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Tropic Star

Old 12-27-2019, 07:33 AM
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Anybody been there? My wife is bugging me to go. Gotta love a girl who hates jewelry and wants to go to Panama.

https://www.tropicstar.com/en/
Old 12-27-2019, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by barrell View Post
Anybody been there? My wife is bugging me to go. Gotta love a girl who hates jewelry and wants to go to Panama.

https://www.tropicstar.com/en/

I spent three winter seasons down there as a Mate on a private boat. December to March in the late 90s. Definitely go place is amazing.
Old 12-27-2019, 08:33 AM
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Have been three times on private boats, once with lodge boat, definitely GO.
Old 12-27-2019, 09:03 AM
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been there many times-highly recommend
Old 12-30-2019, 06:02 PM
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Went five years ago. Can't wait to go back. It's amazing.
Old 12-30-2019, 07:39 PM
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I took my son there about 6 years ago. One of the world's best fishing lodges. Very expensive but fantastic.
Old 12-31-2019, 12:32 PM
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Disneyland for fishermen

Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
I took my son there about 6 years ago. One of the world's best fishing lodges. Very expensive but fantastic.
Old 01-06-2020, 06:42 PM
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Bucket list for sure! Well worth the trip!
Old 01-07-2020, 10:01 AM
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Just got back.
It is an amazing place, service and food are outstanding.
Marlin fishing was slow but the Mahi were huge and off the charts.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by flbluerunner View Post
Just got back.
It is an amazing place, service and food are outstanding.
Marlin fishing was slow but the Mahi were huge and off the charts.
How slow was it ? Post up a report and some pics ..
Old 01-07-2020, 10:29 AM
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It looks like we are going April 2nd. We want to catch rooster fish. To old for a marlin.
Old 01-07-2020, 11:19 AM
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Dude what are you waiting on??? If my wife said that I'd have the plane tickets booked before she finished the sentence!! Seriously though, amazing place, amazing people. I enjoy pretty much everything about panama and costa rica I hope to take my own boat down there in the future for winter.
Old 01-07-2020, 11:27 AM
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Went three years ago. Great food and great people. Fishing ok, not at all what we were hoping for, but that's fishing. Boats were clean and captain and mates worked hard. Tackle was minimal and had two of the 5 reels on the boat break on us. Scenery was spectacular. Definitely glad I went, don't really need to go back.
Old 01-13-2020, 10:19 AM
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So deposits are in. Tickets and hotel are paid for. No backing out now. A couple questions for you guys who have been there. Did you buy trip insurance? What hotel in Panama city did you choose. Looks like we are doing the Bristol. Did you do any plugging after dinner around the resort? They say they have plenty of rods to borrow for evening plugging but should I bring some of my own lures?
Old 01-13-2020, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by barrell View Post
So deposits are in. Tickets and hotel are paid for. No backing out now. A couple questions for you guys who have been there. Did you buy trip insurance? What hotel in Panama city did you choose. Looks like we are doing the Bristol. Did you do any plugging after dinner around the resort? They say they have plenty of rods to borrow for evening plugging but should I bring some of my own lures?
CONGRATS! You are going to love it. I did buy trip insurance, only bc I was worried about weather in the Northeast bc I went in February and flew out of NY. We stayed at the Marriott in Panama City and it was fine. Clean and easy. I booked it on my own bc it was more expensive to book through Tropic. They'll bus you from the hotel to the airfield. You'll take a puddlejumper (scariest part of the trip), to a jungle airstrip, to a van, to a boat, to the lodge. It's amazing. Also FYI - the villagers come in once a week with trinkets and crafts. It's encouraged to buy a few things to help them out. Good gifts for kids at home.

While food is free, drinks are pay as you go. We grabbed a couple bottles on vodka at duty free and brought them (which mostly everyone does with whatever they like to drink). TS has no problem if you want to drink in your room, or out on your patio. They'll even give you mixers, soda, lemon, lime, etc, on the house. They just ask that when you go to the pool or into the bar/restaurant, you buy, and not BYOB. More than reasonable.

