Posts by PanamaJack

    On the back of Marc Towers trip here in 2012 -…hing-trip-report.1475424/ - two fellow Club members were similarly tempted; the potential for those monster Dogtooth Tuna. Conditions weren’t perfect - water temperatures were high, sharks were a problem and the arrival of some of the pelagic species had been delayed but ……what a trip!

    On their short trip they ended up landing five Dogtooths - two of them monsters. One went 209 and the other 237lbs! And at 237lbs it’s a potential IGFA All Tackle record, besting the current one by 6lbs.

    It wasn’t only Dogtooth though. They had two Broadbill Swordfish, the best around 200lbs, trolling at night and a range of other species, including GTs to 65lbs.

    They’re the bald facts but I think this report much better illustrates the sheer excitement the two experienced -…ler/posts/895175763853046 . There’re other images on the two guys personal Facebook pages here - and here - .

    Good morning Reinaard and my apologies for the delay in replying. Virtually all those BIG Blacks on the Great Barrier Reef are targeted using very large swimming or skipping dead baits and the immediate reaction of the fish when hooked, with that lodged in its throat, is to jump. They're relatively close - the drag settings are very high - and the boat powers backwards to try to ensure a short fight, with successful release. (In those tropical waters any fish acting unnaturally is fairly quickly shadowed by sharks.)

    Looking at reports from that Black Marlin Blog they're obviously having a very successful season.

    Over the years several skippers have taken ‘Grander Slams’ - 1000lb plus Atlantic and Pacific Blues plus Black Marlin - in their angling careers. But I’m unaware of any anglers who have achieved that feat; that is until now.

    Stephan Kreupl, one of our Club’s German members, has literally just released an estimated 1100lb Black Marlin fishing aboard Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. (There’s a brief report here - .)

    Previously Stephan had caught an 1238lb Pacific Blue Marlin from Rodrigues Island - near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in January 2007. (That’s still the IGFA’s 80lb line class record, and was taken on stand-up gear.) And in May 2011 he caught an 1150lb Atlantic Blue fishing aboard Amelia, skippered by Zak Conde, in the Cape Verde Islands - the fabled NorWest Bank off Santo Antao.

    (There are reports of these last two captures here -…drigues/rodrigues-2007-1/ and here -…bo-verde/cabo-verde-2011/ .)

    Tremendous achievement! Well done Stephan!

    BLUEFIN in ITALY. A friend and I have just returned from a trip to Ancona - about halfway up Italy’s (East) Adriatic coast - targeting juvenile Bluefin Tuna on heavy popping gear. For two days the ‘weather gods’ conspired against us but, on the Friday, we got offshore and a result - I got a Tuna around 35kgs. I have to admit though it was, paraphrasing the words of that Beatles song, ‘I got by with a little help from my friend’. Thank you Peter!

    Right now to the detail, but first:

    The prime months to encounter them using extreme spinning techniques is during April and September. Obviously that’s slightly flexible. Another Club member I believe caught his in late March and they’re obviously present - in numbers - off Ancona during October with the main aggregations then being targeted, some 60 kilometres North, in November from Pesaro. (Our skipper - Diego Bedetti - relocates his boat there during November.)

    Then during July and August they’re targeting the fish - often larger fish up to 200kgs plus - drifting off Ancona using deadbaits and a chum trail of fish fragments. (Not the ‘classic’ sharking mix, although they do encounter the occasional one.)

    And it’s during July that they are licensed to take one fish a day. The rest of the year it is strictly a release fishery.

    So to our trip.

    We fished from an open centre console 23’ Polaris powered by a 150HP four-stroke outboard, and ran 15 or so miles offshore - in around 200’ of water - and started scanning the sea for the birds over the Tuna shoals. They’re, at that time of year, feeding on large Sardines. Once you spot them, and that can be at up to a mile range, it’s the classic “Run ’n’ Gun” and hopefully you arrive before the surface action finishes. Singletons also pop up occasionally.

