The 2013 Season begins our 50th Anniversary! It's hard to believe that one man's dream hatched by founder Ray Smith in 1963, has become the top rated Big Game Fishing Resort in the world according to Robb Report Magazine and so many of our loyal and repeat guests and friends. Early on, Ray Smith predicted that many IGFA World Records would be caught in Pinas Bay, he wasn't wrong! During this 50-year span, we have broken over 300 IGFA World Records and 65 Jr. Angler Records, more than anywhere else in the world. And most weeks, the fishing is as good as it was in the early days…
For over three decades, we have been actively involved thorough our CONAMAR Foundation and working directly with the Panamanian government to protect all species of Game Fish. In the late nineties, the Tropic Star Lodge was the first fishing lodge to mandate a “circle hook only” policy for all Billfish. In 1997, the first “tourist zone” was awarded to the Pinas Bay area, making it illegal to commercial fish within a 20-mile radius. A few years later, a Presidential Decree was signed making it illegal to catch any bill fish commercially and to prohibit all Tuna Fishing within the Panamanian judicial waters, (200 miles).
In 2011, Raleigh Werking and Tropic Star Lodge were honored with the prestigious Safari Club International's, CJ McElroy Award, becoming the first fishing operation ever to be nominated. We are truly humbled and honored to be bestowed this high award that recognized us for our conservation efforts.
The Tropic Star Lodge sits 130 miles from Panama City in Pinas Bay, nestled on the edge of the dense Darien Jungle, in what is truly “National Geographic Country”. Conway Kittredge acquired the Tropic Star Lodge in 1976 and reopened it for business in 1977. His daughter Terri took over as manager in the early 80’s while dating Mike Andrews, who was working for the Panama Canal at the time. In 1991, Mike retired and they were married at the lodge poolside. Mike brought along some incredible fishing knowledge; combined with his working mechanical background which he acquired from the Canal. Together they began “Pinas Bay Resorts” and helped bring the Tropic Star Lodge to what it is today.
We would like to thank all of you who have enjoyed our “Tropic Star Experience” over the years and those that are about to... We invite you to come be a part of our 50th anniversary celebration by joining us on a trip of a lifetime. Come enjoy communing with other world class conservation minded anglers from all over the world in search of the elusive “Her Majesty” the Black Marlin, along with all the other species that are waiting to tug on your line.
Terri, Mike and Zane Andrews
For more history on the lodge and to see some of the historic images that have been take over the years, visit History of TSL