Costa Rica fishing is all about action
If you are an angler who loves the spectacular, Costa Rica is the place to be.
Between December and the end of April, Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast features one of the world’s most anticipated billfish bites. During this period Los Sueños Marina (Jacó/Herradura) and Pez Vela Marina (Quepos/Manuel Antonio) will host some of the calendar year’s most prestigious international billfish tournaments.
Anglers on Costa Rican sportfishing charters often raise 25-30 billfish – mostly Pacific Sailfish – during a full-day offshore. In addition, during this time, they will encounter Blue, Black and Striped Marlin as well. However, the latter two Marlin species not nearly as prevalent as the first in Costa Rican fishing waters. The Sailfish:Marlin ratio on a good sportfishing day averages 10-12:1.
Why Costa Rica fishing is so attractive
Two other key factors, among many, determine why Costa Rica fishing is so attractive during mid-December through April. First, when the bite is on, Costa Rica sportfishing charter boats don’t have to go out very far. Boats at either Los Sueños or Pez Vela travel 45-60 minutes max to blue water.
So a full day’s fishing is in reality, a full day’s fishing. If you leave the marina at 7 AM and come back at 4 PM, seven of those nine hours on the water are prime fishing time. However, in many places elsewhere, you travel two-and-a-half /three hours to reach the bite. You also spend the same time coming back, of course.
Furthermore, even smaller Costa Rican sport fishing charter boats can reach the bite. As we keep repeating, you don’t need a big boat to catch fish in Costa Rica.
Second, Costa Rica has a superb sportfishing charter fleet. The Costa Rican sportfishing captains that you charter for Jacó fishing and Quepos fishing rank second to none.
November 2013 Costa Rican sport fishing in retrospect
For something a bit different, let us look at some reports from this time three years ago. FishCostaRica client Tracy Malone fished a full-day on December 7, 2013 with Captain Alex Holden on the 32ft Miss-Behav’in out of Los Sueños. Tracy and two buddies released 29 Sailfish – that’s right, twenty-nine! In addition, they caught a nice Mahi-Mahi for dinner. And, as they told us, they did some real celebrating that evening.
More from Los Sueños from November 2013. A group that wanted to hook their own fish spend two days with Captain Carlos Arguedas on the 28ft Wing Man. On the first day the guys went 5-25 on Sailfish, The next day they went 21-39 on Sailfish. In addition, they caught three Dorado.
As well as Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna showed up then. Captain Juan Carlos Fallas on the 42ft Spanish Fly not only released 18 Sailfish. He also caught 12 Yellowfin Tuna between 20 and 40 lbs. Furthermore, Captain James Smith, 42ft Dragin Fly, achieved an IGFA Grand Slam that week. He released a Striped Marlin, a Black Marlin, and 14 Sailfish on a full-day Costa Rica fishing charter.
Out of Pez Vela Marina in Quepos, Captain Jesus Montero on the 44ft Makaira, released 10 Sailfish in November 2013. In addition, they caught eight Yellowfin Tuna and a Dorado. Moving north, up in Guanacaste, despite the winds, Costa Rica sportfishing boats were also finding fish. On a Flamingo fishing charter. Captain Skeet Warren, 42ft Bushwacker, released a Blue Marlin and a Sailfish. In addition, he boated five nice Dorado.
More November 2013 Costa Rica sportfishing
Tales of epic struggles with huge Marlin usually grab the Costa Rica sportfishing headlines. However, there are other gamefish that provide anglers who fish Costa Rica with just as much excitement.
The majestic Tarpon, often referred to as the Silver King, is among the most popular of all catch-and-release sportfishing trophies. Pound for pound, this survivor of prehistoric times is sportfishing’s undisputed champion.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast near the Nicaraguan border and the Río San Juan area just over the border, are one of the world’s top Tarpon fishing destinations. From August through the end of January, these prized gamefish congregate in the ocean between 500 meters and a kilometer off the coast. In addition, Tarpon populate the rivers and canals of the area.
Great tales from November 2013 Caribbean fishing
FishCostaRica has hosted anglers from as far away as Russia and Australia specifically to do battle with these mighty predators.
Michael Arzewski from New York spent three days fishing at Rio Indio Lodge over the border in Nicaragua in November 2013. Before taking off to Tamarindo in the North Pacific, he called us with news of his Tarpon fishing trip. (In Guanacaste he then fished with Captain Gerald Ruiz on the Rainbow Runner. Gerald is considered the top roosterfish captain/guide in the area).
“Thanks for the recommendation. I had a great time. Rio Indio Lodge was wonderful. Clean, safe, hospitable, comfortable, great food, great ambience”, he said. “The Tarpon fishing was a bit slow, but I did hook and boat a 135lb Tarpon. My arms are still aching! In addition, I caught a couple of nice Snook and some smaller fish.”
Also in November 2013, Joe Post from Pennsylvania and three of his buddies fished out of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. They fished with Captain Eddie Brown, considered Costa Rica’s top Tarpon fisherman/guide. Eddie is a native of the area. In addition, he has been guiding anglers for Tarpon fishing there for more than 35 years.
The one that got away
Eddie’s brother Roberto was the other Costa Rica sportfishing captain. He is no slouch either. When the two fish together, they are very competitive. Furthermore, both have 22ft open Sport fishermen powered by outboards. Eddie’s boat is the Bull Shark, Roberto’s the Whale Shark.
On Day 1, jigging off the coast, the Post group on each boat boated and released five Tarpon. Each Tarpon was between 80 and 110lbs. In addition, they hooked but lost more than double that number.
Day 2 didn’t yield the same tally. They ‘only’ released five Tarpon. The final score ended 4-1 in favor of Roberto Brown. But it did produce a highlight of the Tarpon fishing trip. One of the group hooked a monster Tarpon that Eddie estimated at 180-200lbs. He fought the fish on 25lb test for almost an hour and a half. However, just before the angler could finally bring it to the boat, the Tarpon agonizingly broke off. This was indeed ‘the one that got away’ of sportfishing legend.