OUR FISH SPECIES
CUBERA SNAPPER: This fish is often top of the list for many of our hardcore visiting anglers.....and for good reason too. Probably the ultimate challenge from a kayak here on the Wild Coast. With an average weight of 40 lbs and reaching a maximum of 100 lbs these fish are a serious challenge. They fight dirty and will try as hard as they can to reach their lair and break you off......they never give up. Our location offers some of the best opportunities on the planet to come face to face with one of these impressive creatures. Be ready and keep that drag tight though, if there's even a tiny chink in your armour then these fish are going to find it.
Fishing techniques: Casting poppers, stickbaits, jerk baits or diving lures, trolling and on the jig. Livebait.
ROOSTERFISH: Roosters are very abundant in our waters. They are a viable target throughout the year and the average size we find here is very impressive - it is possible to find specimens up to 100 lbs on the Wild Coast! The smaller fish can be very gregarious, often hunting in packs and providing excellent sport. The bigger specimens are more solitary creatures and will give you a fight that you will never forget! These fish are the bread and butter of our lodge. People travel far and wide to catch a Rooster here. This is one of the best locations on earth to target these incredible fish!
Fishing Techniques: Casting poppers, stickbaits, shallow divers and jerkbaits. flyfishing and also livebait.
AMBERJACK: Here on the Wild Coast we have the Greater Amberjack, Pink Amberjack and Almaco Jack present. These fish live in big schools and are found mostly in the deeper water on our offshore reef marks. All of these fish are incredibly powerful and make fantastic targets to try and catch on jigging tackle. They can range in size from 20 lbs right up to 80 lbs and occasionally bigger! They pull hard and will try their best to get back to the reef and smash you up. You have been warned!
Fishing Techniques: Speed jigging or slow pitch jigging, livebait, deadbait and at certain times, top-water lures.
GROUPER: You can find many different types of Grouper here on the Wild Coast. The 2 species of most interest are the Goliath Grouper (Jewfish) that can grow to over a whopping 500lb and also the Broomtail Grouper which tops out around 100 lbs. These two are serious heavy weights and their presence here is testament to what a thriving and rich eco-system we have.
Fishing Techniques: Speed jigging, Slow pitch jigging, deadbait or livebait.
MAHI MAHI: Certainly one of the most stunning fish that we find in our waters. There's no mistaking these beautiful fish when you hook one. With their acrobatics and incredible colours they make for a memorable catch from the kayak. Although generally thought of as an offshore fish, at times we find them literally yards off the rocks or just beyond the breakers along stretches of sandy shoreline. They are more numerous during the wet season but show up sporadically throughout the year.
Fishing Techniques: Casting poppers or shallow diving lures, trolling deep divers and livebait.
WAHOO: The speed demon of the oceans and a tricky fish to catch from the kayak. It can be done though. We find Wahoo can turn up just about anywhere and at any time of year; the trick is to keep your eyes peeled for this fearsome predator. They are often seen cruising just below the surface and if you're quick enough to cast a diving lure across its path and rip it back at full speed then you stand a good chance of hooking one. Hold on tight when you do!!
Fishing Techniques: Casting a shallow diving lure or popper to showing fish. Livebait puts you in with a chance too.
BILLFISH: We have big numbers of Black Marlin and Sailfish pass very close by to us as we're right on their migration route, less than 2 miles from the 1000 fathom line. April, May and June are the hot months for these incredible fish. We have made trips out with the pangas to target them in the past and have taken Marlin up to around 700lbs. These and the Sailfish will come right inshore too, we see them within several hundred meters of the rocks at times. They have even attacked small tuna we have had on the line before. They are a viable target from the kayak, should you so wish.
Fishing techniques: If you're serious about catching a billfish then the most effective way is to slow troll livebaits - either bonito, blue runners or a small jack. That said, we recently caught our very first Sailfish on a popper. A great moment in kayak fishing history!
CORVINA: Sometimes known as the White Seabass too; these fish are stunning and can grow to a very respectable size. We find they move inshore from January onwards once the dry season is in full swing. They come in waves and can be here one week and gone the next. At times, they can be concentrated on our nearshore reef systems and at others we find them creeping around the rocky outcrops near sandy beaches. We also catch them from the shore right outside the lodge from January through to March. They love to hang out where freshwater meets the salt also.
Fishing Techniques: In deep water, a well presented jig is the way to go. When they are in shallower water close to shore then it's tough to beat casting a small rapala for them.
JACK CREVALLE: These fish are total brutes! They provide exceptional sport for those of you keen on fishing top-water. The way that a pack of Jack Crevalles will chase down and smash your popper, all competing to get there first is a huge amount of fun to experience. Everyone loves a Jack-Attack! At certain times we have huge schools present and the action can be non-stop. Being the little cousin of the GT, they have just as much attitude when it comes to their fighting style. Expect wild top-water smashes, screaming drags and epic scraps. What's not to like! These bad boys top out around 30 lbs.
