This week we entertained Rob
and Hunter Brinkerhoff at Osa Eden.
With only three days visiting
the rainforest, we decided to “go big” and spend all three days on the
water. Two kayak days with Captain Tosh and one day in the Gulf with
Captain Cory. Once again, the Osa didn’t disappoint us and we witnessed
Chapter 1: The Golden
The first morning at sunrise
in the Kayaks (after Rob and Hunter went for an unscheduled swim) we were
treated to a truly unique sunrise where both the sky and water turned a
brilliant glow of gold with incredible reflections, layers and textures.
Da Boys paddlin out.
Rob silhouetted with the
Panama Mountains in the distance.
It didn’t take long before
both Rob and Hunter were hooked up, Rob with a monster Jack and Hunter with
what turned out to be the best fish of the trip – A RoosterZilla in the 40
pound class! I was obviously entertained while I captured pictures of the boys
being towed around the Gulf in opposite directions at about 6 knots.
Hunter with the Roosterfish
of the trip – a 40 pound class fish that towed him into the Gulf about a mile
towards Golfito (Hunter says…”Take that Captain Billy!”)
Chapter 2: In the AM we were “0 for life.” In the afternoon we hit it big!
On day two we started out
with an incredible amount of bait before heading off-shore approximately 10
miles (we heard a report of extremely large TunaZilla’s but didn’t know the
coordinates). The only problem was we ended up trolling for about three hours
with absolutely No takes!
We came in around 11:00 and
after a Rooster and a Jack along the beach, we then dropped off Rob for a
breather (in the Hilux AC recovery room) while Hunter and I went back out on
another mission. The mission – To find, hook, fight and release the next
Literally within one minute of arriving at the mouth of the bay,
all Hell broke Loose!!! All around us, the surface of the water was BUSTING
with bait, birds and Roosters. There were dozens of huge fish spread out in a
massive feeding frenzy and for the next 90 minutes, Hunter and I hooked 14
Roosters and landed 10. We even had two double – double battles with
multiple simultaneous hook ups.
It was the most spectacular Roosterfish
feeding frenzy that I’ve witnessed after more than three years of fishing the
Osa. Most of the fish were in the 10 to 15 pound class while the largest fish
landed during this exchange was in the 30 pound class.
What’s even more incredible
was that we witnessed an even larger frenzy in the exact same spot 15 hours
Chapter 3: The double hook
up Shit Show.
Day three of fishing was once
again in the Kayaks with Captain Tosh. We got a slightly later start that next
morning but managed to time another Roosterfish feeding frenzy perfectly –
Right at the mouth of the bay.
At about 8:45 AM - For what
seemed to be about 200 meters across, directly in front of us, for more than a
minute, the savage predator's had pinned a massive bait ball of sardines up
against the drop-off-lip of the delta and were crushing the bait in a washing-machine-like-frenzy.
All three of us hooked up – which was great – except for me because I had two
fish on simultaneously.
Fish # 1 hit my popper cast from the front of the
Kayak and as I set the hook, Fish # 2 hit my live bait on the rod facing out the
back end of the craft. I initially fought the fish on the popper briefly
but as I glanced back at my bait rod, the line was quickly disappearing off the
spool which was set in “bait runner mode.”
This forced me to open the
bail on the popper rod (to allow the fish to run), set it in the front facing
rod holder, reach back to engage the Bait runner reel, grab the rod to
reconnect with the fish - all in an effort to prevent fish #2 from “spooling
me” (aka stripping off all the remaining line). As this was happening and
I thought I’d gained some sense of control (NOT), the fish on Rod #1 (the
popper rod) began to take after his brother and started running towards Golfito
(on the other side of the Gulf) with all my remaining line.
Just then, Fish #2 (on the
bait-runner reel out the back), decided to do a complete 180 and head back
towards the Kayak at full speed. Naively thinking that once again… I had things
under control (yeah right), I grabbed Rod #1 (the popper rod) and tried to
re-engage the fish. The only thing was that somehow, the fish threw the
hooks and wasn’t connected to my popper anymore. Ok, I thought – no problem,
I’ll just set this rod back into the holder and grab Rod # 2 to fight that
OOPS, that fish had now run completely under my kayak (after doing
the 180) and my line got caught on the bottom fin of the Kayak and that fish
came unbuttoned. SHIT, I just blew the greatest opportunity I’ve ever had to land
two spectacular fish at once – in a kayak! Dumb-Ass.
Meanwhile, while Rob was
being towed out to the middle of the Gulf, Hunter was being towed back in the
opposite direction towards the Puerto Jimenez pier.
Tosh and I followed Rob
(where he ultimately landed a great Jack) and Hunter was on his own.
Everyone landed their fish except me and after regrouping, we set out on one
more attempt to land a Rooster for Rob.
Rob hooked up once again and
of course - this fish was also a beast. It ultimately towed him over a
mile out into the Gulf for over an hour and it turned out to be his best fish
of the week.
Chapter 4: Fish Art
(designed by Captain Cory)
About three weeks ago, while
fishing with my friend Tony Thompson, I landed a very fine Cubera Snapper that
managed to destroy with it’s crushing teeth - my favorite Top-water
popper. Unknown to me, Cory decided to create a little dining table ornament
for me using the skull of the Cubera and the damaged popper. Well, here’s
a picture of the fish and the mounted “business end of the fish” (aka Jaws)
that put three holes in my popper.
I can hear Katie now… “Get that S_ _ T
off the dining room table!”
Now everyone can clearly see
the evidence of why these Badd-Ass fish are my personal favorite.
Chapter 5: Hummingbirds at
I managed to get a pretty
good photo of a humming bird just after sunset at Steve Griffin’s house and
while this is a great shot, the best is yet to come as I figure out the ideal
lighting and positioning.
More to follow and of course
- Plan Your Trips.