We went to Panama right after Ben’s Birthday and all he wanted for his birthday was to go Fishing in Panama, and so I went in research mode to get the best experience possible as always looking at the values too. So keep reading to find out all about this amazing adventure.
Why Fishing in Panama
Panama is known for having an abundance of fish. In fact, the name Panama means Abundance of Fish, Abundance of Butterflies and Abundance of a type of tree. This is in the indigenous language back in the 1500 when Panama was discovered by the Spaniards. I know this because I learned it in my social studies classes in elementary school. Remember I’m from Panama, which means you are getting in my posts about Panama first-hand information from a Panamanian.
Going back to the Abundance of Fish, the Panamanian waters not only have a crazy amount of fish serving as a natural resource to feed Panamanians, but the number of species and the crazy sizes that you can catch is real. In fact, there is a place in Panama called Piñas Bay, where many sport fishing records have been established and broken to set new ones with huge marlin and sailfish among others.
I have to admit that growing up in Panama I certainly didn’t appreciate living in a place where there was so much diversity of fresh seafood to be had at so economical prices because the fish is right there and so easy to catch.
That’s why fishing in Panama is something you need to do while in Panama if you are into fishing. You are almost guaranteed to catch something.
Types of Fishing you can do in Panama
Because Panama gives you access to both oceans within 80 miles: the Pacific Ocean in Panama City and the southern side of the country, and the Caribbean Sea on the north side of the country, along with many lakes that get water from the Panama Canal; you can really do many types of fishing in Panama.
However, as a tourist, I would limit my choices to a Panama fishing charter, not only because you will be able to have a safer better experience, but also because you will be shown the real gems.
I have to admit that even when I’m from Panama which means that even when I don’t live in Panama I have “connections” because my friends and family are still back in Panama, I had the hardest time finding and deciding which Panama Fishing Charter to use.
I did lots of research. You know me.
I spend hours doing research.
I was getting discouraged, which doesn’t happen often and which I don’t want to happen to you and so I’m going to give you all the tips of where to research and which Panama Fishing Charter we chose.
Our Choice and Recommendation for Fishing in Panama
As I mentioned, the process was extended and tiring, because surprisingly there are not many online places where I could read reviews of the charters.
To be upfront and clear, hiring a fishing charter in Panama is not cheap and so if I was going to spend between $700- $1200 which was the range I was seeing I needed and wanted to be sure I was going to get something great.
But I couldn’t find reviews…
I went to Viator, where I usually go and there were some fishing charters there but no reviews, which is as bad as bad reviews. At least with bad reviews, you can make an informed decision.
Then I went to another site that I found based on being persistent. The site was Fishing Booker where I was able to find few options with videos, pictures, and reviews!!!!
I finally booked our tour to go Fishing in Panama through them and ended choosing a company called Gem Charters which I recommend 100%. I wish I would have had the website to go directly through them because they have more options that I was able to find in Fishing Booker, but now I know where to go directly to next time because you bet there is going to be the next time.
Our Fishing in Panama with Gem Charters Experience
This price included a 28′ boat fully loaded with fishing gear, 2 crew members (who filleted our catch), a cooler full of beverage including beers, juice, Gatorade and water; as well as the ability to plan our day as we wished, meaning that we were able to fish as much as we wanted but also go to Taboga Island to have lunch and chill a bit on the sand and walk around.
The other thing to consider is that you can fit up to 9 people besides the crew in the boat, so the price is for the boat and the time, not per person.
I liked that because I was able to invite some friends and family to spend the time with us, but at the same time, I was in control of the itinerary 100%.
There were 5 of us plus the crew and I think that was the perfect number of people, as the boat never felt crowded.
Things to consider when going Fishing in Panama
Some things you want to make sure you keep in mind when going fishing in Panama is that the sun is hot and bright. You want to make sure you have sunblock, long sleeves, a hat, and you drink lots of water. Trust me, not on this trip (because I know better now), but I’ve been burned badly in the past and it’s not fun!
Also, you are on a boat in the ocean. The boat is big, but if you are by any chance worried about getting seasick you should take some Dramamine or something. We had two people that got sick on our trip and I’m sure they didn’t have as much fun as the rest of us did.
Which reminds me to tell you the boat has a bathroom too for the ladies!
If you are on the fence about going fishing in Panama, you should do it. If you haven’t considered going fishing in Panama, you should do it.
I wasn’t too excited about it at first and I was just doing it because of Ben, and know I can’t wait to go back and do a longer charter.
I also definitely will be asking for Miguel our captain. He was awesome!