Los Buzos has just made history as Adam Fisk recently leadered an estimated 450lb black marlin from his Jackson Coosa FD kayak! We are hearing that this is one of the largest marlin ever brought to leader from a kayak!

An epic fishery for billfish right in our backyard
Billfish of all kinds are prevalent in our area and come very close to shore. We have landed several sailfish this year and had a few shots at marlin. In April this year we saw marlin almost every single day, some were close to 1000 pounds. We confirmed sightings of both blue and black marlin. Other fishermen have hooked and landed them from boats as well. The panga fishermen have landed them trolling simple cedar plugs and one was even hooked on a spinning reel throwing a popper! With Los Buzos only being in its first year of full time operation and already landing a marlin, it is safe to say we have a world class fishery right in our backyard!

Keep reading to know the full story behind Adam’s epic catch! Also check out the picture below of our guest Matthew from Georgia holding a large pacific sailfish which he caught here at Los Buzos in April. Matthew had never been offshore in a kayak before this trip!

Los Buzos - Matt Barfield Pacific Sailfish - Credit Robert Field (Custom)_compressed

How it went down…
On Sunday August 26 2018 Adam was fishing solo in our backyard about a mile from the beach. On his way out he was able to catch a small big eye trevally. These make great live baits and typically are quickly snatched up by our trophy size roosterfish. He made his way to one of our favorite grouper spots in 120ft of water. First drop with a jig he landed a solid broomtail grouper. On the second drop, he hooked a very large jack crevalle. While trying to unhook the jack, it began…

The noise every fisherman dreams about… the clicker on Adam’s live bait reel started screaming! He quickly tossed the jack back into the water, grabbed the rod, free spooled the reel in order to make sure the marlin had the whole bait in its mouth and engaged the drag. As soon as the fish felt the pressure, she came sailing out of the ocean! At the very beginning she was jumping close to the water with her back facing Adam. This made it hard to get a proper id on the fish. All he could see was the black back of a long billfish. In the video you will see once she starts pulling Adam out to sea that she doesn’t take long to leap from the water and show her broadside. He was then able to confirm his suspicions of a black marlin!

Not long into the fight Adam radios the lodge to alert them of the situation. Teri quickly responds and sends our other guide Kevin out on the panga along with Jesse, Dani, and Erika to get pictures and standby as backup if Adam ended up needing assistance.  By the time the panga arrived Adam had already been towed a mile from where he hooked up and was already in about 350 feet of water. The fish continued to jump and gave us all a stunning show. She ended up breaking the water close to 30 times!

Using the right gear
After jumping, she would dive down and continue to pull Adam slowly and steadily offshore. She would stay about 60ft below the surface and Adam was unable to budge her, even with his hefty setup of an Accurate Valiant 1000 2-speed spooled with 80lb diamond line, on a 40-80lb big game live bait rod from Adrenaline Custom rods. Previously, Adam had hooked an even larger black marlin on a much lighter setup and ended up getting spooled. After that, he vowed to never fish our waters under-gunned again.

A great result after a long fight
After a little over a 4 hour fight and getting towed close to 10 mile Adam was able to bring the marlin right up next to his kayak only about 3ft away and get the swivel to the rod tip! This qualifies as an IGFA legal catch. After getting the swivel to the rod tip, Adam tried to grab the leader with his hand but this time the marlin took a dive. It was starting to get dark now and Adam did not want to wear the fish out any more. Getting the marlin tired enough to grab safely at the kayak would require wearing her out to the point where she would be close to death. So, Adam locked the drag down and popped her off. Everyone involved was yelling in celebration and soon after Adam jumped into the panga, loaded the kayak on board and got a ride back home.

This was an incredible experience that no one here at Los Buzos will ever forget. Black marlin are here in our waters year round and we cannot wait until one of our guests can experience this for themselves! Send us an email at info@losbuzos.com for details on booking a trip of your own!

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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.

Trophy roosterfish!

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!

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