Bocas Kayak Fishing is a family owned and managed business. That means you get the best attention, all the time – from the first email through to the last sunset docking.
Your hosts, Chris and Ciska, are ready to welcome you in Bocas.
- The first and only kayak fishing operation in Panama’s Caribbean side
- Located in the incredibly beautiful Bocas del Toro archipelago – most call it paradise!
- 100% dedicated to kayak fishing
- Our ethos challenges the angler’s skill
- Home Dock is conveniently located in the center of the archipelago
- Rod rental service available
- Selection of lures, lines and hooks available from our in-house tackle shop
- Fully equipped Hobie Outbacks in tip-top condition
- The coolest mothership to ensure comfort, safety and security
- 4 anglers maximum – no fishing in a crowd!
- Fishing dawn and dusk with a comfortable lunch break mid-day
- Luxury accommodation – no bunking!
- Personal attention from the responsive team
- Handheld VHF radio rental available if you don’t have your own
- Crew is focused on safety
One of the biggest advantages of our fishing adventures, is the small size of the groups we host. A group of 4 like-minded people quickly forms a supportive bond. You can enjoy a low-testosterone environment where the thrill of a Tarpon hook-up is shared by all. If you don’t arrive as a group of angling friends, you will definitely depart as friends.
Panama, as well as our archipelago in Bocas, are easily accessible and serviced by several major carriers. The country is safe, the people are chill, the currency is the US dollar and the local beer is cheap. The citizens of most countries enjoy visa free entry, making your departure planning even easier.
We fish 4 days, from Monday through to Thursday. We prefer to do 2 sessions – early morning and late afternoon – as these are the best times to catch Tarpon.
On average we spend 8 hours fishing, spread between the morning and afternoon sessions. We are not restricted by tides since Bocas has a mean tidal range of only 0.24m (9.4 in) and a weak tidal flow. Instead, the mothership departs from Home Dock before sunrise so that anglers can be ready for the Tarpon when the sun rises.
For interest’s sake, the maximum tidal range range is 0.64m (2 ft 1 in).
Of course. Or you can just miss a single session if you prefer. If you can let us know the day before (or earlier) it will be appreciated. On such off time you can explore our archipelago, visit some of the renowned tourist attractions or simply chill on a pretty beach. We will gladly supply information if needed.
We can assist both novices and seniors, but you need a minimum level of fitness. If you are fit enough to ride a bike and reasonably comfortable in the water, you should be okay.
The basic requirement to go fishing with the mothership, is the ability to get off and back on to the kayak, without using the bottom. If you need training and practice, we paddle out to nearby shallow water for a short training session on the Sunday afternoon.
The mothership discreetly shadows the anglers and the crew will assist whenever they can – from cold drinking water to changing lures. Prior fishing experience is an obvious advantage, but we can assist the novice angler too.
No, we make exclusive use of artificial lures.
Every angler must have a marine handheld VHF radio on his person while angling. If you do not want to bring your own, you can rent one from us for $45 during your adventure.
No, we don’t. Fly fishermen are however most welcome to join us with their own tackle.
Indeed! We make sure we have enough Balboa and that it is ice cold. Nothing like a cold beer after a kayak fishing session in the tropics! These are meant for consumption at Home Dock and may not be taken off site. Coffee and filtered water are also available for free.
Yes. From the day you arrive, you can store your gear at Home Dock. During fishing sessions, you can safely store personal belongings also, if not stored at the hotel.
It is literally in sight, a short 300m walk.
Yes, but only for casual fishing on light tackle along the nearby mangroves. Our daily fishing takes place approximately 10NM or more from Home Dock, hence the custom mothership to get there and back in style.
You can rent rods from us. The cost is $50 per rod for the adventure. We use tried and tested brands with enough backbone to tame a Tarpon. When you book your adventure, we will discuss detail specs as well as pairing suggestions. Clients are of course more than welcome to bring their own rods.
Clients bring their own reels, lines, leader lines and terminal tackle. We will supply you with a list of suggestions to give you the best chance of success.
We carry a small but specific assortment of tackle suited to our local fishery. You can buy our selection of line, leader line, lures and hooks from our in-house tackle shop.
We maintain a fleet of Hobie Outback fishing kayaks. These fine-tuned angling vessels are super stable, highly versatile, fast, quiet and exceedingly nimble. The dual steering system (left- and righthand side) makes steering effortless.
Our Outbacks are powered by the MirageDrive propulsion system, the most advanced pedal system available, leaving your hands free for fishing. More specifically, it’s the MirageDrive 180 with Turbo Fins, with forward or backward motion.
The kayaks are very well equipped, as described on the Gear page. You can consider bringing your own PFD. If you want to bring your fish finder you will have to also bring fittings for an over-the-side configuration. In terms of small kayak tools, you might want to bring your favourite fishing line cutter.
We don’t have a minimum, but the maximum is 4 anglers per adventure.
We encourage clients to bring their own Go Pros and share their footage, as we supply a Scotty camera mount with boom and slip disc. Having said that, the crew on the mothership try their best to capture video footage and/or photos.
For fishing, cotton is not recommended. Instead, pack lightweight, breathable, synthetic materials like woven polyester that is quick drying. Look for clothes that offer good sun protection. Some fishing tackle shops and kayak dealers have these in stock. Remember the water booties if you don’t want wet sneakers. A good quality hat and sunglasses are essential.
For your time on shore, lightweight cotton material – short sleeve shirts and shorts – is just fine. The days and evenings are hot and humid so lightweight is key. And flip flops are the standard footwear.
