10 hard-earned lessons about big-game kayak fishing on Panama’s Wild Coast

10 things to know about Panama’s awesome kayak fishing

Experience is the best teacher, but these tips will get you up to speed

#9 Don’t be afraid to go with an odd-numbered group—or alone!

(Clockwise from left) Solo travellers Sam Tomlin, Mike Dodds, Dan Teage, plus fishing buddies Don Willoughby and the author. Photos by Fred Simeons.

Most fishing lodges prefer even-numbered groups of two or more, because the boats are configured for two anglers and a guide. Some also discourage anglers from travelling alone. However Panama Kayak Adventure can accommodate both odd-numbered groups and solo anglers.

Newmarket, Ontario’s Don Willoughby and I fish together often, but no one else in our group of six anglers had met before. That included Sam Tomlin from Ohio, plus Dan Teage, Fred Simeons and Mike Dodds, from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.

And we could not have gotten along any better. At big lodges, groups don’t necessarily mix easily, and anglers travelling alone—especially ones who aren’t naturally outgoing—might find the experience a bit solitary (speaking from experience).

Enjoying breakfast in the rancho

But PKA is a different kind of place. Guides and guests alike squeeze together in the panga, everyone lends a hand loading and unloading gear, and both guests and staff eat, drink and relax together in the open-air rancho. Sharing these adventures builds a much deeper camaraderie than the average fishing trip. It’s wonderful.

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