Fishing Techniques: Poppers, Plugs, Stickbaits, Trolled lures and they'll hit a jig in deep water too.
YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER: By far one of our most stunning snapper species here on the Wild Coast. These are highly prized not only for their good looks but their excellent eating qualities. One of the tastiest fish we have here and always well received in the kitchen back at the lodge. These fish school up on the reefs during the dry season when we have our yearly cold water upwellings. This brings them in within our reach from deeper water and they really are great fun to catch on light jigging gear from our numerous nearshore reef systems.
Fishing Techniques: Small slow-jigs allowed to flutter near the bottom and worked up through the water column are the number one technique. However, when they are found tight inshore in shallower water then a small plug cast tight to structure can score.
RAINBOW RUNNER: It's always a real treat to catch one of these most impressive creatures. We find that they move with the shoals of Yellowfin Tuna and Black Skipjacks that reside along our coastline. They are not hugely common but turn up randomly throughout the season on our Tuna marks on the back of a favourable ocean current and they fight like crazy. Always a nice species to add to 'the list' for our visiting anglers and it's fish like these that can provide a nice surprise when you least expect it. This is what always keeps the fishing interesting here on the 'Wild Coast'. You never know what will turn up next!
Fishing Techniques: These are nearly always caught when fishing for Tuna. Poppers, Stickbaits, Jigs and Plugs have all taken their share of fish. They will hit lures much bigger that you'd expect too.
POMPANO: We have 3 types of Pompano resident in our waters. The African, Black and Threadfin varieties. All exhibit the same habits and we find them usually a little way offshore hanging around structure. They are often plentiful and can be found hugging the bottom to way up in the water column. They make a fantastic target to catch on the jig and always give a solid account of themselves. It's not uncommon to catch several in a row when you find a school residing on a reef. They are a staple for the kitchen here also and lend themselves to many different styles of cooking.
Fishing Techniques: Undoubtedly, a slow-jig with a good flutter action is your best bet for this stunning fish. However, we do sometimes take them on poppers when we are fishing tight inshore.
ROCK SNAPPER: These fish are another of our serious lookers. In other parts of the world they are called 'Blubberlip Snappers' due to the peculiar fleshy lips that they possess. These fish are true opportunists and will take advantage of just about any available food source. This makes them quite an obliging species for our anglers and as such we catch them on a huge different variety of methods. They are resident year round and can be found just about anywhere from tight inshore to hanging around the edges of our reef systems a little way offshore.
Fishing Techniques: Small lures, poppers, jigs and very occasionally they even have a go at livebait.
SIERRA MACKEREL: The Sierra is a regular catch and a staple in the kitchen here at the lodge. They look good, taste great and are a heap of fun to catch. With razor sharp teeth they occasionally may steal a lure or jig from you. They give blistering fast runs, especially when they get sizeable. They are also known to leap high in the air when hooked or when free swimming and hunting. It's an amazing sight! They often favour slightly coloured water where they have the advantage over their prey and this is always a good area to try if you're looking for one of these toothy critters. They are a year round target.
Fishing Techniques: Trolled lures, plugs and small poppers. They will hit a jig too. Something flashy and silver is the way to fire these creatures up.
GOLDEN TREVALLY: A highly prized catch here at the lodge for obvious reasons. They are not hugely common but we see them every season; their flash of gold and fantastic stripes makes them very welcome. They usually arrive with the cold water and like to hang out on our nearshore reef systems. With their protruding mouth parts and fleshy lips, they are more suited to rooting around for crabs, shrimps and small organisms, which makes them a tricky target for our anglers. But they can be caught!
Fishing techniques: The only method we have found successful for this beautiful fish is a well presented slow jig. If you persevere with this method, you may just get lucky.
MULLET SNAPPER: Sometimes called a Red Bass by our visiting anglers, these really are one of the most unique members of the snapper family. They are good lookers and well worth trying to tick off the list while you're here on your adventure with us. They pull like crazy and will give you a memorable scrap. When the cold water arrives it forces them together in to large shoals and they rise to the surface seeking the warmer water. This is an amazing phenomenon to experience and there's no mistaking their location as huge patches of 'red' can be seen on the surface! Chuck your popper into the middle and hang on.
Fishing Techniques: Jigs, Poppers, Plugs, Stickbaits and the really big ones will take a livebait.
PACIFIC BARRACUDA: Every season we get a run of Barracuda, usually between the months of February and April. They appear out of the blue and provide another additional species that also brings a nice variety to the meals at the lodge. There is no ciguaterra poisoning to worry about here unlike their cousins found in the Atlantic. They don not grow as big in the Pacific side and a fish of 15-20 lbs is as big as we have ever seen. They are good sport and can be very obliging when they're in the mood.
Fishing techniques: Casting flashy spoons, plugs, lures, jerkbaits and occasionally a trolled lure are the way to go.
