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Rick R

Sub-Par fishing trip. Malfunctioning gear.

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 Dec 2022via mobile
Accommodations and land staff were top notch. Fishing was not impressive. During day 1 orientation one of the very few english speaking fishing staff made it clear we should not expect to catch a Marlin and not to believe what we see online. We fished 3 days with 2 separate boats and caught zero Marlin. If you want to catch large numbers of small dorado this is the place. 2 out of the three days on the water the torpedo tubes on my boat malfunctioned and the bonita we spent hours to get were dead when we got to the fishing ground. Like I said the land experience was top notch but I’d sleep on a cot happily if they were putting me on the fish.
Date of stay: December 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Jesse-Lee Collins, Marketing at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 26 Dec 2022
Hi Rick,

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback, as we value your opinion. We appreciate your kind words for our land based staff and accommodations. We always do the best we can to ensure we exceed expeditions when it comes to things that are in our control.

I sincerely apologize for the tuna tube failures. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we changed out your boat for the next day. Unfortunately the tuna tubes on the new boat failed again. We realize how this can affect a fishing experience and that is why we have a maintenance team on the dock each morning and afternoon. We apologize that this negatively impacted your trip.

We are privileged to have a healthy, diverse fishery, and under normal circumstances, our guests enjoy an abundant bite. Of course, we are at the mercy of the fishing conditions, which are not within our control. During the fishing orientation on arrival, we provide guests with the latest updates on the fishing conditions, and are always honest about the what to expect.

The bite for your week was slower on Marlin than usual for that time of year, so we felt it imperative to let anglers know the conditions would be tough. This was due to green water. That said, our crews worked very hard to get the 15 Black Marlin and 7 Blue Marlin releases that we had during your stay.

Historically, December is our best month for Billfish grand slams, and we always get loads of Dorado that typically average around 25lbs. Although you guys got to experience Sailfish and Roosterfish releases, good quantities of Dorado and raising a Marlin - we know that what you were really looking forward to was Billfish action. We are sorry that you never got to experience that. On the rare occasion that this occurs, it is tough to send guests on their way who haven’t enjoyed the experience that we are famous for. Our goal is to create the most memorable fishing experiences possible - not being able to make that happen is very disappointing for us.

Again, our sincerest apologies, and thank you for sharing your honest feedback, as it allows us to continue to make important improvements.

- Richard White, Fishing Director
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 25 November 2022

This was once again a fantastic trip!
Attended the 2022 billfish tournament as an annual ritual.
From the time you arrive at the Panama international Airport till you leave it again, you are greeted with professionalism from the Tropic Star Team. It's like clockwork every single time I come for this event.
Arrival at the Tropic Star lodge always feels like the first time you have ever been there - besides all the familiar faces of the amazing staff.
As always, accommodations, food, drinks and service was perfect!
The fishing experience gave us plenty of action. With a couple of sailfish landed, raised a blue Marlin and lost a blue marlin (can't get them all).
Besides billfish we had a really good size yellowfin tuna, and more Mahi than you can ask for... impossible to keep them off the hooks. Never seen anything like it before.
Every time you come to Tropic Star the experience is different year after year, but it is always positive and you leave with a feeling of wanting more!!

Thanks again Tropic Star and see you next year!!

Date of stay: November 2022
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Torben2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2022

Dear Torben2020,

It was great having you return to Tropic Star Lodge for the annual billfish tournament! As always, it was such fun. Especially having so many familiar faces coming back to battle for a bid to the OWC. That Mahi bite was insane in between the billfish action. We appreciate your positive feedback and happy to know that we continue to deliver an experience that keeps you coming back to visit us. We can’t wait to see you back down to Tropic Star next year for the annual billfish tournament!

All the best wishes,
Mallory and Richard White

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Reviewed 3 October 2022

The hotel staff were all exceptional, the personalized service we received is the best I have ever experienced. They all remembered you and your preferences so within two days the morning coffee brought to my room was creamed and sweetened to my liking, at the Marlin Bar they knew exactly what I wanted after a long day on the water. The Chef was extraordinary; evening meals were extravagant, breakfast was perfectly prepared to order, and the "boat lunches" we perfect. I have only been home 3 days and already with I could return.

