Hannibal Bank Fishing Packages
Fishing the Hannibal Bank
Panama Fishing Paradise
Best of Panama
Fishing Highlights of Panama
Affordable Panama Fishing
Panama Private Island Lodge
What Is the Hannibal Bank?
The Hannibal Bank in Panama is one of the most well-known offshore fishing destinations in the entire world. Located roughly 50 miles off the coast of the Chiriqui Region in western Panama, this natural underwater formation was found in 1914 by the USS Hannibal when doing survey work for the Panama Canal. Part of the continental shelf of Panama’s Pacific Coast, at the Hannibal Bank the ocean floor rises from several thousand feet to just over a hundred feet deep. In some spots the peaks of reach within just 120 ft of the surface. When combined with the ever present Equatorial Currents, the bank creates an upwelling of cooler, nutrient rich water which in turn kicks off the start of the food chain. In addition to serving as a cleaning station for large predatory fish, the currents and peaks at the Hannibal Bank attracts baitfish which in turn bring in large pelagics like marlin, tuna, and dorado month after month.
Where Is the Hannibal Bank?
The Hannibal Bank is located in Western Panama at the southern end of the Gulf of Chiriqui. In order to fish the Hannibal Bank, you will fly into Panama City (PTY) where most people spend the first night (which is what we recommend in case there are any travel delays or hiccups). The next day you will take a 50-minute domestic flight from Panama City to the second biggest city in Panama, David. Depending where you fishing lodge or beach hotel is located, it is about a 1-1.5 hour drive south to the coast.
A closer look at the satellite image from Google Earth shows that the Hannibal Bank is part of the continental shelf that parallels Panama’s Pacific Coast. It is about 55 miles from the coastal town of Boca Chica, where many of the top Panama fishing lodges and fishing charters are based out of. Isla Coiba is 15 miles to the east while Isla Montuosa is 11 miles to the west, both major fishing hot spots in their own right. A typical run time to reach the Hannibal Bank from Boca Chica is about 1.5 hrs. Run times can be shorter if you stay on our island fishing lodge or our mothership.
Marlin Fishing at the Hannibal Bank
The marlin fishing at the Hannibal Bank has long been considered some of the very best in the world. There are weeks when the marlin line up in the strong ocean currents above the Hannibal Bank like trout facing upstream and there can be multiple marlin bites each day. It’s not just quantity either, the smaller marlin at the Hannibal Bank are in the 250-300 lb range while 500-600 lb fish are quite common. While not an every day occurrence, almost all the top captains in the area have stories of seeing 800+ lb black marlin taking to the air.
The most effective way to catch marlin at the Hannibal Bank is with live bait. Most days on your run out to the bank you’ll stop and fill your boat’s tuna tubes with live bonito or even small yellow-fin tuna. Once you reach the Hannibal Bank your mate will bridle the live bait with a circle hook and you’ll slowly troll over the peaks until your reel screams. You can also troll plastic squid lures and/or frozen ballyhoo, which allows you to cover more area.
Tuna Fishing at the Hannibal Bank
Today, the tuna fishing at the Hannibal Bank is equally as popular as the marlin fishing. Few places on Earth offer the consistency and quality of yellow-fin tuna fishing as Panama, which is why the months of March to July are some of the busiest months to fish Panama. During the peak tuna season, anglers looking to catch yellow-fin tuna on topwater poppers and stick baits can catch 30-80 lb fish all day long. The Hannibal Bank is home to some of the ocean’s biggest pelagic predators, so the massive 200-300 lb “cow” tuna can also be caught here. Most days, the most effective way to land one of the giants is to fish with live bait like blue runners or small bonito.
When is the Best Time to Fish the Hannibal Bank?
Sport fishing at the Hannibal Bank is productive year round, but there are certainly better months than others depending on what you are targeting. In this part of Panama, the dry season (summer) runs from December to April and the green season runs from May to November.
If you want to go marlin fishing at the Hannibal Bank, traditionally the months of December, January, and February offer the best action. It should be noted that we absolutely catch them 12 months a year, but when anglers ask for “peak marlin season” we advise them to aim for those months. There is also a very good “second season” in the moths of June through August due to the incredible amount of tuna around. Black marlin in particular seem to be in more abundance during the months of July, August, and September.
Available Species Fishing at the Hannibal Bank, Panama
Hannibal Bank Fishing Lodges & Accommodations
Hardcore offshore anglers have been fishing Panama for decades so fortunately there are plenty of options for accommodations to fit almost any travel style and budget. Our Hannibal Bank Fishing packages can have you stay at an affordable boutique hotel or luxury beach resort and fish local day charters or you can stay at an all inclusive fishing lodge. Our Panama fishing lodges can have you stay on the mainland, an island, or even a 70′ mothership that spends all week offshore just a few miles from the Hannibal Bank itself. As a luxury vacation outfitter, we only work with the nicest 3, 4, and 5-star operations that meet our expectations for quality, reliability, and service. Being local experts, we have personally visited every single property we represent so we’ll use our personal experience to hand pick the perfect fit for your group.
Hannibal Bank Panama Day Tours & Non-Fishing Activities
Our Hannibal Bank fishing packages don’t need to be all big game fishing, all the time. We can certainly mix in a few light tackle inshore days to target roosterfish and cubera snapper. Before you head over to fish the Hannibal Bank we can also set up a few nights in Panama City to experience the culture and history in the capital city. Whether it’s an off day from fishing or for the non-anglers in your group, there are several great eco, adventure, and cultural tours available in Panama. The list includes:
- Canopy zip-line tour
- White Water Rafting
- Horseback Riding
- Guided tours of national parks
- Island Hopping Tour
- Coffee plantation tour
- Bird Watching
- Cultural & Historical Tour of Panama City
- Panama Canal Tours
- Panama Canal Fishing for Peacock Bass & Snook
All Hannibal Bank Fishing Packages booked with Central America Fishing include the following:
- Free Vacation Planning (no fees + direct rates)
- VIP Airport Meet & Greet upon arrival into PTY
- Private, air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
- Domestic flights between Panama City and David
- Luxury accomodations at beach hotel or all inclusive fishing lodge
- Private fishing charters
- All Panama taxes
- Free quotes on travel insurance
- Pre-arrival assistance with dinner reservations, tee times, pre-stocking your condo or villa, hiring a private chef, and special requests.
- 24/7 support once you are here in country