    There was lots of action - some really impressive - but we were never quite there in time! Diego therefore decided to ‘up sticks’ and run some 15 or so miles to the South. And that’s where we encountered a real maelstrom of feeding fish; with fish literally within a few yards of the boat!

    (Our guide was very conscious of what he described as the intensity of their ‘activity’ with, on most occasions, him approaching them at low revs and asking for long, accurate casts. They’re evidentially very sensitive to noise.)

    But on this occasion nothing was going to spook those fish. I fired out a weighted pink soft bait - you fish it reasonably fast and straight with 2’ sweeps of the rod - whereas Peter was using a popper. And within perhaps 30’ of the boat I got a hook-up. (Our guide likes you to set the hook with three or four short jabbing strikes.)

    I really didn’t expect what was to happen next with, rather than the fish running away from the pressure, it shooting backwards past the stern and dragging me, initially, to my knees. You’re fishing with an 8’ rod and the drag on the reel is set to 9 kilos - around 20lbs!

    After that initial run, and now with a butt pad on, it was that classic Tuna ‘up and down’ fight with the boat just being manoeuvred to keep the line near to the bow, away from the engine. And I have to admit the pressure started to tell on me, and Peter took over for a while.

    (Just some observations here about technique. And yes, hindsight’s a wondrous thing! I was pumping using my forearm, and the lactic acid soon started to build up. I now understand that it’s better to, still keeping a straight back, to use your weight - not too much in my case - and lean back, whilst also using your legs to squat. The other thing, especially when the fish is starting to circle, is to apply maximum pressure by clamping down on the reel’s spool. Don’t ‘up’ the drag unless you fancy a premature ‘ early bath’ if the fish isn’t as tired as you think.)

    Any rate with the fish leader Diego used a modified BogaGrip to ‘lip’ the fish and, seeing it had been a relatively short fight - less than 30 minutes - and the fish was healthy, Peter and he lifted it aboard for the requisite photos. It was then quickly back in the water where, gently motoring forward, we allowed the fish to recover - watching for those strong tail beats - before releasing it. Ah yes, Diego inserted a small scientific tag next to its dorsal.

    So then it was an excellent lunch of pasta, a beer and some of Diego’s ‘jungle juice’ - a potent coffee liqueur. And of course, during that time, we had several singletons jumping around the boat!

    Well we had several more shots in the afternoon, but no further success.

    Just one further observation about technique with regards the surface poppers. It was a slower retrieve with the rod held at probably a 70 degree angle with just short ‘pops’. Certainly the birds liked it! You just had to remember that, when with 20 yards or so of the boat, you brought the rod parallel to the surface to maintain those short ‘pops’.

    So it was the extreme spin fishing for Tuna that had attracted us but, on the way in, Diego mentioned the Amberjack they caught. His biggest had been over 50kgs! And also the massive Leerfish up to nearly 35kgs. In fact illustrating this we, just outside the harbour, pulled alongside one of his friend’s boats who’d caught a 16kg Leerfish on a small Garfish livebait.

    Apologies, the editor really does seem to have made elements of my original text virtually un-intelligible! Could I suggest, if it's of interest, there's the original report on this Facebook page -!/pa…s/116133465115464?fref=ts. You'll find it, dated 14th February, on the left hand side under 'posts by others'. There's also one image of a 'double header' of Red Drum, a 20 and 25 pounder, we caught in the Louisiana marshlands.

