8 reasons my kayak fishing trip to Panama was so thrilling

Fishing Panama's Wild Coast… from a kayak

If you have a taste for true angling adventure, this is the place for you

#3 This is fishing for REAL anglers

For me, the least appealing kind of saltwater fishing is when you sit on a boat piloted by a captain, trolling rods in holders. Especially since the boat crew is usually baiting—and often even setting—the hooks for you. If you’re the kind of angler who likes to tie on your own lure, and then cast to spots of your choosing and actually hold your own rod, this fishing is for you. I’d rather catch one fish myself, than 10 when a mate just hands me a rod, with a fish ready to be cranked in.

In fact, after arriving at the lodge we spent the afternoon getting our gear ready, under the tutelage of lodge partner Sam Wadman, a UK expat, and self-described “fishing nutter.” Which brings up an important point: To be successful on this trip, you definitely need to know how to fish. Though interestingly, you don’t have to be a kayak expert. When I was there, I saw guests who’d never been in a kayak become totally comfortable in 30 minutes. There’s a bit of a learning curve with this kind of fishing, but it’s about getting a feel for casting six-inch poppers into the rocks, and working flat-fall butterfly jigs—not using the boats.

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