GIANT HAWKFISH: This is the biggest member of the Hawkfish family and is a little character that most people tick off the list while they're here. With their stunning orange and blue markings they really are very attractive. They are resident year round and like to hang out right by the rocks. They are fiercely territorial and will charge out from their crevice to attack anything that gets too close. They are easy to catch and make for a fantastic photo to take home for the species hunters among you.
Fishing Techniques: Cast and retrieve small lures and plugs as close to the rocks as you can. They are very aggressive and often hit bigger lures intended for much bigger fish!
OTHER SPECIES: Last season alone we caught over 40 different species of fish. The diversity and variety of species here is simply mind-blowing. Whether you're a dedicated specimen hunter or on a mission to chalk up as many new species as you can....there is something for everyone here. As well as all the good lookers featured above we also catch various different types of Sharks (Hammerheads, Black-tip and Bulls), Stingrays, Pacific Snook, Needlefish and a myriad of other wierd and wonderful reef species. There is never a dull moment!
FISHING ON THE WILD COAST
The Wild Coast has some of the least pressured, most prolific saltwater fishing in Central America and we are spoilt for choice with some incredible ground to fish.To the East of the lodge we find long stretches of sandy shoreline that are peppered with rough ground, rocky headlands and promontories. These jut out into the sea creating some fantastic habitat along the coast for many miles. To our West, the ground becomes much more rugged and the forested mountains of the National Park tumble straight into the sea. With sheer cliff faces and a stunning vista forged from rock, this section of coastline offers access to much deeper water. We are less than 2 miles from the 1000 fathom line here. With many offshore reefs, sea mounts, headlands, islands and river mouths also.......the Wild Coast is like nowhere you have fished before!
We target the fish using a variety of methods and techniques - Popping, Jigging, Trolling, Livebait and Deadbait. All of these can be effective on their day. There is little to beat the thrill of watching one of our apex predators engulf your popper right before your eyes. This has to be up there with one of the top experiences in the world of fishing. It certainly gets the pulse racing!
Livebaiting is also very effective and selective for targeting the bigger fish. You never know what you will hook next. We use bonitos, blue runners and small jacks which are usually not too hard to find. We catch our bait using small jigs, feathers and lures. We either bridle the baits up for you or hook them directly on large circle hooks and slow troll behind the kayaks. It's all about the anticipation! Whether you're a pro or a beginner, our guides are on hand at all times to advise and will also help catch baits for you out on the water from the safety boat. Find out about our fleet of kayaks and boats here.
We have many years experience of fishing these waters and know them intimately. We are ready to share our knowledge with you and take great satisfaction in guiding our guests to that 'fish of a lifetime'. Whether it's a big cubera snapper you seek, a shot at a sailfish or a giant roosterfish on the popper......this is the place to do it and we can help point you in the right direction. Fishing for the many species we have here provides a fantastic challenge and many thrills along the way. It's addictive! See our catch reports here.
A typical days fishing will see us load the kayaks and anglers into our custom built super-pangas and head out after a satisfying breakfast at first light. We will drop you off to fish a designated inshore zone in the morning and a couple of offshore reef marks too. Lunch is taken either back at the lodge or on a deserted beach somewhere, depending where we end up. The afternoon sees us head out again to fish a second session before returning to the lodge at sunset for a well earned beer and cooking up the days catch. We are conservation mined in the approach we take to our fishing. All cubera snapper and roosterfish are returned and we only take enough of the other edible species that we need to feed us at the lodge on a daily basis. No more.
THE CUBERA WALL
We consider the Cubera Snapper to be the trickiest fish to catch from a Kayak here in Panama because they fight so dirty and pull so hard! If you're lucky enough to catch one over an estimated 30 lbs in weight, then your photo will also earn a place on the coveted 'Cubera Wall' at the lodge. We feel this represents the pinnacle of achievement in our waters. There are few places in the world that offer such a great opportunity to catch a Cubera as the Wild Coast. Here's some of our happy guests with a few of the fish that have made the grade!
If it's not the big Cubera, then the other fish that's top of the list here at 'Panama Kayak Adventure' is the Roosterfish. It's easy to understand why too. There's not much in angling to beat the sight of a giant Roosterfish Here's a few photos of some of the fine specimens that have made our guests fishing dreams come true down on the Wild Coast of Panama..........
We have shore fishing options available right out front of the lodge from a number of rock marks or the beach itself. If you've got the energy after a full days kayak fishing then why not try a bit of bait fishing in the surf at dusk or after dark? We are just literally scratching the surface of what's possible with these surfcasting techniques. So far, we have managed to catch snappers, nurse sharks and big Cubera in the surf. We have been using bonito flesh as bait and it is proving very effective. We are sure that with a little more effort it would be possible to catch other species as well. We would expect that large stingrays, eagle rays, bagre and other shark species are present at different times throughout the season. If you are interested and want to give it a try then bring a surfcasting rod and tackle with you or speak to Roque or Luis. They have some surfcasting tackle with them at the lodge.