This fish puts the biggest smiles on my boat. No other seems to make someone happier. The classic shape of a bass or crappie but Mega Big.


Cubera Snapper, here around Isla Coiba  are a regular opportunity, but not so certain capture. This trophy Cubera had two different hooks already hanging off its mouth when we caught it.  A snelled hook; I could tell was one of mine! 


Cubera Snapper


Drifting live Black Skipjack  gets the big ones. It’s a tricky bite I’ve observed underwater, while feeding Cubera fresh bait. A big one will test the bait a few times before consuming it. Cubera will take a bait and run with it, only to drop it, bite it, leave it, bite it in two sometimes before consuming it. 


Using circle hook, when your bait gets picked up; give out some line fast, pull slack line out onto  the water if you can. Wait. Chomp, chomp pull… continue to wait a few counts. Then holding the line between your fingers, hold tight till you can’t any longer. Then point the rod at the fish and push the drag up past strike to full. If it comes tight, raise the rod, hang on hard and start short pumping it up away from the rocks it’s headed for. The boat will pull down current from the hookup spot away from the rocks. Once out in deeper water, back your drag down to strike.


coiba adventures



Cubera Snapper are a thinking and problem solving fish.

 A Cubera like this one was first spotted floating up-current of a wave-washed rock, inflated laying on its side, as if released with an inflated swim bladder.

I watched the floating 50 pounder for several minutes while I trolled a frigate mackerel off an outrigger hunting Roosterfish around the wash rock. 

Finally a big wave lifted the Cubera over the rock, where it went upright again and aggressively fed upon a school of Pompenette hiding behind the rocks backside. 

I’ve since noticed other Cubera Snapper captured near this rock to be missing scales, likely from contact with the rock. 

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