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“Fishing trip- 1/27 thru 2/2”

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Panama Big Game Fishing Club
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Resort is first class! Mark, the owner, is a lot of fun and makes sure you're taken care of throughout your stay, Fishing was good- total of 6 sails, five Dorado, amberjack, etc... We will return and look forward to staying with Mark and his team.
The staff is friendly and willing to take that extra step to make sure you have everything you need for an incredible stay.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Victor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 - 90 of 145 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2013

Earlier this month we took our first fishing trip to Panama. Selecting a place to go on line is always a risky deal and often what you get is not what you thought you were getting. This trip was just the opposite.

We booked our trip with Panama Big Game and things could not have gone any better! From the time we arrived at the airport in Panama City until the time we left, everything was First Class and executed flawlessly!

Our stay at the resort was all we expected and more. It included great fishing with a well experienced crew, a comfortable boat and quality fishing gear. Our accommodations were very comfortable, the meals were excellent!

I have no hesitation in recommending Panama Big Game as a First Class Fishing Club and plan on going back in the future.

Of the places I have traveled to fish, this one is top of the list!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

There was just one thing wrong with my stay at Panama Big Game Fishing Club......it wasn't long enough! It's one thing to fish for some of the largest fish on the planet (and catch them), but then, each evening when you return to the lodge to really be pampered, well to me it's heaven on earth.
My every wish was their command. I experienced a combination of sports and beauty on a little island of Panama the likes of which I could have only have dreamed about. This is a gorgeous fishing lodge that could be mistaken for a hide out for "The Rich and Famous". Mr C. the owner has provided just about every service one could require. The staff is well trained, polite, clean and very intelligent. I could think of many adjectives to describe this slice of heaven but the one I prefer is "Beautiful". There's a gorgeous pool with a swim-up bar and a gentleman to keep your glass filled. Then there's the attached Jacuzzi with a temperature to suit YOUR need.While sitting at the pool/bar you may enjoy a 55 inch television viewing your video or daily photo's. Plus there's a library of many different sports video's for your enjoyment.
By the way, you won't need to bring any tackle except perhaps your favorite reel. What Mr. C. has spent on tackle, puts the other lodges to shame. An order for $50,000.of equipment came in while I was there, and all I could do, under my breath, was say "YESSSSS! The Cabana's are very well appointed with T.v. phone, computer equip. Motion censor's to save electricity. A shower with a very nice seat built into the wall and a shower head that can be adjusted to rain down on you as you sit and think " what are the poor people doing". Since the lodge is nestled in the side of a steep hill with many steps, Mr C. went a developed his very own Tram... with bell and all. Just climb in and take a very nice ride to the top. This is a wonderful thing for older people who may have some physical limitation's. The dining area is simply off the chart, with a beautiful bar and a chef named Fidel which will leave you wondering, where has he been hiding? And now the fishing. Mr C. has a fleet of vessels (28-34ft) that are outfitted to fight the really big boys. And believe me, I did ! The Captain's and crew are all well trained and make sure that you have as good a time as possible.
I have been around the world and seen many so called fishing lodge's. But this one is rated 5 star....it's the very best. So, go one, spoil yourself, live a little and let the rest of the world go by...if only for a short while. Jim Scarlata - International Angler and Lecturer

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Beautiful location on top of a mountain on an island with near 360 views. The hosts/owners Mark and Karen were maximum nice, hospitable and genuine, making you feel warm and welcome. First night just sitting poolside was very relaxing and although I have no photos of my own the ones I have seen listed are spot on. The pool design is beautiful with the swim up bar and hilltop views. A/C bar and dining if you want it
28-31' sportfish boats with twin diesels, very comfortable and fished well. 28 Carolina Classic I was on ran very well and the crew very professional. Very good fishing gear with $1,000 Stella spinners and mix of Penn and Tiagra 30's thru 80"s.
Had a great time with my friends.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Sloan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I am 55 years old and have been offshore fishing the majority of my adult life. I am a serious angler and have fished the Eastern Atlantic extensively as this is near my home but also travel regularly to other destinations. These have included multiple trips to Hawaii (Big Island), Eastern and Western Mexico, Costa Rica, DR, Florida Keys, and The Gulf of Mexico. I chose Panama this year specifically to target Blue Marlin. A species that has eluded me.

