The Terror of the TROPICS

The following story is about a memorable day at the lake.

It all started on a one day competition named the Rotary International Tournament. This tournament was held on Lake Gatun in a small fishing town named La Represa in Mendoza.

The Gatun Lake covers an area of 163.32 Square Miles or 423 Square Kilometers and is currently the most important lake for the international commerce in the world. At this lake we can find many species of fish.

Amount these we can find El Sargento (Cichla Pleizona) as commonly named here in Panama, Oscars, Manatees, the Snook and the world famous Tarpon (The Silver King) these two species are mainly species from the ocean but, do to the Panama Canal they have found their way inside the lake an stay in.

This is the only part of the world that you can find Silver Kings in the Pacific Ocean. This lake is an amazing natural resource for universities around the world and the Smithzonian Research Institute that currently have an island in the lake where they study and continue searching for cures and other vaccines that can help cure fatal diseases.

It was early Sunday morning, at La Represa.

All the boats where sitting in the calm waters of the Gatun Lake waiting for the sound of the gun. The breeze from the north made the weather kind of cold.

You could feel it was going to be a good day or let put it in a different perspective it was going to be my day for a world record catch.

At exactly 6:15am the whistle blew and all the boats started their own journeys to their private spots. Well, what I can say I too ran for about an hour or so to a place call El Guavo, this place is at the mouth of one of the important rivers of the Panama Canal, lake Gatun.

The place is full with Hydrilla and Lilipads all over. It was very hard to maneuver do to the constant bumping on the logs. My trolling motor was doing exactly what it was made for.

OK, I say……I told my brother Ivan that it was time to start fishing. My brother from the back of the boat started casting and popping with a BIG Yozury Mag Popper, White/Red Head.

The action in this lure is phenomenal for big Sargentos. Me in the other hand was trying to figure out what type of lure this animals where looking for. I started rigging my five outfits with 5 totally different lures.

I place a Heddon Torpedo, a Rebel Jointed Minnow, a Tournament Frog, a crystal minnow by Yozury and the one that I really didn’t though that it was going to be making the difference the famous Storm Chug Bug.

Boy this lure made the difference. We started fishing about 7:30 am and we went on for about 30 minutes with out any strikes. My brother and I had a couple of strikes but like we say in this king of sport nothing to get impressed with.

The next a couple of hours I caught three keepers totaling about 7 pounds. I knew I need it about 15 pounds total to be fighting for the tournament.

At about 11:00 am my brother had a nice strike that lead us to our four keepers it was a nice 4.3 pounds.

We felt very good and at the same time very worry because the weighting time at the marina was at 1:30 pm and we didn’t have enough time to fish, maybe an hour or less, but nothing we can do it was a competition and rules exist.

At exactly 12:10 pm I was popping my Chug Bug that I have to say it sounded very nice; something like this BLOOPPP, BLOOPPP, WRROOOOP, BLOOP, BLOOP an their it was BLAAAAAA!!!!!!! Just like that you could see the entire lake been suck inside the monster mouth.

Those are the moments that any angler can relate on. For about 2 minutes I fought but, I personally thought that was about 2 hours.

I had my Shimano Casting Rod and my Calcutta 250 reel working at its best. The beast as I call this enormous SARGENTO fought like a KING.

He jump, push, ran and even look at my eyes like a Champion to another champion. After about 2 minutes he came to the boat and believes me though immediately I had the daddy of the lake.

At that moment my only concern was to get back to the marina as fast as I could. As you can already imagine what happen after that. Yes, we ended winning with more than 20 pounds total and of-course an All Tackle World Record.

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