FISHING THE PENINSULA
The rich waters of the Azuero Peninsula are a veritable anglers paradise where a multitude of opportunities and possibilities await. Year round, the inshore fishing can be nothing short of spectacular and we have some wonderful ground to fish that is home to Roosterfish, Cuberas, Amberjack, Corvinas, Groupers and many different types of Jacks and Snapper. The biodiversity here is astounding and you never quite know what you will catch next. We even see schools of Tarpon from time to time. They have established themselves after migrating through the Panama Canal from the Caribbean side and are doing very well. Then there's also the huge Pacific Snook that top out at around 50 lbs, Bonefish and the occasional Permit! This really is a very special and unique fishery.
Offshore, we have the possibility of finding Yellowfin and Big Eye Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish and Black Marlin. As a rule, these fish come much closer to shore in the green season and on occasions, have been caught within a couple of miles. Last season a Sailfish of 150 lb + was caught in a kayak less than half a mile off the beach which was exceptional. Generally speaking, we normally push out at least 8 miles and further when looking for the pelagics.
There are a good number of islands, many huge reef systems, pinnacles, plateaus, wrecks, estuaries, mangrove systems and mile upon mile of feature rich shoreline to target. We are spoilt for choice and have plenty of different areas to try on any given day. There is never a dull moment. Whether in the boat, kayak or from the shore you can fish with confidence knowing that your next bite could be that fish of a lifetime!
We are conservation minded in our fishing practices and return all Cubera, Roosters, Groupers, Sharks and Billfish. We take enough table-fish to feed ourselves on a daily basis and beyond that we practice catch and release. Freezing down fish and filling coolers to fly out of the country is not our thing.
Here at FISH PEDASi we use many different techniques when we are fishing the Tuna Coast from our custom designed super-panga. On any given day we may try jigging, popping, casting lures and stickbaits, trolling deep divers or skirted rubber lures and fishing with livebait or deadbait - either trolled, on the drift or at anchor.
For those of you that like to be busy on the water then 'Jigging and Popping' will be very appealing. The fish here are responsive to these modern methods and we are big lure fishing fans ourselves - we love it! It's active, it's exciting, it's visual, it's fast paced, it's sporting and ultimately it's very effective. There's little in angling to beat the thrill of watching a big Roosterfish, Cubera or Tuna chasing down your popper or feeling that 'thump' as a big fish smashes your jig deep below.
Spending a day mixing it up between the different styles of jigging, popping and casting lures is a great way to get to grips with our fishery and experience some excellent sport from a wide variety of species. Don't worry if you've never done it before or are lacking in confidence with this kind of fishing, it's not so complicated. Sam is hugely experienced in these modern lure fishing techniques and a great teacher. His famous on-the-water jigging and popping seminars will have the fish crawling up your line in no time.
When fishing offshore, trolling lures is a nice relaxing technique and a great way to cover the water seeking out pelagic fish. It can also be a welcome break for tired arms after a busy morning of casting and jigging. However, if there are birds working or visible signs of bait being hit by fish then we will 'run and gun' the shoals with the boat. Throwing a popper into a frothing school of Tuna is very exciting and almost a guaranteed hook-up!
If you are a dedicated specimen hunter then trying a live bait is a good option. This is without a doubt the most selective method for the bigger fish. It requires a little patience and determination but it really is very effective. This technique above all the others consistently produces fish above the average size. We tend to use Blue Runners, Bonito or small Jacks that we catch with mini-jigs, sabikis or lures. Sometimes we troll these baits slowly behind us or just fish them on the drift over structure, which can be deadly.
A whole deadbait drifted back behind the boat has also accounted for some seriously big Roosterfish, Cubera Snapper and Groupers over the years. These large fish seem more than happy to suck up an easy meal and this is therefore a technique that should not be overlooked if you are specifically looking for a specimen fish. Chunking with sardines is also another of our go-to methods when after the bigger Tuna offshore.
If you have a specific species that you wish to target or a certain technique you prefer, then we will tailor the fishing to suit you. Sam and Larry have all the skills needed to guide you and help you achieve the desired result. Just let us know......this is your adventure!
Mothership Kayak Fishing Adventure: Our mothership kayak fishing trips are a great experience and offer an exciting challenge for die-hard kayakers and those with a thirst for adventure. We load the kayaks into the boat so we can go and try several different areas in one day and get you to all the best spots. This also gives us the flexibility to go offshore or move if we need to. We can cover much greater distances on the tide this way with the boat following close by for support, safety and bait catching services. You will have a guide on the water in a kayak with you at all times to point you in the right direction and offer advice about each location that we try. We have caught some huge specimen fish from the kayaks on these mothership trips!
