In 1949, a Panamanian fisherman caught the first world record Black Marlin which he captured on rod and reel. The beast weighed in at 1006 pounds, and soon after the world became aware of Panama’s fertile fishing grounds. For sport fisherman, there is no better spot in the world than the Gulf of Chiriquí. The gulf’s underwater terrain and strong currents make this a unique ecosystem. The waters are full of nutritious food for the baitfish, who in turn attract trophy fish such as marlins, tuna, and roosterfish.
A Statista report found that “In 2017, more than 49 million Americans participated in freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing.” Many of these big game fishermen travel from all over the world to fish off the coast of Panama—marlin fishing is among the most popular. Watching one of those monster fish breach the surface and fly through the air is truly a once in a lifetime experience. To ensure your opponent doesn’t catch you off guard, study up with our guide to Panama’s marlin fish to prepare.
The Different Types of Marlin
Marlin are part of the billfish family. They received their name due to their long, spear-like bill which they use to attack their prey. There are many types of marlin, but two types reside in Panama: Blue and Black Marlin. Each one has a unique temperament that many fishermen study to ensure they’re able to land the catch.
The Blue Marlin is known to dive deeper and get tired faster than other species. However, it is still an aggressive and powerful fish known to put on a show, jumping high in the air when caught. The males rarely get larger than 300 pounds, while the females can grow up to four times that size. There is controversy that Atlantic and Pacific Marlins are two different species, and although not everyone agrees, Pacific Marlins tend to be larger.
Many fishermen refer to the Black Marlin as the “Bull of the Sea” due to its power, size, and endless endurance once hooked. They grow up to 15 feet in length and can weigh around 1,600 pounds. As such, it can take fishermen hours to pull one in. Different from the Blue Marlin, they prefer more shallow waters near islands and reefs; however, you may occasionally find one in open waters. Similar to their blue counterpart, the males are smaller than the females.