Sweat is starting to drip from my brow as my forearms send a streaking fire up my arm as I hold on tighter than I’ve ever held anything. The sun is high in the sky, gleaming bright, over the turquoise waters near Isla Coiba in the Gulf of Chiriqui. I’ve got a few hundred pounds of pure muscle on the other end of my line caught in the push and pull, trying not to be my dinner. I’ve been at this for what seems like forever, but my buddy says has only been 20 minutes.
For those of you that know this feeling, the thrill, of venturing out in the waters, hunting in a landscape inhospitable to man in hopes of catching that Hemingway sized marlin you understand me. The adrenaline gets pumping once you hear that line reel, a distinct zipping sound, signaling the fight is on. Blood starts pumping and the excitement of the catch enthralls the boat.
I had the pleasure of going out with John de la Cruz and the team at Panama Sport Fishing Lodge out of Boca Chica. The lodge was comfortable with all the amenities I’d need, but I didn’t spend much time there since the purpose here was to hit the water. Up at the crack of dawn, the dining staff had a few continental breakfast prepared and then shipped us out on our way. It was a smooth tranquil ride out to the fishing grounds.
Once we arrived at the first spot, Isla Montuosa, it wasn’t long until we had our first bite. Ended up smack dab in the middle of a school of Wahoo. They were jumping and fighting. Didn’t take long to have too much to take. It was a great start, but we weren’t after the Wahoo. We came for the big game! The crew knew exactly what we were after and where to go. We wanted our own Old Man and The Sea story, but in our version, we bring him into the boat and have proof, haha.
Flash forward to me on the bow, forearms enflamed, and so close to realizing my fishing aspirations in Panama! With a bit of crew support we were able to bring him up on deck and BOOM! 6 foot Blue Marlin. Next time I go back, hopefully we snag the famed Black Marlin.
All in all, I have to hand it to the team at Panama Sport Fishing Lodge for showing us such a good time. The food was amazing, the service top notch, and considering the price was way less than the other lodges I was looking at, I was happy the quality was not lesser as well. They offered the option to stay on their Motherships as an alternative lodging option, which was anchored off of Isla Coiba, but my budget this time around couldn’t afford it, but oh my did it look like the ultimate experience. I can’t wait to get back out there.
Ok, so now I’m going to plug the lodge a bit because after such a great time I feel like promoting them during these tough times. We have to help the companies we love so they can make it through these pandemic times of downturn.
The lodge is quite spacious with 15 rooms and can accommodate up to 30 anglers. This is just at the lodge. The other option is to charter one of the Motherships and stay even closer to the fishing grounds. Panama Sport Fishing Lodge is an all inclusive experience so from the point you land in David you are taken care of, from transport to food to open bar to all the gear you’ll need.
There are 50+ species of game fish to be caught here, and 250+ World Records have been set in Panamanian waters! Other than Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and Roosterfish that are the primary sought after…a few of our more frequently caught types of fish in here at our lodge are: Mexican Barred Pargo, Amberjack, Cubera Snapper, Mullet Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Horse-eye Jack, Bluefin Trevally, Blacktip Trevally, Almaco/Silvercoat, Jack, White Tip Shark, Rainbow Runner, Wahoo, Pacific Bonito, African Pompano, Pacific/Black Snook, Pacific Barracuda.
“Our spacious rooms are air-conditioned, with scenic views of the water of Boca Chica and nearby islands in every room. Each room has comfortable full size beds and private bathrooms with hot showers. We provide a very comfortable atmosphere in each room. Every room is equipped with a flat screen television with Direct TV, as well as Internet Connection (WIFI). Room service is also available.
After enjoying all day fishing you can take a dip in our swimming pool while you enjoy your favorite tropical drink at our open deck Tiki Bar. You dine on our waterfront dining room and bar and our fully equipped gourmet kitchen will serve your meals seldom seen in the most prestigious restaurants.
Your meal at the lodge starts with breakfast in the morning, boxed lunch and beverages are included with your fishing adventure, and every evening we delight with our multi-course gourmet dinner upon your return to the lodge. For example, Lobster, Filet Mignon or Fresh Catch of The Day! You shall be served in the scenic water view dining room. The chef prepares various specialties, such as Banana Foster, Cherries Jubilee, fresh baked pies and bread, ceviche and many more varied as well as delectable dishes. You simply are spoiled during your stay and it is our mission to make you feel this way!"
For booking information or just looking for more details about the fishing in Panama and lodge or motherships, check out their website at: www.panamasportfishinglodge.com