Panama, a sport fishing destination

Panama means "abundance of fish" in an Indian language, and this fame attracts anglers from around the world. The Central American country has positioned itself as one of the main destinations for sport fishing, which has generated an annual visitor spending of over 135 million in lodging, boat rentals, and complementary activities. 

The great diversity of saltwater fish swimming in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, where fishermen practice catch and release, alongside the appeal of fishing in the Panama Canal or Lake Gatún for freshwater species, make Panama a very interesting destination for game fishing.

Top fishing spots in Panama are found at Pineapple Bay, Pearl Islands, Coiba Archipelago, Gulf of Chiriquí and the Azuero Peninsula on the Pacific coast, and the Volcano Reef, Bocas del Toro, and Escudo de Veraguas on the Atlantic side. Among the most popular marine species are marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, snapper, roosterfish, amberjack, and wahoo.

Pineapple Bay: Located on the Pacific coast of Darién, 200 kilometers from Panama City, is an ideal fishing spot and the location for numerous world sport fishing competitions. Here you will find different kinds of marlin, such as the black marlin, mahi-mahi, and roosterfish.

Pearl Islands: an archipelago of about 39 islands and 100 islets, situated just 48 kilometers from Panama City, contains a huge number and diversity of fish species, making it one of the most attractive sport fishing spots in the country. Marine species such as dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and whale sharks can also be found in migration along the Pearl Islands.

Gulf of Chiriquí: tucked in the northwest of Chiriquí Province, this region is an enjoyable fishing area because it receives less rainfall compared to the rest of the country. Galapagos penguins can be seen at certain times of the year. The presence of black marlin makes this area a recommended destination by professional sport fishers.

Bocas del Toro: this archipelago on the Caribbean coast, surrounded by waters very appropriate for sport fishing, is one of Panama's tourist highlights. The place is especially appealing for its beautiful scenery, Caribbean cuisine, diving in clear waters, and relaxing on white sand beaches.

Escudo de Veraguas: this completely flat island only 3 kilometers long is part of the province of Bocas del Toro, but sits remotely in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, making for more complicated access. The marine life is very rich, as the coral reefs provide shelter and habitat to many species. Besides fishing, visitors can go diving or snorkeling.