The Republic of Panama deserves its reputation as one of the best places on earth for fishing. The Caribbean coast has crystal waters and white sandy beaches, but for the avid fisherperson there’s no doubt that it is Panama’s Pacific coast that gets the heart pumping and hands twitching to grab that rod and reel. In short, it’s because there’s way more fish!
My town of Pedasi located on the southwest corner of the Azuero Peninsula about 4-hours drive west of Panama City, is a fishing paradise. This area is known as the “Tuna Coast” and it lives up to the name.
In addition to the yellow-fin tuna, we’re also blessed with wahoo, huge snappers and groupers, dorado, mackerel and lots of other species one can catch pretty much year-round.
The best part is that you don’t have to go far offshore to catch big fish. For that reason the most popular fishing boat in these parts is the simple “panga”, a fiberglass open boat with an outboard motor that you can land right on the beach. What the panga lacks in range and creature comforts it makes up for in being cheap, easy, and all you need in my neck of the woods.
If breaking world records is more your style, head further out to Piñas Bay in the province of Darien or the Hanibal Bank near Isla Coiba in the province of Veraguas to follow in the footsteps of legendary anglers like Zane Grey and go after monster tunas, black marlin and other dinosaurs of the deep. These areas are a bit farther from the cities and more costly to reach, but you can hook up the fish of a lifetime at any moment.
Let’s not forget the areas closer to Panama City. The Pearl Islands in the Bay of Panama are easy to access and have great fishing in their own right. If you’re looking for some fresh water action check out Lake Gatun, which forms a big part of the Panama Canal and is home to the peacock bass, a hard-fighting blast to catch. As an added bonus you’re fishing in one of the world’s modern wonders. How cool is that?