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November 19, 2010

Seven Great Topwater Spots

Top fishing spots both near and far for anglers that want to pop 'til they drop

Panama's Gulf of Chiriqui

Moving one continent southward, Costa Rica has great popping along its Pacific coast. However, when it comes to popping (and jigging), Panama's Gulf of Chiriqui and its many islands, rocky reefs and banks (including Coiba Island and Hannibal Bank) have earned an international reputation. Deeper waters produce great shots at surface-busting yellowfin and at times wahoo, while rocky reefs, beaches and headlands around islands offer shots at big Pacific cubera as well as jacks and bluefin trevally, roosterfish and more. Several well-established operations will get you out to popper heaven; most are land-based, but a couple are motherships. One operates from Coiba Island itself, with small-plane flights right to the island as part of the package - Capt. Tom Yust's Coiba Adventure ( has been putting anglers on fish here for many years, and no one know the waters better.