Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
We hit the beach last Saturday 25 June 22 south of Santo Tomas at the tidy little fish camp known as Campo Pescadero. There were seven nice pangas, two launching trailers and a clean shack behind the dunes. No one was home. From there we drove up the beach past Santo Tomas, Playa Palomas then to the most horrid shit hole imaginable known as Punta Jaguey.

In that short cruise we counted twenty two dead sea turtles. Nineteen were Olive Ridley's, two were Loggerheads and a single Hawksbill. Saw two long dead Fin Whales. The most recent was quite a sight with the blubber boiling in puddles under the rotting hide from the heat and humidity.

Watched an Osprey stripping the meat from a good sized Corvina while perched on a dead Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Saw three obese male Fringe-Toed Sand Lizards rush out from under dead turtles only to rush back to the shade, cover and windfall of maggots and carrion beetles.

From our entry on to the beach to our exit we must have seen more than a thousand Finescale Triggerfish heads washed up, obviously long line action.

Jaguey was engaged in a pearl oyster death-fest. There were thousands of them piled up on the beach used to make a ramp up to the dunes where the camp is located. The black death flies were thicker than we have ever seen..anywhere. I tried to talk to the five dirty young boys splitting the oysters but they wouldn't talk, just a nasty scowl and hateful grin. Musta been at least twenty starving and thirsty dogs wandering around. From the camp out on the dirt road to the highway there were piles and piles of rotting Panamanic Pearl Oysters. None had the meat removed.......meaning that they were harvesting them for THE PEARLS! Gotta take at least a thousand to even find one small pearl.


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Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
Recap on DEATH ROW................

On a brighter side we did observe some positive faunal activity that day.

Upon hitting the beach and the outgoing very high tide that afternoon we saw more living animal life than we have in many years. There was a dark almost black line in the water just beyond the smallish muddy waves. The line extended as far as we could see both up and down the coast. Beyond the dark line was clear blue water. There were thousands of sea birds diving into the dark water to include Brown Pelicans, cormorants, several species of terns, gulls and a few Great Blue Herons wading deep at their belly lines.

The dark line was an unbelievable thick shoal of sardines, all moving northwards against the outgoing tidal current. It continued along the entire beach and beyond at Punta Jaguey where we said adios to the filthy two legged grubs shucking out the panga boat loads of Panamanic Pearl Oysters.

The pelicans were all dark feathered juveniles, many accompanied with their parasitic Herrman's Gulls. Funny watching those gulls landing on the heads of the pelicans and snatching a sardine from their throat pouch. Many thousands of the birds were just sitting on the beach digesting the windfall bounty.

We saw a very interesting and rare cooperative behavior with five Vaquitas cruising southward driving the sardine shoal into shallow water were the birds could easily pick them off in waste deep water. The Vaquita pod consisted of two adults and three juveniles not much longer than the outstretched wings of the diving pelicans. Sometimes the pelicans were hitting the water only inches from the Vaquitas.

I waded out and pitched a buck tail jig a few dozen times into the sardine shoal but took no hits from any type of underwater predator. They were all probably pigged out as were the birds.

We saw several sick and injured young pelicans on the beach, even walked up to a few feet from them before they took off only to land twenty or thirty feet away. There were several Turkey Vultures on hand to take care of them when they finally crapped out. The Coyotes and foxes had been feasting as well as their many thousands of foot prints and the fresh bloody picked over bird carcasses could attest.



Well Known Member
I love snorkeling through the Grunion runs too .….usually saw them a few days after a full moon or new moon in mass …whats with that?


Tom the Surfcaster
I hit Santo Tomas on Sunday just in the wake of Jungle Jim and crew. We caught so many fish just North and just South of ST the first three days we never made it further than Playa Paloma until the last day. Punta Jaguey is a stinky shit show to be sure. Sad to see so much carnage on the beach. Fishing report coming in the fishing section.