2017 Fishing Season Highlights

Pacific Sailfish

After a few whirlwind weeks and a successful visit to the ICAST sportfishing convention we’re back online. The offshore bite has turned on here at Tropic Star with our first Grand Slam of the season and our fleet experiencing some awesome Marlin action. On the 4th of July, we had three teams compete in the Blue Marlin World Cup. A big congratulations to team Done Deal for taking the tournament. This time of year we typically see the Big Blues start to show up in the deeper waters at the drop off and Black Marlin feed on the shallower reefs and ledges closer in. This is all happening like clockwork. We have seen more than a few amazing tuna boils and over-sized Dorado in the mix. The inshore bite has continued to produce some trophy sized fish and the Wahoo have started to show up as well.

The weather has been a little cooler most days with cloud cover and some showers, but we are still getting those gorgeous days with blue bird skies and wonderfully calm seas. The current lines are starting to form offshore and some great fishing has been had around giant trees and other flotsam that we have found bobbing around out in the deep.

fish flagsThe end of June was a productive few weeks for the Lodge. Bonnie and Gary Evenson visited us from Arizona for their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple were gifted with excellent fishing. The warmed up with catching Yellowfin Tuna and Roosterfish and had fun with a variety of inshore species such as Broomtail Grouper, Pacific Jack Crevalle, and the always-laughed-at but fun to catch Needlefish. On their anniversary day Gary came back with a special catch, his first Blue Marlin of 400 lbs. A 55-minute battle ensued and after he arrived back to the Lodge, Gary let Capt. Flaco push him off the dock for a celebratory swim. Bonnie and Gary experienced great fishing and we can’t wait to have them back to catch their missing Black Marlin and Bonnie’s first Pacific Sailfish.

Our friend Jim Armstrong returned for his annual visit. We are always happy to welcome Jim back to Tropic Star Lodge and can’t wait to catch up on a year’s worth of stories. Jim was able to release more than a few Roosterfish and brought back some great eating Almaco Jack and some of those giant TSL Dorado to the lodge for dinner. Jim has caught many Marlin in his life and released a beautiful Blue during this visit.

Lewis and Mari Scherer brought their grandson, 10-year-old Colin, for a week-long fishing trip. Colin caught just about everything our waters could offer. This included trophy size Roosterfish that was just about as big as he was, big bull-sized Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, his first Sailfish of 120 lbs, and a Blue Marlin! Colin had the guests entertained each night at the bar over virgin Pina Coladas, his preferred drink of choice.

Bill and MJ Benedict brought their sons, Van and Max, from New Jersey for a fishing trip in warmer waters. Van and Max had a rod in hand since they stepped onto the dock. They experienced some truly special days out on the water with their mom and dad. They enjoyed popping for inshore species and successfully released their first Roosterfish. They also had fun with Jack Crevalle, African Pompano, Cubera Snapper, and Yellowfin Tuna. Van and Max released a pair of Black Marlin, each a first for them. We may have even heard one of the guys say “it was the best day of his life”. The Benedicts were an absolute blast and we can’t wait to see them back at Tropic Star.

Ken Robinson and his daughter, Carley, visited us from Florida for a quick three-day fishing trip. The duo had lots of fun fishing with Capt. Vicente on South Africa. The Robinsons released Roosterfish and Amberjack inshore. A bit further off the rocks, both Carley and Ken released their first Pacific Sailfish, 90 lb and 100 lb respectively. But the highlight was on day-two when Carley and Ken both released their first Black Marlin. Ken’s marlin was estimated at a respectable 300 lb but Carley won biggest fish of the week. She released a 600 lb Black Marlin beating all the boys in the group. If you haven’t, you should check out Carley’s video on our Facebook and Instagram feed. Awesome!

Wayne Jenkins returned to Tropic Star bringing his friend Tyler Frizzell to fish with us. They joined our Tropic Star family for a quick three-day trip. Tyler experienced beginner’s luck releasing his first Blue Marlin of 400 lbs. The guys had one special day out on the water. They came back early to the dock because they were tired from fighting nine big Roosterfish and one large Cubera Snapper!

The fishing excitement continued into the beginning of July. The Lodge hosted a 4th of July Party and fireworks display. We also had three boats participate in the Blue Marlin World Cup with one of our boats, Pollyanna captained by Zane Andrews raising and landing a number of blue marlin on the day proving that the fish were definitely around. Cameron, who is part of the Hardy Family of five fishing off the Pollyanna came rather close to a potential winning blue marlin which measured just a few inches shy of the tournament’s first place fish. We also had a team of two very close friends, Shawn Jones and Kevin Dileo fishing aboard Darien captained by the ever talkative Capt. Walter. Kevin had fished the Blue Marlin World Cup a number of times in the past and we were really hoping they could bring back the cup to Tropic Star Lodge as this was his first time entering the competition here in our productive Panamanian waters. They unfortunately didn’t bring back the trophy this time– but we’re hoping they will be back to try again next year, Shawn, however, did manage to catch and release a lovely Black Marlin of 400 lb as well as a 300 lb Blue earlier in the week.

