Of course, today you are not guaranteed to catch a 700-pound black marlin or a 250-pound yellowfin. You might not have your arms pulled off casting poppers into a tuna frenzy… but you damn sure might.

Imagine waking up and looking at the Pacific Ocean from your bed.

The same waves whose gentle rolling helped you drift off to sleep now tumble onto the beach that sits 50 feet from coconut palm-lined the path that takes you to breakfast.

Sunrise here exudes anticipation.

Tropical fruit and coffee await you at the rectangular table in the dining room. A friendly face greets you and takes your order. Bacon, eggs and toast make good fuel for a day’s tuna fishing.

Your friends arrive over the next 10 or so minutes. Everyone is excited… even those who hung out with Abuelo (Panamanian rum) last night.

After breakfast you and your buddies walk down to the beach. You load yourselves and your bags into the panga. It sits in six inches of water… Once you’re all in, the crew pushes it off the sand before hopping over the side.  

Beach front dining in paradise.

The panga idles 25 yards to the boat, pulling aside it. This is your morning commute. 

Your captain waves hello. He is focused, happy and excited. The mate takes your bag and extends a hand to help pull you and your friends aboard.

You are ready to fish.

The big Yo-Zuri poppers on the giant spinning outfits and the 50-wides that will deploy live baits bridled rigged to the 12/0 circle hooks reinforce the anticipation. Your excitement is as palpable as the salty mist that floats through the tropical air.  

What is to unfold over the next 10 hours could well be the best day of fishing you’ll ever experience. This claim is not the “blind luck, anything could happen” type thing that many fishing lodges offer.

This place and the team you are fishing with are in the business of making dreams come true. They do it often, many times a year… for guests from all over the world.

The man in the black suit: a big black marlin.

Of course, today you are not guaranteed to catch a 700-pound black marlin or a 250-pound yellowfin. You might not have your arms pulled off casting poppers into a tuna frenzy… but you damn sure might.

These fish are here and your captain and crew catch them often.

A big roosterfish can change how you think about “inshore” fishing.

When you moor your boat this afternoon, you might not see an 80-pound roosterfish swimming around the buoy. But then again, the group last week saw one and hooked it.

A Boutique Resort on a Private Island

You and your two buddies are staying for a week at a boutique lodge on a private island. This private island sits squarely in the middle of the Gulf of Chiriqui. From where you sit, you are literally surrounded by incredible fishing and natural beauty.

The Gulf of Chiriqui is home to some of the most storied and productive grounds in all of sportfishing. The Hannibal Bank, Coiba Island, Isla Montuosa…

This place is home to perhaps the best black marlin fishery in the northern hemisphere.

This place is also among the best destinations to catch yellowfin tuna. If you want a big roosterfish or a big cubera snapper, this place is among the best… in the world.

It’s not just the size and number of fish that makes this place different– it’s the density, quality and diversity of the fishery. Depending on when you come and how the water stacks up, you can realistically target black marlin, yellowfin tuna, dorado, sailfish, roosterfish, cubera snapper—with a good shot at catching blue marlin and wahoo, on the same trip.

Not only can you catch these fish on the same trip, but many of them in the same day. While trolling live baits around such places as Montuosa, you can target roosterfish and black marlin within 500 or so yards of one another (without ever needing to reel in your baits).

Really… you can really do this. 

The boat that you are fishing is ideal for fishing in this place. Catamarans are fully walkaround. They are wide, powerful and maneuverable.

The Gulf of Chiriqui is the home of the tuna frenzy.

These boats are perfect for running to the front of porpoise schools. Anglers can cast poppers from the bow and deploy live baits from the stern… at the same time. You can fish the whole length of the boat… something that really comes in handy when all three of you hook up with big yellowfin at the same time.

The boats are fast, stable and can turn on a dime. These attributes are necessary when you’re working on a 500-pound black marlin that is greyhounding away from you.

Space on the rail and room in the cockpit come in handy when you’re connected to a greyhounding blue marlin.

These boats are perfect for nosing near enough to rocky coastlines to sling poppers into the wash that reflects off of them. They are equipped with SIMRAD radar that picks up flocks of birds eight miles away.

The boats outfitted with everything you need to do what you’ve come for. Featuring Accurate conventional reels and Shimano spinning tackle. Stand up harnesses by Sea Mount, Mustad terminal tackle, and big poppers from Yo-Zuri. Full SIMRAD Marine electronics, tuna tubes, live wells. Fish boxes and of course Yeti coolers full of beer (and water and cokes). 

More Than Just Fishing

Somehow, in spite of how good the fishing can be, the charm of the place extends further. While fishing here, you’re staying in a private cabin. It is quaint and beautiful, appointed with everything you need to be comfortable and relaxed.

Sometimes the tuna are so big the panga has to make a special trip.

The food here is really, really great too. The highlight is the fresh yellowfin. Fish always tastes better when you know who caught it.

There are mountains of sashimi. Mountains.

The raw treatments—sushi rolls, sashimi boards and varieties of poke—are piled alongside seared tuna and grilled yellowfin steaks. If your wife were here with you, she might call it a yellowfin charcuterie board.

This is what a tuna charcuterie board looks like.

The nightly onslaught of food starts with a giant appetizer tray that comes with a cocktail. These are ready for you as soon as you come up from the boat.

Appetizers and cocktails provide a great backdrop for exchanging fishing stories. The tropical setting doesn’t hurt the process, either.

The perfect place to end what could well have been your best day of fishing, ever.

Sometime an hour and a half or so after the appetizers start rolling, you get the call for dinner. Your first thought is to wonder how you’ll manage to eat any more than you already have.

Dinner is a sit-down affair. In some parts of the world, you’d have to get dressed up for food this good. But then again you are spending a week at a boutique fishing lodge on a private island that is surrounded by black marlin and hordes of yellowfin tuna. There’s nothing “formal” for 200 miles.

After desert, you might have another cold beer. You might even hang out with Abuelo this evening. You haven’t quite decided.

The sight of a black marlin boat side could well live on in your dreams…

Whatever you get into, you’ll wrap up your evening on memory foam listening to the Pacific Ocean. It’s hard to imagine that life gets any better… but then again, you get to do it all again tomorrow.

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