Fishing in Panama is internationally recognized since it has so many world records. This country has so many fish that its name “Panama” means an abundance of fish in one of the indigenous languages. Getting to Panama is quite easy since the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City has flights to most major U.S. cities and a few in Canada. There are also six flights to Europe and throughout Latin America.
Cala Mia Island Resort owns Panama Nautical Club with a full fleet of fishing and diving boats. Our advisors will be happy to assist you in planning the perfect fishing trip to Panama.
Why is fishing in Panama so good?
Fishing in Panama is mostly done in the Pacific Ocean. If you visit the Bio museum in Panama City you will learn the history of the isthmus of Panama. When it arose from the ocean it changed the world because it blocked a cold current that went north to Europe. Tides in the Pacific can change up to 20 feet per day but since the isthmus serves as a barrier, the Atlantic only moves one to two feet.
Oceanic currents converge in Panama. Nutrient-rich cool currents, known as the Humboldt or Peru Current, move north from the Antarctic to the west coast of South America. Warmer water comes south from Costa Rica intersecting in the Pacific coast of Panama. Plankton is abundant which feeds baitfish which are necessary to feed and catch bigger fish.
Where to fish in Panama?
Piñas Bay in the Darien has over 200 world records, but it is quite inaccessible. Currents intersect in Zane Grey reef in Piñas Bay as well as in Hannibal Bank, which is about two hours from Cala Mia Island Resort. These two locations are the best for fishing in Panama. Other places to fish include the coast of Azuero, particularly Pedasi and Cambutal, and the Pearl Islands.
At Cala Mia Island Resort we take our fishermen out to five locations depending if they want to do inshore or offshore fishing. Isla Parida is the closest destination located 4 nautical miles away. This place is perfect for beginners who might want to combine their fishing trip with snorkeling and some time at the beach.
The closest offshore destinations would be Isla Secas at 15 nautical miles and Isla Ladrones at 17 nautical miles. Both of these sites take about an hour to reach. Further away you will find Isla Montuosa and world-famous, Hannibal Bank. Getting there takes about 2 hours so fishing trips leave early, around 6-6:30 a.m. and arrive at 5 p.m.
What types of fish can I catch in Panama?
Fishing in Panama varies throughout the year. Honestly, there is no bad time to fish in Panama. However, many consider summer the best time since it’s when you can catch the best big game Panama fish species. Blue marlin and dorado fill up our waters from December to February. Then from March to June, it is time for yellowfin tuna and black marlin. Fishermen can also find black marlin in Hannibal Bank in August and September. All year long you can find snapper, cuber, rooster, and wahoo.
Inshore fishing requires bait for trolling. You can catch roosterfish, urel, mackerel, and snapper. Trips are shorter since you are only going about 30 minutes from Cala Mia Island Resort. Offshore fishing includes billfish, blue and black marlin, wahoo, tuna, dorado, cubera, amberjack, and grouper.
Cala Mia Island Resort has the most complete fishing fleet in the Gulf of Chiriquí. We will arrange your whole Panama fishing experience, so you don’t need to bring any gear. You can pick a full fishing package or simply decide when to go during your stay.