Normal Day:
5am: Knock on door with coffee and pastries
5-545: Breakfast in lodge whenever you show up
6: Boats leave
3: Return to dock, grab a drink, and share stories
6: dinner
8-9:bed

There's not a hec of a lot of time to do much other than on the first day. Some people hike, others get massages, but most nap or go in the pool. As for fishing off the dock, there's not much action and I'd recommend just borrowing if you want. In the week we were there, I didn't see much other then small reef/bait fish caught off the dock. Swimming in the cove also isn't really done. 9 hours of fishing everyday is a lot and plenty. It's nice to kick back at the lodge.

The staff, captains, mates, etc are exceptional. Bring lots of tips. The capts will do exactly what you want. They'll ask. We did 4 days offshore, and 2 days inshore. We had them hook our fish the first couple days, and then we told them we wanted to hook and reel the rest of the time. Not sure how your Spanish is, but the more you speak, the easier it is on the boat... Also, listen to the captain. We told ours we wanted to focus on marlin, but also catch tuna and mahi. Each of us wanted a rooster. He picked the days based on the conditions. You are on the same boat the whole time you're there. It's hot as hell, and the sun is brutal, so dress accordingly and bring hats, masks, and plenty of sunscreen. Plenty of shade on those Bertrams, but with that sun, it doesn't take much exposure.

They also provide a laundry service every few days, which does an amazing job of getting out the fish blood. This is a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy it!
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:53 PM
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in Panama City be sure to eat at la posta for fine dining or Jimmy's (by the convention center) for a steak or costa Azul (local place for cheap seafood)- the tsl drivers are great for a city tour- the canal museum is pretty cool-0ld ymca store for souvenirs-flamenco island for a view of the city (eat at bucaneros) - also the bio diversity museum-if not staying at the Bristol, as mooch said, the Marriott is fine- have always felt safe walking around the Bristol or Marriott
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:38 AM
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Did you guys see any sloths? I promised my wife she would see one. Maybe I should but a stuffed one and hide it up in a tree so she can get a picture!!! I was looking for a basic spanish cd to listen to in my truck but cant find one. I guess cd's are history.
Old 01-14-2020, 05:51 AM
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Spent a week on private boat 10 years ago. The whole experience was awesome. Spending some time in Panama City, then meeting the boat via airplane on their private airstrip. Tuna fishing was great. Billfishing was real slow which kind of sucked as that's what we wanted...a big black. Have fun!
Old 01-14-2020, 07:21 AM
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PJE,
It was really slow, Of all boats fishing for a week I think 9 Marlin were caught. There was a 252 lb Yellowfin caught, sushi for the week.
We had one Marlin hit and did not catch it.
Nice Mahi, wife is 5"8".

Old 01-14-2020, 07:49 AM
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Barrell, definitely buy trip insurance. It's expensive but well worth it. You are going to a very remote place in the jungle by charter flight. If your scheduled airlines get messed up, getting to Tropic Star will be very expensive so you'll want the insurance to cover it. Also, God forbid you need medievac, you'll want a minimum of $500k coverage. I booked a trip to Australia from NY to a remote lodge on an island on the Great Barrier Reef. After spending a couple of days in Sydney, the day before we were to leave Sydney, the generator house on the island burnt down mysteriously, causing the resort to have to close and evacuate. This was over the Christmas/New Year's holidays. We were screwed. I had to arrange an entirely new weeklong segment of our trip that cost an additional $4,500 with all the different air changes, hotel changes, etc. Even with the trip insurance, the insurer denied the claim. The insurer stated that it only covered "natural disasters." Fortunately, I happen to be a lawyer. A few emails later, including some bad faith threats, and threats of a class action lawsuit, the insurer seemed to agree that it did not want to litigate whether a mysterious generator house fire in the middle of the night on a remote island 75 miles offshore on the Great Barrier Reef originated from "natural" causes or "manmade" causes, and I was paid. But I sure was glad to have that insurance and that check.

As for shore and dock fishing in the afternoon and evening, my son -- who was about 13 or 14 at the time we went, fished every evening, either by kayak or off the dock. He caught a bunch of snook, but that's about it. He enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say the action is rip roaring or that it's worth doing. You're better off chilling and hanging out at the pool or bar.

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