Kayak Fishing in Panamá
The same pattern of my vacations: needs to find some place to fishing in a short time to plan. At this time, a new adventure: Kayak Fishing in Panama! Its not a joke, trust me! I made contact with Pascal from Kayak Adventure Panama Lodge and book some days of fishing, to seek some amberjacks, jacks, snappers and my dream: the Rooster Fish!
I try to buy all the equipment that I would need here in Brazil, because I really didn’t know if I could find all the itens on Panamas Fishing Shops. I prepared 2 sets, one for bait casting (poppers and mid depth lures) and another for vertical jigging (this second one, I bought in Panamá).
I departed from Brazil, in a direct flight to City of Panama, by Copa Airlines. It was a peaceful flight, and while the airplane was preparing for the landing, I fixed my eye on the sea, it would be my first time at Pacific Ocean! I was sou excited and anxious! Looking the tides movement, waves and wind. All of this still inside of the airplane ( no I’m not crazy…). I took my first day in Panama to make some tourism, I think all the people who visits Panama needs to visit at least the Eclusa de Miraflores. An amazing human construction with a rich history!
The Panama City have a lot of options to tourism and adult entertainment, casinos, restaurants, and a lot of history can fill any time of your schedule.
When I met Roque (my brazilian friend that invite me to fishing in Panama), he said about a Pascal call: During last week, the anglers hooked a Sailfish and another big fishes there! Enough for my despair! I ran to a fishing shop and bought another jigging, this one with 80lb force.
The travel to Lodge
Let the adventure begin! I would share the room with an american, Chris. So me and Roque took him at the hotel and started the travel. We ride to Cambutal, 5 hours of travel from Panama City, there we took a boat for more 2 hours to finally arrive on the Lodge.
On the way to the Lodge, at every point, there was a school of fishes attacking sardines on surface! Was impressive! When I asked to the guide, he just said disapointed: small Tunas and Bonitoes… For me was amazing, in my fishing trips I had never see this quantity of fishes.
Located in a protected bay, near by the old tents kayak fishing camp, there are 4 cabins structure. A big central rancho has been built to serve the meals and have a drink, enjoying a unique view on the pacific ocean.
Pascal makes an amazing place, rustic and comfortable. Provides an unique experience of isolation and nature contact. All the things was thought to be environment friendly.
I have some experience with kayaks, but it was my first time with the Hobie Kayaks. And there’s no secret for this, if you have some experience kayaking on the sea, you wont have any difficult to make work in a Hobie. The fact of you don’t use paddle, just pedals, makes your life easier and safer. Pascal lent me the Revolution 13 model, an amazing and fast kayak, I’m inclined to buy one for me. All the kayaks have the Mirage Drive, you can navigate with an small control on the left side. Quick, simple and direct. I choose one picture to show how stable and powerful can be fishing on a Hobie Kayak.
We left during the afternoon, to get used with the equipment and the kayaks. We didn’t take any fish, but was perfect to get confidence for the next days.
We begin with vertical fishing/jigging. The water was not so clean by the high winds of the last days. The point was a drop between 150ft and 120ft. I put one 100g jig and started to work. I didn’t take much time to see the first strike on my bait. African Pompanos and Yellow Snappers, but nothing too much big. My target was the 20lb or more fishes. We try Poppers on surface, but the fishes didn’t show any attraction for it. So we get back to jigging! In the first run of my jig, a really powerful strike! The battle start, the fish runs with me and the kayak for some meters until he stops on a rock. Unfortunately, the braid didn’t resist and I lost. I was really disappointed, still anxious. I fixed the problems, put another shock leader and started again. All the other anglers around me was taking some good fishes, Snappers, Dogtooth Snappers, Yellow Snappers and Chris with a big shad, take one nice Amberjack!
The sadness on my face was too clearly. To didn’t lost the day, I still take another African Pompano.
Frustrated with my lack of preparation, I went back and reorganized the equipment, the other day would be better for me…
After the breakfast with eggs and orange juice, already in the boat, I asked to the fishing guide Tany: JIGGING?! He said yes! Yeah! My second chance with that monster! And again! At my first run, another powerfull strike! Some runs, I closed the reel drag and… AGAIN I lost the fucking fish! HelllLLLLL! I set another jig, and begin again. At this time, with 2 big fishes lost. The luck was on my side, 5 minutes after I hooked another monster. But now I set the reel drag perfectly, and fight finally well. Finally one 20lbs+ fish! Have you ever seen an amberjack on a Kayak?! So, look at this:
I recorded all the process of this fish on my GoPro, subscribe in our youtube Channel to see!
After my sucess with jigging, my target changed to bait casting. I could not left Panama without a Rooster Fish. The notices was not so good, last week theres no Roosters captured in our region. But I must learn to use the baitcasting heavy equipment. I put my Strikeforce Popper, with 13cm and red head and begin to cast on all the coast rocks. In a special place, with a lot of waves and dangerous I thought to get out, but try a last one cast. The cast was perfect! Long and accurate, just a few centimeters from the rocks.
The popper works really well, like a dream and the sense of an iminnet bite get real! The rooster runs putting his finns outs the water! Bite my Popper and dove in the water. At this point I was dangerously close to the rocks. The fish was pulling me to the rocks! I open the reel drag and begin to navigate to a safer place. I scream to the support boat and to Roque to help me and they came faster! It was hard to hear something, I try to turn on my GoPro but fail. The fish was my priority!
After some minutes, without the waves breaking and all the dangers I fought with the fish until I finally see the glorious Rooster Fish! Was totally my most exciting capture ever!
I’m propably the first brazilian to take a Rooster in a kayak! Until proven otherwise… Lol
After the Rooster I become the king of the place! With my targets down! The fishing was just for fun! With this sense, I took a lot of good fishes! Sometimes the smallers comes with a big bite shredded by another big fish!
Some pictures that we took there:
Lures that worked well
The Strikepro Popper and 100g jigs was the better lures. I tried slow jigging, but for the amberjacks, the speed jigging works well.
How can I do a fishing there?
Easy! Make contact with Pascal!
His website: www.panamakayakadventure.com has all the information that you needs!
Fish big fishes with heavy equipment boarding a kayak was an amazing experience, I’ll repeat soon! People who know how fish in kayaks with artificial lures are able to do this travel! Just watchout the equipments and techniques. The support boat will be always near to warrant safety in case of troubles. I’m preparing some material to teach all I learn in this trip!
The service in the Lodge was perfect, the rustic structure contrast with the confort! All the rooms are cleaned regularly and the food. Ahhhh the food mixes the tradition of the Panameniam cuisine with some french touches from Pascal! Breads, fishes, guacamole, fruits! A lot of recipes that will make you miss the Panama (its my case).