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Marlin Fishing in Panama

Marlin fishing in panama

Are you an enthusiastic angler dreaming of reeling a Massive Marlin? Then Marlin Fishing in Panama is for you!

Panama’s unique location and fertile waters create an amazing opportunity for landing a Marlin of Epic Proportions. In this article, I will discuss the best locations to find Marlin in Panama, where you can stay, and what you can expect along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Panama offers some of the best marlin fishing in the world, with top destinations including Hannibal Bank and Tropic Star Lodge.
  • The peak season for marlin fishing in Panama is from December to March, but there is also a second season from June to August.
  • Tips for successful marlin fishing in Panama include using live bonitos as bait, trolling slowly, utilizing double spreader outriggers and downriggers, and booking charters with experienced captains.
  • Fishing lodges in Panama can be in remote areas and your trips should be booked well in advance

Species of Marlin in Panama

Panama is home to two main species of marlin: Blue Marlin and Black Marlin.

Black Marlin Fishing In Panama

Black Marlin are the number-one target species for offshore fishing in Panama. Their average size is usually around the 300 lb mark, but much larger fish are frequently encountered and landed. While male black marlins rarely weigh more than 400 lbs, a female black marlin can tip the scales at nearly 1000 lbs (Granders). Males grow to about 9 feet long, while females can be more than 15 feet long.

Blue Marlin

This is the tropics, so Blue Marlin are most definitely around. The peak seasonality for Blue Marlin are a bit different from the blacks, which is between May and November.

How Much Does It Cost To Go Fishing In Panama?

The cost of Fishing in Panama can get expensive quickly, and that’s because of the geography.

For an entire trip Marlin fishing in Panama, plan on spending at least $5,000.

In Panama, the best destinations to fish are on the Pacific coast in regions that aren’t very developed, and this means that instead of large cities with multiple resorts and numerous charters, you are instead talking about solo all-inclusive fishing lodges where the charters on hand are few and far between.

Now, the good news is that these charters are still very good, some of the best in the world, but you just don’t really get the competitive hotel/charter rates that you might in some other popular Marlin fishing destinations like Cabo or the Dominican Republic.

Best Destinations for Marlin Fishing in Panama

Panama offers some of the best marlin fishing in the world, with two standout destinations: Hannibal Bank and Tropic Star Lodge.

Hannibal Bank

The Hannibal Bank, off Panama’s Pacific coast, is a veritable oasis for the Black Marlin.

Commanding international recognition, its fertile waters spawn abundant life due to unique undersea currents and a dramatic plunge in the ocean floor that brings nutrient-rich cold water close to the surface.

These elements create an ideal habitat for black marlin who love hunting around large schools of bonito fish.

Tropic Star Lodge

Tropic Star Lodge, perched in the pristine waters of Piñas Bay, is your gateway to unparalleled marlin fishing. Known as a premier destination for sportfishing in Panama, this lodge offers much more than just an average day at sea.

The lodge’s close proximity to the fishing grounds makes it incredibly prime for anglers seeking an intense fight with a black or blue marlin. The top-of-the-line boats and high-quality tackle used here are meticulously designed to amplify your battle with these incredible fish while promoting responsible practices such as catch-and-release.

At Tropic Star Lodge, your experience comes full circle thanks to their highly skilled captains and crews who are conversant with all forms of marlin fishing techniques—from live-bait fishing to pulling lures.


But what truly sets Tropic Star apart from other lodges isn’t simply its legendary status within the sportfishing ecosystem but also its commitment to providing personalized service alongside luxurious accommodations.

Paradise Fishing Lodge

Anchored near the Coiba National Marine Park and Bahia Honda, Paradise Fishing Lodge offers a premier fishing experience for conservation-conscious anglers. This lodge, equipped with all-inclusive packages and breathtaking views, takes sportfishing in Panama to the next level.

This lodge offers convenient proximity to prime fishing grounds teeming with game fish species like Cubera Snapper and Roosterfish.

Guests can embark on heart-racing battles with trophy-sized Marlin on fishing charters equipped with professional-grade fighting chairs and heavy tackle.

Just like Tropic Star, Paradise Fishing Lodge is dedicated to sustainable angling practices, ensuring the conservation of the remarkable ecosystems found in Isla Coiba and Islands Jicaron & Jicarita.

Cala Mia Island Resort

If you’re planning a marlin fishing trip, consider the Cala Mia Island Resort, an exclusive luxury beach destination located in Panama. This all-inclusive resort offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and romance, making it an ideal choice for fishing enthusiasts.

Accommodation and Facilities

The resort features beautifully appointed tropical Casitas & Villas. All are freestanding, air-conditioned, and complete with unique outdoor terraces, swinging hammocks, and lush landscaped gardens. The privately owned island resort in Chiriquí, Panama, delivers foot-in-the-sand luxury and a plethora of activities.

