Pacific Paradise Fishing: Welcome to Hawaii

The Aloha State – Fishing’s Paradise

The Aloha State is the last state added to the United States (1959) but that is probably the only thing it is last in. When it comes to shear, breath-taking beauty this island destination has very few peers. Hawaii has been a top vacation destination for a long time now and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who not want to spend a week or two having fun under the sun in this Pacific paradise. With its year round tropical climate, lush landscapes, pristine beaches and majestic volcanoes, what more could anyone want? Well, plenty more if fishing is in your blood. You see, Hawaii is the only one of the 50 States to be completely surrounded by water, and you can bet the fishing here is awesome!

Kauai Hawaii                             flickr photo shared by Garden State Hiker under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Hawaii, as you might have guessed offers some of the most exciting big game fishing in the world as well as some of the best fishing charter experience anywhere. For the deep sea thrill seeker, it’s all here – from Marlin fishing, big Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi fishing and everything in between. You’re bound to be spoiled by the abundance here in paradise. There are number of great Hawaii fishing locations and fishing charters  to chose from- too many as a matter of fact- but we’re going highlight just a few here to wet your appetite.

Starting with the north shore waters of Haleiwa you’ll find the perfect place for anyone who enjoys sport fishing and some of the most experienced, biggest and fastest offshore boats. You can spend a full day with Chupu Charters and enjoy the all out thrill provided by deep sea fishing from one of the best locations in Hawaii. We guarantee that you will be fishing with the most experienced captains and crews in the area and on the most modern fishing boats with everything that you might need in order to enjoy the rush of fishing. Here you’ll tangle with Pacific Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado and many other species that will test your mettle.

On the island of Oahu and look for the Aikane Sportfishing charter company and you’ll be sure to find an amazing  experience on board one of their 42 foot fishing machines. Their knowledge of the world of sport fishing is unsurpassed, and you can rest assured these guys will offer the ultimate big game experience for anyone regardless of skill levels. This charter outfit is managed by Sonny Rivera, a native of Oahu who has been worked in all kinds of fishing-related jobs over the last  42 years now. This means that you can expect excellent customer service and a team experienced in all aspects of deep sea charter fishing. They are also one of only a few charters that let you keep all of your catch, as sharing the catch with the boat is normally the Hawaiian charter boat tradition.

 Sport Fishing Mecca in Hawaii

Hawaii Fishing Guides & Charters

Hawaii Fishing Charters

We have saved what we consider to be one of the best for last – that is the “Big Island” fishing charters with Tom Barefoot’s Tours. They are a big fleet of charters located on the Kona Coast, a place often called by many the “Mecca” for Hawaiian sport fishing. This is in part because of its massive drop off into the ocean that immediately puts you in contact with some largest fish in the Pacific without having to get too far away from the coast.

Here you can book a whole boat for you and your friends or family at very reasonable rates with a professional captain and fishing crew who will have you in pursuit of some of the biggest and baddest fish on the Big Island of Hawaii. They offer charters of 4, 6 and 8 hours, but those who are truly serious about their fishing will certainly want to book a full day’s worth of fishing. All of the equipment, bait and licensing are provided by the charter company.

Many all over the world will have experienced sportfishing in several locations, but those who have been to Hawaii will usually agree that this is a top 10 ultimate fishing destination worldwide. The Hawaiian Islands provide the perfect vacationing spot and the ideal fishing experience suited to every skill level from the novice to the seasoned veteran.

A Hawaiian vacation that includes fishing in the deep blue waters of the Pacific is truly a one of a kind adventure. So come and enjoy the beautiful beaches, the swinging hulas, the ukuleles and the breath-taking sights, but also be prepared for fishing you won’t soon forget. What are you waiting for?

More Resources on Hawaii fishing and travel:

http://www.gohawaii.com/en/

http://state.hi.us/dlnr/activities/

Nicaragua:  Latin America’s Hottest Sport Fishing Secret is Out

Rooster fish Nicaragua fishing                            flickr photo shared by michael.stockton under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Quietly Becoming Central America’s Sportfishing Hotspot

Just a couple decades ago very few people thought of Nicaragua while planning their next big fishing trip – it just wasn’t that kind of place. Fast forward to 2015 and things have changed dramatically. It went from being a country that was devastated by a brutal civil war in the 80’s to a democratic transition in the 90’s to an incredible transformation  that has turned it into one of Forbes most recommended destinations for tourism and retirement today. Nicaragua is on the rise and for those looking for a new and exciting fishing opportunities not too south of the border, look no further.

