Rod testing trip to Panama - 2CoolFishing
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Old 04-19-2016, 02:18 PM   #1
ksong

 
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Rod testing trip to Panama

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.







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Old 04-27-2016, 12:00 PM   #2
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How did it go? We're headed to Cebaco next week.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:03 PM   #3
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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.








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.












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Old 05-08-2016, 06:04 PM   #4
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We 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.









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.







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.





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Old 05-08-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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continued...........
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:01 PM   #6
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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.















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Old 05-09-2016, 03:02 PM   #7
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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.



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






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.





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Old 05-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #8
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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.







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Old 05-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #9
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We released a few more tuna.


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Old 05-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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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.









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.









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