Captain Asael and Mate Jarol run the Miss Spain at Tropic Star Lodge. Here is a list of the fishing strategies and approaches employed by perhaps the longest running marlin fishing operation around.
Tropic Star is famous for its live baiting. Each morning, each boat is provided a total of 30 leaders – ten of each size. The hook and leader size are matched to the bait size. For the large bonito, leaders are 18/0 circle hooks on 400# mono. The hooks are snelled, and the leaders crimped. Medium leaders – for smaller bonito – are 16/0 circle hooks on 300# mono leader. Small leaders, for runners and belly baits, are either 12/0 or 8/0 circle hooks on 150# mono.
Bonito Pitch Bait
When bait and switch is your game, check out the rigged bonito pitch bait. Notice the mouth is rigged shut.
Tropic Star Lodge has a fleet of 17 charter vessels. All of their work is done in house. Tackle organization is key to making sure that the right rods and reels are prepared each day – and wind up on the right boat. Notice the numbering system in their tackle shop.
In addition to the great assortment of a la cart boat lunch options, the ever-present dorado make for some great ceviche opportunities. Slice dorado thinly, squeeze lime juice over them and place on plate in ice chest for two hours. Eat with soy sauce and choice of cold beverage. Check out the 50w beer holder, too…
Tuna Tube/Livewell Set Up
Tropic Star’s fleet of 31’ Bertrams have caught a lot of fish. Check out their livewell/tuna tube set up. This six shooter has a black tail flicking out of each chamber.
In this part of the world, the belly bait is used in place of the ballyhoo. A durable option, it can be trolled fast or slow or used as a pitch bait. Step one, cut the belly out of a bonito or dolphin. Step two, sew it up. It is often fished in the shotgun – a great spot for sails, dorado or marlin.