2016 Fishing Season Highlights

Fishing boats heading out before the end of the season at Tropic Star Lodge 

The season ended on a high note at Tropic Star Lodge. The Ocean was calm, nice breeze blowing, light rain and a hot bite offshore. We have been releasing large amounts of Marlin and back-breaking Yellowfin Tuna all of which put our anglers and tackle to the test. The Sailfish also put on a show and kept reels screaming along with our famous giant Tropic Star Dorado. The inshore bite provided insane catches for those who wanted to test their skills against some of the other beautiful species that can be found along this special coastline.

Fishing Report from August 20 to September 8, 2016 

As we get closer to the end of our season here in the Darien, the storms become a regular occurrence. Rainy season is in full swing and we get showers rolling through daily. The air temperature is a little cooler and the bite is hot. Our local captains are firm believers that when the rains begin, so too do the Blue Marlin. With the abundance of rain, the inshore waters have been green in color and offshore has been a beautiful Marlin-blue with the presence of flotsam.

Very Happy clients!

Fishing is a science and an art. Our captains, all from the surrounding villages, have mastered the art of fishing the waters out of Piñas Bay. And I do my best to support their artistry with some fishing and weather science. Each morning I go through the latest charts to check the weather for the day. I dial in on the sea surface temperatures, the currents, and plankton concentration. With this extra information we have a better idea of where the bait will be holding and which areas should be more productive.

Tropic Star fishing report from July23 to Aug06

The current lines offshore have started to form beautifully over the past two weeks. The nutrient-rich waters from the Humboldt Current have been converging with runoff from the rainforest. This current line or “trash line” is full of debris floating up from Central and South America. The exact coordinates of the trash line move daily, but when it is found, it can be a larger-than-life fishing experience.

Tropic Star Lodge is reporting amazing summer billfish action

We have experienced some amazing billfish action recently… we’re seeing Pacific Sailfish in impressive numbers and in great sizes. The average Sailfish our guests are hooking up with are between 80 and 100 lb., with some coming in over the 100 lb. mark. The Wahoo are here earlier than usual and the Blue Marlin are starting to show up in good numbers. We are excited for what is shaping up to be an amazing summer season in Piñas Bay.

Mother and son with their prospective dorado catch

We’ve had some very exciting fishing the last few weeks. The Sailfish and inshore bite is still hot and the Wahoo are taking up their annual residence a bit earlier than years past. There have been days where the Pacific Sailfish are thick in every direction and found just a few miles from the lodge. Inshore, the fish have been smashing poppers in a fury of white water and giant Wahoo are tearing up lures while trolling. For those who ventured offshore to find the pelagic species… the trash lines are forming and the life below is still building.

Matthew Rowland fishing a nice sailfish

Guests of all ages and from all over the world converged at Tropic Star Lodge this week with their sights set on prized game fish. The color of the water inshore has been murky for some time now from the seasonal rains and resulting runoff from the rainforest. This makes for great live bait fishing for trophy-sized Cubera Snapper and Roosterfish.

Client Mark Rose wrestling a sailfish while at the Tropic Star Lodge

Roosterfish and Pacific Sailfish are some of the most picturesque game fish anglers can catch. At Tropic Star Lodge we get both of these highly sought after species in the XXL size range. Over the past week it seemed like it was a popularity contest between the two fish. The bite was hot and our crews and anglers were prepared.

Tropic Star Lodge visitor Brice Webb showing off his sailfish catch

It has begun! The winds have changed and are coming from the northeast daily. This means that the rains are here and with that the flotsam. The flotsam is caused by the heavy rains and the runoff of debris that is washed into the ocean. This runoff from Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia get swept into the Humboldt Current which carries the flotsam here. The winds stack the flotsam up against the current creating our trash lines.

Catching roosterfish at the Tropic Star Lodge

Our new group of guests traveled far and wide to come to our little piece of heaven to wrangle with the mighty Roosterfish. It was our pleasure to welcome them with the tales of the amazing catches from the previous week. The inshore bite looked promising; the conditions were what every inshore angler looks for. The bait fish were thick, the moon and tides were right, and our anglers were raring to go.

Tropic Star Lodge Roosterfish Tournament

The week leading up to our second annual Roosterfish tournament brought a lot of rain, changes in the water conditions, and slowed our inshore bite slightly. It seems though that Neptune had a plan, and he unleashed the Roosterfish for us! Over the three days of tournament fishing, nine teams officially released 75 Roosterfish.

