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Sport fishing in Panama: Mahi Mahi Edition

It was Father’s Day, so we decided to go deep-sea fishing in Panama

Deepsea fishing in Panama is an activity best done between June to November. In other words, the rainy season in Panama. With rains, driftwood flows from the rivers to the sea, and consequently, the currents where big species can be found are abundant and clear. A perfect day for a boat ride and to get a taste of that world-class fishing you only enjoy in Panama.

Starting our day with the classic Panama Big Game Fishing

As you head out of Panama City, you have several islands and fishing Deepsea fishing in Panama: huge catches all year roundgrounds to choose from. We had plenty of time to go far; our main desired area was the Pearl Islands Archipelago, which extends from North to South. The main and most visited islands are located in the north; however, if you want to increase the size of your catch, consider aiming more south. Above all, you will find deeper and more exposed waters to the open South Pacific Ocean.

We placed a waypoint on our GPS navigation system to Pedro Gonzalez Island—more accurately, on the Niagara Reef. This nice open ocean reef is surrounded by 250 feet on average, and in the most shallow parts, it can get up to 20 feet. In other words, it is BEAUTIFUL for all kinds of species. Pedro Gonzales and Niagara Reef are in the middle of the Pearl Islands Archipelago, around 45 nautical miles from Panama.

Throughout the cruise, you will pass good fishing areas like the drop behind Taboga Island, the famous 20 Fathom Drop. It will be hard to avoid dropping lines, but you have to be focused on the long cruise. Certainly, any time you save on your way will mean more fishing time in your far-away targeted areas.

First  Mahi catch of the day

A few nautical miles from Pedro Gonzalez, we spotted some dolphins that cruised with us for a while. This meant happy cruising dolphins and no fish. Suddenly, they all changed their course and went towards some feeding birds. We knew fish were around, so we slowed down and threw lines in the water!

The first hit on the line of the day happened just a few minutes after throwing them, and the catch went straight down. It was definitely a pelagic species! The fight took 10 minutes until we saw color, mostly grey and black. When it got closer, we saw a golden-yellowish shine. Oh yes! We were a few seconds away from having sushi night! YELLOWFIN TUNA safely landed on board.

Finally, our big game fishing moment: monster Mahi

After that, the vibe onboard was stoking, and we kept trolling around, but the action quite disappeared. We reached Niagara Reef and looked for some live bait to cruise even more to the Southernmost Island of the Pearls, San Jose. Ensenada de Bodega is a famous area on the west side of San Jose.

Ensenada de Bodega, famous in Panama for big game fishing, was our next destination. However, on the way there, we noticed some rain approaching, and, having the benefit of a powerboat, we made a fast decision to head to the open ocean again. Firstly, to avoid the rain, and Secondly, to double-take advantage of how close we were to the main continental drop from Panama.

The seas were choppy, and it was hard to spot drift lines and action in the water. Nonetheless, we knew we were in a good area, and anglers decided to throw lines again and troll for a while. Starting losing hope, and with 1 angler showing signs of seasickness, the magic happened! A monster bull hit a cedar plug in the water, targeting more tuna; it hit a good lure with a metal leader, a nice thick rod, and plenty of line for a good fight.

Many jumps, fights, rest, and explosives swim into the deep to finally surrender and let our angler take the line in and put the monster bull Mahi on board! Deepsea fishing in Panama is quite definitely always an exciting adventure.

If you want to check the rest of our Mahi catches and adventures on that day, click here! And stay tuned for a new mahi mahi fishing report. If you’d like to book your fishing trip, contact us. Many other fish species await you, like Marlin, Roosterfish, and much more!

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