From the moment we got on a boat and left the coastal city of David, Panama, it felt as though we were in Jurassic Park. The spectrum of lush, tropical, colors tinted everything. Mountainous landscape gives way to winding brown rivers that resemble chocolate milk more than anything. It is the quintessential tropical destination. But we weren’t there to look at the landscape.
Hannibal Bank seems almost mythological if you’ve never been. We couldn’t get rumors of giant yellowfin tuna out of our heads. The Humboldt Current dumps water laden with nutrients over the edge of the Pacific continental shelf. The bank rises from thousands of feet to barely over 100-feet deep in some spots. Tons of bait congregates there, and with all that bait, predators must be nearby. It’s a perfect environment to fish. We were drawn there by the allure of yellowfin tuna, which were fabled to grow larger than 200-pounds.
The amount of life we encountered was hard to believe. Birds swooping, showers of bait scurrying away from some undetermined creature. Chaos. Beautiful chaos.
We felt unbelievably lucky to experience this fishery. While we’d fished plenty and came to Hannibal Bank with years of experience, this place was unlike anywhere we’d ever been. We will talk about it for the rest of our days.