Howies Haspel's monster Roosterfish

It’s raining Roosterfish.

Over the past week we experienced our first substantial rains in a while at Tropic Star Lodge. The big rains result in run-off from the jungle creating our famous color and trash lines. The water temperatures around Pinas Bay have stayed a steady 81 Fahrenheit. This is what we have been waiting for!

Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, Roosterfish, Cubera Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna. 

The seasons are changing in Piñas Bay and that means that the fishing is starting to heat up inshore.  With our Roosterfish tournament right around the corner, we’re excited about that!

Marlin ready for release

Over the past several days we have seen some big changes regarding the sea conditions here at Tropic Star Lodge. The water temperature has risen to the low 80’s and we are now back to favorable conditions for billfish and other offshore species like Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado.

Marisol with her yellowfin tuna catch 


This February the Yellowfin Tuna have arrived in ridiculous numbers and just about everyone got in on the incredible topwater action. Our guests caught over 100 tuna in the last two weeks. We have seen some adrenaline pumping feeding frenzies along on the coast.


Tropic Star Client Michael Bonsignore's Black Marlin

We’ve released 65 Blacks over the last twelve fishing days; not to mention 20 Blue Marlin and a few Striped Marlin. I have always been amazed at the quality of the Marlin fishery here and more so the numbers of big fish that frequent the reef. Some days the bite seemed to slow to a crawl, many fish coming into the baits that just won’t eat, but other days it’s like someone threw on a light switch and they eat just about anything you can throw at them. This year we are seeing some fairly big fish in 500-600 lb range and just last week one guest had nothing to show at the end of his day, other than an empty spool.

Client of Tropic Star Lodge James Miner's Black Marlin

Earlier on this month we reported that there weren’t many Black Marlin offshore. Things sure have changed!!! The Blacks have arrived on cue this January and the last two weeks has been spectacular fishing both on the reef and offshore. Let me say this, and those of you have who have experienced it can surely attest, when the bite is on at the Piñas Reef, there is nothing else quite like it anywhere.

Mark Weeks was Fly Fishing when he brought in this sailfish

Our 2016 Season is in full swing and the offshore fishing has been excellent over the last two weeks. Loads of Blue Marlin are patrolling the edge and for some reason we are having lots of success trolling with lures as opposed to the normal live techniques we are accustomed to. We have not been seeing many Black marlin in the mix; which is unusual for us this time of the year, I think they will get here soon… but in the meantime we have enjoyed world class Blue Marlin fishing with some good numbers of Sailfish.

Black Marlin fishing in Piñas Bay Panama

The red- hot Marlin fishing continued at Tropic Star Lodge this week and our guests enjoyed some epic marlin fishing offshore with multiple hookups and bites. There are good numbers of Sailfish and Monster Dorado offshore as well. What a way to bring the New Year!

Alyssa Billys BlueMarlin caught during December at the lodge

The bite is on at Tropic Star Lodge and the last two weeks have been absolutely outstanding. So far we’ve released 23 Black Marlin, 135 Blues and 250 + Sailfish for the month and there were days when it was simply magical offshore. I have said it time and time again; there is no place in the world like Piñas Bay, Panama. Huge Bull Dorado, up to 70 lbs are hanging out in the thrash lines and some pretty good size Yellowfin Tuna were also caught offshore. With this kind of action, we are having no trouble keeping the rods bent and guests happy over the Christmas holidays.

Sailfish fishing at the Tropic Star Lodge in Panama

We’ve kicked off the 2015/2016 fishing season with a bang! This December our expert crews were back at the helm, doing what they do best– putting our guests on the fish. The fishing is great at the moment… it’s some of best we’ve seen in quite some time! Blue Marlin seem to be just about everywhere along the edge and there are lots of Sailfish to keep the rods bent.

Panamanian Mola

Tropic Star Lodge

Contact Information

Orlando Office:

635 N. Rio Grande Ave.,
Orlando, FL 32805
US callers: 1-800-682-3424
International callers: 001-407-843-0125
Fax: 1-407-839-3637

Office Hours: 9 am to 5 pm EST (Monday thru Friday)


Panama City Office:

507-396-6414 or 507-396-6413

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