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12 - 17 of 238 reviews
Reviewed 14 February 2024

The lodge, the staff, the food and the service is all great on shore. Unfortunately, it’s everything once you leave the dock that is below par.
I’m a long time fish fanatic but had never gone for deep sea fish. My buddy talked me into it and I spent months waiting to go. Watched every YouTube video I could find and was looking forward to catching a wide variety of fish for the first time.
I’ve fished long enough to know there are good and bad days. So I was not expecting them to just jump into the boat. But our entire week was bad. We saw no marlin at all. Caught only two sail fish and a handful of Dorado.
What made it worse were things that could be controlled. Our first mate spent much of his time complaining about the captain and told me several times that he did not know what he was doing. (I also learned some Spanish curses as the two yelled at each other, so that was a plus.)
We had paid for a boat with air conditioning and it did not work the first two days.
I was supposed to reel in the first fish we hooked, but found the reel did not work. I did pull it in by hand, so that was cool.
We’d spend hours each morning trolling around looking for live bait and then spend hours trolling with dead bait dangling behind us. I’m not a deep sea guy so maybe that is normal. But I questioned why we spent so much time searching for live only to use dead and never really got a straight answer.
Many other guest reported they also caught few fish. Only a handful of the Black marlin that many were the specifically to catch. One guest told me he’d spent a full week the year before chasing one with no luck. The overall consensus was that the fishing was bad and had been for some weeks.
Hopefully, the marlin come back and good fishing returns. But for the cost, it’s hard to recommend this location due to the lack of fishing action. Sad, because the grounds and staff on shore were outstanding.

Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank Mi S
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.
Richard White, Guest Services / Front Office at Tropic Star Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2024

Dear 722mis,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review and we really appreciate your comments.

It makes us all really happy that you had a great time at the lodge as we are very proud of it and this work is a labor of love that we all put in daily.

January and February is our prime Black Marlin season. We don’t have a huge variety of species over this time of year and people generally come to target the Black Marlin specifically as it is the most difficult Marlin to catch and this time of year is the best time to target them. There are also Blue Marlin around in January but they start going away as the Black bite generally gets stronger in February. The same will happen with the Sailfish and Dorado over this period. This is why so many deep sea anglers join us to target their Black Marlin over this period.

In regards to the AC going down on the boat on your first day- we re-gassed it and, after testing, we believed it was ready to fish. On your second day, the strainer picked up trash in the water while fishing and clogged it so we again had the problem. This was very unfortunate and I understand this makes things worse when the fishing is slow. We do try our best to rectify things that we can control I am glad you enjoyed the upgraded boat after that.

We are very proud of the tackle we use. Our Shimano Tiagra reel are assessed every week and we put new fishing line on every reel for each new guest arrival. Even with this we have some human error unfortunately, which is very uncommon but is not impossible. I checked the reel with you on the dock after you brought it to my attention, thanked you and apologized. When you and I tested the reel together it worked perfectly. The next step, we took the reel apart in the shop and found that a drag screw had sheared off and so I’m not sure if it was human error or a bad screw. However, that is exactly why the failure happened.

Our crews go through a lot of training here at the lodge. To become a mate, all trainee’s must go through two years before being allowed to fish with guests. Then after a minimum of ten years they are eligible to become a Captain but must again go through two years of training. We have all our mates change boats weekly to make sure they learn from as many different captains as possible. We also do this as many guests make good friends with different crews and so we do our best to make it possible to fish with their preferred crews. The Captain you fished with has been a captain for over 16 years and the mate has worked the deck for over 12 years. It is not normal at all for crews to fight and I really appreciate that you brought to my attention that there was an issue between your crew during your stay, so I was able to address it by swopping out your mate and inviting Duncan, our fleet manager, to fish with you.

Thank you very much for your review, we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences that occured, we do genuinely try to go above and beyond to make your fishing experience amazing, but unfortunately sometimes there are certain aspects that are out of our control.

Tight lines and fair seas,
Richard White

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Reviewed 7 February 2024

WOW! Tropic star is truly a bucket list destination, I have dreamed about going since I first saw them highligted in a fishing show 25 years ago. The fishing was amazing 5 Sails, and 80 lb dorado topped the list, no marlin, but it is fishing. The staff is amazing Ross and Pat top the list, they are truly focused on the experience of the guest and they deliver. The Chief and kitchen crew are 5 star plus, to say the food was amazing is an understatment. Great week thank you TSL for the memories.