Activities and Adventures

With a full dive center and sportfishing operation on site, guests can indulge in a variety of exciting activities and aquatic adventures. Choose from snorkeling, horseback riding, island hiking, spa relaxation, scuba diving, and of course, sport fishing.

Dining Experience

The resort’s Point Sur restaurant offers a fusion of International and Panamanian delights prepared by an Executive Chef. The restaurant’s 360-degree view is the perfect setting to enjoy the catch of the day.

Remote Locations and Travel Considerations

These fishing locations and fishing lodges can be somewhat remote, which means they are far from major cities and can be challenging to reach.

Traveling to these areas often involves a combination of flights, drives, and sometimes boat rides that must be booked well in advance.

For instance, to reach the Hannibal Bank, you would typically fly into Panama City, take a domestic flight to David, the second biggest city in Panama, and then drive about 1.5 hours south to the coast.

The remoteness of these locations means that amenities and facilities may be limited. However, it also means that these areas are less crowded, providing a more exclusive and serene fishing experience.

What month is best to fish in Panama?

The best months for marlin fishing in Panama are from December to March, when the conditions are most ideal.

The Equatorial Currents during this period of time bring cooler, nutrient-rich water to the area, and that’s what attracts the large pelagic species such as marlin, tuna, and dorado.

Second Season

It’s worth mentioning that there is also a sort of “second season” for marlin fishing in Panama, which is from June through August. During these months, abundant schools of tuna attract marlin that are always looking for an easy meal.

Tips for Catching Marlin in Panama

Catching marlin in Panama requires skill, patience, and knowledge of the best techniques. Here are some tips to help you have a successful fishing experience:

  • Use live bonitos as bait: Marlin are attracted to live baitfish, and using live bonitos has proven to be highly effective in Panama. Their strong scent and natural swimming patterns make them irresistible to marlin.
  • Slowly troll the bait: Instead of quickly moving through the water, it’s important to troll the live bait at a slow speed. This mimics the movement of injured prey and entices marlin to strike.
  • Utilize double spreader outriggers: Double spreader outriggers are essential for spreading out your fishing lines. By positioning them far apart from each other, it increases your chances of hooking multiple marlin at once.
  • Take advantage of downriggers: Downriggers allow you to control the depth at which your bait is swimming. In Panama, bringing live bonitos down near the thermocline can attract marlin dwelling in deeper waters.

Non-Fishing Activities and Accommodations in Panama

Panama offers a wide range of non-fishing activities and accommodations for those who want to take a break from the excitement of marlin fishing.

Day Tours and Non-Fishing Activities

If you’re looking to take a break from marlin fishing and explore the beautiful surroundings of Panama, there are plenty of non-fishing activities to enjoy. Here are some options for day tours and activities that will keep you entertained:

  1. Canopy Zip-Line Tours: Experience an adrenaline rush as you glide through the treetops on a canopy zip-line tour. Enjoy panoramic views of the lush rainforests and spot exotic wildlife along the way.
  2. White Water Rafting: Embark on an exhilarating white water rafting adventure through Panama’s rivers and rapids. Feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate challenging waters surrounded by stunning natural landscapes.
  3. Horseback Riding: Explore the picturesque countryside on horseback and soak in the beauty of Panama’s rural scenery. Ride along scenic trails, visit local farms, and catch glimpses of native wildlife along the way.
  4. Golf: Tee off at one of Panama’s world-class golf courses surrounded by breathtaking vistas. Enjoy a relaxing game amidst lush green fairways and stunning ocean views.
  5. Cultural Tours of Panama City: Immerse yourself in Panama’s rich culture and history with a guided tour of Panama City. Visit iconic landmarks such as the historic Casco Viejo district, explore museums showcasing indigenous art, and learn about the fascinating history of the Panama Canal.
  6. Panama Canal Tour: Get up close and personal with one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels – the Panama Canal. Take a boat tour or visit observation decks to witness giant ships passing through this incredible feat of human ingenuity.


What fish is Panama known for?

Panama is well known for Cubera Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna, Roosterfish, and Amberjack.

What is the biggest fish in Panama?

The biggest fish in Panama by far is the Black Marlin which reaches weights over 1,000 lbs and lengths of over 12ft.

What is the best fish to eat in Panama?

The best fish you can eat in Panama is the Corvina. This is Panama’s most popular fish, which is light and flaky, similar to sea bass. You find it served most often grilled with Garlic and butter.


In conclusion, Panama truly is a paradise for marlin fishing enthusiasts. With its world-renowned hot spots like the Hannibal Bank and Piñas Bay, anglers have the opportunity to reel in trophy-sized black and blue marlin.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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