There are many different types of fish that live in the waters around Panama, especially in the Gulf of Chiriquí and around Hannibal Bank. Billfish is a general term for various species of predatory fish that are part of the Istiophoridae family. These fish are protected by the government from big industrial and commercial fishing operations and a very valuable fish in places all around the world.

Characteristics of Billfish

Although there are numerous kinds of billfish, they all share some common biological characteristics that are notable. Billfish have narrow pelvic fins and a dorsal fin that runs along a large section of the body. They are migratory fish that usually live in tropical and sub-tropical waters. You can find billfish in all of the world’s oceans.

These fish get their name because of their long, sword-like bills that are used to spear prey and eat. They are well-known for their high speeds and aerial acrobatics. Billfish can be eaten, although they have been exploited by overfishing in the past and need our protection to thrive in the future.

Here are some examples of billfish that you may want to learn more about:

  • Black marlin
  • Blue marlin
  • Sailfish
  • Spearfish
  • Swordfish
  • White marlin
  • Striped marlin

Protection of Billfish

In the past, billfish have been exploited in the sport of fishing and for food. This is especially true for swordfish, which are now rare in some places where they used to be abundant.

At the Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge, we prioritize the sustainability of billfish and return these fish back to the water once we have caught them so that they can continue to reproduce and fulfil their natural role in the food chain. Billfish are one of the top predators of the ocean and ocean spawners, which means that they release free-floating eggs into the waters of the Caribbean and Gulf Stream.

Fishing for Billfish

In our area, some of the biggest catches often occur between November and March while trolling larger offerings for billfish or near floating debris. We use a variety of fishing methods to catch billfish, including jigging, popping, live bait, and dead bait. We practice catch and release for billfish in Panama to sustain these fish in the natural environment and make sure that many more people will be able to experience the thrill and excitement of catching billfish in the future.

Plan Your Billfish Fishing Adventure

If you are interested in having your own billfish adventure in a fun and sustainable way, contact us to book your trip. We offer VIP sport fishing packages, day charters out of Boca Chica, and overnight lodging to give you an amazing billfish experience that you’ll never forget.

Billfish are one of our top specialties, and we understand these fish’s habits and habitats with the utmost respect and admiration. Let us put our billfish expertise to work for you and your friends or family on an epic Panama vacation!