    Part 2 - the original was apparently too long. Whilst our charter Which Organised through Alan Zaremba of we did not fish with Alan himself, he'd left Miami at 6am did very morning for a guided trip to the Amazon, we got to fish with one of his friends, Drew Gregg, a great gentleman, and very knowledgeable. And our launch site? . At the Blue Lagoon, literally a few blocks off one of Miami's main thoroughfare, Le Jeune Road, did runs passed the international airport But the next 8 hours Took us all through the complex of canals in South West at speed - they're excavated from limestone, as not issues with erosion - targeting structure, the Peacocks are ambush predators, and shaded areas under bridges A lot of the time, and there were three of us on his boat, he would be using his electric trolling motor to enable us to cover area in. We caught numbers of them and They Were Although big -. up to 3lbs or so - it was great fun (Looking at Alan's site you'll see that, Although they're not the Brazilian 'monsters', They Do Regularly catch specimens in the 8 to 10lb range.) Charles started off with a couple on weighted Clouser pattens and, Although we were getting follows on lures, For it They Go live and dead minnows did produced most strikes. Really enjoyable twitching a Deadbait sink back 'n' draw and seeing a Peacock rocket out of a weed bed to engulf it. One as well that we spotted what, I imagine, close to building a nest and spawning and fiercely guarded the site. I threw a Deadbait at it and it just sidled up and blew it away., Peter then put a bait there and, as it Approached it, just twitched it. indeed resulted in a explosive strike. Certainly if you ever have a day to 'kill' in Miami it's something i could recommend.I almost forgot to mention but my first fish was a strange creature - elongated and brown with spots - a Florida Gar with some nasty teeth holding it in the water Drew gave it a healthy whack across the skull with a wooden bat prior to us bringing it. onboard but, with me holding it for the photograph, it flipped back into water No photograph Any rate did what the Florida element of our trip, Concluding with a visit to my favorite Cuban restaurant on Le Jeune, the Catch of the Day -. http :/ / There's always a great atmosphere here with, in the evening, live music, try and sit outside though.On the Sunday we flew to New Orleans via Atlanta, and you go through a time zone change - from Eastern Standard to Central Do not, if you 're tempted, ever Consider driving to Minimise costs though're looking at, excluding stops, well over 12 hours driving, some 860 odd miles in New Orleans we stayed in one .. - La Quinta Inn - Numerous of the hotels in the French Quarter and, having arrived by early afternoon, set off to explore the famous Bourbon Street in order ... like many Of Those iconic tourist streets it's now full of bars, restaurants,. shops and strip joints tacky poison - all touting for business - and, of course, tourists Such a shame Still we did get to sit down in a small park-like setting to listen to some jazz and sample a traditional Mint Julip.But!. ? the fishing Here we spent three days fishing the somewhat desolate marshlands, some 30 miles South of the city out of Homedale, with Greg Dini and another guide, Miles, store Their skiffs (This is Greg's web site - http://www flywaterexpeditions. . com /) This extensive area really is a world class fishery for Red Drum There's very little angling pressure - .. whilst we were fishing we did not spot any other anglers at all - and it's coupled with a complete ban on commercial fishing for Their season runs them here from January through to the end of March When water temperatures applications applications applications are holding in the mid-50s -. ideal For Those bull Drum.Each morning the guides would pick us up at the hotel at 6:30 - They live in the city -. before traveling down to Homedale stopping, en route, for breakfast and to pick up a lunchtime sandwich We would then launch soon after 8 and return to the ramp around 4:30, getting back to the city a bit before 6: 15 - very much a full on day.Although, with overcast conditions, our first two days were spent Largely blind casting on the 2 to 4 'deep flats, we did