Four and a half hours from New York and just 2 and a half hours from Miami, Nicaragua is not a world away for most Americans. Another very important factor: Nicaragua was awarded with the title of the safest country in Central America in 2014 and it continues to be the safest in the area in 2015. Economically the future for Nicaragua is beginning to look brighter too if we consider the proposed $50 billion “Nicaragua Grand Canal” project which, not without some controversy, will create many jobs, allow it to compete with the Panama Canal, and help turn a once struggling economy into a commercial shipping power once completed.

Stretching Your Fishing Dollars in Nicaragua

“Ok”, you say, “but what makes Nicaragua a premier sport fishing destination?”. Well, there are many compelling reasons. First off, the safety factor, as mention before, can’t be overstated. In contrast to some Central American countries, you can truly relax here and focus on the fishing. The other attraction, in addition to its incredible natural beauty, is that Nicaragua has of the cheapest cost of living on the American Continent. On a budget? Your fishing dollars will go a long way here.

We want to mention that when you travel to Nicaragua you will be pleasantly surprised to know that most of the country works with the American dollar as well as the Cordoba, which is their national currency. You will be able to pay with US dollars in almost every store or gas station, but don’t expect the lady selling Churros on a street corner to be take a $20 without frowning at you.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the reason why you started  reading this article anyway and that is the fishing. We are going to start with one of the most popular locations and that is San Juan del sur. This very popular beach about  2 hours south of the capital of Managua has the largest number of fishing vacation packages, with many of the hotels and resorts in the area offering all-inclusive vacations centered around sportfishing. You could rent a very simple room with a fan instead of air conditioning and it would be as little as $10 to $20 bucks per night. While you can’t expect luxury at this price, the lodgings will be clean and have all the basic necessities. Of course, you could spend more for more upscale lodgings, but the choice is yours and it depends on the level of accommodations you want.

Sunset in San Juan del Sur fishing boats
flickr photo shared by thombo2 under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

All-Inclusive Vacation Packages for the Travelling Angler

We recommend that you head out to the San Juan del Sur Surf and Sport fishing charter. These guys have been doing this for a long time and they provide an excellent fishing experience for anyone. They offer charters as well as all-inclusive vacation packages with fishing and lodging as well as surfing. Surf and Sport also offers an array of add-on activities you can purchase such as horseback riding, snorkeling and sunset cruises. In addition, they provide free airport pickup and drop-off.

On the fishing end, they will provide all the advice and the equipment necessary to ensure that you have a great time along with all the required safety measures. They also have a large selection of equipment for the seasoned fisherman who wants to catch something large in these waters.

Approximately 49 miles (79 km) north of San Juan del Sur is Playa Guasacate where you will find another of Nicaragua’s best fishing locations. Surfari Charters offers fishing, surfing (the area is also known for its surfing) and air-conditioned lodgings with high-speed internet for up to 4 in its beach house. They provide 3 meals daily (including drinks) from their own kitchen and also offer free round-trip airport transfer. Here, as well, there will be many other activities such as spear fishing and snorkeling that can be add to your vacation package

Panga Fishing Tournaments and Other To-Do’s in Nicaragua

There are also many international fishing tournaments held in San Juan each year and you can expect to be able to catch fish ranging from Dorado, Sailfish, Rooster fish and Mackerel, to large Black Marlins and Yellowfin Tuna.

There are small boats called “pangas” and one of the most popular tournaments involve these pangas, which is truly one of the most engaging and entertaining ways to experience fishing in a beautiful setting. We recommend La Panga Rosa for fishing trips from Maderas Beach to Marsella Beach.

We also recommend you learn the word “playa” which means beach in Spanish. People will have an easier time helping you find directions to a certain beach if you say “Playa Marsella” instead of “Marsella Beach” but luckily for you, there are more than enough people who speak English and the owners of most fishing charters are either American or speak English quite well.

Now that you know the basics about fishing in Nicaragua, we invite you to take a trip to this Latin American hidden gem!