My search for a fishing venue was in-depth. I arrived at the choice of the Panama Big Game Club based upon reputation but most importantly with my contact with the owner Mark Charman ("Mr. C"). From these discussions it became clear to me that Mr. C was as passionate about offshore angling as I am. He understood my desires to target Blue Marlin and we spent serious time panning times, moon phases and tides to come across what was felt to be the ideal time. He took great efforts to answer my questions personally and was attentive to my requests.

The trip outcome: UNBELIEVABLE!!!

From the moment we arrived in Panama we were immediately met at the gate by a Panama Big Game Club representative. Do not worry about anything once you arrive in Panama City. She escorted us through immigration in about five minutes and took us to a VIP room for drinks and snacks while our bags were picked up. (Never touched my bags until we arrived at the club). We were then met by a second representative Auro who was as pleasant and kind as I could hope for. She took us for a short ride for lunch and gave us some history on Panama City and the Canal. Next to the airport for our flight to David. Everything, and I mean everything was handled from bags to check in to covering for extra luggage wt. (I brought all me own tackle) at no charge. Flight to David, Carlos and Mrs. C are waiting for us at the airport. Once again, drinks in the car during the drive to the club. This is all included!

The club: WOW!

Situated on a stunning overlook of the river and small port, the club itself is nothing but beautiful. Infinity pool, hot tub with waterfall, poolside bar and lovely vistas. When Mr. C talks about Jurassic Park he fails to mention "and no expenses sparred". He has done an outstanding job at landscaping, restoration of the living quarters, the dining and club area etc. Absolutely TOP RATE!

Mr. C.: I thought I was intense about offshore angling and one for details, this guy has me beat. He absolutely loves fishing and cares deeply about the ecology of the Hannibal Bank area. He takes care to be sure circle hooks are the standard. No Cuberras are taken do to their very long growth cycle. Once enough fish is caught to supply the club everything is released by the crew. This all comes down from Mr. C's philosophy. He runs the club in only the highest standards.

The food is wonderful. The colorful chef, Fidel, will not only prepare to order any fish, meat etc but will also entertain you with his Panamanian warmth and smiles. Carlos and Captain Victor are also right there making sure you have anything you need. The service is personal and only with smiles and care. Quite frankly I have NEVER had such pampering. It was great!

Now to the really important stuff: Fishing.

Panama Big Game Club is unique in this remote area in that it offers a variety of larger boats as apposed to mid 20" center consoles offered by other clubs. The boats are immaculate and fast. This is important as you do have a long ride to the Islands and the Hannibal bank. Although the Pacific waters off Panama are generally calm, there was a regular morning offshore breeze that did kick up a 2-3ft. swell for several hours. Riding in the Bertram: Smooth and comfy. The competing clubs center consuls pounding and slow. Our crew was absolutely top notch. Captain Tati and our mate Narciso (Hollywood) were well seasoned professionals. Rapid deployment and preparation of various bates and lures and no wasted time resting or changing tactics if the hour was slow. I did bring my own tackle however this is completely unnecessary. The boat was equipped with and assortment of Tiagra 30's, 50's and 80's all in pristine condition. Spinning gear; Shimano Stella’s. Rods primarily custom Melton gear. Outstanding.

The Catch: Lost count of the number of 30-40 lb Maui, Multiple Large 100lb + Sails, Back to back Blue Marlin (~300-350lbs) and Black Marlin (~ 250 lbs), two 100 lb tuna on spinning gear (my arms are still recovering), Cuberra and Mullet snapper (30-50 lbs), Rooster fish (3 in one hour one weighing in at 62 lbs), Blue snapper, big eye jack, amberjack, red snapper: In all 13 species in one week! The end result: A fishing trip of a lifetime. Do not miss an opportunity for a day of inshore. The fish are abundant and varied and the scenery is outrageously beautiful.

