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“World Class”

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Panama Big Game Fishing Club
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“World Class”
Reviewed December 27, 2012

My wife and I spent some time at this fishing resort while in Panama earlier this month. The new owners whom we had the pleasures of meeting were almost finished with a multimillion dollar renovation of this hallowed game fishing destination.

Mark and Karen as you would expect from any caring owner operators, were on site and very involved in making the decisions to allowing the transformation of a previously austere fishing lodge to a first class resort with all the amenities that one might expect, all contained within the hill side of a biologically diverse island and nature sanctuary.
I spent one day fishing with Mark' son and MD of fishing operations using one of their well-equipped deep sea fishing boats. The local Captain and deck hand expertly put us on some game fish and we were rewarded with a great complete fishing experience. They provided one of the best picnic lunches that I have ever had on such an outing.

Mark believes very strongly in the conservation of this great fishery by practicing sensible catch and release policies and adherers to all IGFA rules and regulation, which was a rare but welcome find in this fast developing nation of Panama.
After fishing my wife and I joined Mark and his lovely wife Karen for an afternoon libation and some great freshly caught ceviche and learned of their future plans for this amazing resort.

I plan to visit them again in the next month or two and highly recommend them to any discerning travelers looking for the perfect blend of action, fun, food, and amenities all without spoiling the great feeling of surrender to an unspoiled natural setting.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ali Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We had the opportunity to get to the PBGFC back in August and as you can tell from the other reviews this place is a first class operation. If you are looking for this type of fishing experience you should not look any further, these guys will not disappoint. The crews work their [--] off to get fish on your lines and I don't think you can get better food anywhere in panama. From the time we arrived at the Tocumen international airport until the time we arrived back there the PBGFC staff took care of every detail and arranged for whatever we needed. The view from the top of the main building is breathtaking and we took as many photos from there as we could. We hope to get back there soon!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Having spent most of my adult life fishing in one remote tropical outpost or another, it was instantly recognizable that Mr. C and company have not taken the easy route with the Panama Big Game Fishing Club, and instead are truly building a show place in the jungle. From the stainless steel railings to the stonework in the rooms, attention to detail and quality is obvious. But that is just the physical improvements. Victor, the new manager is truly a first rate operator and has a great future ahead of him, and with the Club. As Mr. C says, "if you did not get what you wanted while at PBGFC it is only because you did not ask for it"....and that is the truth. No menus, not set dining times and no set dining place. Want to sit under a tree and drink wine and munch a steak? They will figure it out for you. Your trip is your own to customize.

The crews on the boats are some of the hardest working guys in the business and toil til the end so you catch fish. When we were there yellowfin tuna were providing the action, and I really think that they are on to a very special offering with throwing poppers to huge Ahi. That is just one thing that makes PBGFC unique.

All in all, it is no small endeavor to created and keep a first class outfit going in a remote location, but PBGFC is testament to "how it is done".

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank yakiddinme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Braunfels, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

The best fishing resort I have ever been too, is how I would sum my wife and my stay at PBGFC, I would like to thank Mr. And Mrs. C for being so gracious. I also would like to thank the staff. Carlos for being a great driver and tour guide on our way to the Lodge,
Victor for organizing, Rolando for keeping our drinks full, Carlos for tending to every need with a big smile, Bartolo and Jeffery for making our trip on the water fantastic, Victors mother for keeping our room impeccably clean and the cooking staff behind the scenes for making all our meals five star. For all those wanting to visit a magical place far away from the hustle and bustle of every day life look no further this is it. Thanks to everyone for making our trip amazing. Can't wait to return with friends and family. George and Shay Williamson

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

First class staff and accomadations. The Black Marlin we wanted eluded us do to the bait situation, But the Yellow fin action was fantastic with our smallest at #125 and largest # 300 IT WAS WAS A REAL TREAT. I WILL SUGGEST THIS LODGE AND FISHING TO EVERY ONE.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mike D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver City, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Just returned from fishing trip to PBGFC and was treated to one of most desirable trips I
have ever been on. Rooms were 5 star with 50" flat screen on satalite, stocked fridge, phone,
microwave,large walkin showers and more. Service was beyond compare.Food served by excellent chef such as turkey & dressing, lobsters, ham, tuna fantastic, shrimp coctails more.
Boats and crew were excellent. Caught 200# tunas, 70# rooster fish, snappers, wahoo, jacks
doradas and others. My wife Ann and grand son Cross and I will never forget this trip, and
will return. Excellent swimming pool and bar.
Everett Hodge - Denver City, Texas

