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Sport Fishing Panama | Expected Species

While sport fishing on the Azuero Peninsula, you will find a wide range of different species. Throughout the year, you can encounter striped, blue and black Marlin. You will also find huge Amber jack, Cubera Snapper and Rooster fish. Large Pacific sailfish are also quite common. The huge number of raw fishing spots is what makes sport fishing Panama such a delightful activity.

The area is known for being home to several types of big game fish. Located in Playa Reina, near Cebaco Island, we are able to fish Cioba Island and Cerra Hoya, two of Panama’s top national parks. If you are planning on sport fishing in Panama, you can find some of the amazing species in the area.

Below, you will find information about some of the most fiercest and exciting fish in the Panama area. There are also additional details about the top five most popular game fish that you will have an opportunity to catch.


For anyone planning some sport fishing in Panama, the area was named for the massive schools of yellow fin tuna that migrate to the area. A famous angler, Tony Pena, has even referred to the area as Panama’s Tuna Coast.

It is common for anglers to wrestle fish weighing over 100 and 200 pounds. These huge fish species are frequently caught with poppers and live bait, and they represent some of the most exciting battles between man and fish.

While he was sport fishing in Panama, Tony Pena, a famous angler, named our coastal area Panama’s Tuna Coast. This is the coastal area along Panama’s Azuero peninsula.

This name did not come about by accident. Every year, massive schools of Yellow fin tuna migrate to the area and love chasing large balls of bait. The tuna season starts in January and goes until June or July.

The tuna season frequently involves 100-pound fish, which are caught with poppers. It is not uncommon for 200-pound fish to be caught here with live bait.

It is one of the most popular seasons for our guests, who travel the world to catch yellow fin tuna using a popper and light spinning gear. The gear and fish produce a truly memorable fight between fish and angler.

Throughout the year, sailfish can be found all over the area. Anglers find them quite frequently while sport fishing Panama hot spots. In the months of January through May, this species is usually caught close to shore because the water temperature is cooler during these months.

Between June and December, sailfish are caught further offshore. During this time, they like to mix with the drift lines that are created by the runoff from the rainy season.

Also called Mahi Mahi, Dorado can be caught all year, but they are caught much more frequently between July and December.

Huge drift lines are produced by rainy season runoff, and Dorado that like to hang out around drift lines and logs. The largest of this species are normally caught between August and September.

During the dry season, water starts to cool down significantly. Once the water cools, Cherna start to come alive. It is best to catch this species between February and July.

These are the best months to catch Goliath Grouper and Broom tail Grouper. Live bait and jigs are the most common types of bait used to catch these fish, and in terms of eating, the Broom tail Grouper is one of the best fish in Central America.

You can find rooster fish in the area throughout the year, but they are especially active between March and May because the water is at its coolest during these months. The rooster fish is one of the purest catch-and-release fish that you can find, and there is no doubt that it Is a favorite among anglers.
The Cubera is a strict catch-and-release fish. At El Rio Negro Sport Fishing Lodge, the Cubera is one of the top inshore species. This species is best caught between March and May because the water temperature is at its lowest point during these months.

Many anglers have achieved great results from drifting over the local reefs here and using Coinuja, which is a type of live bait.

Starting in August and ending in December, the Wahoo season is a great time to catch the Wahoo species of fish. These fish arrive during the rainy season and prefer to hug the coastline. A lot of anglers prefer to catch these fish with live bait and Rapala CD-14 deep divers.
On the Azuero peninsula, Amber Jack can be caught throughout the year. Jigging or live bait are used very effectively to catch this species of fish. Since water temperature is at its lowest point between March and May, these are ideal months to catch Amber Jack.
Corvina can be caught throughout the year. There is no shortage of this species in the area. Corvina travel frequently from one reef to another, and they prefer to travel in large schools. This species is most productive during the dry season, which is between January and June. To catch these fish, most anglers rely on jigging.

5 Most Popular Big Game Fish in more detail


blue-marlin-panama-sport-fish-lodge-boca-chica-coiba

– Other names: Another name for this fish is Aguja Azul.

