In our fast paced corporate world, time is non-negotiable. At least that’s how most of us live. Our lives are governed by schedules and deadlines. In the Azuero peninsula however, the fishermans lifestyle is governed by a different set of rules. In the sleepy town of Pedasi there is always tomorrow, and people are rarely in a hurry. Time slows down, and friendships are planted and harvested easily. Fishing is a way of life in Pedasi, and the natives develop fishing skills from an early age, fueled of course by the need to gather the experience necessary for survival. Fishing in Panama is major source of survival for many villages along the Pacific coast. Red snapper and grouper are a staple source of fishing income for the fishermen, as these fish are a preference among exporters. In the recent years there has been a slight shift in the fishing industry as fishermen have discovered the idea of taking tourists out in their Pangas to fish with rods and reels and charge a slight fee for taking them out.
This supplemental income has now become the only source of income for the fortunate fishermen that have evolved in this business undertaking. The word catches fast in small towns, and now it is common to see fishermen with cell phones waiting for calls from Panama city to book fishing trips during their weekends.
Some fishermen receive calls from the US and have now begun asking questions about how to promote their business using the internet. Due to the poor telecommunications infrastructure and the lack of IT skilled labour (web designers), it will take a while before fishermen have their own websites, but it is coming.
Avidel is a local fishing legend, also a renowned freediver in the Azuero peninsula. He now spends most of his days taking people fishing. Recently he has been interested in making his own lures.
The most successful lures he has made have been a white feather lure (made out of the neighbours horses mane). The lure has a tuft of white horses hair that is about 4 inches in length and has caught more fish than any Rapala or Yozuri I have used in these waters.
When Avidel is not fishing he is feeding and training his fighting cocks. On a good night, one of these animals can make him up to $500, enough to keep the wife happy (and not minding as muchthe expense of feeding these creatures daily). Avidel is one of many personalities in Pedasi, but he represents an exceptional fisherman. A fisherman that refuses to stay home on the days he hasn’t booked any trips. A fisherman that is out on the water daily, and at every chance he gets in the hopes of the big one.