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Fishing in Panama

The translation of the indigenous word for Panama is “abundant fish.” Panama has a strong reputation as a world class destination for sport fishing enthusiasts. While some areas of Central and South America are known for certain species of fish, Panama is known for the incredible variety of fish that can be caught there.

The Azuero peninsula, where Ocean Ridge Estates is located, is midway between two of the most famous fishing destinations in the world: Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay and Coiba National Park. Thousands of billfish regularly migrate between these areas, as well as many other species, and they have to pass by the Azuero peninsula. In fact, the southern coast of the peninsula is routinely called the “Tuna Coast”, because of the year round populations of yellowfin tuna that reside there. The water rapidly drops off to a depth of 3000 feet, and it is possible to catch marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado (dolphin) literally with 200 yards of shore. The truly intriguing thing about fishing in this area is the fact that it is largely an unexplored fishery. As of yet there is no marina, and very few people fish these waters.


All of the usual inshore species can be found in high numbers along the rocky coastline – snapper, grouper, roosterfish, mackerel and amberjack, to name a few. In addition, there is the Gulf of Montijo, a huge gulf just north of Cebaco Island. This shallow water fishery has hundreds of miles of mangrove shorelines, rocky structure, etc, and is almost completely unexplored from a sportfishing standpoint. The whole area is teeming with snook, several species of snapper, and who knows what else.


The Rio Negro (Black River) flows past Ocean Ridge Estates and down to the ocean, about 4 miles away. From this convenient location a boat can easily be launched, and prime fishing can be reached within minutes. We would be happy to assist you in locating a local guide who can take you out in a panga (small boats, but very seaworthy), and you can find out for yourself just how good the fishing really is.

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