– Physical Description: These Pacific and Atlantic specimens look almost identical, and they both have a dark upper and back body. The color of these areas is cobalt blue, which includes the first dorsal fin. The lower part of the body has silver and white coloring. It is not atypical for these specimens to have as many as 15 vertical stripes, which consist of narrow bars and small dots. When the Pacific Blue Marlin is hooked or ready to strike, the stripes become incredibly bright but disappear immediately after the fish is retrieved from the water. The other fins on the blue marlin are blackish brown. The anal fins are known to have a silver and white tinge. Examining the shape of the dorsal fin tip is the best way to distinguish the blue marlin from its relatives. On blue marlin, the tip should be pointier.

– Range: Blue marlin live in warm and tropical waters all over the planet, but they prefer the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Out of the billfish family, blue marlins are the most tropical. It is frequently caught in waters that are close to the equator. In eastern Pacific waters, blue marlins are commonly found in southern California and Peru.

– Feeding Habits: Blue marlin almost always feed near the surface, but they might also dive deeper for food. Their diet consists mostly of fish, but they’re known to eat other sea life near the surface. A typical blue marlin diet might consist of octopus, squid, mackerel and tuna. They might also eat other fish species that are indigenous to the area.

– Sporting Qualities: When sport fishing Panama hot spots, most anglers would say the blue marlin is the best of all ocean fish. Since it is a strong billfish, it can fight very hard for hours, and it can also run away fast. Blue marlin is known to dive deep or jump wildly. Once hooked, it is not uncommon to see a blue marlin jump 40 or more times. There is no doubt that blue marlin can test the skills of the toughest anglers. For anglers sport fishing Panama hot spots, it’s one of the top types of fish.

– Habitat: There is not much information about the blue marlin’s biology, which includes spawning habits and migrations. They are, however, known to be highly mobile and prefer traveling warm ocean currents. Blue marlins are known to live at depth of 600 feet and prefer water temperatures of 70 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Found along continental shelves, the blue marlin is an offshore species. It lives in underwater canyons and near oceanic mountains. In these environments, blue marlin is most likely to be caught near large sources of squid, mackerel and tuna. As they get older, they become far more solitary and can travel in schools of 10 members.

pacific-sail-fish-big-game-sport-fish-lodge-panama-coiba-boca-chica– Other Names: Pez Vela, Spindle beak

– Physical Description: The Pacific Sailfish is dark blue-green to dark blue on top. However, when it becomes excited, these colors can brighten and can resemble an electric blue color. The sides can be a brown-blue color and fade to a silver-white color as they reach the belly. Steel blue is the main color of the sail dorsal. The main dorsal fin and upper body are sprinkled with dark and light blue spots. Blue-gray or powder blue vertical stripes are commonly found on the sides of the Pacific sailfish, and their grill covers should have a copper or gold tint, which is especially noticeable when the fish is fatigued. They can range from 30 to 60 pounds, but some are much larger or smaller.

– Range: Sailfish are frequently found in warm and tropical climates. They live in Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When sport fishing Panama hot spots, anglers should be pleased to know that Pacific sailfish are abundant.

– Feeding Habits: Sailfish usually feed close to the surface, but they might dive deeper for food. They eat other types of fish and whatever they can find near their current location.

– Sporting Qualities: Many anglers prefer sport fishing in Panama because Pacific sailfish are plentiful and considered trophy fish. The strength and size of this fish is nearly unmatched. The beauty, dramatic leaps and use of light tackle make these fish very fun for sport fishermen. Since the population of this species has been declining, many sport fishing Panama hot spots are now catch and release locations.

– Habitat: The sailfish is an ocean species, but unlike other types of billfish, it’s usually found closer to land. It seems to prefer areas where freshwater runoffs meet coral reefs. Many sailfish have been caught from piers and beaches.

panama-wahoo-big-game-sportfishing-lodge-boca-chica-coiba-island– Other Names: Ono, Peto

– Physical Description: The Wahoo has a slender, long body, and it has black or dark-blue zebra-like stripes. The mouth is narrow and elongated, and there are several razor-sharp teeth inside of the mouth.

