2017 Fishing Season Highlights

2017 Fishing season starts at the Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay Panama

The start of the new season.

The Tropic Star Lodge team has been working with great enthusiasm to have everything in tip-top shape for our 2017 season. Each year in October and November the Lodge closes its doors for a facelift of sorts. In addition to annual maintenance it is also the heart of our rainy season. The rain was relentless. We received a lot of it! But that’s what we like to see as we slowly approach our summer months. The current lines, fed from the rains and forest run-off, were productive for our annual season opening: The Tropic Star Lodge Billfish Tournament benefiting the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. We’re proud to announce that the tournament was a huge success with special thanks to our sponsors, anglers, and observers who all make it possible and so much fun.

The results for the tournament are as follows:

1st place with 1700 Points went to team Finally
2nd place with 1400 points went to team Paquirilio
3rd place with 1100 points went to team Los Jaguares del Mar

The two-day tournament had a total of 24 boats, 15 private yachts and nine of our 31’ Bertrams. Competition was fierce. We released a total of 8 Marlin, 86 Pacific Sailfish, and caught more than a few large Yellowfin Tuna. Our newest addition to the Tropic Star team, Chef Gabriel, didn’t waste any time getting in the kitchen to prepare fresh sashimi, sushi, and tartare with the catch of the day.

The last day of the tournament was the traditional fun fishing day. An optional day out on the water, we had just four boats out fishing. But wow, did the fishing explode! The boats encountered a bait ball that did not move the entire day. Our boats worked the area well. The four boat fleet released more than 30 Pacific Sailfish and ten Blue Marlin all over 300 lb.

fishing teamFollowing the Tropic Star Lodge Billfish Tournament, our first official week of the 2017 season commenced. The excitement was palpable. The Yellowfin Tuna showed up for a little extra fun and the billfish bite was hot. Through the week we had quite a few guests who released their first ever marlin. The captains had fun pushing their own guests off the dock and watching them swim to shore. The first-catch plunge into the ocean was followed by a short swim to the beach under the famous Tropic Star sign, where they were met by the lovely, Adrienne, who was waiting for them with a fresh towel and cold beverage. We all had fun at our Baits n’ Beers evening where after dinner we went down to the dock for some crazy fish stories, cold beer, and some fun fishing.

The New-York-Boys, Aldo Lombardo, Remo Dischino, Bobby Smith and Alfred Ramos joined us at the Lodge for some fantastic fishing and a boy’s trip with good friends. The guys were always quick with a story or joke and the team seemed to be always smiling. On one particular day, the friends arrived back at the dock full of excitement. They had a double up, but not a very common one, you see they thought they had a double up on big Yellowfin Tuna, but after 15 minutes one of the tuna was acting strange and started heading for the surface. That was at the same moment when a Black Marlin of around 350 lb. came flying out the water. They successfully released the marlin and then Bobby focused on the Tuna. Once the Tuna was landed they came in to weigh her. She came in at 233 lb. On their fourth and final day out, the team went on to release Blue Marlin and Pacific Sailfish. We can’t wait to see them back here again.

The Stein family joined us for a family retreat. They stayed in our Palace situated on top of the hill with a spectacular view overlooking the bay. The group got into some amazing action. They started their week by releasing Black and Blue Marlin and mixed in some fun excursions such as kayaking and snorkeling. They did it all. This family had a lot of firsts so that meant almost everyone had a swim in our bay. We’re also grateful for Elke Zeller’s spectacular photography skills and sharing them with us. Ellen Van Waardenburg released her very first billfish, a Sailfish of 100 lb. along with Kristina Stein, a Pacific Sailfish called at 120 lb. Kristina also fought and released her first Blue Marlin of 150lb. Kristina received our most improved angler award after she related that before this trip, she had only ever caught, a 3 lb bass. Luke Stein also released a 350 lb Blue Marlin, however, the fish of the week for this group had to go to Elke for her 400 lb Black Marlin, well done Elke.

Cathy Needleman joined us with longtime family and fishing friend, Toke Aw. Toke is a guy who is always smiling and making friends. He was going to be on the camera this trip to capture some of Cathy’s super angling. The two were on fire straight out the gate and racked up quite a few fish. Toke, to his word, took some great photos as you can see. On the last day out on the water, I was fortunate enough to join the daring duo and what fun we had! We released two Pacific Sailfish and two Blue Marlin for the day. Two of the fish were a double up. A Sailfish came up in the spread and Toke fed it in textbook-style with a belly bait on his smaller set-up. As we got ready to clear lines Cathy’s rod started screaming with a beautiful Blue of around 400 lb. Toke made really short work of his Sailfish to a lot of laughter from myself. I can´t help getting super excited watching people catch billfish, I can think of no better way to spend a vacation. We released the sail in recorded time with Toke fighting the fish and giving no quarter. Then it was up to Cathy. Her fish was running and jumping and putting on a great show. Cathy was all over it though and she had the fish next to the boat with what great ease. We celebrated with an ice cold beer and Toke and I started calling Cathy Super Gran. We decided that any gran who could do what she had just done deserves this title and recognition. I hope her grandchildren understand just how cool their gran is.

Team Peru, a fantastic group of men from Peru, who join us every year for a family boys fishing trip. The guys had some amazing fishing, catching big yellow fin tuna, releasing Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Sailfish. On one particular day Dionisio Romber had the very special opportunity to release a very healthy Black Marlin with an IGFA 180 day pop-up satellite tag. The tag was sponsored by Alfreds dad, Alfred Glassell III. Alfred Glassell Jr, was an IGFA trustee and in the hall of fame. The Marlin was called at 250 lb. Proudly Sebastian Onrubia released the biggest Marlin of the week with a 600 lb. Blue Marlin – Impressive!

The new season is shaping-up to be a fantastic one with a great start to the season. The Black Marlin are starting to show up and the Blue Marlin bite is on fire. We are looking forward to seeing what the next couple of moon phases and Neptune have in store for us. We hope you enjoy the photos. I will soon be in touch to report on the fishing. Until then, check out Instagram and Facebook for some highlights and updates.

Tight lines and fair seas,
Capt. Richard White

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Mailing Address:

Tropic Star Operations 
18331 Pines Blvd.
Box 116
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029

Contact us by Phone:

US callers: 1-800-682-3424
International callers: 001-407-843-0125
Fax: 1-407-308-0092

Office Hours: 9 am to 5 pm EST (Monday thru Friday)

Panama City Office:

507-396-6414 or 507-396-6413

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