Beach Launches: There are great opportunites to make beach launches in beautiful tranquil seas through the green season. We love the simplicity of kayak fishing and it's a real privilege to be able to target huge, tropical saltwater species and quality table-fish straight from the beach, just a short paddle away. We are very lucky here. We have a number of launch sites available to us around the Peninsula, each offering different opportunites and fishing styles with a great variety of species available. Our beach launch trips tend to be of a shorter duration as we have to work with the tide.
As far as techniques go, then we spend the majority of the time jigging, popping, using livebait or trolling artificials. Live bait is the killer method from the kayak to seek out those big Roosters, Cubera and Groupers that will give you the most incredible fight and memories to last a lifetime. The jigging can also be hectic and is a great way to provide some very tasty table-fish and an excellent variety of species.
Fishing from a kayak here can be quite extreme at times and is not for the feint hearted. We may fish quite long sessions and often in some steady tide, so a reasonable level of fitness and previous kayak fishing experience are certainly beneficial. We use Blackfin Kayaks which are incredibly stable and feature a pedal drive system leaving your hands free for fishing at all times. We love the simplicity and they are well suited to our location and fishing style here on the Azuero Peninsula.
There really is little to beat the sensation of being attached to a powerful fish with your feet firmly planted on terra firma. Big fish from the shore are never a given and always a serious challenge that requires time, patience and determination. The conditions also need to be just right for success. That said, we have some excellent oppotunities available here from a number of beach, rock and estuary marks. By fishing lures or bait then there are a large number of species available to us, including shark and rays. Maybe you're an all-rounder and want to include a day from the shore during your time here or are looking for a dedicated shore fishing adventure. Let us know and we'll be happy to create the right package for you.
OUR FISH SPECIES
CUBERA SNAPPER: This fish is often top of the list for many visiting anglers.....and for good reason too. With an average weight of 40 lbs and reaching a maximum of 100 lbs these fish are a serious challenge. They fight dirty and will try as hard as they can to reach their lair and break you off, they never give up. Our location offers great opportunities to come face to face with one of these impressive creatures. Be ready and keep that drag tight though, if there's even a tiny chink in your armour then these fish are going to find it.
Fishing techniques: Casting poppers, stickbaits, jerk baits or diving lures, trolling and on the jig. Livebait & Deadbait.
ROOSTERFISH: Roosters are abundant in our waters year round. The average size we find here is very impressive - it is possible to find specimens up to 100 lbs! The smaller fish can be gregarious, often hunting in packs and providing excellent sport. The bigger specimens are more solitary creatures and will give you a fight that you will never forget! People travel far and wide to catch Roosterfish and this is easily one of the best locations on earth to target these incredible fish!
Fishing Techniques: Casting poppers, stickbaits, shallow divers and jerkbaits. Livebait & deadbait.
AMBERJACKS: Here on the Tuna Coast we have the Greater Amberjack, Fortune Jack and Almaco Jack present. These fish live in big schools and are found mostly in the deeper water on our offshore reef marks. All of these fish are incredibly powerful and make fantastic targets to try and catch on jigging tackle. They can reach up to 80 lbs and occasionally bigger! They pull hard and will try their best to get back to the reef and smash you up. You have been warned!
Fishing Techniques: Speed jigging or slow pitch jigging, livebait, deadbait and at certain times, top-water lures.
TUNA: These amazing fish are highly sought after and rightly so. We get Yellowfin and Big Eye Tuna here and they can get huge. The biggest recorded locally tipped the scales to 350 lbs. This area is called the 'Tuna Coast' for a reason. We find that these fish come much coser to shore during the green season, the best months are between May and September. The smaller fish are very receptive to top-water lures and it makes for exciting fishing, you're guaranteed a thrill whenever you hook one. Once you experience their turn of speed and screaming runs, it'll leave you wanting more. The bigger fish are best targeted with chunks of bait.
Fishing Techniques: Casting poppers, shallow divers or bucktails, livebait, trolling, chunking bait and sometimes they'll hit a jig.
CORVINA: These fish are stunning and can grow to a very respectable size, nudging 40 lbs. We have 3 different varieties present here and they are highly prized locally for their eating quality. They come in waves and can be here one week, gone the next. At times, they can be concentrated on our nearshore reef systems and at others we find them creeping around the rocky outcrops near sandy beaches. They love to hang out where freshwater meets the salt also. In the green season, they often form large schools in deep water and are great fun to catch on the jig.
Fishing Techniques: In deep water, a well presented jig is the way to go. When they are in shallower water close to shore then it's tough to beat casting a small rapala for them.
MAHI MAHI: Certainly one of the most stunning fish that we find in our waters. There's no mistaking these beautiful creatures when you hook one. With their acrobatics and incredible colours they make for a memorable catch. They are more numerous offshore during the green season and are highly sought after. At times, we find them much closer on our nearshore reef systems where they can often be seen visibly hunting. Throwing lures at these fish is very exciting!
Fishing Techniques: Casting poppers or shallow diving lures to showing fish, trolling lures and livebait.
