Anglers Jason Laskey and Andrew Lewis from south Florida fished with me last week for three days here out at Propiedad de Paradise Lodge, Isla Paridas. We had planned for three days of venturing out around Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuosa in search of the YFTs that have been hanging tough around that area for the past few months. Jose (my mate) and I spent a day catching bait before the guys arrival and managed to fill the livewell moored out in front of lodge with 4 dozen blue-runners. Shortly after the clients arrival one of the outboards starts acting up! Two trips back to Boca Chica to meet the mechanic to figure it out and we still can't get the motor stop it's intermitent sputtering. With our other boat down and awaiting new motors on order I had no choice but to fish the crippled T.O.P. Cat inshore. I couldn't risk running the 40+ miles to the bank with that issue.
We took it easy and fished near the lodge here at Isla Paridas archipelago the first day and went 2 for 4 on Roosters and caught a few Horse-eye Jacks. On the way back to the lodge we stopped at an anchored shrimp boat and traded a 12 pack of Panama beer and 5 cigarettes for about 20 lbs of shrimp! Not a bad deal. The second day we putted out to Isla Ladrones. Upon arrival at “Bajo Ocho” (an under water sea mount just south of the island) we come up on a Black Marlin going nuts and thrashing/feeding topwater on a huge school of Rainbow Runners! We toss a live blue-runner to him but he won’t eat. He’s too fixated on the Rainbows. We try and catch a Rainbow, to no avail, and also have a problem getting Bonitos. Me move on to “La Finckita” another small mount near Ladrones and find a great mark on the sounder and drop our baits. Bam! 50# Amberjack on a live runner. Next drift we catch another on a Jig. We end up getting a few more average AJ’s after a couple of more drifts and not a bad day after all. On the way in we see a free jumping Humpback Whale and 5 or 6 more before we get back to the lodge. The whales are here in full force now.
The last day, due to my engine issue, I arranged with a friend of mine Capt. Lou to take us out to Hannibal Bank. Lou’s got a pretty nice 37’ Strike w/twin diesels and a tuna tower so we went out to Hannibal in style. An hour and a half later we arrive and don’t have any problem catching Bonitos. We fill all four tuna tubes up within 15 minutes. Jose and I bridle up two bonitos and run them out on the flat lines. One short and one long. After slow trolling our baits for a few minutes we see some small YFT’s busting the surface and decide to run a couple bridled Blue-runners out on the riggers to see if we can pick one up. Expecting a big YFT or Marlin, we only had wind-ons on the 5/0 setups with 80# mono that we were fishing with bonitos. We had the blue runners out on 3/0 setups with 50# mono and no wind-ons! As I’m letting out my runner on the port rigger it gets eaten. I let him eat, eat, eat, eat and then flip the lever drag to Strike on the small 3/0 Tiagra. The line goes tight and pops down off the outrigger clip. I wind hard and gently raise the rod tip to let the 10/0 circle hook do it’s job. As I come tight on him we realize it’s not a tuna but a big Black Marlin! He just had to eat the one set-up without a wind on. I hand the rod to Jason and the fight is on! A couple of dozen spectacular jumps and an hour and fifteen minutes later he makes his last jump and lands on/cuts the line. If we would have had a rig with a wind-on we technically would have had a catch because we had him within 15 feet of the transom on a number of occasions. Anyway it’s always a great thing to see, it was Jason’s first fight with a Black Marlin, and I got some good footage. After that we got a couple small YFTs then decided to move to Isla Montuosa. Once at Montuosa we set up and drifted our liveys directly over a couple of high-spots on the reef. A nice Blue Trevalle, Mullet Snapper, and decent size Cubera wound up the day and we headed back to the lodge. Thanks to Jason and Andrew for being such good sports even with the engine issue. And special thanks to Lou for getting us out there on the last day of the guy’s trip and putting us on the fish.
Link to the Marlin Video here….http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage & v=qp2jBcKZdFk
Captain Shane Jarvis