We also welcomed the Pichler family from New York City. David Pichler and his son, Sammy were also entered the Blue Marlin World Cup and fished off Miss Spain captained by the infamous Gavilan. They had some pretty tough days fishing and unfortunately did not have much luck even with our fishing director Richard White on board along for the support and his expert advice. Whilst the guys spent their days out on the water, the ladies of the family (mom, Gloria and daughter, Alessandra), spent their time enjoying their time back at the Lodge. The guys had to work hard for their billfish during their stay but both proved victorious. Sammy released his first Pacific Sailfish of 100 lb and his first Blue Marlin of 230 lb. David also released his first Pacific Sailfish of 100 lbs and first Black Marlin of 200 lbs. Gloria and Alessandra took advantage of the many shoreside activities the Lodge has to offer. We took them on a kayaking adventure through the local mangroves to Black Sand Beach, they enjoyed paddle boarding in the bay, and the women hiked daily through the jungle over the ridge to the always beautiful and pristine White Beach. When they weren’t doing something active they could be found getting a massage or savoring lunch on the porch prepared especially by Chef Gabriel. We can’t wait to see the family back here for more fishing and adventures.

Guests Tony Coffman and Pam Lawson joined us at the lodge from West Virginia. They had amazing fishing from the start. On the second day of their half week trip Tony caught a personal grand slam! Tony released a Pacific Sailfish of 100 lbs, Blue Marlin of 400, and Black Marlin at 400 lbs. What a moment for Tony! We can’t wait to see what Neptune has in store for Tony and Pam when they return in February!

Ronnie and Deborah Hoffman came down to Panama with their sights set on a billfish. During their trip they experienced awesome billfish action and achieved what they came for. Both Ronnie and Deborah released their first Pacific Sailfish of 100 lb. Ronnie released his first Pacific Blue Marlin 400 lb and on the last day with the pressure on Deborah, she got to release her very first Blue Marlin.

Father and son, Bruce and Zach Welsh, visited us for some time out on the water together. Bruce has visited us many times before but this visit was special as it was the first time he could bring his son. Both father and son had a couple special first catches. Bruce released his first Black Marlin of 400 lb, a fish he’s been waiting for, for a long time! And Zach released his first Pacific Blue Marlin of 250 lbs. What a special experience to be part of.

The Schwarz family of twelve, consisting of three generations, picked Tropic Star Lodge this year for their annual family vacation which they try to do every year. Grandfather Jack and Gaye had visited us in the past and had previously experienced amazing fishing out of the bay of Pinas, unfortunately things were a little bit slow for the grandparents this year… but all the kids managed to catch some beautiful fish, creating memories which will no doubt last a lifetime. Eric Schwarz, aged 17 years, caught a very respectable Sailfish of 100 lbs on his first day followed by a 300 lb Blue Marlin on the second day out on the water. We also had Zachary, aged 16, enjoy a great first day out– landing the biggest catch of the week, an angry Black Marlin weighing around 450 lb! Well done again Zachary on the incredible achievement. Andrew (the youngest of the family) who so desperately wanted to catch a Marlin regrettably didn’t get his chance this time around; but he still landed a stunning Sailfish of 100 lb. Overall, the family seemed to have a great vacation and caught a total of 12 Sailfish, 3 Blue Marlin, 2 Black Marlin and tussled with a number of Yellowfin Tuna during their five days of fishing. We really hope that the family enjoy their safari vacation planned for Africa next year and choose Tropic Star again in the near future.

We were joined once again by Marty Alers, Richard Bennett, Jaime Bennett, Johnny Patterson, Reade DeCurtins, and Jon Dorman for their third trip to Tropic Star Lodge. Each year they hold a competition between their two-boat fleet and the loser pays for dinner in Panama City on their last night. Well, the older, wiser, more experienced boat took the prize and we hope they picked somewhere nice for the guys to relive their fishing tales from the week before.

Gina and Tim Archer also visited us from Texas. They bid on and won the trip from the Safari Club International show in Las Vegas this past year. They are admittedly inexperienced deep sea fishing anglers, however, beginners luck is an angler’s best friend. Gina and Tim caught Pacific Sailfish and Blue Marlin on their three day trip, however, Gina who wanted a Marlin only caught Sails and Tim who wanted a Sail only caught the Marlin. Which means they must come back for a return visit and we can’t wait to see them again.

The festivities have been oh so much fun with our extended family. The offshore bite continues to keep anglers sweating and rods bent. We all had a great time with everyone and we are looking forward to saying hi to our family and friends over the next few weeks as we gear up for what is shaping up to be an Summer incredible season.

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

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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)

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507-396-6414 or 507-396-6413

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