Just returned from a really special trip to a chain of small islands approximately 60 / 80 miles off the coast of Panama City, Panama. What made this trip really special was the opportunity to fish and live as "locals" and enjoy an offshore fishery that is truly unique, remote and generally not available to Americans. Kevin and I brought and fished exclusively Temple Reef rods as Alta Pesca's staff wanted to see them in action prior to taking the line on as the exclusive dealers for Panama. We also experimented with the new Ballista Poppers, accessories and back support belts. We also threw quite a bit of our go to lures, the $10 Salas surface irons (swimbaits).
I've uploaded the videos (unedited) to our youtube channel so you can see the bends of the rods in action.
Since we where to spend three days offshore, rather than spend alot of money for a hotel, we opted to rent an apartment in one of the many newly constructed buildings. It was very modern and we where the third people to rent it so it was really clean and nice.
The apartment had a full kitchen and washer/dryer which was great to wash our clothes after two days offshore
Some History I found online and learned from our hosts, Alta Pesca Pro Shop in Panama City, Panama.
In pre-Columbian times, the Pearl Islands were ruled by an Indian king whose subjects’ main occupation was pearl-diving. Pearls were then used as ornaments and objects of trade. Some of the most renowned pearls in the world were collected in these waters.
The Pearl Islands precipitated the greed of the Spaniards. Vasco Nuņez de Balboa, who discovered and gave name to the Pacific Ocean from a point less than 90 kilometers 45 miles from San Jose Island, was attracted by its wealth in gold and pearls. Later on, the Pearl Islands sheltered famous pirates of different nationalities who, for several centuries, looted the wealthy Spanish fleet and settlements.
Finally the United States used the Pearl Islands as a forward listening post and at some point during WWIIl populated the Island with White Tail Deer and Boar for sport hunting and food. They also built the dirt runaway which is still in use today by the island's owner, the President of Copa Airlines. Unfortunately the island was also used for bomb practice and many unexploded bombs are still located on the island to this day ( of course non too close to the resort but the Indians do routinely report seeing them).
Our adventure begins in Panama City where our hosts collected us and drove to the Marina over the Bay causeway. Many of you from the first trips might remember the causeway and marina where we had lunch in the place with the glass floor allowing a view of the fish below. There are also some small shops there and its a popular place to walk/jog on the weekends.
So we load-up Jan's '33 Worldcat with enough ice, food, rods and tackle to support the trip. Its easy the marina is like a golf club, we had three or four porters and they made short work of hundreds of pounds of ice, gear, food, etc via some pretty nice carts.
The boat is really nice with everything you could need or want for offshore fishing, once underway we make 33 mph at 1.2/1.3 with sprints to as much as 40 during the day when we had good light, the beam is amazing wide excellent stable platform for fishing.
Shot of Panama City Coastline as we make our way across the bay