have the opportunities to cast at one tailing fish and several cruisers Given. the wind and lack of visibility casting spoons and soft lures more effective Proved did using flowing. And, to give you an indication of the quality of the fishing, did on first day I released seven up to 23lbs, two Albut End of month were 20lb plus The 'small' fish went 17 and 18LBS On the next day I had the large large large largest fish of the trip, a 27 pounder, and Peter and I had a 'double' -.! a 25 pounder his and mine a mere 20 on the nose. Whilst They june not have the speed of Bonefish They are immensely powerful, as strong as equivalent to Jack, and play 'dirty' When close to the skiff diving under the hull.On our last day the light lifted giving reasonable sight fishing opportunities. Amazing just how close you can get to Those unpressured fish. Whilst And Charles and I did with the strong breeze to get opportunity to cast a fly Peter, fishing as a singleton, had a letter window of opportunity and, after several fluffed casts, managed to get a fly in front of a 30lb plus fish Unfortunately it did not eat Our guides though, Whilst Equally adept at light tackle spin fishing -. 's excellent tackle, Shimano Stradics and sustain - are, as a matter of preference, 'fluff chuckers'. The best one taken on Greg's skiff on fly was a 44 pounder, and a month ago he Took a 33 pounder for a lady angler. Latter That fish is being Claimed as a potential 16lb tippet class World record.In addition to the Redfish we spotted several THEREFORE, large Black Drum and Sheepshead some - .. locally known as Marsh Permit Both are notoriously difficult to take on fly or artificial and respond better to bait Miles Mentioned so thatthey can encounter Alligator Gar falling on the Summer months, fish up to three figures; Although he has had 40 pounders on the fly Curious , as I suspect Although Relatively low in salinity, we were fishing in the salt.As well as the area we fished our guides ie, in between September and the end. of December, base Themselves in Venice about a two hour drive South of New Orleans where, as well as targeting Those big Red Drum, they run the skiffs out into the Gulf to fish behind the shrimp boats for the mixed schools of Little Tunny and Blackfin . Tuna on the fly (I've, in the past, did down at Key West fished like this, Really exciting fishing.) So Greg can arrange offshore boats did run out to the near-shore oil and gas platforms wherethey speed jig - for species like Amber Jacks and Snapper and Yellowfin Tuna BIG The best YFT They had load-year was a 150 pounder So, all in all, an enjoyable trip and I have to say, I'll certainly return to Louisiana - .. what is very much to under-stated, little publicized world class fishery.So, the tourist bit Certainly Bourbon Street was a disappointment, but our one and only tram ride - a dollar and a quarter, irrespective of distance - what fun There are masses . of excellent restaurants to eat at, Especially to sample the unique French / Creole cooking style. (You must try the gumbo.) And They Are not all located in the French Quarter, try looking in the Equally convenient Garden and Warehouse District. Two did we particularly enjoyed were the Redfish Grill on Bourbon and Delmonico's in the Garden District; Although the service at The Latter what really OTT (It Certainly Charles cranked up When our water glasses were Replaced part way through the meal Quizzed When the embarrassed waiter Could .. only proffer the suggestion did what it stale. Launched To ... that Charles into his next tirade!) But of course New Orleans is first and foremost associated with jazz, and when to to to we asked our guides where the locals went we were told in no uncertain terms to avoid Bourbon Street. Frenchman's Street, a short 10 minute taxi ride is THE place to go And, Although after three days intensive fishing we were tired, it Certainly Fulfilled our expectations Most of the clubs to charge entry fee. based on the Particular group playing, When Their late evening - Usually 10pm - sets begin It's obviously difficult to make recommendations but, on the evening, the two we visited -. Snug Harbor and DBA - playing Modern and Traditional respectively were excellent, a great atmosphere.

