Did you know that the name “Panama” comes from the Kuna Indian language’s word for “abundance of fish” or “place of many fish?” Of the many types of fish that are found in the waters off the coast of Panama, snappers are among the most abundant and very popular among anglers of all skill levels.

If you are thinking about booking a Panama fishing trip, here’s what you should know about the types of snapper fish that are found here.

Cubera Snapper

cubera snapper fish held by fisherman

Cubera Snappers are the largest type of snapper in the world and can weigh up to 70 pounds in our area. They have large heads, reddish-orange scales, and canine-like teeth that make them look seriously mean!

Around Panama, Cubera Snappers are best caught in shallow water that is less than 200 feet inshore and by submerged rocks or near the islands. We often catch these fish on live bait or with chunks of dead bait. Be prepared for a fight when you catch one of these epic types of snapper though because they typically make a hard run and take off for the bottom before trying to break off your line in the rocks!

Mullet Snapper

mullet snapper fish held by fisherman

Another one of the common types of snapper fish in Panama is the Mullet Snapper, which is a cousin of the Cubera but has a smaller head and slimmer body. These fish are more in the 10 to 30-pound range. You can also often catch these fish in inland areas and near submerged rocks. Like Cuberas, they are strong fighters and are known to change direction to fight you off. Mullet Snappers are plentiful in Panama and delicious fish to eat.

Mexican Barred Snapper

mexican barred pargo snapper held by fisherman

The Mexican Barred Snapper is among the other different types of snapper that exist in our area and distinctive because of their vertical white stripes. They are also great fish to catch in the inland areas of our region and frequently caught when fishing right on the bottom. Mexican Barred Snappers are excellent fish to eat, but they require cooking properly so the meat isn’t too tough. We release most of these fish that we catch but keep a few to eat and enjoy.

How to Catch the Different Types of Snapper

The best way to catch these types of snapper is to book a trip with the Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge. We specialize in catching these Panama fish in a place where there are no big industrial commercial fishing operations and plenty of government protection to ensure long-term sustainability. Our best fishing season is between November through August because this is when the seas are calmest and the bait is concentrated at the fishing grounds in the Gulf of Chiriquí.

As local experts in local snapper fishing, we’ll teach you all the best techniques to catch your very own Cubera Snapper, Mullet Snapper, or Mexican Barred Snapper. To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or call our Captain Shane directly at 011 (507) 6675-7191.