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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Panga Fishing in Panama


So much to enjoy and so little time to do it. We work really hard so we can play hard so why on earth do we choose an expensive sport, travel all over the world, invest in equipment, and spend endless hours intensely focused on catching a fish that, at the end of the day, we are likely to get totally skunked? Well, now I know and you probably do too.


We have been taking our guests on fishing trips here on the Azuero Coast of Panama for almost 10 years now. We use simple, single motor panga boats, a few rods, a whole bunch of lures, and a lot of hope. We don't have marinas, depth finders, drones, or fancy boats. We keep it simple and I gotta tell you, it is an incredible experience every time but obviously more so when we catch fish and well, that doesn't always happen.

Waking up early to go fishing is painful but is quickly rewarded as the shore peels away to a beautiful view of the sun rising over the mountains to a day ahead full of hope, focus, strategy, and solving the conundrum of how to convince a fish to get on our hooks. 


Fishing is a serious test of patience and attention as we try to trick the hungry fish below into taking our fake lures for their big meal of the day. Yet, we keep trying and trying because eventually, we outsmart a tasty tuna or dorado once in a while and well, it's totally worth it. 

Being the tuna coast of the world we always "expect" to get tuna but we also catch bonita, sierra, jack, dorado, snapper, and snook. We mostly troll and seem to have the best luck with cedar plugs but, it's fun to change it up throughout the day with rapalas, jigging, poppers, and live bait. 


Whether with your family, great friends, or new friends, being out on the boat and hoping for a fish is a great way to spend the day. The views of the coastline are stunning, there are very few other boats around, and the camaraderie between each other when you finally land a fish creates a special bond together and quite simply, is just so much fun.

If you're really up for a challenge and want to level the playing field, leave the boat behind, grab your rod, tackle, water bottle, and fish from the shore.


The estuary out front is good for catching snook and small snappers but walk a bit further to the volcanic reef island and try to land a rooster fish, a sierra, a jack, or snapper. Most importantly, remember Princessa! She is obsessed with fishing and takes her job quite seriously. Just last week she helped our guest catch crabs to use for live bait and was so proud of herself.

We don't keep all the fish we catch so it was really fun to learn about a new fishing tool a recent guest had that helps to more safely and easily release the fish from our hooks called "The Catch and Release Stick" which worked great and also helped give us better balance navigating the shoreline in search of just the right place to catch the fish of our dreams. 


If you love to fish and want to try your luck in Panama, we hope to share this fun sport with you someday soon.


Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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