Panama is an Indian word meaning “an abundance of fish”
Piñas Bay, Panama truly lives up to this meaning. The abundance and variety of gamefish caught in the Pacific waters around the lodge includes black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin, and sailfish. All species of billfish can be caught “right outside our front door," making this a truly unique location. You have a good chance of catching large dorado, yellowfin tuna (some over 200 pounds), above average size roosterfish (many over 50 pounds), big Cubera snapper, amberjack, rainbow runner, wahoo, grouper and mackerel. In recent years a few “Pacific” tarpon have also been caught.
Over 300 IGFA World Records have been broken at Tropic Star Lodge®. We currently hold over 50 IGFA World Records, the majority of them being black, blue, striped marlin, and Pacific sailfish. Tropic Star Lodge® is recognized worldwide for the number of IGFA World Records set on light and ultra light line. Our young anglers have set over 50 IGFA World Records in the Junior Angler Division. Opportunities still exist if you wish to get your name or the name of your kids or grandkids into the record books. Many anglers fish Tropic Star Lodge® to catch their first black marlin, blue marlin or Pacific sailfish. Our crews can help you as much or as little as you require. We issue official Tropic Star Lodge® Certificates for those who catch their first billfish at the lodge!
From Mid-March through May the inshore bite explodes. Record sized roosterfish, Cubera snappers and a host of other species are abundant along the coastline. The reef also holds a wide variety of fish and they are typically “grande” size. Our boats are stocked with a variety of poppers, jigs and plugs however we recommend you bring along some of your own secret weapons. Offshore can also be good action. Giant schools of mid-sized yellowfin tunas also show up and can be great fun on light tackle. Black marlin and blue marlin are also available; many have been caught right off shore while fishing the rocks!
MARLIN: The black marlin and blue marlin season typically begins around June and runs through until the following March. The PRIME black marlin bite occurs from December through mid March and blue marlin are also abundant at this time. The majority of the marlin released during the prime months average in the 300-400 pound range. There is also a good chance of a striped marlin from February through May. The marlin bite from June through July is good and really turns on in August and September. These are usually bigger fish; many in the 500-600 pound range.
SAILFISH: Sailfish can typically be caught year round at Piñas Bay; however the prime sailfish bite occurs from May through August. Double hookups are common during this time and the majority of the sailfish released average 90-120 pounds. Fly fishing is also best around this time. We recommend you bring your own fly fishing gear as we do not furnish that at the lodge.
If it’s a GRAND SLAM you’re after, December through mid March and July through September is the best time. Your grand slam could include any three of the following species, black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin, and sailfish! A Super Slam is any four of the billfish species.
FISHING AT TROPIC STAR LODGE® - At Tropic Star Lodge, most of the fishing is 6 to 20 miles offshore in fairly calm waters. The roughest seas (4 to 6 feet) normally occur from January through March and our fleet of Bertram 31’s are the perfect boats for fishing this area. Our crews are all local and have been fishing these waters for over 20 years.
BOATS & CREWS: Our rainbow fleet of 15 customized, fully rigged Bertram 31’s are powered by twin diesel engines, efficient enough for the Pacific Ocean. Rest assured you won't be left at the dock as we fish a maximum of 12 boats daily. All the boats are outfitted with GPS, VHF radios, custom tuna tubes and baitwells. Our captains are all local and have been fishing the Piñas waters for many years. Several have learned their extraordinary fishing skills from past generations of captains and are considered legends in the gamefishing realm. Over the years our crews have guided anglers to hundreds of IGFA world records.
FISHING TACKLE: We furnish all of your fishing tackle, which includes Shimano reels and Cape Fear /Shimano rods from 20-50 lb. class. We also have spinning rods and reels filled with 12-30 lb. test monofilament. Downriggers, braid, and Aftco fighting harnesses, rod belts, lures, teasers, leaders with circle hooks, some plugs and gaffs are also included. If you fancy casting large poppers at the rocks for roosterfish and Cubera snappers we recommend you bring a heavy 2-piece spinning outfit. The new hybrid lines such as spectra help to keep the big ones out of the rocks. Our boats are stocked with a variety of poppers, jigs and plugs however we recommend you bring along some of your own secret weapons. A variety of productive lures can also be purchased at the lodge. There is no need to bring your own rods and reels, however if you wish to do so please advise the reservation office in Orlando as there is limited cargo space aboard the planes that travel to and from Piñas Bay.
We do not furnish any fly fishing equipment. The recommended fly rod to bring is a 13-14 Wt. for sailfish and dorado etc. You can use a 12 Wt., but a heavier rod will give you more backbone to lift a big fish to the surface. Any billfish fly should work; pink/white and blue/white are good colors.
CIRCLE HOOKS: Tropic Star Lodge® is one of the first fishing resorts to adapt the "circle hooks only" policy for rigging baits for bilfish. Our crews have received international recognition for their innovative skills applied to the rigging of Panama strip baits on circle hooks for sailfish and live bait for marlin.