PANAMA – When dreams learn to fly


My journey to Panama – by customer Carlos Heck:

For many years, I had dreamed of experiencing my passion for active fishing for predatory fish in warm saltwater to catch aggressive and powerful predators. It was clear from the outset that after the fishing trip I would be travelling around the country alone with a rucksack and two rods for a few weeks.

After a lot of research and long evenings on the laptop, it was clear after a long phone call with Robert Balkow that a trip to the Tuna Coast in Pedasi, Panama, would be the ideal destination. A safe country with a huge variety of species that is ideal for travelling. Once all the fishing buddies had been finalised, it quickly became clear: “Carlos, you’d better do it alone! 😉

A few weeks before the trip, I bought the tackle according to the excellent recommendations from “Travel to Fish” and packed it in a format that suited me. As my friend aptly remarked: “Clothes don’t go in the rucksack, do they?”

On March 18, I headed to Zurich Airport, full of huge anticipation and respect. After a relaxed flight to Amsterdam, I met the three other German travellers. After two quick beers in front of the gate, it was clear: “This is going to be fun!”

After a relaxing flight and half a night at the airport hotel, we all arrived safely at the Panafishing Lodge after a five-hour journey. The first impression was overwhelming: cool drinks, tapas and a cool pool!

We chatted in a relaxed atmosphere and prepared our tackle for the first day of fishing.

After a lovely evening and a super restful night, we got up at around 6.00 am and got ready for the day on the water. Light sports trousers and a UV shirt with a hood were the perfect outfit for the heat on the water. After a good breakfast, freshly prepared every morning by Gloria, we headed to the pick-up at around 7.15am to drive to the Pacific Ocean. Arriving at the beach, everyone was initially impressed by the magical atmosphere created by the Pacific Ocean in the morning.

We took a dinghy to the large boats at the buoys and got to know our captain, Javier. The fact that he didn’t speak English wasn’t a problem; we always had something to laugh about, as we soon realised.

With two 200 hp Suzuki engines, we travelled quickly to the first spot. The first smaller reef fish were quickly caught with light tackle and each of us had our success. Various snappers and needlefish were the first species of the tour.

In the days that followed, we did a mixture of rock fishing and searching for frenzies. We experienced fishing in a class of its own and my expectations were completely exceeded. The hectic fishing for the predatory fish in particular released a lot of adrenalin in me.

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20 different species within 7 days

In seven days, we caught almost 20 different species of fish, my favourites of which were definitely the hard-fighting Jacks Cravellis and the bright red Colorado and Kubera Snapper. Sore muscles included after the second day. Unfortunately, neither group managed to catch a roosterfish. These pralines, which prey in shallow coastal areas, were unfortunately anything but active when feeding. The disappointment was all the greater when I lost a very large roosterfish during the fight. Unfortunately, it hung in the side and I was left with just one scale.

Back at the lodge, we jumped straight into the pool as we do every day. Melissa and Kristen provided us with cool drinks and tapas. Gloria, who was filleting the fish for dinner during this time, conjured up a three-course menu every evening that left nothing to be desired. Incidentally, the African pompano sashimi turned out to be my absolute highlight. In general, the service and the feeling at the Panafishing Lodge is absolutely amazing.

Grateful and filled with feelings of happiness, I continued into the rainforest. I fished for peacock bass around the Panama Canal and the beautiful Lago Gatun. Propbaits produced a lot of aggressive bites here! Even a crocodile followed this bait to my feet. Not the biggest of their kind are represented there, but this made up for the beauty of these fish.

In terms of scenery, it was an absolute highlight of my trip to Panama. In addition, the breathtaking sound of this nature made me extremely grateful.

A huge thank you goes to all my sponsors and supporters, my family and my girlfriend. Without you, this adventure would never have been what it was.

-Carlos Heck –

Upcoming trips

As usual, you can find available dates for our next hosted group tours on our website:

Single anglers welcome.

“Sea” you soon!