We brought 6 YouTubers, a writer, and a videographer to the jungle of the remote Darien Gap to tell the story of Tropic Star Lodge, a 60-year-old fishing resort well known as one of the best places to catch big billfish (especially black marlin) on the planet.
But you can’t tell the story of a lodge like this without telling the story of the place it’s located within, and of the people that make it possible. So we sent a small group ahead of the rest to camp out in the jungle, fish with the locals, and learn what this place is truly like.
Most people who experience Tropic Star experience its white glove service. They’re whisked from the airport to their rooms with an absolute minimum of fuss. Iced drinks and cold towels wait for them at the dock, followed by smooth orientations, five course meals, and four days of the best black marlin fishing in the world, with a captain and a mate to run the boat, run the lines, and hand you the rod for the fight of your life.
We started out by camping in the jungle. Why? We were looking for adventure, and wanted to experience this place in a way that very few others have done before. Casting more than trolling. Learning than catching. And while we love big fish, we like fast action on light tackle even better.
Brook Crist (Brook Crist Outdoors)
Brook Crist is a native south Floridian and an avid nature lover. Born into a family that lives for the outdoors, she’s been fishing, freediving and hunting her entire life. She’s passionate about inspiring others to get out in nature and enjoy everything that the wild has to offer.
Elias Vaisberg (EliasVFishing)
Elias Vaisberg started kayak fishing for striped bass in the northeast about 15 years ago. He spent years guiding and fishing in New York waters, launched a line of fishing lures, and now lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he shoots content from the surf and inshore waters.
Sean Lawless (The Lawless Tide)
Sean Lawless was born and raised in landlocked Tulsa, Oklahoma and started fishing in Florida in 2017. From catching pompano on the beach to blackfin tuna in his kayak and bonita off the jetties, Sean shows his viewers everything Florida’s fishery has to offer.
Ryan Morie is a full-time content creator based out of SouthEast Florida. He was born in Jupiter, FL and developed a passion for fishing the local pier, bridges, and jetties. After graduating from the University of Florida, Ryan started making YouTube videos of his fishing adventures. He then served for 4 years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. During his time on active duty he was able to document some outstanding fisheries near Marine bases on which he served. He now creates a wide variety of fishing content that documents his local and international adventures.
Viktor Hluben (Landshark Outdoors)
Viktor Hluben loves sharing his passion for catching, cleaning and cooking fish. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University and was accepted into medical school, but he chose to launch a fishing show on YouTube instead. A student of the ocean, he is an advocate for respecting the catch on the water, at the fillet table and most importantly in the kitchen.
Phil Hollandsworth (SaltSquatch)
Phil Hollandsworth is the Salt Water Sportsman Video Producer. He grew up in Pennsylvania and began bass fishing in local ponds in high school. It wasn’t until he moved to Pensacola, Florida, after graduating college that he began to fall in love with saltwater fishing. Now Phil takes every opportunity to chase fish from land, kayak, pier, and boat.