New Jackson Kayaks added to our fleet
All of us here at Los Buzos are excited to announce that we have expanded our fleet! We have added 9 new boats from Jackson Kayak. One of these boats, the “Mayfly”, will predominantly stay at our secondary lodge in La Arenosa on Lake Gatun. There it will provide fly-fisherman the perfect vessel to target snook, peacock bass, and tarpon. The “Kraken” which is great for anyone who prefers paddling over pedaling as it has a tremendous amount of storage space and is very stable. The last seven of these boats are pedal drive Coosa Fds, perfect for fishing for our large offshore species or in the lake jumping stumps and pulling large fish out of the brush and near shore structure with its reverse capabilities and damage resistant drive system. They are also great for heavier anglers as their load capacity is greater than the Outback and the seat is much wider and more comfortable.
Shortly after getting these kayaks, Jim Sammons from “The Kayak Fishing Show” came down to visit along with his son Randy, Bart Swab, Brooks Beatty, Jameson Redding, and James McBeath from Jackson Kayak. They had their sights set on filming an episode both fishing in Lake Gatun for snook, peacock bass and tarpon, and at Los Buzos for mainly roosterfish, tuna, and cubera snapper.
Our new lodge on Lake Gatun
The last few months we have been working hard on opening our new sister lodge at Lake Gatun, just 1.5h from Panama City. Lake Gatun is a man-made lake which is part of the Panama Canal. The lake is mostly fresh water but some parts are brackish or even salt water. This creates a very nice environment for different species of fish. The new lodge is located right on the lake’s edge and is a perfect place to wind down after a long flight into Panama. Given its close location to Panama International Airport we can pick guests up after arrival and bring them straight to our lodge to be fishing the same day. By choosing the lake option package guests don’t have to stay in the city and can fish for different species that we get here at Los Buzos, making it a perfect addition to your trip.
The Jackson crew was the first group to test out these fishing grounds. The lake is known for its gigantic population of peacock bass and many of these were caught on their trip. As the new lodge is located right on the lake’s edge, guests can even catch these from the dock while drinking a cool beer. Another very popular species is snook, which can be caught both on fly and on artificial lures. Fly fishing from a kayak is an awesome way of getting close to their hiding spots. Snook put up a good fight and can grow a decent size so they are fun to catch on light tackle. Bart managed to catch several of them on fly. The hardest fighting fish in the lake would be tarpon which is also found in good numbers. Although the Jackson crew couldn’t trick any into biting, they do get caught often by the locals. Other species that you can catch at the lake are wolf fish, jaguar wapote, jack crevalle and oscar.
Off to Los Buzos for some more action
After leaving the lake, the crew headed to Los Buzos in search of tuna, cubera snapper, and everyone’s top bucket-list species… the roosterfish! They quickly found out that our population of cubera snapper is very healthy and that they are not easy to bring up. We were able to find some bonito for live bait. These bonito were larger than average but still work great for live and dead bait. On day one, almost the whole crew lost cubera snappers. They either take the bait and dive into a rock, they break the line, or bite the fish right behind the hook. Kevin, the guide on the panga explained how to properly feed and hook the cuberas to bring them to the surface and Brooks was able to hoist one up. Check out the video from Jim Sammons below of a cubera taking his bait right into the rocks…
The roosterfish were playing hard to get as well but we were all getting plenty of strikes from them. Sometimes these fish like to take the bait and hold onto just the bottom half of the fish so if you set the hook too early you take the bait right out of its mouth. This happened several times to the crew. Jim again decided to drop the camera down to see exactly what was going on. Check out the footage below and see all of the roosters following his bait.
Tuna and Humpback whales
At Los Buzos we offer a panga mothership trip that takes kayakers about seven miles down the coast to an area with large rocks, ledges, drop-offs, and swirling current. This provides a perfect magnet for all types of species, especially yellowfin tuna. The crew decided to head to this location one of the days and it proved to be a success. Shortly after arriving we located a large school of Yellowfin tuna. Jim hopped quickly into his kayak and proceeded to hook 4 tunas in 4 consecutive casts. They don’t call this area the Tuna Coast for nothing! James, Bart, and Randy also hooked up shortly after.
June through October is calving season for Humpback whales. During this time, we see hundreds of them and there certainly was no shortage this week. We were all surrounded by whales every day seeing no less than 10 each day. The whales come here to give birth and raise their young. Many times, the mother whales can be seen putting their calves on their backs, lifting them to the surface in an effort to teach them to breath. This is an amazing sight that we get to experience almost daily.
On the final day, the crew all went out for a short morning trip. Everyone was continuing to get action on their live baits but having trouble holding onto the monstrous fish. Just about an hour before heading in, Bart hooked up big and was able to bring in a massive rooster measuring 53 inches to the fork, placing him on our King Cock trophy which displays the top 5 roosterfish landed at Los Buzos!
All in all, it was a great trip. Jim and more of the Jackson Kayak crew will be headed back here in the near future to once again do battle with our monsters of the deep. Hopefully they will get redemption on the roosters and cuberas who were able to escape them. There is always a chance at sailfish and marlin here as well so we hope they have a chance at those too. There is nothing like a black marlin sleigh ride!