Texas Girls Go Marlin Fishing

Marlin Negro enganchado por Shannon Stinson.

This post is also available in: Spanish

On-the-Water by Ilene Little

Texas Girls Go Marlin Fishing in Panama out nine hours a day on a big game fishing boat for five days, reaped the rewards by catching one black marlin each, ranging from 300 to 550 lbs.

Shannon Stinson and Regina “Gina” Maze are both seniors in high school, and Alyssa Archer attends college at Texas A&M. They were traveling with Shannon’s parents, Gigi and Robert Stinson, and Doug and Beverly Archer, the parents of Alyssa. They arrived February 6, 2016, at Tropic Star Lodge, for a six-day fishing trip on the Pacific side of Panama.

Texas Girls Go Marlin Fishing

Black Marlin hooked by Shannon Stinson.

“This is my fourth trip to Tropic Star. Years ago I was with a group of guy friends, all seeking to land a Marlin,” said Robert. It is Gigi’s second fishing trip to the lodge.

“Because of my prior trips and success in catching Marlin, plus other fish species, I played the role of photographer and tour guide on this trip. Our group had a lifetime experience and will have forever lasting memories. Everyone in the group caught their first Black Marlin. Shannon and Alyssa had an added bonus of landing two Blacks,” said Robert

“We caught more than 20 mahi mahi, which was at least three fish a day. Also, the Archer’s landed three Yellowfin Tuna,” said Robert.

Anyone who has travelled with teenagers on family adventures will laud the attitudes of these three girls. As romantic as big game fishing sounds, it is hard work that tests the endurance and attitude of many a grisly male, so the young ladies are to be commended for their catches and their stamina.

Texas Girls Go Marlin Fishing in Panama they caught the first Black Marlin, a big 350 to 400 lb. fish. “My Dad yelled ‘fish!, fish!, fish-on!’, and then he grabbed me and made me put on the harness and get in the fighting chair. That first fish only took 15 minutes to reel in, but it was hard,” said Shannon.

From left to right, Regina Maze and Shannon Stinson pictured as Maze reels in a Dorado.

From left to right, Regina Maze and Shannon Stinson pictured as Maze reels in a Dorado.

“I thought the mahi mahi were more of a fight to catch,” said Gigi, “because the boat backs down on the Marlin when you hook one, but if you catch a Dorado, it’s all up to you to reel it in.”

Gina caught the biggest Black Marlin estimated at 550 lbs. “It took 40 minutes to reel it in even with the boat backing down,” said Gigi.

“Gina’s feet couldn’t reach the part of the fighting chair where normally you brace your feet,” said Shannon, “so my dad had to hold on to her and keep pulling her back into the chair.”

“Halfway through the fight, I thought I was going to die,” said Gina, “It was hard; harder than I thought it would be but it was really fun. Afterwards I thought, I just reeled in this fish that is five times bigger than me.”

“At the exact same time as Gina was fighting her Marlin, we also had a 60 lb. mahi mahi hooked,” said Shannon, “That was crazy. While my dad and the mate were helping Gina, The captain came down and was helping me land the Dorado.” They got both fish in.

Congratulations to this family for providing the opportunity for their young adults to experience adventures that help them develop stamina and perseverance, which will help them later in life.


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