I returned over Thanksgiving for one of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, the Tropic Star Torneo with my team from the Cayman Islands. The lodge and beautiful grounds were immaculate as always. It was great to be back at my second home. There had been some changes in staff, but everything was running very smoothly, and life was definitely back to normal. Many of the boats had been refurbished, and the staff were putting the finishing touches on the building in the middle of the dock.
Looking back, 2013 proved another great year of fishing for Tropic Star Lodge. Terri and Mike Andrews and their staff have worked extremely hard to maintain the very high standards set by the lodge for the last 50 years. I have been going there for 22 years, but I had not been for the last two years. I have spent a lot of time recently on shark research projects in Bermuda, Mexico and in the Bahamas which ate up my fishing time.
However the weekly catch reports and photos published by the fishing director, Albert Battoo, are like a carrot to TSL clients, most of whom are repeat customers. They know that Tropic Star Lodge is the best big-game fishing location in the western hemisphere, and they return time and time again, just like I do. They were back in force for the torneo and the start of the new season.
Sebastien Guilbard and I went from the Air Panama flight from Panama City landing at Piñas Bay straight to the dock, jumped on board the Miss Texas and were off to sea within minutes of arriving. Fellow torneo anglers from Canada — Mike Kelly, Dave McBain and Greg Speers — plus a cohort of other Canadian regulars also hit the calm seas for a warm-up day of spectacular offshore fishing.