Sportfishing in Panama
Panama” means “abundance of fish” in the Indian language and Panama lives up to its name. It has several world class fishing area including Panama’s Pinas Bay, home to more world fishing records than any place in the world – 250 to be exact and the Gulf of Chiriqui and Coiba Island area in West Panama.
Near to Panama City another top spot is the Pearl Islands, a short boat or plane ride from the city.
For fresh water fishing, Lake Gatun in the Panama Canal 45 minutes from Panama City. The fish are so abundant that catching at least twenty fish is normal for everyone, kids included. At the same time, you’ll enjoy the rainforest scenery surrounding the lake.
Sport Fishing Highlights
Pinas Bay and Tropic Star Lodge
Piñas Bay in Panama is the location of more fishing world records than anyplace else in the world, more than 200. The Tropic Star Lodge in Piñas Bay is world famous and caters to the sport fishing enthusiasts around the world
World renowned author Zane Grey, searching for Black Marlin in the late 1920’s, first discovered a great reef in Piñas Bay off the Pacific Coast of Panama that supports aquatic life beyond the imagination. In1961, a Texas oil baron built his dream home on the mountain overlooking Piñas Bay.
The resort was opened up as a fishing lodge in 1964 and is run by a highly professional team of Americans and Panamanians. The prestigious Robb Report named Tropic Star Lodge the BEST fishing lodge in the world, calling it the “crown jewel” of fishing.
Black, blue and striped marlin abound in numbers unheard of elsewhere. Pacific sailfish are present yea round and from April through July, multiple hookups are the norm, rather than exception. Dolphin are also caught all year and average 20 to 60 lbs. Many yellow fin tuna are boated each year in the 150 to 250 lb. range. All this action takes place just 30 minutes from the lodge and on seas that are normally quite calm.
Inshore, there are amberjack, snapper, grouper, roosterfish, pompano, rainbow runner, mackerel, jack and the list keeps on going.
The Tropic Star Lodge is located in the Darién jungle, is so remote it is only accessible by boat or a 55-minute plane ride from Panama City. A paradise sliced from the side of a mountain, dense jungle rich in wildlife, tropical flora and a secluded beach surround it. High adventure and luxury meet, as the lodge is world famous for its comfort, service and good food.
Billfish are caught year round at TSL. During the months of January through March; we offer 6 days and 7 nights fishing packages only. April through September, we offer 3 or 4 day trips, as well as our weekly packages.
Flip Pallot, an ESPN host, says of Tropic Star Lodge “Fabulous location, easily reached, opulent accommodations, friendly people, excellent equipment, knowledgeable crews, and oh, yes…incredible fishing. Tropic Star Lodge has been the host to many sport fishing shows and can be viewed on ESPN, ESPN2, OLN, CNN and SPIKE TV regularly and featured in many sportfishing and boating magazines worldwide.
Western Panama and The Olas Beach Resort
Big game, little game, you name it. The waters off Western Panama have it all. Montuosa,The Hannibal Bank, and Ladrones Islands rival Pinas Bay and the Zane Grey reef in size and quantity of yellow fin tuna, black marlin, blue marlin, roosterfish, pacific sailfish, dorado, amber jack, red snapper, wahoo, and a myriad of other species. In West Panama you will find a great variety of fish and a variety of choices of where to stay and boat charters.
Las Olas Beach Resort is all-inclusive 5 star property on La Barqueta Beach luxurious and elegant, yet affordable. The resort is close to the Pedregal Marina in the city of David which offers a wide selection of sea worthy boats with excellent captains for charter with daily rates ranging from $500 to $1,200 depending on speed and capacity.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and exciting fishing excursion that won’t break your pocketbook, then go West! There are three flights daily from Panama City’s Albrook International Airport to David (approx 45 min). The Pedregal Marina is a five minute transfer from the David airport. Many of the hot, underwater, fish-attracting structures can be reached in under an hour.
Some fans of fishing off the coast of West Panama include world-renowned fishermen such as Dean Travis Clarke of Sport Fishing Magazine and Dr. Guy Harvey, world renowned marine artist and fisheries biologist. In April of 2003 both of these great anglers visited Coiba. Dean caught “the biggest yellowfin tuna ever seen.” On his trip he also enjoyed his visit to Las Olas Beach Resort, pleased by the hotel’s elegance and sophistication. Las Olas Resort is a place every angler will enjoy both before and after a great fishing trip. Be sure to catch Clark’s show covering fishing in western Panama airing sometime in October 2003 on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN). Check the schedule on www.sportfishingtelevision.com to see exactly how big the fish get!
The Pearl Islands and Hacienda del Mar
Hacienda del Mar in the spectacular Pearl Islands just half an hour by plane from Panama City, offers special sportfishing/hotel packages.
For more information you can also visit our Tour Operators and Travel Agents page.