    Wel l, not just Louisiana but Florida as well. frustratingly, having copied this from a report I wrote for our club's Facebook page, this editor is doing 'strange things' with the text - leaving out sentence and paragraph breaks and inserting odd words. I do hope it does not detract too much from the content of the report. Now as well it, having loaded one image, starts coming up with this error message -

    An unknown error occured falling on upload. - as I try to post additional images. ? Does anyone have any idea what's going wrong

    in recent years, When holidaying in the 'States, I've always tried to visit multiple venues to target different species; Usually just the two but this one, a tad more ambitious, FOUR Having racked up loads of air miles with Delta I! tend to stick with them With Their trans-Atlantic hubs in New York and Atlanta (Georgia). HOWEVER theyhave recently Entered into a co-share arrangement and, rather than flying via One Of Those hubs, we flew direct to Miami with Virgin Atlantic. It's marginally more expensive but obviously quicker and much more convenient. And then there what the early evening drive, up I-95, where we'd booked to Dania Beach into the Hilton. way 'part one' of our trip - Peter Gurd, Charles Reaves and I - had been to target Snakehead (at Introduced Asian species) in the waterways around Fort Lauderdale with a friend, Elliott Stark. (I'm sure some of you will remember Elliott - then working for the Billfish Foundation (TBF) -. Who delivered a presentation at the club's AGM in January 2013) Unfortunately though Elliott, who's currently in between jobs, had to, at short notice, to attend interview in California. A shame Because that's a species none of us had added anonymously caught. still what's at Dania Beach? Well apart from the IGFA headquarters' there's a rather large BassPro store and, of course, Charles enjoys just a modicum of retail therapy. Back to the IGFA though. Here there was a chance to meet up and 'chew over the fat' with Jack Vitek - Their World Records Coordinator - Briefly and meet Their President Rob Kramer. Both were impressed with the club's journal, a copy End of month we passed across For their library. Interestingly, talking to Jack, we were able to fully understand why Dave Huckle's potential record claim for a Guinean Barracuda had been rejected. Whilst in Itself the leader Dave had used conformed, and what several inches short of the maximum, he Had not taken into account the length of the lure and the rule CLEARLY states did the overall 'leader length' is Measured from the swivel connecting the leader to the line to the bend of the hook load. Any rate we then Took the opportunity to visit Gail Morchower, the organization's Museum and Library Manager, to deliver a copy of our Journal and to, for Charles and I, once again to view some wonderful archived photographs from Bill Carpenter's - the IGFA's first President - expeditions from the '40s and '50s. (If you ever visit they're keep in a separate air-condition room.) We went on to explain how we Intended to develop the Club's Journal and Gail willingly gave us permission - with a suitable credit - to use Those images and some impressive others - including ones of Ken Fraser's 1496lb Bluefin - chapters in subsequent offer offer (So, as well as images of Bluefin and Broadbill, I've so got images of Alf Dean's 2664lb Great White So from Dania Beach it then what the 130 odd miles down to Marathon in the Middle 'Keys with just a slight detour in Miami - the dulcet tones of the ladies on Charles'. GPS and Garmin units frustratingly giving conflicting advice But, of course, there's - surprise, surprise - another BassPro store in Islamorada as a stop for lunch and yet some more retail therapy Disappointingly the 'eat as much as you can' seafood restaurant and Braza Lena's that adjoin eachother at Whale Harbour (ocean-side) Both are temporarily closed - until mid-April - due to smoke . damage (Although Islamorada's some 35 miles North of Marathon Braza Lena's - a Brazilian 'meat' restaurant - - is somewhere I always like to visit, Especially for its superb cold salad (starter) table and top