fishing faq's

Whether you’re a seasoned angler, or new to the world of tackle, we have your questions covered. Browse a range of Frequently Asked Questions below, or reach out to our Fishing Director for something a little more specific.  

Our crews are all very well trained and bring their local knowledge. They have been trained in classic live bait fishing, pulling dead baits and artificials for billfish and other pelagic species. They will also use bait and switch technique when deemed necessary.

Poppers, Jigs, jerk baits, stick baits and swim baits are used in different situations, such as when targeting schools of Yellowfin Tuna or while targeting different species inshore.

For those who wish to try their hand at fly fishing the crews are good at teasing fish in and setting you up for a shot at some of the different species.

We pride ourselves with working with some of the top names in the industry and take pride in our tackle.

On board the boats we fish with all Shimano reels which include 50lb and 30lb Shimano Tiagras which are spooled with 50lb and 30lb top shot on top of braid backing. We change out the top shot for each new guest arrival to make sure it is always perfect. Our rods are all custom made Rods by Dru, which are perfectly tuned for the chair or stand up fishing depending on what the angler prefers.

For spinning tackle, we have Shimano Saragosa 10 000 spinning reels spooled with 65lb power pro braid. This is paired with a Shimano Terez 7ft medium heavy spinning rod which is an absolutely amazing all round setup that can be used for making long casts at those tuna or Roosterfish. It is also a great setup for jigging for snapper and Almaco jacks on the reefs.

Please note that we do not have fly fishing tackle.

The run to the fishing grounds is only about twenty minutes depending on the fishing. If the bite moves
further offshore so does the fleet.

We use Mold Craft lures when pulling artificial lures for Marlin, and have a range of Shimano Poppers, Jerk baits, wax wings and butterfly Jigs. We also have a few of our favorites for sale in our tackle shop section in our boutique at the lodge.

We encourage guests to bring their favorite toys and if you would like any recommendations on color, sizes of lures, or anything else please email our fishing director: Richard White

On our 31’ Bertrams we allow no more than four anglers per boat. We do have larger boats that can accommodate up to six anglers. Please note this number includes children over the age of 5 years old. 

We have a buddy fishing system where we can help pair anglers to fish. Please let reservations know and they will put you in touch with fellow anglers looking for a fishing buddy.

Most definitely yes. Black Marlin are released year, round at Tropic Star Lodge. It is one of the few
places in the world that you can target a Black Marlin every day of the year. The best chances of
releasing a Black Marlin are in January and February. If you cannot make this time, we also get them in
December, March, July, August, and September in smaller numbers.

No fishing license is required for recreational sportfishing in Panama.

Your day starts at 5:45am with a knock on the door and wakeup call with coffee service. Breakfast is served in the Bayview Restaurant. Boats leave the dock at 6:30am or at your leisure. The fleet then sets out to catch live bait to prepare for your fishing day, and then the crew will take you to some of their favorite spots for the species you wish to target. Your choice of boxed lunch and beverages are provided on board each day. Lines up at 3:00pm and boats head to the lodge for the afternoon. Snacks are served at the Marlin Bar, Jungle Pool, or Bayview Restaurant after arrival back from fishing. Guests enjoy the view of the bay, or a dip in the pool, and always the exchange of fishing stories from the day. Dinner is served each night at 7pm. Four course dinner is served in Bayview Restaurant and a BBQ grill is offered three times a week at our Jungle Pool.

Panama is well-known for its calm seas, so it is not physically demanding. The mates are there to provide you with assistance of getting in and out of vessels and will welcome you on board every morning. We have had children as young as ages 3 years old aboard our fleet reeling in billfish!

Of course not! Fishing in Panama is for everyone to enjoy!

We always encourage anglers to take photos of your catch and the crews can most definitely help you with this. With billfish we do not take them out of the water and so we take shots of them still in the water for conservation purposes. The crews are trained in this technique. We also have a professional videographer and photographer who can be hired to come out on the boat with you to capture the special moments.

All billfish are strictly catch and release. Roosterfish, Cubera Snapper, Bluefin Trevally, Tarpon and certain species of Grouper are also 100% catch and release.

We pride ourselves in our conservation efforts and our catch and release policies.

We are a conservation lodge and most species are released.  We love to serve  the fresh fish at the lodge daily for dinner and snacks such as sashimi or sushi. Our catch and release practices also extend to other species. Once the kitchen has enough we will also release species such as Yellowfin tuna and Dorado. We also donate fish to the village when we have surplus. The transport of the fish out of the country can prove difficult.

We ask that guests do not give fish to the crews as we feed our guests and our 100 staff. If there is extra fish our Dock Master and Fishing Director give employees fish to take home depending on reports received from the kitchen. We also donate fish to the village when we have more than we need.

Boat crews are tipped at the end of the last fishing day. For our standard crew, one captain and one mate, the recommended amount is $100 to $150 per day per boat. For our larger boat crews with two mates $150 to $200 per boat per day is recommended.

We have a few captains and mates with Fly world records under their belts and they are extremely passionate about it. Unfortunately, we do not offer any fly tackle so please bring your own and in your booking please let the booking agent know you would like to fly fish. If you would like any other info please email our fishing director to get info on patterns, line or any other questions you might have as we would like it to be specific to your need.

Tropic Star Lodge is an official IGFA weigh station. We’d be happy to help you achieve your goal! Please make sure you email the Fishing Director before your visit so we can ensure we have everything ready for you.


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.

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