Room tip: Recommend upgrade to the AC classic Bertrams, the tropic sun is hot
Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank David B
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 12 February 2024

Dear davidb07526JK,

Thank you for sharing your review with us. It's wonderful to hear that a fishing show from 25 years ago led you to Tropic Star Lodge. Your praise for our staff, particularly Ross and Patt, means a lot to us. We agree -our food is top notch and we'll pass the compliments to the Chef and his team. Special congrats on the fishing and we hope to see you back for that Marlin.

All the best wishes,
Mallory and Richard White

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Reviewed 11 January 2024

Finally made the trip that I have been drooling over ever since I opened my first Marlin magazine and it was more than I could have imagined! From the isolated, majestic jungle terrain to the Bahamian themed colors on the Classic 31' Bertram Sportfishers to the world class service of the Tropic Star staff, it is more than a "fishing trip", it's an experience or better described as an adventure! I have nothing but amazing things to say about the entire staff(there are just too many names to mention), but "hats off" to Richard(fishing director) and Ross(property manager), they are two of the hardest working, energetic, and most positive individuals you will ever encounter.

We spent Dec 30th-Jan 6th at the lodge for beginning of Black Marlin season. Tropic Star pairs anglers with Captain, mate, and boat for the week which I think is a wonderful concept. Armando(Capt) and Leo(mate) were first class! We were fortunate enough to release one of the Blacks caught over the week. It wasn't the 700# one released by an angler from Oklahoma, but who's complaining? We caught a good number of sailfish and crazy number of 50#+ dorado. I don't want to mislead, it's still fishing and they unfortunately don't have addresses. By numbers our week was slower than had hoped, but it didn't detract from the overall experience. Piece of advice, go for the AC boats. 6 days in un-airconditioned boat is not for everyone, myself included. Maybe when I was 30, but even then I'd go for the AC.

The accommodations were fantastic. As a couple, we stayed in the standard room (CoCo 01) with 2 double beds which easily convert one massive "Sultan-style" bed by pushing them together. Not surprising, it was hot, equatorial hot! Fortunately, the AC in the unit had no problem keeping up. Housekeeping kept it tidy and refilled the ice bucket daily. A mini-fridge or cooler to keep some cold drinks would be a good addition, but we were able make do with keeping some drinks in the ice bucket to hydrate late at night.

I want to thank Tropic Star staff as a group for making our experience truly a "Bucket list trip". One that we will remember for a lifetime!

Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank kemosabe_oba
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 18 January 2024

Dear kemosabe_oba,

We are so happy to hear that your bucket list adventure did not disappoint. Congratulations on your Black Marlin, Sailfish, and Dorado! Tropic Star is indeed a unique place in the world and an experience like no other. We’re glad that our fishing crew and staff were able to bring the pages of Marlin Magazine to life. Thank you for visiting us and for taking the time to write your review. We appreciate the feedback very much. We hope to see you back again soon for your next fishing adventure.

Best wishes,
Mallory and Richard White

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Reviewed 22 December 2023

Amazing trip! A 5 star resort in the jungle. The service and food were impeccable.
The fishing was incredible. 16 100 lb class swords plus 5 large Mahi in one day.
Do not hesitate to make your reservation.

Room tip: Buy the transportation package.
Date of stay: December 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Ted T
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 26 December 2023

Dear tedt458,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We're happy to know that you had an amazing trip and enjoyed the fishing, service, and food. Congratulations on all those Sails and XL Mahi. What a day! We hope to see you return to the jungle soon.

All the best wishes,
Mallory

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Reviewed 6 December 2023

This is a stupendous lodge in a stupendous location. What really stood out was the fantastic staff and the attention to detail in our trip arrangements, flights, transfers in Panama City and day to day life at the lodge. The accommodations and meals were wonderful. The fishing was terrific with 5 dorado caught, 12 pacific sailfish and a 400 lbs. Black Marlin, a fish so incredible to see that I still see it when I close my eyes. An astounding sight when it leaps out of the water behind the boat. I had a captain and mate that were an outstanding team and they were relentless fishermen. We had no rain to speak of and no biting insects at all. Fabulous pool and bar. 4 amazing days in the jungle with amazing scenery.

Date of stay: December 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank bosque53
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 13 December 2023

Dear bosque53,

Congratulations on your beautiful Black Marlin! It's one of the most spectacular experiences. We're glad that you noticed our attention to detail and our passionate staff that want to make sure you have the best fishing vacation. Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. Can't wait to see you return for some more fishing adventures.

All the best,
Mallory and Richard White

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