Scombridae is a family of fish that is known for being moderate to large in size and popular for both sport fishing and for eating. These are fast-swimming fish that prefer open ocean waters and live in tropical and subtropical seas. Many Scombrids are schooling fish, while others live a more single, nomadic lifestyle and migrate long distances.

In this article, we provide an overview of fish that are part of the Scombridae family and how they are targeted in the Gulf of Chiriquí and Hannibal Bank.


There truly is nothing quite like fishing for yellowfin tuna off the coast of Panama. We usually start seeing tuna around the southern tip of Isla Jicarita in February before they make their way north to the Gulf of Chiriquí. To catch tuna, we use live bait, jigs, poppers, cut bait, and trolling with artificial lures. The most exciting method is casting popper, but you’ll need to have some serious strength and stamina to cast poppers all day! We get the most action with live bait and use various kinds to catch tuna, including blue runners and skipjack.

Spanish/Sierra Mackerel

Spanish mackerel, also known as Sierra mackerel, are another fish in the Scombridae family. We catch these fish around the islands of Panama and near submerged rocks. These are smaller fish that usually only weigh up to 10 pounds. However, they are still aggressive fish that pull hard when they latch onto a bait. We often catch Spanish mackerel while targeting other fish, such as the Cubera snapper, around inshore areas.


The wahoo is a fish in the Scombridae family that is caught year-around in Panama. These are fish with long, grey-colored bodies that have black and white stripes. We target these fish offshore in areas with current around the pinnacles of seamounts. Wahoo are very fast fish and also delicious ones to take back to our lodge to eat.


Another fish species that is part of the Scombridae family is the bonito. We do not target bonito fish for sport fishing, but we do use bonito that we catch offshore to use as live bait for tuna and marlin. Bonitos swim in deep waters and in wide migratory patterns. Some types of bonito leap out of the water to pursue prey and have dusky-colored bands and fins.

Come Catch Scombridae Fish with Us!

Without a doubt, Scombridae fish are among the best sport fishing fish in the world and also among the best fish to prepare for meals. Fortunately, we have an abundance of Scombridae fish in Panama, which you can learn more about when you arrange for a Boca Chica fishing charter and stay in our Panama sport fishing lodge

Book your trip with us today to have the experience of a lifetime out on the water and among all of the tuna, Spanish mackerel, wahoo, and bonito you could ever dream of!