– Range: Wahoo can be found in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They prefer subtropical and tropical waters. There are also seasonal concentrations of Wahoo off the coasts of Baja California, Costa Rica and Panama. This species can also be found offshore of virtually all Florida coasts.

– Feeding Habits: The Wahoo like to eat chunks out of large fish but prefer to eat smaller fish, such as squid, mackerel and sardines. Although they do travel in larger groups, Wahoo are usually solitary feeders. They like to sit a few feet below the surface and shoot up quickly to catch their prey. They’re most active in the morning and evening hours.

– Sporting Qualities: As they enjoy sport fishing Panama hot spots, anglers have noticed that Wahoo frequently strike surface bait but don’t usually jump after they’ve been hooked. Out of all game fish, Wahoo are some of the fastest fish. Anglers who are sport fishing in Panama frequently target them.

– Habitat: Wahoo are known to live in deep waters but might also choose to live near seamounts, drop-offs and other feeding locations.

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– Other Names: Thunnus Albacares

– Physical Description: The body of a yellowfin tuna is streamlined and muscular, almost resembling a swimming torpedo. As is the case with most tuna, these fish are some of the top swimmers on the planet. They are black or dark-blue in color on the tail fin and back, with a yellow and silver belly and side. The anal and second dorsal fins are long and yellow. They have finlets that travel down the belly and back from the anal and dorsal fins, which are bright canary yellow.

– Range: Yellowfin are known to live in subtropical and tropical regions of the world. They live in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

– Feeding Habits: They eat different types of baitfish, squid and crustaceans. They’re known to hit cut up chunks of baitfish and feed near or at the surface.

– Sporting Qualities: While sport fishing Panama hot spots, anglers love to catch yellowfin tuna. They’re good to eat and sought after by both commercial fishermen and anglers. Once they hit a lure, they’re known to dive deep and fight hard.

– Habitat: Yellowfin tuna can withstand cold water but prefer water between 62 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they cannot tolerate low oxygen levels, they school just above deep water.

mahe-mahe-dorado-coiba-big-game-sport-fishing-boca-brava

– Other Names: Dorado, Dolphinfish, Mahi Mahi

– Physical Description: The dolphin has a slender but deep body. From the head to the tail, there is a noticeable tapering. The male has a higher, vertical head when compared with the female. The anal fin on the dolphin has about 30 soft stretches and rays. The dorsal fin is long, distinctive and covers nearly 75 percent of the body. The dorsal fin also has about 60 soft rays. The caudal fin has no spines and is deeply forked. Most dolphins are either deep green and yellow or blue and yellow when observed in water. When they get excited, they might show dark vertical stripes. Many dolphins have small dark spots on their sides.

– Range: It is believed that the largest concentrations of dolphin exist in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. However, they’ve been found in subtropical and tropical waters across the globe.

– Feeding Habits: Most dolphins are voracious predators, so they love to eat flying fish. Smaller dolphin, crustaceans, shrimp and squid are also on the menu. Dolphins have great eyesight and locate most of their food near large clumps of floating vegetation.

– Sporting Qualities: While sport fishing Panama hot spots, many anglers catch this species of fish. The dolphin is one of the most popular offshore game fish, and it is a common target for anglers enjoying sport fishing in Panama. It is most famous for the flips and leaps that it performs when hooked. Dolphins have great agility and strength, so they can be very exciting for anglers.

– Habitat: Dolphins prefer warm water and can be found near the surface or in deep waters. Most dolphins live in the open ocean, but they are commonly caught in coastal waters. They like to swim around seaweed clusters, driftwood and buoys. Out of all the big game fish, dolphins are the most surface oriented. Many anglers wish to catch a dolphin while sport fishing in Panama. Many anglers would say it is the most energetic and exciting big game fish to catch.