Photo by Tropic Star Lodge
Story by Capt. Richard White
After a short trip out of the country I’m back at Tropic Star Lodge, an amazing place to call home. I find myself reflecting upon my life and this wonderful location. In the heart of the Darien Jungle is a fishing lodge that has been around for more than 50 years. It is a fishing establishment for fisherman and their families run by fisherman and their families. I lovingly refer to the place as the original fishing lodge. Others have called it home of the black marlin or Jurassic Park, thanks to our magnificent coastline with beautiful jungle, the incredible number of black marlin we catch and dinosaur-sized fish that lurk just beneath the surface.
Over the past few weeks the seasons have been changing from our dry season to the green season. It is also the change from our billfish season offshore to our inshore fishing season. The marlin and tuna are still out there, they are just not as abundant. During this time of year, we have a lot of fry hatching along the coastline and as they get to fingerling size the action really starts to turn on. We also get shoals of sardines that ball up just off the coastline. With all this bait in the area, the predator fish start ganging up on them and it’s game on. We find large numbers of roosterfish, a great variety of snapper, (including the biggest of them all, the cubera), along with grouper, amberjack and, on occasion, a tarpon. On a good day guests can catch a multitude of different species within a few miles from the lodge in our calmest seas of the season. If you are into live bait fishing, jigging or popping: NOW is some of the most exciting inshore action that you can get with our smorgasbord of Jurassic-sized fish.
Our marlin season this year was all sorts of crazy and fun. Some of our guests (who we call family) where lucky to be part of our record-breaking week in January. Our guests released 102 marlin in six days of fishing!
The yellowfin tuna tested tackle and anglers alike, with tuna breaking the 150-pound mark regularly. We also had sailfish slashing baits and putting on gorgeous aerial displays, trying to outdo the giant dorado that are often sought by anglers, along with monster mahi over 50 pounds.
At Tropic Star Lodge, the team has been busy upgrading some of our rooms with new interiors and installing gorgeous artwork by Guy Harvey and new inside and outside furnishings.
We have also been working closely with the Minister of Sea Resources on fishing conservation in Panama and have made good strides. Our 20-mile, non-commercial fishing zone has again been drawn to their attention. The no-kill billfish law since 2006 has also been reemphasized.
Tropic Star has granted one of our Bertram boats in support towards scientific research and conservation, and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has already programmed to start scientific work at the lodge this year. Our Roosterfish Tournament will include Guy and Jessica Harvey placing three satellite tags and as many spaghetti tags as possible on roosterfish, working directly with our participants.
Tropic Star Lodge is famous for being one of the best fishing destinations in the world. Now, our guests have even more to love; as we introduce New Panamanian Adventure Packages. These packages give you the opportunity to experience more of the beautiful country of Panama by land and by sea. We’ve paired our fishing adventures with exciting and interesting land tours in Panama offering you more amazing adventures beyond Piñas Bay.
For those of you who are planning a trip or have already booked your trip; take a look at our website (tropicstar.com), as we now offer some add-on excursions in the city for before or after your trip as well.
Our Tropic Star Lodge family is passionate about the lodge and leading the way for others to follow in conservation, with our catch-and-release policy.
Respect the ocean, the fish that we catch and release, and have respect for the future generations.