Sirlon and Flank steaks They're loads of other cuts but they're my personal favorites) Finally then, mid-afternoon on the Tuesday - .. having landed in Florida on the Sunday early evening - we arrived at our accommodation for the next few days, Tranquility Bay -. It's not cheap but, if There're a group of four of you, you june find it no more expensive to stay here in a three bed-roomed . cottage than two rooms at a reasonable quality 3 * hotel.Anyway, the fishing Our first day on Which offshore Jeff Rella's 31 'SeaVee, powered by twin 300 outboards, targeting a wreck - Atlantic-side - 180' of water coupled with some . slow trolling for King Mackerel and livebaits of Wahoo (Http :/ / There was limited current flow over the wreck making for slow drifts but we had some decent Jack Crevalles - fish around 12 to 15lbs - 11lb Mutton Snapper and on, on live pinfish, with others - unknown species - finding the structure So We drifted with a live Blue Runner as a surface bait and Peter had a 70lb Hammerhead What an aggressive strike Charles HOWEVER persevered, using Amberjack roe..! on this bottom bait, and caught a species I'd never seen before, a number of Beeline Snappers.Unfortunately - with not enough cold fronts to push them down - the Sailfish were quiet holding to the North, up around Stuart, HOWEVER the slow trolling with Blue Runner livebaits produced results, but not the Kings and wahoo we were expecting, just decent Barracuda to 25lbs Although we hooked Kings we contrived to lose them all -. hook holds failing, wire leaders chopped and, on one occasion When Peter what attached to a real 'smoker' a cut-off by another fish C'est la vie Our next two days in Marathon had meant to be spent Flats fishing -. Fisicaro with Paul ( and Mike Kozma - but, unfortunately, water temperatures applications applications were really low, down in the mid-60s, with the Permit quietly holding in the deeper water (Mike Kozma normally charters out of the Lorelei in Islamorada marina, but ranges from Marathon up to. Biscayne Bay. He's currently Developing his web site but you can, if you wish, contact him by e-mail at A knowledgeable guide, and someone, Paul, I would thoroughly recommend like.) Given Those adverse conditions our first day, one of persistent rain, Which spent ocean-side casting around inshore structure and the mangroves We took a range of different species -. Mainly Jacks and Snappers, plus a small Gag Grouper - but skip casting a shrimp under the mangroves I managed a decent Red Drum of 8lbs. Amazing just how theywill hold right back under did tangle of foliage in seeking shallow water. (Just a suggestion here, .. Casting accuracy is paramount're not striving for distance education and you really do need to position the bait within inches of the rod tip The bait then follows the precise direction your tip ends up pointing AT.) On the second day, with much better conditions, We took the skiffs in between 17 and 20 miles offshore to fish a couple of shallow water wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico Lots of fish -. Spanish Mackerel, Blue Fish and a selection of Jacks and Snappers - almost a fish a chuck, but theywere in the main small and, I have to say, after a while it Became slightly boring We did, at the second wreck, HOWEVER have a chance, fly casting, at a small pod of five Cobia -. They really do look like Sharks in the water - but unfortunately no interest.Then it what the drive North to Miami where, on the Saturday, we were planning to target the (Butterfly) Peacock Bass in its extensive canal system. Peacock Bass? Surely they're a South American species? Yes, they are. But the explosive growth of givenName exotics into the canals - released from aquaria - particularly Spotted Tilapia and Oscars, and Their detrimental effect on native species, the Authorities DECIDED in 1984 to introduce Peacock Bass to predate on them And it's Proved to be a real success story, coupled With Their intolerance to 'cold. 'water - less than the mid-60s -. Which Prevents Their advance much Further North (You might find synthesis Links of interest -…acock-Bass-Miami-Invaders / and features_peacock_bass_1008 /.)

