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Sport Fishing in Panama

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Last update: November, 2009

That the name Panama means "an abundance of fish" in an ancient indigenous dialect is a time-honored Panamanian cliché. Trust those indians. They knew what they were talking about.

Panama offers fishing for all ages and experience levels. For those interested in open water fishing for species like Marlin, Dorado and Yellow Fin Tuna as well as bottom fishing for Grouper, Snapper and the like, there are several options along the Pacific Coast.

Tropic Star Lodge located in the Darien Jungle about 150 miles south east of Panama City is Panama’s oldest established fishing lodge. It can only be reached by boat or light aircraft. Another option is Hacienda del Mar on Isla San José, the outermost island of the archipelago of Las Perlas. Hacienda del Mar offers inshore and offshore fishing.

Fishing expeditions can also be arranged out of Contadora Island through any of the island’s hotels. The Pacific of course, washes the shores of Panama City, so guests in city hotels, who may have a tight time shedule, can charter sport fishing boats out of the city’s yacht clubs.

Panama Yacht Adventures arranges fishing trips out of Panama City to any of the Pacific fishing grounds. Superb fishing grounds can be found on the Azuero Peninsula where lodging and fishing trips can be arranged through Pedasi Fishing (6673-1112), Pedasi Sports Club (995-2894), Sereia do Mar (6623-8758) or Panafishing Adventures (6678-3900). Pangas are the vessel of choice for local fishermen whose livelihood depends on their catch. They are open fiberglass boats with an outboard engine, so don’t forget your lucky fishing hat and sunscreen. Fishing here with a local guide almost guarantees sore arms the next day. It is not hard to find schools of tuna and they can be hard work.

Further west and reached by the Pan American Highway to Santiago, turning off to Sona and then to the coast, is Santa Catalina. Santa Catalina Boat Tours will guarantee you a good day’s fishing.

Up in Chiriqui, Hooked on Panama Resort near Puerto Armuelles and Gone Fishing Panama Resort in Boca Chica offer both inshore and offshore fishing. Boats can also be chartered at the port of Pedregal.

For fresh water fishermen, Gatun Lake is one of the world’s greatest Peacock Bass lakes. There are small boats for hire with a guide from Arenosa, a small village 40 minutes by road from Panama City.

There are many tour operators that can assist you to plan your fishing trip and get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Visit the Tour Operators section or look the related links of this page for more information.

Related Links

Tour Operators section in Focus Panama
Sports section in Focus Panama
Diving section in Focus Panama
Bird Watching section in Focus Panama
Eco Tourism section in Focus Panama
Surf section in Focus Panama
River Rafting section in Focus Panama
Hotels in Panama


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