If youâ€™re going to Pinas Bay, Panama, youâ€™re probably going to one place: Tropic Star Lodge. And youâ€™re going for one reason: some of the best deep sea fishing in the world.
Located 150 miles from Panama City, on the Pacific, in the southeast portion of Panama, sits Pinas Bay. Situated in the Darien jungle, set into a mountainside, near the northern tip of Colombia, is Tropic Star Lodge.
But there are no roads for the 100 miles or so between Panama City and Pinas Bay, which makes travel more like an adventure straight out of a Hemingway novel. After a charter plane lands in lush jungle with vegetation crawling over mountain and cliff as far as the eye can see, you snake through a remote village until you hop on a canoe that motors its way to the famed fishing resort.
Tropic Star Lodge was originally built in 1961 exas oil tycoon Ray Smith. He opened the up the lodge to the public in 1965, under the name Club de Pesca. The club was sold to Edwin Kennedy after SmithÂ´s death in 1968. Kennedy gave it the name Tropic Star Lodge. In 1976, Conway D. Kittredge of Florida bought the resort and to this day the lodge is operated by Kittredge family.
Two hundred and fifty International Game Fishing Association records reside at Tropic Star Lodge and big game fishing has made the lodge famous around the world: Black and blue marlins are the big catches, along with sailfishes, tuna and dorado.
The weather is what you would expect from the jungles of Central America: hot, humid and sunny. There are two main seasons to watch out for: dry and rainy. The dry season lasts from January to April, and the rainy season lasts from May to December. Depending upon what you want to catch, certain times of the year are better than others.
All species of billfish can be caught year-round, while black marlin season primarily runs from December through April. Pacific sailfish are abundant from April to July, and striped marlin season is mid-March through May.
Boats are provided to all of the guests at Tropic Star, complete with captains and mates. Each boat is about 35-feet long, and all are old sport fishermen boats, Bertrams, which run well and are sure to get you in and out of the bay safely.
Back on shore, guests sleep in fully equipped air-conditioned cabins, swim in the fresh water pool, sip Margaritas and swap stories of the day and feast on a gourmet dinner overlooking the bay.