    Just received this report from Terry Smith who fished out of Los Suenos on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica falling on The Latter half of December.

    General Report - INCOPESCA, the CR Government Fishing Authority, from a couple of months back announced did the lifting of billfish out of the water and the ontological gunnels or similar for photos is now banned due to the Possibility of then went the fish. A bit ironic whenthey quietly allow the longline 'curtains of death'. Shrimp fishing boats were banned forever in CR Waters as from 1st January 2014, there are rumors so did tuna boats will be givenName permits to operate within 200 mile of the coast.

    Fishing Report - A lot of Sails about. Capt. Rusty on the Primetime had 20 releases for 26 one day and a 450lbs Blue did very nearly jumped into the boat. I released 8 for 14 one day, and on another 6 plus a 35lbs Dorado fishing a couple of days on Tom's (Carton) new 36 ft charter boat DreamWorks. So hooked five on the fly, but jumped off four and lost one to a broken tippet. Should have had at least two of them, but there will be another day.

    We live-baited the 26 mile bench for half a day - not much blue water, but caught a couple of Sails. In about 380 feet of water, coming off the bench, we had a Black about 600-800 lbs in the baits but it peeled away.

    Went to the 'FAD' bank - 80 miles from Golfito, 130 miles from Los Suenos. There was a 37 ft Bill Fisher from Golfito fishing the area When we go there water temperature was up to 84.6 degrees F and its captain said that Because of high temperatures applications there which only a very small number of Marlin compared to the week before, but loads of bait - Skipjacks and small Yellowfin. We live baited, including one on a down rigger, and caught two big Sails, one thing around 130lbs.

    The FAD - The FAD built and what Placed by a millionaire boat owner from Golfito. It had two large stainless steel balls - one 30 feet down, and one at 80 feet plus tarpaulins coming off the cable. Unfortunately word has got around about the marlin fishing, and rumors circulated Bubba Carter did what going to take a mother ship operational out there. Then the guy who built and deployed the FAD went out and dismantled it about 8 weeks ago.

    Anyone interested in an ultra light line billfish world record? Got to be bait 'n' switch with a J hook so that the fish initially stays on the surface attempting to dislodge the bait .... then the G & S technology takes over -

    - and the flying gaffs are deployed.

    It does of course occasionally go wrong. Whilst not quite as fast in terms of reversing this was Stewart Campbell's attempt for a 30lb record in Madeira on Chunder - a 42’ Gamefisherman -

    . If nothing else it reminds you that you really do have to wind the swivel hard into the top roller in case the ‘deckie’ has to dump the leader on a ‘green’ fish.

    But is it fishing?

    Wow, that really is a transformation John. Well done! With its express configuration it really looks ideal for conditions off that part of the coast.

    Um ... now for Jan and Michael, and this is where I have to admit to being no naval architect or having specific knowledge of the characteristics of gamefisherman hulls. But I understand, if I'm right, the company - - that renovated the boat, certainly on their own designed custom boats don't use trim tabs. It's I'm fairly certain the same company who built one of our members private boat - Agwe - based at Los Suenos - Pacific coast of Costa Rica - Herradura, March/April 2008 (also pictures of cold molded boat) .

    I knew that extremely large Great Whites were encountered around areas like the Farallon Islands – close to San Francisco - where they predate on immature Elephant Seals and also central regions of California where the main prey species are Seals. It is believed though that females migrate to Southern Californian waters - near San Diego - to pup and this Autumn/Winter there’re a number of reports of juveniles being encountered by surfers and paddle-boarders and recently – this one - http://internationalfishingnew…nternational+Fishing+News) – by a shore-based angler. Um ... it was ONLY a 10’ (3 metre) specimen!

    For anyone interested there’s the latest edition of a well-illustrated FREE on line fly fishing magazine against this link - . It features articles on Yellowfish (related to our native European Barbel) from South Africa, Flats Grand Slams from Ascension Bay on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular and Barbel from Spain – all on the fly.

    You can subscribe to regular editions of the magazine against this link - .

    Frustrating Mark.

    I've only had those really lengthy battles on Tuna on light tackle, once on 30lb test in Madeira and once on 16 from Cape Verde Island - both in the Atlantic. And the end result? Well just like your BIG fish!

    Whilst not the biggest fish I recall a South African angler breaking the world record (at the time) in Hawaii with a 186 pounder YFT on 16. A five hour plus fight.

    But then stepping up to the heavy tackle, a bent butt 130 in the chair, one of our members fighting a deep water Bluefin off the Azores for 10 hours before the line popped. He doesn't Tuna fish any more having with a non-rigid bucket harness messed up his hips.

    But what Marc initially 'forgot' to mention was that just before the bad weather hit I caught a BIG fish, a 48 pounder to establish a personal best. The fish, and there're images below, was taken on a Cucu lure - these handmade lures are locally produced - from the nasty water just under the dam wall.

    For anyone planning a visit to La Zona - and it's a strictly catch and release fishery - here's the web site of that lure manufacturer -


    Marc Towers has just reported on the results of his first day - of a four day charter - fishing downstream of the La Zona hydro-electric scheme on the Rio Uruguay.

