Randy Jones Strike Zone – Mark Your Calendars

Randy Jones Strike Zone – The Outdoor Channel – Tarpon Fishing with Tranquilo Bay episode airs on Saturday, June 6, 2009. Check your local listings for exact times: 7:00 am and 1:30 pm. This time Randy went way beyond Southern California. It was great fun to have Randy and his crew here. We are looking forward to the episode.

Check out the details for the show here: http://www.outdoorchannel.com/Shows/RandyJonesStrikeZone.aspx

What are the odds?

Last weekend, some of Jim’s fraternity brothers came down to do a bit of fishing. One of the guys also went to high school with Jay and law school with me. Small world. Anyway, back to the fishing. The first day they did some Tarpon fishing. They had a great day. On Saturday, they decided they were going to check out some of the other things we can do here in Bocas, so they went off to the Zapatilla Cayes to do a bit of Bonefishing, snorkeling and beach combing. After they had tried all of those things, they decided to go ahead and go offshore to catch some fish.

As soon as they got to the bank, they noticed the Bonita jumping. So they threw a line out of the boat and caught one right away. Jim was getting ready to rig it to use it alive to catch a bigger fish. Glenn was on the rod and Mike was close by. Mind you this is a trout rod as all they were after was bait. Next thing they know, there is a Tuna jumping. Right after the Tuna was a Wahoo. The Wahoo took a bite out of the Bonita. One half gone. Jim told them to go ahead and leave the line in the water as the Wahoo wold come back for the other half. Sure enough, he did. He was caught. However, Wahoo have super sharp teeth. This rod was not set up to catch a Wahoo. It didn’t have enough line on the reel, there wasn’t a wire leader, etc. etc. Jim, Glenn and Mike all worked to put the fish in the right position around the boat so that they had a chance of landing this one. Once the fish got to the boat, Glenn had the gaff to get it. Glenn had never used a gaff at this point. He got it on the fish and they got him in the boat. Jim says that the fish was more difficult to handle and bigger than Tres. So that means it was at least 50 pounds. This one they brought home. We ate it for dinner. It was extremely tasty.

Jim has looked up the world record for a wahoo on twelve pound test – 57 pounds. It is awfully close to this fish. Of course, we had multiple people touch the rod, so no world record here, but it was a world record fish for sure!

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Did you figure out who he is?

Well, I am not going to tell you. But here are a couple of the photos from fishing while that crew was here.

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Okay, it is Larry Csonka. And here are some shots of the fish that his friends and family caught as well.

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This is Dennis’ Tarpon. He caught the first one of the trip.

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This is Audrey’s Tarpon. Hers was the second one for the trip, but the first one on day two.

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And here is Kristin with her Tarpon. Nice size don’t you think? Not too bad for a few days fishing.

Motley Crew

Do you know anyone in this photo? There are of course the usual suspects: those of us who live and work here at Tranquilo Bay. Then there are four guests. These four guests came down to go fishing and had a wonderful time. Each one of them caught a Tarpon. They also caught several other species of fish. Do you recognize the gentleman in the center? The one with the kids? What about his lovely partner next to the kids? For those of you who are NFL fans – you should remember this former Miami Dolphin. For those of you who are fishermen, you might recognize him from his television show called NAPA’s North to Alaska. What I can tell you is this – this gentleman, his partner and their friends from Alaska were great fun and super people. I am glad the suggested we get a group photo. We do not do this often enough.

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Fish On!

Jim and Jay are out fishing today with some guests. Here are a few photos from one of their fishing trips last Spring. I was thinking about these guests over the weekend as they are all University of Texas Alumni and with the Longhorns playing football as well as they are these days I was thinking about the other people I know who would be so proud of them!

It was a glorious day to be on the water. Today’s weather mimics the weather from these photographs. We had a bit of rain overnight which is necessary to keep the vegetation in all of its splendor. The fishing group left early under clear skies. The day has been clear and warm all day. We have not seen a cloud in the sky throughout the entire day. Jay likes to call these days – Chamber of Commerce days. As if we called up the chamber of commerce and ordered one just for this set of guests. And we will do the same for you.

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New fishing websites

Here are a few new websites to which we have made contributions. Content is supposed to be added on a semi-regular basis. We will be fishing next week with Jim’s older brother. So if we get any new photos that help with the content of the sites we will be sure to send them along. Have a great weekend!

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Panama Tuna Logo Tarpon Panama Logo

bar fight with my father in law

Excursion: Tarpon Fishing
Area: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Weather: Overcast morning, sunny afternoon

Its not often you get to throw your 68-year old father-in-law into a bar fight and then stand around taunting him as he is getting his butt kicked. Today I would have just that chance, and I can’t say that I haven’t been looking forward to the show.

