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Old 06-25-2019, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default The other Panama

Guys, I rarely post so bare with me here....This is fishing/traveling related but not your typical post.

For anyone who travels to Central America or the other Panama for fishing trips, have you ever gone during the wet season? Moving forward I think I’ll always come this time of year. Being the off season air fare was a steal. Nearly constant cloud cover, occasional rain, and nice breezes had this place feeling like spring in late June! Maybe got lucky? Normally we visit in the dry season in late Dec or early January and it’s sweltering. Locals (although in the northern hemisphere) have named their seasons backwards from ours because of the weather. I’m here in “winter” now and understand.

We visit my wife’s parents in Panama every year or two, and I’m here right now. Out of fear of being rained out due to 80-90% chance of rain, I didn’t setup a charter like I’d dreamed out of Pedasi for bigguns offshore or Lake for peacock bass or even a Panga from Taboga Island for Spanish or Corvina. All I did was some shore fishing from Taboga Island while out with the family and have my gulps shredded. The view however was worth every second. Unfortunately I’m heading back home in a couple of days.

The last thing I want to mention for anyone looking to soak up the scenic and mountainous interior- before trekking 6+ hrs west across the country towards Boquete/Vulcan Baru check out the Campana/Altos de Maria area about an hour or so west of PC. Just got back from that area. Absolutely Stunning mountains with views over the Pacific and Punta Chame. Our last trip we drove west towards Costa Rica from PC to Boquete near Vulcan Baru. Photos are from Isla Morro next to Taboga.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:58 AM   #2
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I was stationed in Panama for a couple of years. Killed some big grouper at Tobago. We did an operation between Rio Hato and Rodman Navy was nothing to see a school of tuna covering 10 acres. Trolled both ways( advantage of having one of the boats under me that always ran the trip solo....and I always went with that boat. We were about 10 miles west of Tobago one trip, saw a full sheet of plywood floating. I broke out my cobia rod and a 302 with a manual on it, took a mullet out of the ice chest and said " y'all watch this, instant bull dolphin". Saw a fish coming up...and up...and up. My dolphin morphed into a marlin. 302 was out of line in a very short time, but it was cool watching that marlin greyhounding away. Caribbean side has some great sight fishing and fishing the Caribbean side inside Lake Gatun, you could thrown a rapala at a peacock bass and wind up with a big snooker, jack or tarpon up to 200 pounds. Diving the pacific was mehhh because of the turbidity, but the Caribbean was like a dream. Diving coral reef that would drop off the top of the reef in 5-8 feet of water, but just over the side would drop to 70-100 feet in some places. Great surf on both coasts, too. Caribbean side is cooler during dry season than during wet season, but then again, the Caribbean side is low jungle. Loved it there.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:21 AM   #3
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I never had a chance to fish there but got to see a lot of interesting wild life. I spent a week there visiting my parents in 93', they lived in David at the time.
Its a very unique country for sure. I got pretty bad sick the second day and I hadn't fully recovered until the fifth day, I think I drank the water. Regardless I tried to enjoy it best I could. I've never seen so many iguanas in my life, and coconuts were just washing around in the surf and on the beach. We stayed at a place on the Pacific side called Rio Mar. I never saw them but one of the locals said that there were giant peacock bass in the river that dumped in the ocean at that location.
one thing that got my attention were the stands of trees on either side of the roads in the forest. They were growing so close together that they didn't need any fencing. I later found out that the fence posts that were used many years ago took root and made trees. Apparently it is very fertile land.
The option of having the Pacific on one side and Caribbean on the other is incredible. Oh yeah, the locals love to party, I think they invent holidays just to have week long fiestas.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
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My favorite area is an area called Arenosa. Peacock bass fishing was awesome. I was there in the 90's.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:30 AM   #5
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Incredible memories-thanks for sharing! I have to get out in the Pacific. Only one trip I did in the Bay of Taboga years ago but no marlin or tuna mainly snapper - grouper.

What was your fishing experience like during the wet season?
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:39 AM   #6
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I try to mostly drink bottled water here but have never gotten sick from the tap water. 26 years ago was probably a different story, especially in David. Yes there is fruit and interesting trees growing everywhere it seems. Mangos are in the trees, the road, the ground and then in our Publix for $1.50. BTW if you are allergic to poison ivy wear gloves or don’t eat like an apple because the oil in the skin is the same as poison ivy. I learned that.
Locals love to party and some seem to have a fascination with fireworks at 3am on random days.
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