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“Peacock Bass Fishing In Panama”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Pesca-Arenosa

Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Arenosa
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Pontoon Boat fishing tours for Peacock Bass in Lake Gatun, Panama.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Peacock Bass Fishing In Panama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

I have been fishing for peacock bass (sargento) in Panama since 1980. This is the best operation I have come across since fishing the Ft. Gulick MWR in the early 80's.

Two key factors made this trip memorable for us.
1. Communication with Pesca-Arenosa, Dennis Melton, was flawless. Answers to questions came rapidly and all commitments were exceeded!
2. Armando, the Captain / Guide put us on fish immediately. Even more importantly, he took great care of our nephew and niece who were enjoying their first fishing trip.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time on the lake with Pesca-Arenosa.

Book early

Visited September 2012
5 Thank TR-SoCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arenosa, Panama
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“World Class Peacock Bass Fishing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

Having been an avid fisherman all my life, think how i felt after fishing with Armando on Lake Gatun in Arenosa, Panama. Armando is a great guide and he truly loves his job. He will bait your hook, he will take your "catch" off and he will put on another minnow for you. We have permanent "tee" times with Armando and Dennis Melton. They run one of the best fishing/guide services I have ever witnessed. You will love the experience. The cost is very reasonable and you will love the fish you eat. Peacock Bass tastes almost exactly like corvina -- an ocean sea bass. In the states, I fished for largemouth bass for most of my life. I don't eat largemouth bass but I will eat Peacock Bass. Come see Dennis and enjoy his excellent services. I rate Dennis and Armando as outstanding. I believe you will too. Please don't book all his services. Save some days for us!

an Altos del Maria resident

Visited September 2012
3 Thank PeaCockBassMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altos del Maria
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Catching vs Fishing For Peacock Bass”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2011

I used to fish often back in the U.S. for bass and other gamefish. Some days were better than others, and a good day could have been landing three to five large or smallmouth of decent size, or maybe ten of smaller stature.

Those numbers are less than paltry when held up against the results of an average outing on lake Gatun, with the right guide.

Five U.S. ex-pat residents of Panama including myself spent a very productive time on the Lake the other day. This was my fourth outing on Dennis Melton's pontoon boat with guide Armando at the helm. It was the first time for three of the party.

Dennis has a very picturesque spot at lakeside. For this, the rest of the scenery and your catch, you will want to have a camera. Do not expect to see dozens of other boats out there. It's like walking through a supermarket at midnight on a Tuesday in winter. But who's complaining?

Immediately after tossing our lines in the water at the first stop, things got very busy for the party and Armando. Many times there were two fish being boated and several times there were three at the same time. Not only were the numbers impressive (over 120 caught by the party), but the size of the fish on this day was above the average in my experience.

We filled a cooler with our catch quickly and had to resort to an improvised stringer to hold the additional peacocks. The fish were actually pushing open the top of the cooler and jumping out. Everyone caught plenty of fish and Armando earned his money on this outing. The proverbial "one armed wallpaper hanger" was a slacker compared to his output for the day.

Dennis and Armando make things very easy for experienced anglers and beginners. Medium-light tackle is used, so any age individual can handle it. Armando knows that section of the lake incredibly well.
To us, the landscape though beautiful is impossible to read with its many islands and thousands of tree stumps. For Armando, it's like walking down the aisles of a local department store.

We brought food & drink with us in coolers as none is available on board. Fishing tackle is available to rent if you have none. Generally the fish will run from under a pound to two pounds or more. The fish can be cleaned for you for a small fee. Live bait is used and you can bring your own collection of lures and try those for effectiveness.

The three new individuals who sailed with me, the fifth member of the party who had been out before and myself will definitely be going out again. Though every day may not produce the same results, my experience is that fish are caught EVERY time the boat sails. You may or may not catch a six pounder, but I would encourage all to treat yourself to the opportunity to try. Catching vs. fishing is a lot more fun, and this guide service delivers.

Visited November 2011
3 Thank Jai F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairbanks, Alaska
Level Contributor
50 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great Fishing! Great Guide! Lots of Fun!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2011

Thanks to advice from some TA local expert we scheduled a fishing trip for 6 on the 3rd of January 2011. Although do to car problems we showed up late and after the prime fishing time our guide Armando was able to salvage our fishing trip. I was impressed as Armando hit the fishing holes without the use of a GPS or fish sonar. Mr. Melton came by while we were out on the lake and was glad to see we made it. The drive out to Arenosa was great! The first part of the road was a pave road that was imbedded with craters resembling those found on the moon. The second half of the road was newly paved and should continue out to the Pan-American Highway. Be advice on your journey out there to keep an out for dogs, cattle, and chickens in the road. After fishing in which my wife (a Panamanian) caught the biggest fish of the day, we had our fish cleaned for a nickel a fish (or was it a dime?). Mr. Melton came down to the dock and we chatted for a good bit. The rental of the pantoon boat was very cheap by Alaskan Standards it was like $200.00 for 6 people, tackle, and bait. This of course does not count the tip we gave our guide who well deserved it.

Visited January 2011
2 Thank alaskarat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great Day on Gatun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2010

I found the Dennis Melton Fishing Tour name on the Paradise Services web page. I arranged to meet Dennis at Arenosa the week after Christmas in 2009. I had my 9 year old grandson and two nephews with me. We arrived a little early and I caught two Oscars spincasting from the dock. Armando, the guide, arrived on time, with plenty of live bait and a cooler with drinks. We traveled about 30 minutes to our first fishing spot near some submerged stumps, we moved several times during our 6 hours on the water. The boys caught 146 Peacock Bass after I started counting, I believe that we caught near 200 for the whole day. Armando was extremely patient with the young fisherman, he and I spent the day keeping the hooks baited. I met Dennis and his wife, later at the dock while Armando and his helper cleaned the fish. I can't imagine how this trip would have been enjoyable. The boys were exahusted and asleep before we left the parking area. Thanks to both Dennis and Armando, a "Great Day on Gatun" indeed

2 Thank WarDogDaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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