn’t as much bait close to the coastline, which meant that the fish were hungry and when live baits were trolled Inshore was MADNESS!

Our Roosterfish tournament was a huge success. We broke the record with 131 Roosterfish released in three days by just six boats. It came down to the wire in the end with the two top teams being just 50 points apart. It was loads of fun all round and we are excited for team Dilly Dilly who won and will be heading to the Offshore World Champs in 2022. You can read our full tournament update here. 

Guest Highlights

Paul Castranova and his good friend Thomas Barba finally made it back to Tropic Star Lodge with their sons, Anthony and Thomas. It was great getting to see the guys again and they brought one hell of a group with them. The trip was in celebration of Anthony’s Birthday and it was oh so much fun. The gentlemen had some fun angling Offshore, smashing some Yellowfin and Dorado. Tommy managed to get his first Pacific Sailfish and a Cubera Snapper by casting to the rocks. Paul, at the last minute on their last day, hooked up to his nemesis – a big red and orange bruiser. He got to release his Cubera Snapper. On the last night, Paul did a hilarious roasting of the group and Anthony had everyone in hysterics as he did his best impersonation of me. His accent was pretty spot on. 

One of our most loved guests at Tropic Star, Mr. Mike Myatt,  joined Paul’s group with longtime friends of the Lodge; Steve Groth, Nick Dyle and Eric Lear. Steve had his eye on a Black Marlin to complete his Royal Slam, but alas, it didn’t happen – not for a lack of trying! Mike did, however, manage to get Eric his first ever Pacific Sailfish. The gents were all able to catch some nice-sized Dorado. On one day in particular, Eric and Nick caught 10 Tuna and a bunch of Dorado, as well as releasing two Roosterfish. I know we will be seeing Mike back at the lodge soon, and we hope that Steve, Nick and Eric will return with him!

Miles Sawyer-Whicker and Angela Chang joined us all the way from Fort Worth Texas. The couple love the outdoors, and it showed, with Angela catching the biggest fish of the week. The couple are newly engaged and decided on Tropic Star as a getaway to enjoy some pure R&R. They crushed the fishing with Capt. Walter on Darien. The pair enjoyed some Yellowfin action Offshore, as well as getting stuck into the Inshore species on offer this time of year… but it was Angela’s 300lb Black Marlin that really left all the other anglers green with envy. 

Keith Talley joined us with longtime friend John Walker.  It was John’s first foray into the Offshore fishing world. Keith is an avid angler and he and John fished with Capt. Candelo, whom Keith has been fishing with for many years. The Inshore fishing was absolutely exceptional with Keith, John and the gents releasing over 10 Roosterfish in the first 2 days. As well as going Offshore and getting double digits of Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado, John released an 85lb Sailfish as his first ever Billfish. It was hard to tell who was most excited – Capt. Candelo, Keith, or John. On the same day, they released 5 Roosterfish and brought home a beautiful Almaco Jack for dinner. It was such an epic fishing trip that on their last day they decided to play on the rocks, coming back flying 14 green flags, having successfully released a horde of Roosterfish. 

This month we had a buddy week where we paired single anglers together. Ken Musgrave, Jay Robinson, Joseph Townsend, and Brad Hassal all joined us for the buddy trip. They were thrilled to be a part of the buddy system and all of the gents became fast friends. Ken, joined by Jay on the boat, released his first Roosterfish of 60lb and his first Pacific Sailfish of 85lb. In one awesome day they caught 23 Yellowfin to get warmed up for the following day, where they caught 9 different species of fish including 5 Roosterfish and a couple of very nice-sized Cubera Snapper. Joseph and Brad teamed up and fished on a boat together, with Joseph releasing his first Cubera Snapper of 40lb, first Sailfish of 90lb and first Roosterfish of 35lb. Brad released his first Pacific Sailfish of 85lb and first Roosterfish of 40lb. All 4 guys had such a great fishing adventure, made possible by the buddy system.

May was an epic month in every sense! We got to see, catch and release MONSTER Roosterfish in crazy numbers. We also saw past guests return, and it was great catching up and sharing good memories with old friends. 

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