Fishing in Panama: What to Catch?

Fishing in Panama is considered to be one of the best in the world. Even the name of the country means abundance of fish (and butterflies)! No other place in the world holds as many records as Piñas Bay that has over 300 fishing records!

There is no need to get a permit to go fishing in Panama. However, it is important that the boat which takes you on your fishing tour in Panama has all its permits.

We can help you plan a fishing trip in Pedasi or from Panama City by contacting us at ur****@pa***************.com or +507 66330166

Where to go Fishing in Panama?

It is possible to fish in the Caribbean coast of the country, but the Pacific Ocean is so much better! Fishing in Pedasi and Cambutal are excellent locations, along with other places such as the Pearl Islands, Piñas Bay, Hannibal Bank, and the Gulf of Chiriqui.

Those who want to go fishing in Panama can stay in our hotel in Pedasi. Other places to stay include hotels in Contadora, hotels in the Gulf of Chiriqui or hotels in Cambutal. It is also possible to organize a day of fishing from a hotel in Panama City.

Panama has 800 miles (1,290 km) of coastland in the Caribbean and some 1,060 miles (1,700 km) more on the Pacific coast. This isthmus has over 1,600 islands, which are mostly on the Pacific Coast, which are great places for fishing in Panama. Islands in the Caribbean coast are mostly concentrated in the San Blas Archipelago and Bocas del Toro.

Those looking for freshwater fishing in Panama can go to the Gatun Lake. We offer a fishing tour in Gatun Lake, near the eco tourism area of Gamboa. It is possible to catch tarpon, snook and peacock bass here.

When to go Fishing in Panama?

Panama has two seasons: dry and wet. It is possible to fish year round in Panama. There are just regulations on catching shrimp (allowed 1 February to 11 April and 1 September to 11 October) and lobster (allowed 1 March to 1 July).

It is best to fish closer to shore in the dry season which goes from December through May. The summer winds make the sea choppy and the cold currents make less favorable conditions. It is still possible to fish species such as yellowfin tuna, amberjack, rooster fish and snapper.

Serious fishermen should plan their fishing trips to Panama during the green season which runs from June through November. This is the time to get a record since offshore fishing is at is best. Species like billfish, blue and black marlin, dorado and yellowfin tuna are abundant.

What to Fish in Panama?

Fishing in Panama allows fishermen to capture some of the best trophy fish available. Some species such as sailfish and billfish should be catch-and-release, while others can be taken home to be eaten.


Those who come to Panama for a fishing trip may be specifically looking to catch rooster fish which can be found year round. To catch rooster fish you do not need to go far since these are inshore predators. They are stunning fish with a distinctive dorsal fin which gives them their name. Fishermen find them to be a challenge because they are strong and aggressive, making them hard to catch. It is best to catch them when the water is calmer, on rocky shorelines.


This is the dream catch for fishermen! Marlins in Panama can grow to weigh over 1,000 pounds! These enormous blue and black marlins can be found in Pedasi and the tuna coast, Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuosa, as well as Piñas Bay. Marlins can be found year round in Panama’s Pacific Coast. Some months are better than others depending on where you plan on fishing. It is possible to catch Pacific sailfish out of the marlin season for those looking for another billfish option.


The coast of Azuero which covers Pedasi, Playa Venao, Cañas and Cambutal is known as the tuna coast of Panama. We get a huge tuna migration early summer until the start of winter. Those fishing in Panama will enjoy catching yellowish tuna and other species of tuna. They are big (up to 400 pounds!) and fun to catch, and can be found swimming with mahi mahi or dorado. Slice some in sashimi to eat right on the boat.


It is quite common to find different species of snapper in the Pacific Ocean. Those fishing in Panama can expect to catch red snapper (which we eat fried), mullet snapper, barred snapper and silk snapper. Cubera snapper is the largest of all the snapper fish (it can grow to 100 pounds) and it is a good challenge for anglers who are looking to test their bottom fishing skills. Use live bait like lobster, shrimp or squid when fishing for cubera snapper.

Almaco Jack

This is a strong fish with stamina since they can grab your bait and head for the rocks breaking the line. Almaco jack can be found in deep waters close to reef or rocky structures. The best months to catch this fish are January, March and April in the Pacific Ocean of Panama.


Dorado or Mahi Mahi is one of the best fish to catch while fishing in Panama since they are so tasty. They grow fast and they are plentiful. Dorados are gorgeous fish with yellow or gold colored bodies with spots of blue or green. It is possible to catch them year-round with a weight of 10 to 60 pounds. Catch them offshore in floating debris and in areas with lots of bait.

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