All in all: With no reservations I can comfortably say that this has been the most outstanding fishing and vacation experience of my life. The Panama Game club so far exceeds any other fishing club or resort I have ever visited that it is literally in a league by itself. Be prepared to be pampered and have sore muscle from the monsters waiting in Panama. Bravo Mr. and Mrs. C!!!!

Sincerely Chris Lander

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Panama Big Game Club was an unreal fishing adventure like no other. We flew into Panama on a quick flight from Florida. After a quick flight from Panama City to David, we met our wonderful guide to transfer us to the lodge. With a cooler full of water and soda, we enjoyed a beautiful drive to the docks. At the docks, we were met by a Panama Big Game boat and some helpers that took our bags and drove us to the lodge. The sight of the lodge for the first time will be forever etched into my memory. It was such a breathtaking sight. The steep island looks over an archipelago that is only found in Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Truly, it is an unbelievable view.

The lodge was even prettier than the photos. Everything has been updated from the flat screen TV's to the latest computers to check your email at the lodge. After a long day of fishing, dipping in the beautiful pool was the perfect ending to an eventful day. The staff continued to keep my drink full and brought terrific hors d'oeuvres until I couldn't eat another bite! The chef prepared ceviche and fresh fish everyday that we were there.

The Fishing. Last but not least. Lets start with the fact that the nickname for this place is "Jurassic Park". The trip to the fishing grounds is super quick and relaxing, especially when lounging in bean bag chairs on the back of the boat. Fishing in on the Hannibal Bank and Isal Montuosa were incredible. This fishery is truly spectacular. Whether you are chasing Marlin, Mahi, Mullet Snapper, or Sailfish the hunt is on. I have never been anywhere where catching bait involves trolling larger than life sabiki rigs to get full stringers of Bonita to use as Marlin candy. Mahi Mahi here are larger here than anywhere I've ever fished, and reeling them in as they jump all the way to the boat is exciting.

This place is magical. If you like fishing, food, relaxation, and memories that will last forever, then Panama Big Game lodge will be your new favorite place in the world.

Tight Lines.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank SouthernAngler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We planned a trip on short notice, and Mr C worked with us to fit the few days we had available in order to get us onto some fish while we were in Panama. We had escorts and knowledgeable drivers all the way to the boat ramp, and some of the best mixed drinks I have ever tasted once we made it to the island. All inclusive meant all inclusive, and the staff never let us lift a finger.

Above all, I come to fish, but our biggest regret when we left was that we didn't just spend a day sitting by the pool and relaxing. The view is incredible! As far as the fishing, we caught so many fish the first day we started tracking by species instead of by size. My second fish to hook onto was a 90 lb. yellowfin, which set the biggest fish I've ever caught (a record that didn't last long).

We fished all day, the crew kept the boat clean, we had a great lunch on the boat, and I don't think 30 minutes passed by without us hooking something. We trolled, bottom fished, even got some time in with light tackle and topwater lures for feeding tuna. The second day I landed my first blue marlin, 350 pounds, and enjoyed the fight of a lifetime. When we caught sailfish and blue marlin, I was amazed to see how much time the captain spent making sure the fish was 100% when released.

Evenings we returned to share stories with the other groups of people - everyone was friendly, and we all opted to share the dinner table together. Each night we ate what we caught. In fact, even the breakfast was incredible each morning before getting on the boat. Our last day we left for an early flight, but we got to watch the sunrise over breakfast on the balcony. As the sky lit up, the monkeys in the surrounding trees let us know it was morning!

Mr C even took the time to ask us what amenities or activities would make our next trip better. We are already planning our return trip, and we're not looking for another place to go. We're just looking for who to bring with us next time.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank rabb46
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

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: $51 - $82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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