Three smiling anglers holding Panama trophy roosterfish fish
Roosterfish Fishing

Panama Trophy Roosterfish at Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge


Without a doubt, the most sought-after inshore species among our clients here at Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge is the exotic Panama Trophy Roosterfish (also referred to as Rooster Fish). This is a “bucket list fish” for many anglers and always an exciting fish to set out to find on the water.

Fortunately, the Gulf of Chiriquí has some excellent year-around Roosterfish fishing opportunities just waiting for you to come experience them. In fact, the areas around Isla Coiba, Isla Secas, and right in front of our very own island lodge on Isla Paridas are all home to the elusive Rooster fish in Panama!

What Are Rooster Fish?

Rooster fish are named after their rooster-style comb that is made of long spines on the dorsal fin. These impressive fish can weigh more than 100 pounds and be five feet long. However, the average Rooster Fish is more like 60 pounds.

Rooster Fish in Panama love the Central and South American warm waters in our region. They’re members of the jack family and are stubborn and fight hard. This type of fish is powerful and very distinctive, presenting anglers with a great challenge and unforgettable reward. Rooster Fish are just one of the many species of fish in our local area, but a species that is very popular and always a thrilling an adventure.

Two smiling anglers holding a Panama trophy roosterfish fish with Isla Ladrones in the background

Why We Love Catching Rooster Fish Panama

Rooster Fish are one of the most unique types of fish in the world and an excellent catch-and-release fish to get familiar with. Although Rooster Fish in Panama are considered to be excellent game fish, they are not good fish to eat and typically have an undesirable taste. They also don’t reproduce in great numbers, which means that sustainability is important to keep this vital fish thriving in the water.

Therefore, we practice catch and release of all Roosterfish on our fishing charters. In order to ensure that future generations of Panama Roosterfish are sustainable and that our local waterways are abundant with them, we always take a picture and then release these beautiful fish back where they belong!

How to Catch a Rooster Fish

Panama Roosterfish prefer rocky shorelines, as well as sandy beaches to hunt their prey. They are ambush predators and will commonly hide near rocky points, just waiting for their prey to swim by. The smaller fish tend to hunt in packs, and it is common to see them herding bait on many of the beaches here. If a concentration of bait is around inshore, chances are that a Roosterfish is close by.

The best way to put a hook in a Rooster Fish is with a live bait. Slow trolling live Blue Runners (Green Jacks) and/or live Bonitos near these rocky shorelines is a sure-fire way to get a Rooster Fish to eat. We also catch quite a few on poppers or stick baits that we cast near the shoreline as we slowly slow troll our live baits.

Smiling lady angler holding a Panama trophy roosterfish fish with Isla Parida in the background

Best Months to Catch Rooster Fish

If you’re looking into planning a fishing adventure in Panama, you’re in luck because Rooster Fish can be caught during many months of the year. December through February is typically a great time to catch Rooster Fish in Panama, and also between May and July. These months are ideal because the winds and waters get calmer while the Roosterfish get more active. Hannibal Bank and Isla Coiba are particularly good areas to be if you want to catch a Roosterfish.

Mate and angler holding a panama roosterfish aboard the T.O.P. CAT

Where to Stay to Catch Rooster Fish

If you are interested in catching Rooster Fish in Panama, you’re in the right place. We offer fishing charters to catch Rooster Fish and have a unique sport fishing lodge for overnight accommodations. When you stay with us, you’ll be right where all the best fishing grounds are and also in a tropical island paradise. We are off-the-grid and inside of Panama’s Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park to give you a true remote getaway. Yet our lodge offers all the comforts of home, including laundry service, free high-speed Wi-Fi, hot water showers, and fully stocked beverage refrigerators.

To learn more or to get your trip on our calendar, check out our all-inclusive Panama fishing vacation packages. Our expert guides can’t wait to tell you more about catching Rooster Fish in Panama and help you get the most exciting catch of your life!

Angler holding Panama trophy roosterfish fish getting ready to release


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