The Yellowfin Tuna are back in the Pacific waters of Panama!
Yellowfin Tuna is abundant in the Pacific waters of Panama right now (Feb, 2013). The peak season in Panama runs from February through to May. The yellowfin tuna is among the larger tuna species reaching up to 400lbs, still significantly smaller than the Atlantic and Bluefin tuna, which can reach up to 1000lbs. Recently I spent some time at Casa Estrella el Ciruelo, a short distance from Playa Venao in the Azuero Peninsula. Casa Estrella is a small blue guest house that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Pee-Wee runs the house, he’s a great guy. As soon as we arrived he let us know the tuna were biting. Pee-Wee said, in past years the Yellowfin tuna had not come, but this year the season was a good one, everyone was coming in with a boat full of tuna!
We set out at 6:00 am to El Farro, the light house on the two flat rocks of the coast of Pedasi, a popular fishing spot amongst locals and visitors. We continued onwards past El Farro until we could barely see the rocks. We were pretty far offshore when we let the lines out. We trolled (slowly moving with the lines out) for about twenty minutes before catching the first fish, sure enough it was tuna. The fish, weighing about 15 lbs, put up a good fight. Shortly after the first catch we trolled over a flock of seabirds in a feeding frenzy, we could see tuna bashing around amongst them after the same bait fish, both lines went out, double header, two more fish! The day continued on in this fashion… fish after fish; we were excited to say the least.
The boat we were out on was a panga (traditional panamaian fishing boat) with no cover. The water was a little rough, so the ride was bumpy. The cost of the trip was $60.00 for the boat, $30.00 for gas and $20 for equipment. Larger fishing charters can cost upwards of $1000.00, so the most cost effective way to get out there is definitely with a local fisherman.
Here are some numbers of local fishermen who will take your out fishing in the Azuero Peninsula:
Avidel (507) 6509-3783
Lionel (507) 6500-4898
Edwin (507) 6669-7320
Augusto (507) 6671-9421
Casa Estrella Ocean front Bed & Breakfast in El Ciruleo, Panama is a half an hour towards Playa Venao from Pedasi For more information or reservations contact Pee-Wee at (507) 6889-3044
If you are interested in fresh water fishing in Panama read ‘Fishing for Peacock Bass on Lake Gatun in Arenosa, Panama’