It’s occured to me that I’ve never identified the fish you see at the head of my blog every night. It’s the largest Pacific cubera snapper I’ve ever seen — and you may be able to catch it!

It was caught on March 20, 2018 while drifting a large chunk of black skipjack over an underwater peak off Isla Coiba, Panama on a heavy Shimano spinning outfit from a Pesca Panama center console — and released moments after the photo was taken.

I took the length and girth measurements, and by formula the weight came out to 73.58 pounds. That was just a few pounds shy of the IGFA all-tackle world record.

Though the cubera of a lifetime was caught in deep waters, that species provides the most exciting surface strikes on poppers in shallower depths as what looks like a bottom fish explodes through the air to pounce on the fast-moving plug and often breaks off in the rocky bottom before you can turn your reel handle. When they miss the plug, it sounds as if a garage door fell into the water!

If you’d like to take a shot at that cubera, check out That conservation-minded operation as adopted a release policy on cuberas even though they are an excellent eating fish at any size.

Thursday’s forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots with a chance of rain.


  1. I have a funny stori to tell you. I’ve been following your blog going back to buying the Star Ledger from those 25 cent newspaper machines in the early 90’s. My friend and I would read your top catches and compare notes to our own fishing experience. There were many times that you would mention how good the fishing was and we would get skunked ([probably because we were armatures) We would nickname you “Al Tell-Stori “ suggesting you were making it up. I know better now. I still follow your blog regularly. Keep up the great work.


  2. Sorry I missed this last week. Still trying to catch up from the trip. I always tried to be completely honest in my reports as I had counted on the same from outdoor writers I followed as a kid. Sure miss the newspaper era. The Star-Ledger was just 15 cents when I was living in Lake Hiawatha.


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