FAQ's About Fishing

Tropic Star Lodge fleet ready for a day on the water fishing

TROPIC STAR LODGE® FISHING POLICES: All billfish must be released unless your captain agrees that it is a potential world record. Circle hooks are used exclusively with live and belly baits and we are very proud of our conservation efforts as Piñas Bay has a 20 mile, non-commercial fishing area. If you see a long-liner in our area, please request your captain report it to the office via radio. If you can get a picture with the land or another boat in the background, it is most helpful for further enforcement.

On fishing days, you will be awakened at 5:45 a.m. by one of our wait staff with a hot cup of coffee or beverage of your choice. Breakfast is served in the dining room at 6:00 a.m. and our boats leave the dock at 6:30 a.m. or at your leisure. The boats head out each morning to catch bait and then troll either for billfish, or if you decide to fish for other species, they will gladly take you to their favorite hotspot. The crews are in constant communication with each other via VHF Radio so if there’s a good bite happening elsewhere, they will be sure to let you know so you can decide if you would like to get in on the action. Lines are picked up at 3:00 p.m but if you are hooked up, you will be given extra time (within reason) to land the fish. Boats must be back well before dark. Please talk to our Fishing Director should you prefer a different fishing technique or would like to target a specific species. Our crews speak limited English.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO FISH?
Anytime is a good time to come to Tropic Star Lodge®. If you are looking for a coveted BLACK MARLIN OR GRAND SLAM then December through mid-March and July through September are the best months. Although our guests catch marlin and sails all year long, April, May and June are great months for inshore fishing with cubera snapper, tuna, mahi mahi (dorado), rooster fish, grouper and wahoo. Download our fishing guide for further information.

Don`t forget our Kid`s club special months where a junior angler (18 and under) can come for free with an adult. This is also a great opportunity to land a junior world record and become a member of the IFGA junior angler association.

WHAT TIME DO WE GO OUT FISHING?
The boats depart no earlier than 6:30 a.m. or later if requested, and return to the dock by 3:30 p.m

(Unless there is a late hook up).

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE? Temperatures during the day range between 80 F and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius). It cools off in the evenings which are invariably pleasant. There are two seasons - the “dry” season and the “green” season. The dry season is from mid-December until May and green season from May until December. “Dry” means it rarely rains and the green season means typically a refreshing tropical shower late each afternoon. pack your rain gear just in case. It rarely rains all day, which means that rain is normally not an  obstacle to tourism activities.

WHY IS TROPIC STAR LODGE CLOSED OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER.  IS THE FISHING OFF THEN?
We close primarily to do maintenance on the boats and property.  The break allows the staff at the lodge a chance to have a vacation. 

CAN I BRING HOME FISH I CAUGHT?
Conservation is very important to us at Tropic Star Lodge®. We have a catch and release policy for all billfish, unless it is a potential world record.  Any edible fish is brought up to the kitchen where the chef can  prepare your catch for  you and your table mates. We don’t have the logistical capability to ship your catch home from our remote location.

HOW ARE THE SEA CONDITIONS?
Fairly calm waters, the roughest seas (4 to 6 feet) normally occurs from January through March.

WHAT ARE THE SIZE & KIND OF THE BOATS WE USE?
We have a large fleet of 31’ Bertram’s. Twin Diesel engines.

DO YOU FISH WITH BAIT OR LURES?

We primarily use live baits, belly strips and also artificial lures when conditions are right. We also utilize bait and switch techniques for billfish, where hook-less teasers are trolled behind the boat and once a billfish surfaces behind the lure, the mate then pitches either a live or dead bait back and pulls the teaser away. The strikes are usually very explosive. We also fish top water poppers/plugs for Yellowfin tuna. roosterfish, Cubera snapper and other inshore gamefish.

WHAT SPECIES CAN WE CATCH?

Depending on the time of year you can catch black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish. Yellowfin tuna are also available during certain months and dorado are available almost year-round. There’s lots of variety inshore but the most targeted species are roosterfish, Cubera snapper, amberjack, wahoo, and grouper. Please refer to our Available Species Chart for more details on prime months for each species.

DO YOU SUPPLY ALL THE TACKLE? WHAT TACKLE IS USED?

Our lodge supplies all the tackle you will need to catch every available species.  We use only top quality reels from Shimano, custom built 16-80 lb. class rods and other tackle from companies such as Moldcraft, Ande, Eagle Claw, Yo-Zuri, Aftco, and Rapala to name a few. We take our fishing seriously! If you wish to bring along your favorite rod/reel or “secret weapon” you may, but this is entirely up to you. Please remember that most airlines have strict luggage size restrictions especially with rod tubes.

Ask the Fishing Director

If you have a fishing related question about angling at Tropic Star Lodge, you can now ask the Fishing Director! Have questions about baits vs. lures? Want to discuss inshore species and techniques? Our fishing Director, Capt. Richard White, is now available to answer your inquires direct from Piñas Bay.

Use the form below to submit your question. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

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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