We try and prevent an emergency before we have to manage one. Wearing a PFD with a whistle and marine VHF while flying a safety flag on the kayak, is the start. A properly equipped mothership with a safety minded crew follows.
In the event of an emergency the strongly powered mothership can get you to our home dock quickly. Bocas Town boasts a brand-new hospital with very good facilities. In more urgent cases, you can be airlifted to Panama City, where world class care is available.
Although medical care in Panama is affordable, it is advisable to buy travel insurance for the duration of your stay.
If you have international roaming or a local sim card, people can phone you directly. In you opt for a local sim card, remember to give your temporary number to family and friends. If you are not reachable, people can contact Home Dock on our mobile number or on WhatsApp.
The expenses in Panama City you should budget for include transport between the airport and hotel, accommodation, meals and entertainment.
If you use Uber for a ride to your hotel in the city, budget for about $20. We can refer an English- speaking driver to meet and greet you at the airport, for approximately $45.
Regarding accommodation, we strongly recommend that you stay in the El Cangrejo area. It has a good variety of restaurants and supermarkets within walking distance and is close to the Metro. Above all, the places that we recommend in El Cangrejo are good value for money and best suited for your transit to Allbrook Airport. Prices vary from $45 to $80 per night, depending on your preference. We will supply you with three recommendations. Please be aware that our designated driver only collects clients from the three recommended hotels – if you do book elsewhere, you will have to meet him at one of the three hotels on the Sunday morning of your departure to Bocas.
We suggest a tip of 10% to 15% of the package fee, which is shared amongst staff and our network of local fishermen. If you prefer, a tip can be added in advance for payment by credit card.
Yes. Bocas has good mobile coverage with only occasional downtime. You will have free Wi-fi at both the hotel and Home Dock.
Ask your service provider about their international plans, or simply buy a pre-paid sim card in Panama. WhatsApp is the popular choice for communication in Panama and we suggest that you download the app before your visit (you will need data or Wi-fi for WhatsApp).
The temperature in Bocas del Toro varies so little throughout the year that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss hot and cold seasons. The temperature typically varies from 23°C to 30°C (73°F to 86°F).
Cloud coverage can be summarized as follows: 20% of the time it is clear, 20% is overcast and the remaining 60% varies between most clear to mostly cloudy.
The rainy season runs from May to November, with a 60% chance of rain during this period. July has the highest rainfall with an average of 240mm (9.5 in).
The length of the day in Bocas del Toro does not vary substantially over the course of the year, staying within 40 minutes of 12 hours throughout. Sunrise varies between 06h10 and 06h50.
Bocas has high humidity throughout the year. The northerly trade winds blow from December to March, the remainder of the year is fairly calm in terms of wind.
The sea water temperature varies little: between 27°C and 29°C (81°F and 84°F).
Panama lies outside the so-called hurricane belt.
Yes, you can withdraw cash with Visa and MasterCard credit- and debit cards.
Absolutely! You are spoilt for choice with a good variety of restaurants in town, a couple on nearby Carenero Island (a $1 water taxi ride away), and a few outside of town (a $4 road taxi trip). For a feel and taste of the local scene, with impressive value for money, we can make recommendations.
Yes, most of the larger restaurants accept credit cards. The smaller eateries operated by locals generally require cash payment. Most bars require a bill of $10 or more for credit card payments.
Of course! If you wish, we will arrange the same airport transfer, flight ticket to Bocas and local transfer for your partner. Just send us an email and enquire about costs.
Bocas has much to offer, from relaxing on a beautiful beach to visiting an indigenous village. Here are a few options:
- Red Frog Beach
- Zipline Canopy Tour
- Boca del Drago and Starfish Beach
- Bird Island
- Paunch Beach
- Bluff Beach
- Snorkeling and island visits (Cayo Coral and Zapatilla Islands)
- Monkey Island
- Bat caves
- Indigenous village visit
- Chocolate farm tour
The short answer is the US dollar.
Here is the full answer: Panama’s official currency is the balboa. The rate of exchange for the balboa has always been tied to the US dollar—one balboa equals one dollar. Panama does not, however, print its own paper currency and instead uses the US dollar as legal tender. Panamanian coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent pieces.
Panama’s time is UTC-5 and the country does not have daylight saving.
Probably not. The citizens of most countries can enter visa free (that is a 180-day tourist visa upon arrival). If you are unsure, send us an email and we will confirm for you.
You will likely touch down at Tocumen Airport (IATA: PTY), about 20km (about 13 miles) outside Panama City.
Yes, both are straight forward. As for customs, we will send you useful tips about packing your fishing tackle. Although customs officials are used to anglers visiting the country, you can prevent unnecessary hassles by using our guidelines.
Taxis are always available as you exit the airport building, they charge between $25 and $35. We would however recommend the use of Uber, or Cabify as a second option. Uber will be cheaper and all-round better than the standard taxis. If you wish, we can arrange for an English-speaking driver to meet and greet, it will cost between $40 and $50.
Let’s answer the question in two parts – arrival and departure.
Arrival: your flight from Allbrook Airport to Bocas is scheduled for 09h00, checking in at 08h00. These flights are generally fully booked and if your flight into Tocumen is delayed, and you miss your Bocas flight, you will probably not reach Bocas for another day or maybe two.
Departure: your flight back to Panama City is scheduled for 10h00, arriving at Allbrook about 11h00. If your flight out of Panama is 15h00 or later, you might consider a same-day departure. With typical airline delays and having to travel between two airports, we would instead recommend a next day departure.
No. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are no vaccinations required for Panama. If you enter from a country where yellow fever is prevalent, you might be asked to show your “yellow card” – proof of your yellow fever vaccination.