2018 Fishing Season Highlights

Lush jungles scenes found at Tropic Star Lodge and Piñas Bay, Panama

Tropic Star Lodge is a name well known the world over by avid anglers. It is a place of legendary status that spans generations and has stood the test of time.  When anglers hear our name they think of world records, giant Black Marlin, Dorado sizes that defy logic, Tuna schools that encompass acres and inshore giants like Roosterfish and Cubera Snapper. Beyond the fish, guests know Tropic Star for our lush jungle scenes with waves crashing against dramatic volcanic rock formations and our rainbow fleet of Bertram’s in a calm bay.  I want to share our latest news from Piñas Bay and update you on the fishing so far this year.

Our inshore season has been nothing short of amazing with some incredible catches. Around March we saw the cooler water start to come in and with it the inshore bite exploding. We had shoals of Sardines that were never ending. It was a sight to see hundreds of Pelicans so gorged on Sardines they could not take off. Snapper were busting the surface in a red and white deadly froth. This time of year the Grouper come into the shallows and we caught large numbers of Broomtail and released a few Goliath Grouper. The Tarpon also joined in on the action and we saw more of them this season than we have ever seen before. With so much bait around we tried some new tactics which yielded great results. We backed the boats to the rocks and cast jerk baits, stick baits, and poppers right up tight into the rocky shore. We targeted right where the white water rushes off the rocks and it worked like a dream. We caught almost every inshore species of fish that Piñas Bay has to offer using this method. Another tactic was flinging live bait out right up into the rocks and very few made it back to the boat. We managed to really rack up the species and catch numbers doing this and released loads of Bluefin Trevally, Snapper, Roosterfish, and pretty much anything else with fins.

During our recent Roosterfish Tournament anglers released massive fish and there were stories of even bigger ones lost. During the tournament we released 74 Roosterfish of which 47 were tagged with spaghetti tags. We also released five Roosterfish over 40 lb with pop-up satellite tags courtesy of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

Fight of a life time - black and blue marlin fishing at the Tropic Star LodgeThe season started in December 2017 with some phenomenal offshore action.  The fleet released 16 grand slams in the space of 12 weeks. Each of these consisted of a Blue Marlin, Black Marlin and Sailfish. Miss Darien managed to release three grand slams in a single week! During this time the Dorado came through in droves and it was almost comical at how many fish over 50 lb guests were catching. These fish are considered trophy size and, during the beginning of our offshore season, boats returned to the dock with multiple fish going over that special mark each day. With the billfish action being as crazy as it was most anglers were not too interested in the Tuna frenzies that started at the end of February but for those who did target them it was nonstop action. Anglers got to take on the back breaking Yellowfin with surface lures which is serious fun. The white water and aerial assault by the tuna gets anglers’ hearts racing with the scream of the reel. There were a few weeks the Yellowfin were so thick some boats returned to the dock having released over 100 tunas and bringing back a few for sashimi.

The captains and mates have been hard at work honing their skills and learning new techniques to ensure the most action packed time on the water and helping guests get their dream catches. Some of these include the new ways we are targeting fish inshore and our new Raymarine Electronics have been a huge help in this department. The boats are also equipped with dredges from Taylor Offshore to help raise even more fish off in the deep. Our boat building team are in the process of upgrading our new Tropic Star Bertram 31’ models which guests have been loving. We have enclosed the salon and added air conditioning, but that is just the start. The entire boat has been redesigned from top to bottom with a new live well, fighting chair, and entire new helm setup. We have also partnered with Volvo and are very happy to say the new engines are a dream come true and we will have five boats sporting the new Volvo engines by the end of the season.

Tropic Star has continues to work with ARAP, the Panamanian Ministry of fisheries on education and the implementation of new laws focusing on conservation and preservation. This year Roosterfish have gone on the list of species that is 100% catch and release in Panama which is a huge step forward. Tropic Star Lodge remains at the forefront of fishing conservation and we are proud to say that besides billfish and Roosterfish, we are releasing 100% of the Cubera Snapper we catch as well as Bluefin Trevally. All of these are prized fish for anglers and we are excited to see an increase this season of the numbers of Cubera Snapper released by our guests.

This year we are also introducing an exciting tagging & research competition hosted by Tropic Star Lodge, partnered with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) and Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Guests will be able to sponsor a satellite tag and compete in an interspecies distance race. Keep your eyes on our website and social media platforms for more details. 

The Tropic Star team has been hard at work ensuring the best fishing adventure possible. Whether it is the captains or the ground staff we are always striving to improve in every possible way. This can be seen in our efforts in upgrades to the Lodge itself, making our fleet more comfortable and easier to fish and practicing new techniques out on the water resulting in more flags flying. Tropic Star Lodge has had a legendary name in fishing for genertions. We continue to maintain those high standards, constantly aiming to improve... making those who came before us proud.

Tight lines and fair seas,
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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