Home Tropics

Rods testing trip to Panama: Ma y4 - 7, 2016

kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
I need to test rods and take pictures/videos of new Black Hole Challenger Bank spinning rods and Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch rods and I decided to choose the Panama Sport Fishing Lodge as I am very familiar with the lodge and the fishing there.

They added a new mothership in addition to the land based lodge and I plan to fish on the mother ship this time.
Some asked me to join the trip, but I need a total freedom to test rods and take pictures/videos this time.
If I like the operation, I might charter the boat next year as I have enough guys already.

mothership5_zpsent54vf9.jpg

mothership20_zps4ey2nus5.jpg

mothership8_zpscidru60o.jpg

mothership6_zpsg7opvafo.jpg

Replies

  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    We arrived at David at 9:00 am on May 3.
    This is the first time I flied to David with a connection flight in Panama City.
    We used to drive to domestic airport from Panama International Airport to fly to David. But you can get a connecting flight at the same International airport.
    John of PSFL said we would leave from the main lodge for fishing on May 4 and the mother ship would be at Coiba Island by the time our fishing is finished.

    It's been 4 - 5 years ago since I fished the PSFL. I saw the lodge is well maintained and they have more boats now.

    On the first day we fished on 34' center console as the assigned 36' Cat was not ready.
    panama20166_zps0h8jzyue.jpg

    panama20167_zpsjgumakls.jpg

    20160504_071140_zpsdiuf2r3k.jpg

    20160504_071646_zpsnhzffave.jpg

    Capt Sergio found some surface action for us and we got the first tuna on FCL stickbait using 8' Black Hole Challenger Bank 801H popping rod.
    Good start.

    20160504_110641_zpsi5ajmox1.jpg


    20160504_110723_zps7a5adah1.jpg

    20160504_111002_zpsoaltv1mz.jpg

    20160504_111259_zpsgp3fxix2.jpg
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    20160504_111403_zpsnzqsqfdq.jpg

    20160504_111533_zpsukuxdppf.jpg

    We got two on jigs using light Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch jigging rod.
    They were small though.

    20160504_144011_zpsqgxzy0ce.jpg

    20160504_144152_zpsrsaj6ufr.jpg

    It released a few small tuna and went to the mother ship anchored in a bay of Coiba Island. The mother ship is more than I expected. It is much better than long range boats out of San Diego. the stateroom is very roomy with bath room like in a luxurious cruise ship.

    20160504_163922_zpskkow578c.jpg

    20160504_164619_zpsr8dpt2ku.jpg

    20160504_165035_zpsq8homi8q.jpg

    20160504_165055_zpsahpv0sck.jpg

    I thought today's fishing is over, but they want more fishing and Capt Tony of the Cat was willing to accommodate us. So we went fishing again in the evening. Dannon got a bluefin trevally and missed a few solid bites. Greg hooked up a nice cubera, but it headed for the rock to break the line.

    20160504_180452_zpstiexa6kz.jpg

    20160504_181716_zps0g8s0alc.jpg

    20160504_184442_zpsz4q5wbs8.jpg

    It was a long day. I took shower and watched soccer game on the satelite TV while drinking scotch. The air conditioned boat is very convenient and comfortable. The crew were great and always tried to accommodate us.

    20160504_190259_zpsnow3ggbu.jpg

    20160504_191851_zpsr4jqcbsb.jpg

    20160504_192619_zpsjllk2ipw.jpg

    20160504_200412_zpskwdxnutf.jpg

    20160505_054205_zpscgxnb2bk.jpg

    20160504_202127_zpsqqbnysqy.jpg


    continued...........
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    2nd day

    After full rest on the comfortable mother ship, we left for Hannival Bank early in the morning. We saw birds were working on the way out. We caught and released small tuna on poppers, but we decided to go to the Bank for big boys.

    We tested 10' prototype Black Hole popping/surf rod using yft killer Heru Skipjack 120g and got an instant hit on the Bank where no boat was around.
    I watched closely how the rod perform for a nice tuna which turned out to be around 80 lb. The rod is for striped bass or tarpon, but for tuna. But it seems the rod can handle even 100 lb tuna.

    20160505_090938_zpsgyaikayi.jpg

    20160505_091136_zps2hx75lv2.jpg

    20160505_091904_zpszelhqgrz.jpg

    20160505_092236_zpsniorlsyz.jpg

    20160505_092240_zps9otiuhgu.jpg

    20160505_092618_zpsgevcfj5t.jpg

    20160505_092714_zpswa74cyzb.jpg

    IMG_3310_zpsd5xu3vfx.jpg

    20160505_130323_zpsbsav5lb7.jpg

    After surface action slowed down, we decided to get live bait using sabiki rigs.
    And I never saw someone catch yft on sabiki rigs before.:)
    Here is a picture of 4 small yft along with baby bonito on one sabiki rig.

