2017 Fishing Season Highlights

Tropic Star Lodge 2017 Roosterfish Tournament

As the tournament started we welcomed Dr. Guy Harvey and his daughter, Jessica Harvey back to the lodge. Jessica, along with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, have started a tagging program for Roosterfish and they used our tournament to launch the program. All tournament participants and one of our favorite guests, Mark Davis from TV’s Big Water Adventures, took part in this fantastic roosterfish tagging initiative. Little is known about this hard-fighting pelagic species so we feel very fortunate to play a part in this research.

We welcomed the competitors to the Lodge with plenty of shore-side festivities and shenanigans. An intense Hermit Crab race started the day followed by a Roosterfish drawing competition. To make it fair, Guy Harvey (a famous artist) was blindfolded and was made to draw with his left hand. We then moved competitors to the beach to see how far our anglers could cast a rod. It was great practice for the non-stop popper action that was to come during the tournament. (Thanks to Ocean Tackle International for the poppers!) The welcome day wrapped up with a cayuco race. Cayucos are the native form of kayaks here in Panama, hand crafted out of wood. The locals make it look easy, but when we placed our guests in the cayucos it resulted in an absolutely hilarious race. (Most guests had trouble keeping their cayucos afloat). At the end of the week; the tournament’s winning anglers were rewarded with having a whack at our beautiful Roosterfish Piñata, made by our dock master, Brian.

Tropic Star Lodge 2017 Roosterfish TournamentOut on the water– the competition was very close during the three-day tournament. The top three teams all caught the same number of Roosterfish. The results came down to time and the first-place finisher won because of one cast of an artificial popper. We award 50 more points to anglers who successfully release their fish on an artificial.

Tournament Results

Tops teams:
Third Place: Team Roosterman, Larry Gordon and Paul Howell 1400 points
Second Place: Team Missfits, Richard Howell and Ryan Rivette 1400 points
First Place: Team Stampede, Bruce Worthman and Bob Stewart 1450 points

Top Anglers:
Third Place: Richard Howell 800 points Team Missfits
Second Place: Pat Sparks 900 points, Hoo’s Your Daddy
First Place: Paul Howell 1000 points Team Roosterman

Third place went to team Roosterman. Larry Gordon and Paul Howell had an outstanding three days on the water catching 14 Roosterfish with 1,400 points. Larry and Paul visited us a week earlier and before the tournament had a day where they caught 10 Roosterfish in one day. Just a few days too early!

Second place went to last year’s winners, Team Misfits, who also caught 14 Roosterfish with 1,400 points. Ryan Rivette and Richard Howell were close to repeating their victory, however, one cast got in the way.

Top prize went to Team Stampede with 1,450 points and 14 Roosterfish releases. Tournament winners Bruce Worthman and Bob Stewart got top honors and win an invitation to fish the coveted Offshore World Championships. Their names will be on our perpetual Roosterfish trophy created and produced in bronze by fellow tournament angler, John Kobald.

Top angler was awarded to Paul Howell of Team Roosterman with 1,000 points. Paul took home top honors and a mountain of prizes which included a custom Hanta Rod and Shimano reel, Tropic Star Yeti cup, and Costa sunglasses.

12-year-old Lily White had top honors in the Lady’s division with 400 points. Lily fished with her dad for Team Graystone. Lily took home a Columbia shirt, Guy Harvey Santiago book, and a buff. Lily and her dad caught and released five Roosterfish in 30 minutes on one of the days.

We broke record numbers this year with 102 Roosterfish caught and released. The teams released 33 on day one, 36 on day two and 33 on day three. Of the 102 Roosterfish, spaghetti tags were placed in 75 of them. We are very proud to be working alongside Guy Harvey’s Ocean Foundation and Research Institute in this Roosterfish study. Besides spaghetti tags, the Foundation also brought three PSAT tags with. These tags are set to pop off the Roosterfish after 90 days, tracking its location, speed, and depth. This will be vital new information for us to learn more about this incredible species. Roosterfish are one of the only sportfish that have not been studied as they have no commercial value but are a highly prized sportfish. Last week we helped to change that and now we are counting down the days until results arrive.

During the tournament, I had the honor to once again fish with Mark Davis from Big Water Adventures and we managed to put a PSAT tag into a big Roosterfish, a beauty of 53”. Tropic Star Lodge will be carrying on with this tagging study in the future and tagging as many fish as we can.

At Tropic Star Lodge we take pride in the environment we create with our extended family. Last week was a beautiful example of just that. It was very special watching tournament anglers bond and create strong friendships throughout the course of the week. We are sad to see such a great tournament come to an end, but excited for what next year’s Roosterfish Tournament has in store!

We are looking forward to our 4th Annual Roosterfish Tournament to be held May 10 through 14, 2018. Registration is open and we are pleased to report that many of the teams have already signed up. Contact us today to secure your spot.

A special thanks to our sponsors: Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Costa Sunglasses, Hanta Rods, Aftco, Al Sprague Art, Huk Performance Fishing, Yeti, King Sailfish Mounts, John Kobald Art, International Game Fishing Association, Offshore World Championships, Columbia, Outdoor Adventure, Shimano, Ocean Tackle International, Garone Custom Rods, Buck Knives, Buff, Alta Pesca Panama and Felip Motta Panama.

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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