Date of stay: September 2022
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 218mattheww
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2022

Dear 218mattheww,

Thank you for taking time to leave your five star review of your stay at Tropic Star Lodge. We love hearing how our staff provided an excellent and personalized service -thank you for mentioning that aspect of your trip! Thank you for also commenting on Chef Gabriel and his team's fabulous food. We look forward to welcoming you back to Tropic Star Lodge for your next fishing adventure! We hope to see you again soon.

Best wishes,
Mallory White

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Reviewed 29 August 2022

I am a booking agent by trade and my expectations can be tough. However, Tropic Star Lodge is by far the best Lodge Based fishing experience I have ever had. From start to finish, they deliver on every measurable expectation possible.

Room tip: Ask for Cheyenne when booking your stay.
Date of stay: August 2022
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Rebecca A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2022

Dear Rebecca A,

Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to leave your five star review of Tropic Star Lodge. We appreciate your comments and so happy to know that we were able to deliver on the high expectations that our guests have come to expect. We hope to see you back soon for your next fishing vacation!

All the best wishes,

Mallory and Richard White

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Reviewed 24 August 2022

Our group from Cayman just got back from 4 days of fishing Tropic Star Lodge and were blown away by the service from the moment we touched down in Panama. The transfers, facilities, boats, room, food and of course the fishing were fantastic. Richard, Ross and Pat (along with the rest of the staff) made sure we were taken care of every step of the way. Our boat Captains Jose and Fidel and their respective crews were on point and helped us land tons of sails and dorado topped off with 4 monster marlin. Some firsts in there for our group which made it even more special. Luckily, we had Matilda on board to capture those moments of joy on camera.

We’ve all travelled extensively, and this is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth with absolute first-class standards. If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, then jump on it. We were all sad to leave but know that we'll never forget this experience.

Special thanks to Bonnie for patiently answering all our booking questions in the 18 months leading up to this adventure.

In the meantime, we’ll try to recalibrate our expectations for the next fishing trip in our local waters!

Room tip: As a group of 6, the palace was perfect for all of us to hang out together.
Date of stay: August 2022
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Stormdog1981
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Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2022

Dear Stormdog1981,

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your review of your recent fishing vacation to Tropic Star Lodge. We’re happy to know that our staff took great care of you as well as your crew. Congratulations on all those memorable catches especially those first catches! Glad you had Matilda on board to capture the joy and the fish. Thank you again for your kind words regarding your stay and we definitely agree with you that Tropic Star Lodge is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We hope to see you return back sometime soon for your next fishing adventure.

All the best wishes,
Mallory and Richard White

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Reviewed 21 August 2022 via mobile

I am privileged to have fished and visited the most exotic locations in the world and this tops them all. The enthusiasm radiates from GM Richard down to those that clean your villa. The staff from the first hour of arrival knew my wife and my first names. The food is superb esp considering the remoteness (104 miles from Panama City) of the location. Our Capt put me on six Blue Marlin to 350lb, seventeen Sailfish, fifteen Dorado with two at 60lbs and two YF Tuna all in five days. We toured the local Indian village where most of lodge employees live. How interesting to see kids and families interacting and happy in spite of what some may define as sub-standard living conditions. My wife who doesn’t fish was on the boat with me each day and said at the end, the trip exceeded all of her expectations.

Room tip: Take your rain gear
Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank Voyager33324325390
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mallory White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2022

Dear Voyager33324325390,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review of your phenomenal experience at Tropic Star Lodge. We are honored to know that of all the places that you have fished, that your recent trip here topped them all –thank you for the compliment. Our staff is very enthusiastic and passionate and we’re really glad to know that you felt that as well during your stay. Congratulations on your fishing. We hope to see you back soon!

Best wishes,
Mallory and Richard White

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