    20160505_101407_zpsflq8pzny.jpg

    We had good tuna action with live bait and they were released.
    20160505_110846_zps4dpkuzw9.jpg

    IMG_3315_zpsjfnonvyu.jpg

    IMG_3319_zpshw3xavqg.jpg

    Greg had a nice tuna on his Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch 631 rod. The rod weighs only 5.3 oz. This is the first time to test the rod for tuna and it showed incredible power even for 100 lb tuna. Greg landed the tuna within 10 minutes using about 25 lb drag.

    IMG_3332_zpspbbmk7yg.jpg

    20160505_120721_zpsm3p6vszg.jpg

    20160505_120725_zpse6dqksxm.jpg

    20160505_120753_zpsf4zhxotd.jpg

    20160505_120903_zpsupe39oox.jpg

    20160505_121256_zpsbck0jvgc.jpg

    20160505_121808_zpsa1agm2ql.jpg

    20160505_121917_zpsl08sjpra.jpg

    20160505_121951_zpslpkpqreh.jpg

    John had a big tuna on 8' Black Hole Challenger Bank 801H spinning rod and fought for a while before it spit the hook just under the boat. The tuna probably was bigger than 150 lb.

    20160505_150601_zpsi6pmgaeu.jpg

    20160505_150441_zpsldbefjnk.jpg
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    We released a few more tuna.
    20160505_154056_zps5nee13tk.jpg

    IMG_3378_zpsbmqcgo6q.jpg

    Late in the afternoon, surface action developed again and John got the nice 70 lb yft with the same Heru Skipjack and 10' prototype Black Hole surf rod.

    IMG_3388_zpsc9ffxndy.jpg

    IMG_3391_zpsphhjmwcd.jpg

    IMG_3400_zpssbwwbp56.jpg

    IMG_3405_zpswwmcp6ud.jpg

    What a great day of fishing. I can not remember how many tuna we caught and released. It is already 4:00 pm. It is time to go to the mother ship.

    But these guys are relentless. When we got closer to the Island, they wanted more fishing. :)

    Greg was a hot hand landed two cubera on a poppers. He used the same 8' Black Hole Challenger Bank 801H with new Saltiga 5500. All fish were released safely.

    20160505_182522_zpsqzje13qo.jpg

    20160505_182604_zpsrizvqk6r.jpg

    20160505_183357_zps2nv4ykfq.jpg

    20160505_183714_zps8co13hul.jpg

    20160505_185149_zps20atc9xc.jpg
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    3rd Day

    The another advantage of fishing on the mother ship is you can catch bait easily using sabiki rigs on the mother ship. Tons of bait stay around the boat.
    After quick catches of bait, we headed to where we had good action yesterday
    No boat was there. It didn't take long we had tuna on slowly trolled live bait and I missed two tuna on my Heru Tuna popper in 15 minutes after we started to troll slowly.
    Then John shouted " big tuna on the Tai rod !!"
    The Black Hole Tai Special rod is the lightest slow pitch rod in the world. The blank weighs 1.4 oz and the complete rod weighs only 3.8 oz.
    As I landed 120 lb halibut, 40 lb AJ or 15 lb grouper with the rod, I wanted to test the rod for 50 - 100 lb tuna. But after I saw the initial run, I knew we got a wrong size of tuna. :)

    The tuna turned out to be about 250 lb cow and the tiny rod survived two hours pressure of the big tuna. Three anglers took a turn to fight using 30 plus lb drag. It was a miracle the tiny rod could hold the pressure for so long. Finally the big tuna was seen under the boat. Within 15 minutes we could have landed it, but it made a final desperate run while angler tried to give pressure by lifting the rod.
    And the rod got snapped ! John saw the fish and he said the monster was bigger than any cow he saw in PV. We took the cow's picture with Gopro.

    It would have been a sensational catch by any standard and we had a good chance to land it.
    I told before the tiny Nano Tai rod is a wonder of rod technology after I landed over 3000 lb fish with it.

    20160506_082609_zpsqofkhyv9.jpg

    20160506_090633_zpsfhibg6vg.jpg

    20160506_094435_zpsfhpyraig.jpg

    20160506_094557_zpslptufc84.jpg

    20160506_100017_zpsznx2hkun.jpg

    The drag was on the Full position. We must gave 30 plus lb drag. I still can not believe the rod could handle such a high drag with the enormous pulling by a cow.

