My first trip to Los Buzos, Panama did wonders for me as an angler, as a kayak angler, as a traveler, and as the leader of a fishing travel company. I needed an adventure that sparked my engine and rev’d it up to the max and heading to the land of giants did exactly that for me… it got me fired up.
The journey to Panama City via Los Angeles and then through Miami was for the most part un-eventful. Know your baggage rules and fees folks… it can save you hundreds of dollars. I met up with Heath Panganiban owner of Yak Tribe in Miami and then set sail for Panama City. Once in Panama, we checked into our hotel and then the search for food became our priority. We ended up having dinner at a Lebanese restaurant with a bunch of Canadians, an Englishman that lives in Florida and an Englishwoman that was visiting a traveling friend from Canada. Yeah… it was weird, it was fun… it was our first night in Panama.
Heath and I toured the city on our first full day including a stop at the Panama Canal. Our timing was absolute shit because there were no boats coming through, but it was magnificent nevertheless. What humans achieved in the late 1800’s through today with regards to the Panama Canal is absolutely incredible. What a cool experience, I can’t wait to see an actual ship go through the canal (next time).
We fast forward to the fishing portion of our trip which was filled with moments of intense excitement, rage, despair, frustration and defeat. I call myself a kayak angler, however I have not had a lot of experiences where I go toe-to-toe with monster fish on kayak. Nor have I ever used 10/0 3x hooks hammered into a 7 lb. skipjack tuna for bait on a 100 lb. setup before. This place offered all kinds of experiences including how to get humiliated by a fish, how to get owned by a fish or how to sheer 100 lb. mono like it was trout line. We all caught fish and we all had our opportunities at big rooster fish and world class Cubera snappers, but only a few were landed and no Cubera’s were brought to the surface.
Though I struggled to land a big rooster fish and a Cubera of any size… I did happen to stick a pig of a lifetime on a JiggingMaster Diamond Eye 230 knife jig while sitting off a reef fishing a school of Colorado snapper. With a drop of a jig and two pumps after it hit the bottom, the big ol’ mark on my fish finder came alive. I stuck a 50 lb. Broomtail grouper on a Hobie Outback!!! Unreal. Never in my life have I been so fired up for a catch and for good reason, it was a personal best on a kayak. Seeing Eric aka Fish one of the guides at Los Buzos light up when he saw my fish reminded me why we do this. He was just as pumped as I was as if he landed it himself.
One thing is clear, I am coming back and Fish Village is going to help get you there. I have a personal beef with some Cubera’s and I want that damn trophy rooster fish (insert profanity laced sweet nothings). With our lessons learned during our own travel and advice gathered from the Los Buzos team… Fish Village is ready to make this trip happen for you. You will have information for every step along the way and you will be prepared for your journey well before your departure date.
Stay tuned for information about 2018 trips to Los Buzos and their Kayak World Championship Qualifier events. You are going to want to hear about it.