Amazing Peacock Bass Fishing: Gatun Lake Panama

Fishing Peacock Bass in Gatun Lake Panama

Gatun Lake Panama
flickr photo shared by roger4336 under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

It’s no secret that American President Theodore Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman and proponent of “masculine vigor,” so one almost wonders if he knew that completion of the Panama Canal would create a number of fantastic fishing spots in Central America. Of course we’ll never know if Teddy was thinking about fishing while sitting on that steam shovel in 1906, but we certainly know that the construction efforts resulted in what was at the time the largest man-made lake in the world.

Gatun Lake, known to the locals simply as Lago Gatún,  has an area of over 164 square miles and is dotted with small islands, the tops of hills that were flooded when construction of the Gatun Dam created the lake. The area around Lake Gatun is surrounded by thick rain forest, a natural protection for it various species of wildlife and is one of the few places on earth where species native to Central America can be seen in their natural, undisturbed state. The lake, which is roughly 164 sq miles is size (425 km), now serves as a major component of the Panama Canal crossing and is host to large amounts of shipping traffic. Even so, the primary recreational activity in the Gatun Lake area is fishing, with anglers from around the world flocking to the site for a chance to hook a few of the lake’s abundant Peacock Bass (called “Sargento” locally).

 Gatun Lake Peacock Bass HistoryGatun Lake Peacock Bass Fishing

While the Peacock Bass is the dominant game fish in the lake, it’s not native to the Panama waters. The fish actually originates from South American waters including the Amazon River, but was introduced to the lake around 1967 by a local businessman (accidentally, some say) and in less than 10 years became the lake’s dominant species. As it is this turned out very well for everyone, as Peacock Bass has become synonymous with the lake are area, are incredibly fun to catch and make for great eating. They are a very visual species and like bright lures and, if you can spot some live minnows or other natural baits, it won’t be long before you are reeling in a big one.

 Lake Gatun Fishing Guides, Charters and Accommodations

Gatun Lake can be easily accessed from Panama City, and since you’ll probably be flying into the city’s Tocumen International Airport, this makes traveling to the spot fairly simple. Car rentals are inexpensive in Panama City and there are plenty of hotels to choose from. Once you’ve reached the lake, you’ll be able to buy live bait and rent fishing poles and live vests right on the landing; locals will even filet your catch for about 20 cents per fish.

Of course, if you want to just enjoy and let someone else worry about the details, then booking one of the many local fishing guides or Gatun Lake fishing charters is the smart way to go. These guys are local, most speak enough English in case your Espanol isn’t up to snuff and, more importantly, know precisely where to take you to catch these fun and aggressive fish. And since, this is their livelihood, they are going to see to it that you come back with fish, after all their reputation and business depend on it. Rates can range from $80 to $400/day depending on the boat and size of  fishing party.

Remember to bring sunblock and a hat, because the sun will be unforgiving so close to the equator. You’ll also want to bring food and drink provisions to the lake as there is nowhere to buy snacks near the landing. We probably don’t have to tell you that bass lures will be your prime choice if you’re bringing your own gear. Maybe it’s time to check out Lago Gatun?

To learn more about fishing in Panama or Panama deep sea fishing, take a look here.

panamafishinghole is another good resource for more information on Gatun Lake and Panama fishing in general.

Baked Sole Fish Stuffed with Crab Meat

Sole fish is a light, tender and flavorful fish -without the “fishy” taste- that easily lends itself to many recipes. Though the Dover fish is considered the true Sole, Winter Flounder, also known as “Lemon Sole” and Fluke are also often sold in supermarkets and fish markets as Sole fillets. For this recipe, any of these flatfish will do.

Sole fish stuffed with crabmeat

Stuffed Crab-meat Sole

Stuffed Crab-meat Sole Ingredients

Fish:

  • 8oz of Sole Fish fillets (or any flatfish such as Flounder)

 For crab stuffing mixture:

  • 8oz jumbo crab meat (canned or fresh)
  • 1 ½ cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup of finely chopped scallion onions
  • ½ cup each of finely chopped green and red peppers
  • ½ cup of finely chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ cup of red jalapeño finely chopped (optional if you like it a little spicy)
  • 1teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1tablespoon of garlic power
  • 1tablespoon of onion power
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil (This will be for you to brush on the fish, both sides before adding the stuffing inside. Olive oil lovers can use a little extra)

Preparation and Stuffing of Sole fish

In a bowl you will mix the flowing ingredients from the above list:

crab meat; Panko bread crumbs; 1tbsp of the grated lemon peel; freshly squeezed lemon juice; red jalapeno (optional) ; chopped Italian parsley; green & red peppers; salt; black pepper; garlic power; onion power; and mayonnaise.  Mixed well and place to the side momentarily.

