2018 Fishing Season Highlights

Fishing Highlights at the Tropic Star Lodge from Dec to Jan

Happy New Year!

Marlin breachThe year has ticked over and it is Marlin season down at Tropic Star Lodge. We kicked off the New Year in style here in the Darien Jungle with a delicious spread from Chef Gabriel, a champagne toast and a fireworks display at “Tropic Star Midnight”, 9pm on the dot. Guests then retired for the night preparing for a productive day of fishing. The past few days we have seen a tremendous amount of Dorado in the size range of around 30 lb to 60 lb. Just before the new year the Dorado bite was off the charts. At the first of the year the Marlin bite picked up with Blue Marlin offshore and some of the larger female Black Marlin released on the Zane Grey Reef. Guest Michael Menten released a very nice Black Marlin on the reef estimated at 650 lb.

The weather has been unpredictable as of late. Summer has not fully arrived as we originally thought it had earlier in December. We are still experiencing rain showers every few days and the wind can’t seem to make up its mind on direction. The wind will blow from the north for a few days and then switch to the south for a few. This time of year, we generally experience northerly winds and our dry season, so we are still waiting for that to arrive and stay. The bite has been changing in intensity with the winds, it seems when the southerly winds blow we are getting an abundance of Mahi Mahi and when it switches to northerly winds the Marlin bite heats back up. As we get into true summer and our season progresses, the northerly winds will be blowing for around three months and we are really excited for the bite to continue to get stronger.

Malcom and Scott Paternoster, father and son from New York, joined us with a singular purpose– to catch a Marlin. The gents are both avid anglers and very passionate about fishing. I always love seeing fathers and their kids come fishing as it reminds me so much of my trips with my dad. This particular fishing trip ended on a really high note with Malcom and Scott both walking the plank on the Tropic Star dock for releasing their first Blue Marlin. Malcom’s came in at 350 lb and Scott’s at 450 lb.

Keith and Jan Talley have been visiting the Lodge for many years and it was great to see them back over New Years. Both Keith and Jan have caught more than their fair share of Marlin around the word and we love it when they come home to Piñas. On this trip the couple released multiple Marlin, Sailfish and mountains of Dorado. The fish of the week for them was no doubt the Black Marlin that Jan released on the Zane Grey Reef, a gorgeous fish of 450 lb.

David Baldwin, Justin Wodich, and Kinzy Jones spend a lot of the time on the water chasing Sailfish in the tournaments in South Florida. It was great to have the trio down in Panama for a boys’ fishing retreat. All three anglers are very knowledgeable when it comes to fishing for billfish and after a bit of Spanglish on the deck, the crew were happy to have the guys rigging and putting out baits. The gents crushed the Mahi Mahi and released multiple Marlin. Justin released his first ever Black Marlin with Kinzy as the magician on the camera and I’m sure you are going to enjoy the shots he got.

Harry Brinkley and George Couch have been visiting the Lodge for many many years and it is always fun getting to catch up with them. The guys chase Marlin all over the world and it is always a pleasure to welcome them back to the lodge for their semi-annual trips. Harry has caught more fish than he can count and therefore at 91 years old, he now only reels in Marlin. George, on the other hand, loves fishing for all fish. While having a bit of fun with his friend, he and the crew told Harry that a giant Dorado on the line was a Marlin. Harry was up and wrestled the supposed Marlin only to find it to be a Mahi-Mahi! The laughs and fun on the porch with them retelling the story was great. We always enjoy the humor our guests share with each another. The gents both released multiple Marlin. And here’s to you Harry, catching Marlin at 91, a feat any angler can admire.

Duane and Karen Gilleland joined us with their friends Timothy and Catherine Bergstrom. The gents were quick with the jokes and the friends were always smiling and enjoying their time together. Both couples are retired but have just as much fun as kids and it really was infectious. The ladies split their time between fishing and relaxing poolside. But regardless their boat came back to the dock each afternoon with tall tales and their flags flying high.

The fishing was a little slower than previous weeks but we still had more a good number of Marlin and the amount of Dorado the fleet was catching was insane. With the bite improving towards the end of the week, we are very excited to see what next week will bring. As we head into the new year with great friends and family at our little piece of paradise here in the Darien Jungle, we hope to welcome you down soon.

Capt. Richard White

Panamanian Mola

Tropic Star Lodge

Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Tropic Star Operations 
18331 Pines Blvd.
Box 116
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029

Contact us by Phone:

US callers: 1-800-682-3424
International callers: 001-407-843-0125
Fax: 1-407-308-0092

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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