My wife’s father, Charlie, has taught me much about business and life over the last 17 years, but today, he was in my world, Tarponville.

Jay and I had previously hatched a plan long in preparation. Little did Charlie know that we were to be the anglers and he was to be the fish. We figured with just the right amount of shame and a dash of sarcasm, we could have him chomping at the bit to catch a Panama Silver King. You see, Charlie hasn’t fished in over 20 years, and he has never caught anything larger than a red snapper. Those who have tangled with a Tarpon over 75 pounds know what old Charlie was in for, but he had no idea.

Prior to his Panama vacation, we chummed the waters a little. Due to his long break from fishing, it was easy to stoke the fire and get him all excited. We told a few outlandish fish tales for the old man and sprinkled in a few photos, which were received with a very sarcastic show me attitude I might add. It is not easy to find these days, but our bait was a new Central American Tarpon discovery all to ourselves. Who could resist?

Poor Charlie, he sucked it down like a hog taking a truffle. After reviewing the Tranquilo Bay tarpon photo galleries on the website, Charlie decided he wanted to catch a world class Central America Tarpon in Panama.

As we pulled up to the area, it couldn’t have been staged better on a movie set. Tarpon were rolling everywhere. Charlie’s eyes got big like a deer in the headlights. He said, “that’s amazing, I had no idea they got that big.” At one point, a pack of at least 30 Tarpon came bulldogging by the boat, clearly agitated about something. A few minutes later we saw the fin and back of about a 5-foot long shark in hot pursuit. The surface action was furious, but the bite had not quite started.

After a short while we had our first chance, I handed Charlie a rod with a screaming drag, then abruptly yelled in his ear to get the blood flowing. “FISH ON!” For the next twenty minutes Jay and I sat there drinking a cold beer while taking turns shouting out sage advice. “Keep that rod tip up”, “keep the pressure on him”, “put your back into it”, what fun.

Charlie’s knees were quivering, and sweat was pouring down his face. This was serious business, because for Charlie, there was more on the line than just another fish. He knew he had to do whatever it would take to pull that Tarpon up out of the water, showing the two young bucks how a “MAN” does it. Well, he would just have to wait, that fish turned out to be a 30 pound Jack Crevalle, not the Trophy Tarpon he was looking for.

About one hour later it happened, the drag started screaming and before we could even get the rod out of the holder, a huge Tarpon went flying 10 feet into the air. Charlie had found what he came to Panama looking for, and so had we. “FISH ON!” Jay looked at me and appropriately said, “Let the games begin.”

For 40 minutes Charlie battled this incredible Tarpon in Bocas del Toro, without another boat in site. Jay and I stood by for the show, knowing that Charlie’s 68 years of experience and wisdom would not help him get that fish to the boat. The instructions were flying, “keep that rod tip up, put your back into it.” As he danced around that boat sweating, praying, and cursing we new exactly how he felt. It’s a bar fight.

After all was said and done, we caught several Jack Crevalle, and four Tarpon. Charlie finally said enough, but he didn’t get his butt kicked. He has a victory picture with his 80-pound Tarpon, proof to the world he showed two young bucks how it is done, but I don’t think he will be stepping back into another Panama Tarpon brawl anytime soon.

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searching for a silver king with Mo

Excursion: Tarpon fishing
Area: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Weather: Light showers sunny and warm

Today David “Mo” Moseley wanted to search for the “Silver King”. We left the dock at 6:15 AM and the conditions were favorable with two-foot seas and little to no wind. As the sun was coming up, it looked like it was going to be overcast. We passed through a few light showers on the way to our first location. There were light showers on and off throughout the morning, and it started to look like it might get heavier. It never did, and by mid morning it just stopped, we even got a little bit of sunshine.

Well, the weather may not have been perfect, but the fishing couldn’t have been better. We jumped ten Tarpon, and two of them were real brutes. The biggest was a solid 150 pounds, and we got a great picture of her at boat side. Everyone on the boat landed a big fish, and Mo had several nice Silver Kings under his belt.

There were large schools of bait getting smashed by what looked like Jack Crevalle and Bonita. Throughout the day we caught several big Jack Crevalle along with the Tarpon, the action was constant without a dull moment.

After we all agreed that enough was enough, we reluctantly started our return to Tranquilo Bay. While leaving with the bite still on, we watched with envy as the Pelicans, Brown Boobies, and Magnificent Frigates dove into patches of nervous bait, wishing we weren’t too tired to battle another Tarpon.

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