Take your sole fish and lay flat and brush olive oil on both sides of the fish. Then lay fish on the smooth flat side, take your crab stuffing and divide it evenly among your fillet pieces, as much as you can fit.

Once all pieces of sole have crab stuffing on them, fold thinner half of fillet over stuffing and tuck end underneath to form a wrap. Then place side by side in a glass baking dish, brush stuffed sole with olive oil on top and sides, sprinkle salt and pepper the over the fillets; then brush the mayonnaise over each stuffed sole top and sides. Lastly, optionally you can sprinkle some Panko bread crumbs on the top as well.

Cooking time  ( Preheat oven for about 450 F)

Bake in oven at the top rack for about 20 minutes or until it becomes golden brown (if sprinkled on top with Panko crumbs).

When done you can transfer onto plates decorated with sliced lemon and garnished with chopped parsley and paprika (optional). There you are, a delicious and easy recipe to make – bon appetite!

Credit: Many thanks to ChefNiecey for this delicious recipe

Why Are We Seeing So Many Fishing Kayaks?

What’s Driving The Kayak Fishing  Frenzy

man kayak fishing                         creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Hobie kayak pics

Some who don’t know may ask, what is a fishing kayak? However, most have seen them, particularly if you live in a state like Florida.  Men, women and children fishing from  kayaks. But these look somewhat different than the ones we are normally accustom to seeing. Well, that’s because what you are looking is a fishing kayak – specifically built for kayak fishing, the hottest trend in sport fishing today.

the kayak itself has been around for over 4000 years and first used by the indigenous people of the North Atlantic – the Yupik, Aleut and Inuit. They were made of wood where available and, where there was none, of whale bone covered with stretched stitched seal and other animal skin to make them water-tight. The kayak, which meant “hunter’s boat” to the natives, was used for hunting seal and whale in the water as well as other animals along the shoreline.

In some ways today’s fishing kayaks represent  a more sophisticated version of the early indigenous fisherman’s kayak. The modern fisherman’s kayak It is built with one target in mind-  the sport or recreational fisherman who wants a different way of fishing. And before anyone suggests that it is the poor man’s fishing boat, let me add that I have known many recreational fisherman who own $50,000 watercraft, with all the latest technology, who prefer to kayak fish for whatever reason.  For some it may be that are looking for something that tests their physical abilities; for others it is more consistent  with the “going green”  lifestyle that they have chosen to live. Think about it: there are no gases being released into the atmosphere or pollutants spilled into our waters – you are the craft’s energy source. And how about the health benefits? What other activity lets you to build rock-solid arms while doing what you enjoy most!

Closer Look at A Modern Water Hunter’s Boat

With that being said, today’s fishing kayaks are every bit the modern hunter’s boat. They are light-weight, sleek, stealth, specialized and equipped, in some cases, with everything the recreational fisherman could want. First of all, material construction. No longer made of whalebone and animal skin, today’s fishing kayak is made of high-grade durable polyethylene (plastic), come in 9- 14 ft lengths and weight handling capacities anywhere from 250 to 550 lbs. These nimble watercraft give you the flexibility to fish just about anywhere, even areas where others cannot.  One can find an application for just about any situation, whether you are looking to do river, lake or ocean kayak fishing.

The standard kayak is the “sit in” fishing kayak where your body and legs are inside the kayak. However,  more anglers today are opting for “sit on top” fishing kayaks that allow for greater maneuverability and storage space below. There are also fishing kayaks for two if you’re looking to take some company with you. Price- wise they can cost as little as $250- $300 for budget, entry-level kayak with maybe nothing more than a couple of rod holders,  to ten times that amount for some of the feature-rich models. Also, popular on the scene are pedal fishing kayaks (vs paddle types). They come with a hand-controlled rudder for easy steering and are very useful for those who would rather use their legs for power or just like keeping  their hands free for other things like snapping photos or rigging up tackle while moving.

