The Tuna Coast of the World.
Food is the easiest way to make people happy. If you start with fresh food from local sources, you're already winning. Mix in some passion, beautiful atmosphere, great views, exhausted and hungry people and it becomes fun for everyone. Oh, and obviously col-col beers by Ryan to top it off. You simply cannot go wrong.
We had been fishing here in Panama prior to moving here and building and we knew the fishing was great but, we had a lot to learn. It turns out this area of Panama is literally the Tuna Coast of the world. Now, neither of us had spent much time fishing before and it was definitely not a life passion for us. That said, we knew we had to provide our guests with fresh fish and in this area, fish stores don't exist.
To get fresh fish, you either have to get it yourself or gotta know several different captains who will sell to you when they have had a good night out fishing. Interestingly enough, most captains are going for snapper and fish other than tuna as that is the more common fish served in Panamanian restaurants.
This is what's called a panga boat and what pretty much every fisherman uses here. They are exceedingly uncomfortable to be a passenger in however, they are inexpensive to build, easy to repair, and the flat hull makes them easy to park on a beach - no need for a marina.
When you go out fishing for a day it's unlikely you will see another boat and it's really rare to see a huge fishing boat so when the fish are IN, it's ON. So, for you OCFD'ers, we got you. And yes, that's a thing. I've seen it in a lot of guys and some gals. Yes - obsessive compulsive fishing disorder and we are happy to assist people with this because the ultra high level of stoke that results in a boat full of fresh tuna, snapper, wahoo, dorado, etc. is hard to beat. The best part of course is the sashimi at the end of the day. Now, that's as locavore as it gets.
Don't get me wrong, we are not a Sport Fishing Lodge. We only fish to supply our restaurant and to meet our strong desire for sushi. It's just a great way to spend the day and an even better way to end it.
Do you remember how I shared with you the formation of Panama a hot 20 million years ago? It's OK, I don't expect you to remember that, I never do either. Anyways, the volcanic formations that exist in the ocean floors around here, the consistently warm waters, living reef systems, and the mountainous terrain that meets the ocean are essentially the magic recipe that attract all the tuna, the whales, and countless other breeds of fish. These deep sea volcanic formations also make it a great place for diving, spear-fishing, etc.
The mountains and rivers make an excellent source for fisherman to get fresh live bait to hook the "big-ones." This way of fishing has given me a new appreciation for fish, and sustainable fishing. The way the locals fish to provide a way of life for themselves, their communities, and our little restaurant, is a beautiful and admirable way of life.
We look forward to sharing some sashimi with you and would love to hear from you as always. I am thinking of several of you that are for sure OCFD'ers and we can't wait to go out there with you!
We are sending you love and dreams of sashimi from Panama,
Your Friends in Morrillo,
Cari and Ryan Mackey and especially Tila (she is an obsessive tuna eater),
Owners and Hosts
Morrillo Beach Eco Resort