We fish the Gulf of Chiriquí, which extends along western Panama’s Pacific coast. It offers one of the best destinations for big-game fishing, especially on Hannibal Bank , Isla Ladrones, and Isla Montuosa. There are an abundance of underwater offshore features, such as sea mounts, coral reefs, and pinnacle rocks.
The Gulf of Chiriqui’s diverse fishery is remarkable due to its unique bathymetry, dominated by undersea structure and currents. The banks and pinnacles around the various island groups, like the fishing grounds at the famed Hannibal Bank and near Isla Montuosa, are fed by the nutrient rich waters of the Humboldt Current. It is common to come across huge schools of Yellowfin Tuna or to see Black Marlin exploding on the surface while feeding at these offshore banks. Fishing in the Gulf of Chiriqui is unique due to miles of rocky coastline and the many island groups that are encompassed within the Gulf of Chiriqui.
What is the Weather Like?
Temperatures average 85 degrees with more humidity on shore, but we find it is very pleasant with the right protective gear on the water. There are two seasons here in Panama. The ‘dry’ season and the ‘wet (or green)’ season. The dry season is from about December until May and the wet season is from about May until December. The ‘dry’ season weather is typically warmer with blue skies, little wind, and no rain. During the ‘wet’ season it will usually rain in the late afternoon and evenings, it’s a bit more humid, and bit milder temperatures during the day with partly cloudy skies. It is rare to have to cancel a day of fishing due to weather but bring your rain jacket just in case!
How are the Sea Conditions?
The seas are usually calm because the Gulf of Chiriqui is protected from the winds by the mountain range of the continental divide to the north and the peninsulas to the east and west that provide a natural shelter from the ocean swells. Typically the swells run 2 feet or less during the ‘dry’ season and in the ‘wet’ season the swells are two to four feet higher.
It is not uncommon to hook Yellowfin Tuna up to 200 pounds, large Dorado (Mahi-Mahi,) as well as Marlin, Wahoo, and a variety of other aggressive species.
Offshore fishing is generally considered to be past 25 miles of our point of embarkment in Boca Chica into the blue waters of the Pacific.