On the high end you have some of the best fishing kayaks, loaded with a just about every imaginable  upgrade. We are talking tons of options and accessories such as fully adjustable seats, built-in storage hatch, live well, built-in tackle storage, GPS, fish finders and so on. I have even seen some powered by small electric and gas motors, though in my opinion this is overkill  and kind of defeats much of the experience. Hobie, Old Town and Jackson Kayak (there too many good brands to mention here) make some for the best kayaks for fishing and offer good value for your money; and outdoor retailer like Bass Pro shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods are just a few places  where you can find a kayak to fit your needs.

Fishing from Kayaks Here to Stay and Growing

Considering what the fishing kayak can offer – ease of portability and use,  budget-friendly entry points, great fun and a healthy lifestyle, not to mention being  eco-friendly – it is fairly easy to understand why we are seeing so many kayak fisherman everywhere these days. The concept is still in its infancy but is quickly catching fire. Will it replace how most of us are going to fish? Probably not, but it gives the sport fisherman one more option and that means it will only continue to grow. Let us know what are you thoughts on this exciting trend in recreational fishing.

Blue Marlin – Why It Is King of the Big Game Fish

Blue Marlin – Greatest Big Game Fish in the World

For many,  the Blue Marlin is considered the  Holy Grail of sport fishing. While there are many worthy contenders to the throne – Bluefin Tuna, Sailfish, Swordfish and Tarpon are but a few that come to mind – there is no doubt the Blue Marlin is king of the blue water. Its rare combination of size, strength, stamina and leaping ability are second to none (do you hear that, LeBron James!) In fact, they have been known to leap clear out of the water and into fishing boats. When you hook into one of these giants of the blue you’d better strap yourself in because you’re in for the fight of your life. It’s not uncommon to feel afterwards like you’d been body punched  by a professional boxer for 12 rounds.  You’re not getting one of these boat-side, if you do at all, in  20 minutes. It can take up to an excess of 3 hours (or more) depending on the size of the fish and your level of experience.  So you’d better pack a lunch before you go after one of these majestic brutes!

There’s no denying that the Blue Marlin is special among sport fishermen and big game fish anglers. So prized is the Blue Marlin that the island-nation of the Bahamas made it their national fish and proudly display it on their coat of arms.  Ernest Hemingway, an avid sport fisherman, featured the Blue Marlin in his masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea, which depicts the epic struggle between man and fish – and of course,  man with himself. It is the ultimate trophy fish, the  one that will give you a lifetime of bragging rights.

The Blue Marlin is also the largest of the Billfish, if you didn’t already know, and the only predators it has are mainly Great Whites and we humans. They are a warm water species native to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and are migratory and solitary by nature. The Pacific variant is larger than its Atlantic cousin and females are usually bigger than males.  Though Blue Marlin are usually caught in the 200 lb to 400 lb range, there have been many catches exceeding 1800 lbs and 16ft in length. The official Atlantic Ocean world record for rod and reel catches is 1402lbs.

Blue Marlin Greatest Big Game Fish

Blue Marlin Leaping

Get Ready for the Fight of Your Life

The Blue Marlin itself is a deep sea predator that likes to feed on squid, dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi). Mackerel and even small Tuna. And that long, spear-like bill it sports is not just for show. It is used to attack and injure schools fish. Follow the schools and you will find your Marlin. There are many techniques you can use to catch these trophy Marlin, but trolling with artificial lures, bait/lure combinations and natural baits are some of the most effective.  Live bait fishing with Bonito or Mackerel are also very effective.

But you will never know why the Blue Marlin is champion of the oceans until you hook into one. Then get ready to rumble! From the moment it takes your bait to when you mercifully reel it in (if you are lucky enough) you are in for a long, grueling battle. And all the while you are feeling the rush of adrenaline and a sense of exhilaration that no drug can ever provide. You will feel the ebb and flow of the battle- one minute convinced of certain victory, only to be followed by that sinking feeling of doubt as your fish makes spectacular long runs, deep dives and acrobatic moves that leave you mesmerized by a blurred canvas of cobalt and blue.

Finally, after 2 hours and near exhaustion from battling a stubborn and angry behemoth – and with arms, back and body too numb to any longer feel anything – you reel in your trophy.  Maybe like the old man in Hemingway’s book,  you soak in a moment of triumph. But you will never forget that you were in a fight with a worthy opponent – the greatest big game fish in the world , the Blue Marlin.