    Conditions were difficult with the fish not really 'switching on'. Marc did however break his duck with this fine specimen and lost a very big fish that broke him off a few minutes into the fight. As Marc observed 'that is what you get for fishing too 'light' here..!'

    I suspect this is possibly one of the few catch report from Argentina! (From memory I've posted just two others previously from the tip of South America where our members were targeting the large sea-run Brown Trout, fish to over 20lbs in weight.)

    Anyway one of our members, Marc Towers, is currently fishing rivers within the massive River Plate catchment; a sub tropical region (I understand it is the 6th largest system in the World.) Firstly fishing the Rio Parana he caught a range of exotic species - mainly Catfish and Piranha - but additionally what is a very rare Catfish species, the Manguruju. Marc's primary challenge though was a similarly rare Short Tailed River Ray and he larded two, one smallish and the other, a 260 pounder - 120 kilos. The BIG fish was taken in just two metres of water!

    He then moved on, where he currently is, to fish to fish the fabled La Zona on the Rio Urugay targeting Golden Dorado. And he's already had a few, but no monsters ..... yet.

    Two of our Club members have recently returned from fishing the Frazer River where they targeted White Sturgeon and Chum Salmon.

    In all they caught five Sturgeon over 7 ft in length ranging from an estimated 200 to 265lbs - one for each day they fished. Additionally they had any number of other fish over 100lbs in weight.

    A number of us do I suspect enjoy fishing artificials on spin gear using braid for the improved sensitivity it gives.

    Any rate, knots? I've recently picked up these posts on Henry Gilbey's blog for what he describes as a 'simplified GT knot' that may be of interest -…est_leader_knots_ive_seen and…_that_awesome_leader_knot - braid to a mono leader. It seems to benefit from its slim profile - doesn't 'rattle' through the rod rings and the only enhancement I've picked up on that might be worth considering for ultimate security is that dab of super glue.

    Many Thanks Gentlemen! Still ageing .... disgracefully, I really can't believe I'm THAT OLD, and there're so many places I still want to go fishing!

    Currently trying to organise a trip to Louisiana, sight fishing for the large Red Drum in the shallow water marshes of the Gulf. This guide was recommended - - but with all the successful guides they're extremely popular. Still, although it gets somewhat colder, the season when the BIG fish are present extends through the Winter into March. Coupled with that we'll obviously visit the jazz clubs in the French quarter of New Orleans and then combine it with a few days on an offshore skiff in Key West on the Florida Keys.

    Well, fly fishing is often disparagingly referred to as Fluff Chucking; I'm sure there must be a German equivalent. But perhaps this brings a new meaning to it?

    I've heard of Blue Sharks attempting to catch sea gulls resting on the surface and seen documentary footage of Tiger Sharks, in the Pacific to the North of the Hawaiian Islands, aggregating to feed off immature Albatrosses - those that have 'crash landed' in the water whilst learning to fly. This was a first for me though, Giant Trevally feeding off Bridal Tern chicks that similarly have landed in the water whilst learning to fly. There's reference to it here -…55.181959291864872&type=1 - together with some superb images of the GTs and Sailfish, together with a range of other species, the anglers have caught.

    I had always assumed that (recently) Skipjack and Albacore, together with Bluefin, migrated along the West coast of Ireland and around Scotland into Norwegian water, occasionally straying into waters around Cornwall and Devon - the Western Approaches of the English Channel. (Of course historically up to the 1950s, and before the collapse of the Herring fishery from over-fishing, Bluefin could be encountered in the North Sea.) So it was with some surprise that I read this brief report - http://www.ryeandbattleobserve…-lifetime-event-1-5526646 - four Skipjack caught in a commercial drift net in the extreme Eastern end of the English Channel.

    Um .... another poorly written report I'm afraid, including the spelling - mackeral! Says a lot for the UK's education system, or is it an absence of a SpellChecker on their PC?

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