Tropic Star Lodge – Piñas Bay, Panama

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Originally built by a Texas oil baron in the 1960s, this Panama fishing lodge is hard to beat – cut out of the mountain-side at the edge of the Darien Jungle on the Pacific coast of Panama, Tropic Star caters for just 36 guests at a time and is accessible only by boat or plane. The fishing is a mixture of inshore and offshore action – both of which are world-class, as the decades’ worth of magazine articles and TV shows will attest.





The fishing

Tropic Star Lodge has long been known as a billfishing paradise, and it’s not hard to see why. But it’s not just about marlin fishing – gamefish caught in the Pacific waters around the lodge includes black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish, as well as large dorado, yellowfin tuna (some over 200 pounds), roosterfish (many over 50lbs), big cubera snapper, amberjack, rainbow runner, wahoo, grouper and mackerel.

At Tropic Star Lodge, most of the fishing happens six to 20 miles offshore in fairly calm waters. As a rough guide, the black and blue marlin season typically runs from June to the following March, while sailfish can typically be caught year round at Piñas Bay (with the hottest bite occuring from May through August). Meanwhile, mid-March through May is prime time for inshore fishing, with record-sized roosterfish, cubera and a host of other species showing along the coastline.

The captains employed by Tropic Star are second to none – all are local and have been fishing Piñas waters for many years, and many have guided anglers to hundreds of IGFA world records.

The facilities

A unique combination of away-from-it-all lodgings and personalised service have earned Tropic Star a reputation as one of the best fishing lodges in the business. All cabins and rooms are air-conditioned, with views of Piñas Bay, all have twin beds and private bath/dressing room areas and surrounding porches with chairs.

Also on site, you’ll find a freshwater swimming pool and bar to relax in after a hard day’s fishing, and if you need a break from the piscatorial pandemonium, you can always take one of the lodge’s kayaks out around the bay. Elsewhere you will find limited internet and phone service, and while there is a television in the bar, it’s reserved for viewing fishing videos. Bonus points for that!


4 nights/3 days
From $2,566 (4 per boat)*

7 nights/6 days fishing
From $3,950 (4 per boat)*

*Price varies depending on time of year and includes: 31’ Bertram yacht with experienced captain and mate, first-class fishing tackle, deluxe air-conditioned room with private bath and view, full breakfast, boxed lunch, and four-course dinners with complimentary wine, sodas, bottled water and ice-tea

Contact info

Email via the website

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