Room Tip: All are excellent
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Everett H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David, Panama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Why I love my Dad
This all started with a deal I had made with my father. IF I could graduate high school with honours, I would earn the trip of a lifetime. Eight months, and a heck of a lot of work later, I managed to exceed my expectations and not only did I pass, but I passed with honours, HOORAY!.
I had two decisions to make. The first was easy. I wanted to go fishing with my Dad !!!. After extensive research and due diligence, there was only one place I wanted to go to- The legendary Panama Big Game Fishing Club, Isla Boca Brava, Panama. I read about the world-renowned Hannibal Bank and Montuosa Island and the monstrous Tuna and Marlin that are produced from them.
From the arrival at Panama Airport, I was whisked through customs and immigrations from the PBGFC Royal VIP meet service and was enjoying a beer in there VIP Saloon within 3 min's of getting off the plane, no waiting in line for me and Dad, for an hour like the rest of the passengers . The same happened all the way to the dock of the club, everything was smooth sailing, this is the only way to travel.
As soon as we arrived on Isla Boca Brava, we were greeted by the staff, and although it was the middle of the night, everyone belonging to the club was willing to cater to our every need. We hit the mattress early and were awoken to a steaming cup of the finest Panamanian coffee and a hearty breakfast of whatever we requested.
We stepped on to an immaculate boat with a hardworking Skipper and Mate. I can't emphasize enough the work these people did to get us the fish we want. We slammed some monster snapper and had a great day on the water. Later in the week we even had a huge Marlin on, even though we lost it a couple minutes later, it had certainly raised the heart rate of everyone on board.
We stepped off the boat and were welcomed with a cold beer and whatever snack we requested. The food at the Club was first-rate. The chef, Fidel, was truly a professional, and would cater to whatever you wanted to eat. After a delicious meal, it was an amazing touch to sit in the Jacuzzi with a drink and chat about our day's adventures and reflect about the greatest catch of the day.
To summarize an overall exhilarating trip, I was overly impressed by the accommodation that were simply fantastic. The care that the Club takes of its guests to the island of Boca Brava is just first class. I couldn't begin to describe the lengths of the crew had gone to, to make sure that this was a family feel. Within hours of being here, I had felt like I was at my own home. Although we hadn't landed the record breaking fish this week, the feeling I received while out on the ocean was amazing. The time I spent fifty miles out with my Dad offshore, chatting ,laughing and fishing will stay with me for the rest of my life. I dream of the day I can return here and bring my father and my grandfather for a week to catch the dream marlin that all of us fishermen dream to reel in.
I am sitting at the pool bar writing this review, before I have to leave first thing in the morning to Panama City, wondering how I can earn the cash to bring my Dad and Grandfather back here next time, but this time on me to catch the Marlin that escaped back into what they call here" Jurassic Park", to put on a few hundred pounds more for our next meeting. Thank you Dad for showing me the power of hard work. I will truly never forget this experience, and await the day we come back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank derreck v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Panama Big Game Fishing Club

Property: Panama Big Game Fishing Club
Address: Isla Boca Brava | Near Boca Chica, Isla Boca Brava, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Isla Boca Brava
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Isla Boca Brava
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Panama Big Game Fishing Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awarded a Certificate of Excellence 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016 and 2017 by Tripadvisor, the first and only fishing resort ever to be honoured with this award. Our upscale waterfront jungle location is abundant with wildlife. These natural wonders help make this sport fishing lodge equalled by few places left on the planet. We are able to provide dream vacations where you can fish the big game fish, relax in a tropical setting and enjoy gourmet dining. The Club is located on the Island of Boca Brava and has proximity to the famous fishing grounds of Hannibal Bank, Isla Coiba, Montuosa and many other islands dotted throughout this area. Fishing is good year round with a lot of that due to the many sea mounds and banks that bring the bottom up from a Thousand Meters to less than Forty Meters. These areas hold a lot of baitfish. Inshore and offshore fish species include: black marlin, blue marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, mahi mahi, cubera snapper, rock snapper, mullet snapper, yellow snapper, rooster fish, amberjack, crevalle jack, blue jack, horse-eye jack, sierra mackerel. Our sportfishing packages are all inclusive: accommodations, fine dining, open bar, Infinity pool with swim-up bar and Spa and local air and land transfers. The resort has undergone a multi-million dollar upgrade completed in May 2012. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Panama Big Game Fishing Club Isla Boca Brava

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