Fishing is a popular sport and recreational activity among Americans. The American Sportfishing Association reported that “Nearly 1 in 7 Americans take to the water with rod and reel in hand each year.” While lakes, ponds, and rivers have some fun fish that can put up a fight, they don’t compare to the beasts that patrol the deep sea. If you’re looking for a real challenge, head to the waters off the shores of Panama. Here you’ll be able to utilize the different types of sport fishing to land the ultimate catch.
Rod and reel
This is the typical style of sport fishing people think of—taking the boat out, hooking a monster, and bringing it in on massive rods and reels. If catching a world record blue marlin is your goal, strapping into a chair and reeling for hours is what it will take. For the ultimate sport fishing experience, you’ll need to travel miles offshore to go hunting. There is no better way to catch a trophy fish.
Imagine diving into the deep waters, looking a fish in the eye and then spearing and hauling it back to the surface. If you are looking for the ultimate adventure in sport fishing, try spearfishing. Panama only allows freediving while spearfishing—this style is not for beginners as it takes certain techniques and a lot of practice. You’ll need to learn to hold your breath long enough to dive deep enough to find a fish worth spearing. As such, be sure to ask the outfitter about the acceptable spearfishing styles before booking the charter.
Land-based rod and reel
Believe it or not, you can catch a trophy fish from shore. You can use the same heavy-duty rod, reel, and tackle that you would on a boat, on land. Usually, the fisherman will crawl out to a rock platform that extends from the shore or rises out of the water. From here, the fisherman will attach a balloon to the line and live bait. The balloon acts as a bobber to keep the bait at a preferred depth as well as a sail, letting currents move the rig hundreds of yards off the shore.
This is also a land-based rod and reel style of sport fishing. However, it’s typically performed in freshwater streams, as fly fishermen are usually fishing for trout and salmon. Fishermen will use a long, highly flexible rod with a special weighted line. Typically, they’ll use lightweight lures with a hook and some string and adornments tied to it—this is a fly. The fisherman will cast the fly out over and over again until it lands on the water’s surface. The idea is to make it look like a bug landed on the water, enticing the fish.