Jaqué, Bahía Piñas
Just 20 minutes by boat from a luxurious resort in the Darien Jungle is one of the most famous fishing grounds in the world.
Bahía Piñas, World Capital of Sport Fishing
Bahía Piñas is located along the southern Pacific coast of Panama in the province of Darien, about 56 kilometers from the border with Colombia. It is the most important place for fishing in Panama, where more than 300 world fishing records have been recorded on the high seas, more than anywhere in the world. A place so remote that it can only be reached by plane on a flight that lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes from Panama City, depending on the aircraft and the weather. It can also be reached by private boat, a day trip.
Meeting point for Fish of all Kinds
Piñas Reef is a submerged mountain at depths ranging from 350 to 130 feet. It is made up of slopes, two peaks that form valleys of solid rock settled on the continental platform, which the marine currents have endowed with a rich plankton that feeds an extraordinary chain of life.
The fishing in Bahía Piñas is so good thanks to the fact that the cold currents from South America converge with the warm currents coming from Costa Rica, mixing nutrients in this area, which attracts all kinds of marine species. The current carries plankton to the reef, which attracts small fish, which captivate the larger fish that feed on them.
The bay itself is small, narrow, and made up of two sections of land. The diversity of species found within this area is astounding. You can find roosterfish, swordfish, tuna, dorado, snapper, bass, dolphins, sierra, barracuda, and blue, black, and striped marlin.
The weather also plays a role, combining with the area’s unique geography to create the “perfect storm” at different times of the year, inviting deep-sea game anglers to enjoy fish that would normally only be They are found at great depths and are often beyond the reach of the usual charter fishing trips.
Merlins are tropical water fish that migrate using currents and feed near the surface. In Piñas Reef you can find the black, which is the one that swims the fastest, the blue, which is considered a giant that exceeds 1,500 lbs, and the striped one, the most attractive. In short, they are all very attractive for sport fishing. Despite their migratory tendencies, there are marlins at this site all year round. Although the tourist fishing season is more intense in the summer, in the months of October and November there is a recess.
Protection for this marine fauna
To protect this area, Panamanian law has declared a 20-mile radius around Bahía Piñas closed to any commercial fishing, so commercial fishing boats are not allowed to enter it.
A place that attracts visitors from all over the world
This fishing bank, off the coast of the Darien, is famous for attracting hundreds of fishermen who promote the conservation of such important species as marlin, black, blue, striped, and sailfish. These are the coveted ‘beak fish’, from sport fishing, although here the catch-and-release modality is practiced to promote the conservation of marine life.
Fishing resort right in front of the fishing bank, few in the world!
The Tropic Star Lodge is the main point for world-class sport fishing tours and tournaments in the Panamanian Pacific. Built as a private retreat in 1961 by Texas oil magnate Ray Smith and opened to the public four years later, the secluded resort has attracted fishing enthusiasts ever since, this jungle-surrounded lodge sports, world entertainment celebrities and travelers looking for a safe and comfortable place to explore the intense natural beauty of Darién. This “lodge” that defines itself more as a fishing club, captivates mainly fishermen, and boasts of more than 300 world records that have been set in this bay since its inception.
It is amazing that from the door of the room of the luxurious resort, Tropic Star Lodge, in Bahía Piñas, in just 20 minutes of navigation to the Piñas Reef, you can live the most fascinating fishing adventure possible, and after much struggle to catch and release a big merlin, hundreds of pounds.
This fishing resort supplies the best. Boats, sailors, captains, fishing rods, a comfortable pier and further up a resort with luxurious rooms, swimming pool and special gastronomy.
The experience in Bahía Piñas cannot be complete without first walking through its town. Afro-descendants, Emberás, settlers from the central provinces and Colombian immigrants live here. You will find a gym, a basic school, a playing field and paths that go between the houses, some made of wood, others built on cement piles, making a community with a rich cultural heritage.
From 1920 to today
The fishing bank was initially named Zane Gray Reef in honor of its discoverer who, in the distant 1920s, fished in these waters and noted the richness of its marine fauna.
With the help of sonar, it was possible to draw an underwater map of a site that generates the livelihood of hundreds of people among the employees of the Tropic Star Lodge, as well as suppliers, hotels in Panama and constant commercial airline flights that occupy their seats with these sport fishermen.