Fishing in Paradise

Posted by Kent Payne on Feb 28, 2012 12:46:49 PM

While playing golf is my choice for getting out for a few hours with the "boys", my friends Jack and Darrell signed us all up for a fishing adventure. Now I know that fishing is good off the point near Gran Pacifica, but the local commercial fishermen power out in small pangas (like an open john boy boat), and fish all night with lanterns. They use weighted gill nets and bring up good eating fish, or drop lines with 300 hooks and bait the drop off where the reef runs deep into the Pacific.

So it was with some minor reluctance ($100 goes a long way for beer on the golf course)  that I agreed to chip in for the $300 for the five hours we planned to be gone. Admittedly, all the beverages, sandwiches and snacks that we needed for the entire day were on board, and the fresh tangerines, cold beer, and trail mix bars really hit the spot. I settled in for what I’d done in the past... relax on the bow while we trolled slowly out into the deep blue water just after dawn.

We got about 12 mile out and suddenly one of the trolling lines bent double, and Jack picked up the waist belt to set the pole into. A brief, but intense, struggle ensued, and soon Jack had brought in the first fish of the day. The mackerel was about 20 pounds, though it did not seem huge, fed eight people later with all the fresh filet we needed. A good start, but this has always been the way it is... start big and taper off quickly later.

Camilo, the first mate, and Dan, boat owner and captain set out looking for diving birds on the horizon. They informed us that if we got into the birds, the fish would be just below. As we turned around a point heading north from Masachapa, the sky was white with sea birds and the water was boiling. I’d never seed the water churning so. Camilo slowed at the edge of the boil, and we started throwing top water crank bait. I was used to bass fishing in Oklahoma, where you give the fish a look at the bait, crank hard, stop, crank hard, and stop. Dan told me to really crank all the way in, and ‘pop’ the plug as I did. I guess technique can make a difference, because we laid into the fish.  At this point, we were hunting the fish, not fishing... You’d see a break on the sea’s surface, and then you’d cast 20 feet in front. BOOM... the water would explode and the fight was one.

Darrell caught a rooster fish….named for the beauty of the color and the back fin stands up in rows (like a rooster’s comb). Just beautiful, but we catch and release this fish. Then, all of a sudden, the jacks started. Now, this is a fish that Dan says is not great eating for most….but the locals love any type of good protein, and he’s made a name for himself in giving the jacks to the local population.  There were four or five ‘mamacitas’ waiting for his boat when we got in.

For the next three hours, we hammered the jacks, and they hammer the lures…..the photos will show the size of the tremendously powerful fish that consistently bent our ‘ugly sticks’ in half. We lost about 4 to jumping off the hook at boat side, or breaking the line because of their size…….absolutely outstanding fishing!!

Then, when we thought things were cooling down, and we needed to start back home, the fish started hitting again.  We caught about 30 fish total, and none were less than 20 pounds…..a great day on the water, and I’ll go back anytime.

For information on how to get in touch with Dan, or if you’re planning on a trip to Gran Pacifica and want to do some fishing, just drop me a note.



Kent Payne

Written by Kent Payne

Topics: Retiring in Nicaragua, Living In Nicaragua