Hooked black marlin rising to the surface with lure in mouth
Black Marlin and Blue Marlin Fishing

Marlin Fishing in Panama at Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge

Marlin fishing in Panama at the Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge, the closest lodge to the marlin hotspots in the Gulf of Chiriqui, consistently produces.  We are closest to the marlin hotspots at the Hannibal Bank, Isla Montuosa, and the 100-fathom line that runs along the southern edge of the Gulf of Chiriquí. These locations consistently tend to be the best areas to find Black and Blue Marlin. The underwater bathometry (or bottom structure) at these offshore spots rises up from thousands of feet and provides cover and slack current that baitfish like to congregate near. These baitfish are the staple food of these big Pelagics. And, when there is food around…chances are that the Marlin will be too!

What Is the Best Time for Panama Marlin Fishing?

Although we catch Black Marlin every month of the year, the best time for Marlin here tends to be November through February and July through September. November through February  we see the most quantity of Marlin while Panama Marlin fishing. Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, (the occasional Striped Marlin), and also Pacific Sailfish are found in numbers these months around the bait concentrations at Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuosa.

July through September, the beginning of the “wet season”, tend to be great months for BIG Black Marlin. We see many these months at the “high spots” around Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuosa as it is believed to be the time when the big Females come around to spawn. Also, a good time to fish…as there is less boat traffic offshore this time of year.

Hooked black marlin airborne in the Gulf of Chiriqui

How to Catch Marlin When Fishing in Panama

We use a few different methods here when Panama Marlin Fishing: live bait, dead bait, or trolling artificial lures. Depending on the conditions, all of these methods can be highly effective. Most Marlin fishing days usually go like this… On our way to the fishing grounds we will always keep our eyes open in hopes of spotting baitfish. If baitfish such as Bonitos, Skip Jacks, or small Yellowfin Tunas present themselves we will try to catch a number of them and store them in our Tuna Tubes. The Tuna Tubes are a type of live well that will keep the baits alive until we go to fish with them. If we are lucky enough to find, catch, and fill our Tuna Tubes with enough baits then we will go and scout out a “fishy” area.

Once we have determined the area to fish we’ll rig the live baits and slow troll them in hopes of attracting a Marlin to eat. And nothing is more exciting than watching a Marlin rising up and crash a live bait! If the live bait method is not productive then we have the option to troll a combination of dead baits (rigged Ballyhoo) and artificial lures. Trolling artificials, in conjunction with rigged Ballyhoo, is just as effective as live bait. It gives us the ability to cover larger areas to find the fish as we troll much faster than we would with live baits. It is still common, and equally exciting, to see a Marlin come up behind a trolled artificial lure but you have to pay close attention as the action happens much faster!

Why Catch a Marlin?

 There are lots of different types of fish that you can catch off the coast of Panama, so why Marlin?

In our area, Marlin are known as one of the best challenges in sport fishing and an ultimate trophy for dedicated anglers. These are truly exciting fish to catch and ones that have gained a legendary status around the world. There are a few different kinds of Marlin too, which keeps things interesting even if you’ve caught a Marlin in the past. Undoubtedly, this is one of the top reasons why travelers come to the Boca Chica area and plan their vacations here.

The likelihood of catching a Marlin often depends upon the skills of the people onboard the boat, which is why it’s a great idea to book a professional fishing charter if you’re interested in catching one. Marlin can be cooked and eaten, yet they are most delicious when prepared by an expert chef who knows just the right way to serve them.

Marlin Fishing Packages in Panama

To make a vacation out of your fishing trip, it’s fun to book an all-inclusive package in Panama. We offer customizable fishing packages that include pickup and drop-off at the airport, flights, hotel accommodations on the way to and from our lodge, and on-call personal travel agents. Onboard the fishing boat, you’ll get to use top-of-the-line fishing gear and bait and enjoy all the drinks, snacks, and lunch you want. Then back at our lodge, V.I.P. package perks include gourmet meals made by our very own chef, full breakfasts, and an open bar with the best spirits, beer, and wine.

When you let us handle all of these little details, you can focus more on the fun parts of your vacation – like catching Marlin fish! Check our website for package rates based on how many days and nights you want your Marlin fishing adventure to last.

Why Stay at Our Lodge While Fishing for Marlin

After a long, challenging day out on the water catching Marlin, there’s nothing better than coming “home” to our unique Panama sport fishing lodge. Our lodge overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is just a 30-minute boat ride from Boca Chica with excellent proximity to the fishing grounds.

At the lodge, you’ll have all the comforts of home, including high-speed Wi-Fi, showers, and air conditioning. Yet it’s a completely isolated and peaceful off-grid spot where you can truly get away from it all. From daily happy hours to convenient laundry service and other fun activities in our area, you’ll be living the good life when you plan your Marlin fishing vacation with us.

Book Your Marlin Fishing Adventure Today!

If you’re ready for the fishing expedition of a lifetime, catching Marlin in Panama is definitely the way to go. Give us a call at 866-245-1492 or fill out our online form to learn more about how we can make your Marlin dreams a reality and get your reservation on our calendar.

We look forward to meeting you and assisting you with catching Marlin fish!

Mate holding large black marlin alongside the T.O.P. CAT, with excited angler giving thumbs up sign
Black marlin trying to throw lure and jumping in Gulf of Chiriqui
Black marling alongside the T.O.P. CAT, tagged, and ready for release
Mate holding black marlin alongside the T.O.P. CAT, ready for release - Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge
Mate holding black marlin, ready to release


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