GROUPER: These fish are simply stunning and a real treat to catch. The Broomtail Grouper seen here, is the more common of the grouper species we find in our waters and tops out at around 100 lbs. We also find the Goliath Grouper (Jewfish) which can reach a whopping 500 lbs. Sadly, this species is rather rare these days but we do catch small ones occasionally. Due to their slow growing nature, we return all the groupers we catch.
Fishing Techniques: Slow pitch jigging, deadbait or livebait.
WAHOO: The speed demon of the ocean and highly prized for its fantastic eating. The Wahoo season is from late September through until December, but they can pop up out of the blue at any time. We catch these amazing fish by pulling lures close to structure offshore as this is where we tend to find them hanging out. The first run from a Wahoo is unmistakable and guaranteed to make your reel sing
Fishing Techniques: Pulling deep diving plugs behind the boat, sometimes on a livebait or a jig too.
JACK CREVALLE: These fish are total brutes! They provide exceptional sport for those of you keen on fishing top-water. The way that a pack of Jack Crevalles will chase down and smash your popper, all competing to get there first is a huge amount of fun to experience. Everyone loves a Jack-Attack! At certain times we have huge schools present and the action can be non-stop. Being the little cousin of the GT, they have just as much attitude when it comes to their fighting style. Expect wild top-water smashes, screaming drags and epic scraps. What's not to like! These bad boys top out around 30 lbs.
Fishing Techniques: Poppers, Plugs, Stickbaits, Trolled lures and they'll hit a jig in deep water too.
SIERRA MACKEREL: The Sierra is a regular catch and a staple in the kitchen. They look good, taste great and are a heap of fun to catch. With razor sharp teeth they occasionally may steal a lure or jig from you. They give blistering fast runs, especially when they get sizeable. They are also known to leap high in the air when hooked or when free swimming and hunting. It's an amazing sight! They are a year round target.
Fishing Techniques: Throwing small lures, poppers and spoons. They will hit a jig too. Something flashy and silver is a good way to fire these creatures up.
BLUEFIN TREVALLY: These fish are highly desirable and it's easy to see why! The flash of electric blue on their flanks is simply stunning. They can be very obliging and are a fantastic fish to target on top-water, they love a well presented popper. They punch well above their weight and being the little cousin of the GT it's no surprise really. They are a year round target and can be found hanging around rocky outcrops, right in the white water.
Fishing Techniques: Throwing small lures, poppers and bucktails. They will sometimes hit a jig in deep water too. The really big ones will also have a go at a bluerunner live bait.
GOLDEN TREVALLY: A truly stunning fish, one of the most beautiful in our waters! Highly desirable and not too common, so catching one is a real treat. They lurk on the edges of our inshore reefs and normally feed hard on the bottom. They are accustomed to eating small food items so a small jig presented right near the bottom is your best chance of success.
Fishing Techniques: Small slow jigs or bait jigs twitched enticingly right down near the bottom on our shallow reefs.
NEEDLEFISH: Love them or loathe them, they are here and we catch them to world record sizes every season. When they get big they are actually very impressive creatures and provide an exciting battle as they leap and cartwheel doing their best to rid themselves of the hooks. As they say, one mans trash is another mans treasure. Definitely worth ticking off the list for the dedicated species hunters amongst you.
Fishing Techniques: Any kind of flashy or top-water lure!
Snappers: Besides the Cubera Snapper, there are a further 7 species present in our waters to target. We have the Yellowtail Snapper, Mullet Snapper, Rock Snapper, Silk Snapper, Colorado Snapper, Costeno Snapper and Spotted Rose Snapper. They love to hang around our reef systems, sometimes in large schools and make excellent targets for the enthusiastic jig angler. They are also partial to a small diving lure or popper in shallow water. The one thing they all have in common is that they fight hard and will do their best to get back into the rocks and break you off.
Fishing Techniques: Small lures, poppers and jigs. Also partial to chunks of cut-bait.
BILLFISH: Here in the rich waters off the Azuero Peninsula we are blessed to be on the migration route of Sailfish and Black Marlin. At certain times of the year these fish can be found close to shore and are a viable target. They don't hold up for long in our area as these incredible creatures are merely passing through. However, May/June and Oct/Nov are noted hot times and if there have been sightings, then it's always worth a try. It's tough to beat the sight of a billfish leaping back behind the boat!
Fishing techniques: Slow trolling live bait, bridled and rigged deadbaits, or large skirted lures.
OTHER SPECIES: There are many other species of interest here for the dedicated specimen hunter. We find many different types of Grunts, Hogfish, Pompano, Ladyfish, Triggerfish, Creolefish, Milkfish, Bonito, Porkfish, Leatherjacks, Darts, Mullet, Hawkfish, Rainbow Runner, Barracuda, Tarpon, Snook and many more!