    20160506_083623_zpsydeaeoya.jpg

    Here is a picture of the big cow. You can see the knot. It should be 4 - 5 ft long and compare the size of fish behind.

    taipanama_zpsbjh8zsja.jpg


    The loss of cow let us down for a while and fishing became slow or we were not in a mood to fish.
    We decided to go to the mother ship early. On the way in, we saw birds working.
    Everybody fought small tuna on poppers. I had t 4- 6 tuna on Heru Tuna poppers.
    We must released at least a dozen tuna and headed in.
    IMG_3451_zpsolgiwuwh.jpg

    IMG_3447_zpstogw14ko.jpg
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    4th Day

    Today was the final day.
    We left the mother ship at 6:00 am. We were blessed with fine weather for the whole trip.
    It was flat calm and many snappers were boiling on the surface and they hit our bait constantly along with small tuna.

    20160507_065546_zps3b3t5a3b.jpg

    20160507_065621_zps6cd1mzv6.jpg

    20160507_065931_zpsiyvhjwht.jpg

    20160507_070014_zpscedvd69y.jpg

    20160507_070814_zpsl0kmcyl2.jpg

    Tuna started to hit live bait.
    Dannon fighiting a decent tuna with Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch 631 rod. After landing 100 lb tuna with the rod, I got confidence the rod can handle any tuna under 100 lb though it is only 5.3 oz. the tuna was quickly released as several other small tuna.

    20160507_075842_zpswsdez4vp.jpg

    20160507_080133_zps1ognbujn.jpg

    20160507_080346_zpsy4chofim.jpg

    Soon after, John fought a decent tuna with 8' Black Hole Challenger Bank 801H rod. It was a pretty short fight.

    20160507_080346_zpsy4chofim.jpg

    20160507_080838_zpsljye5opa.jpg

    20160507_081414_zpszjtzjicx.jpg

    Tuna bites were getting better and better and finally we had a big fish on 7'3" Black Hole Challenger Bank 731H.
    Greg, Dannon and John fought the fish together. Harness lug strip for spinning rod is a big help to fight big fish.

    20160507_083414_zpsvckyjbta.jpg

    20160507_090048_zpslcbprlcq.jpg

    20160507_090814_zpstjbhlezt.jpg

    20160507_090814_zpstjbhlezt.jpg

    20160507_091110_zpsgigjpyuj.jpg

    20160507_091439_zpst6ic9npk.jpg

    20160507_091812_zpsfhdjwja7.jpg

    20160507_092237_zpslojr1bhg.jpg

    20160507_092737_zpsk5nbtu29.jpg

    20160507_093001_zps2uhnamiz.jpg

    IMG
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    Adel fought the tuna. The biggest fish he ever caught before this trip was about 20 - 30 lb black drum. He already broke his previous record and he was looking for his first 100 lb and he got his wish.

    I brought only one Black Hole Cape Cod spinning jigging rod and he like the rod. He put conventional reel on the spinning rod. And he fought with his bucket harness on his belly but he happy man. :)20160507_094835_zpslaghernz.jpg

    20160507_100134_zpsupfijcdt.jpg

    We had enough for tuna and decided to do some bottom jigging while putting only one line in the water for a while.
    Just about leaving the area, tuna was on.
    He wanted to bring his catch to the boat to take memorable catch We said jokingly we got to release the fish. Then he jumped into the water to take pictures with the tuna. :) He is not the great fisherman, but it is fun to fish with.

    20160507_104100_zps9pxpgaqx.jpg

    20160507_104141_zpsmlb1pfpm.jpg

    20160507_104439_zpsnv6zqr5t.jpg

    20160507_105116_zpsqbrihizb.jpg

    20160507_115835_zpsn7ke6ddp.jpg
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    amazing power of light Black Hole Slow Pitch rod for 100 lb tuna on the trip.
    The same rod will be tested for mutton and grouper on the Dry Tortugas trip with Capt Yuri in 10 days.

    https://youtu.be/EAOHqJngigI
  • CoolisimoCoolisimo Posts: 190 Deckhand
    Wow is all I can say!!!! Can't wait to see and read your report from the Dry Tortugas!
    Carpe Diem!
  • kilsongkilsong Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    The Dry Tortugas trip will start from Sunday (May 22).
    The same Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch rods will be used for mutton and grouper.
    If weather is good, we plan to fish Pulley's Ridge.
Sign In or Register to comment.