Costa Rica fishing season features Sailfish

Don’t miss out on Costa Rica’s billfish bite

December will arrive in less than three weeks. The month of December heralds the ‘official’ opening of Costa Rica’s unparalleled billfish season.

At the outset of this year, in January, the prestigious Billfish Report named Jacó (Los Sueños Marina) and Quepos (Pez Vela Marina), on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, as Number 1 on its list of the world’s Top Ten Billfisheries.

Costa Rica’s incredible peak Central Pacific billfish bite spreads over five months. As mentioned earlier, it begins in December. Then come January, February, March and April. Anglers who arrive to fish Costa Rica can enjoy five superb months of Sailfish fishing and Marlin fishing.

Costa Rica's peak billfish bite gets underway in December

Costa Rica’s peak billfish bite gets underway with a bang in December

Los Sueños fishing billfish tally

As if to prove a point, just a couple of days after the report appeared, the Billfish Report’s assessment of Costa Rica fishing was confirmed. The 44 boats competing in Leg 1 of the Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown Series released a total of 1,961 billfish. The anglers in the tournament released 1,946 Sailfish. In addition, they released 15 Marlin over the three days of nail-biting competition.

The annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown Series encompasses nine days of Costa Rica fishing over three three-day legs. The boats fish over one weekend in January, one in February and then one in March.

Furthermore, the numbers are astounding. This year, the 44 participating boats fishing in Costa Rica’s Triple Crown released an incredible 6,570 billfish. That averaged out to 150 billfish per boat over the entire tournament. It also amounted to 16 billfish released per boat every day. No other international tournament even comes close. Costa Rica fishing rules supreme.

More billfish at Quepos fishing

quepos fishing sailfish bite

Nothing excites like a thrilling Sailfish leap

Costa Rica also hosts a second prestigious billfish tournament. Pez Vela Marina in Quepos sponsors the Offshore World Championship. This year, teams from almost 30 countries travelled to Quepos for the event, held in April

The 66 teams with 309 anglers released a total of 1,509 billfish. Over the four days, they released 1,495 Sailfish. In addition, the teams released 12 Blue Marlin. one Striped Marlin and one Black Marlin. This averaged out to just under 23 billfish per boat. Two big Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) and a Wahoo also appeared in the scoring.

Anglers coming to fish Costa Rica between December-April can often expect numbers like this. On a good day, Costa Rica sportfishing charter boats will see 20-30 Sailfish, sometimes even more. Furthermore, you can raise 15-25, and release most of them when you have a good, experienced captain and crew.

Sailfish move closer to shore during peak season

central pacific blue marlin

For every 12-15 Sailfish, you’ll catch a Marlin

Sailfish range in size from 80lbs to 150lbs and more. In all, Sailfish of 90-125lbs are most common. In addition, anglers on Costa Rica fishing charters will usually catch them between 12 and 30 miles out. This short distance alone should lure Sailfish enthusiasts to enjoy sportfishing in Costa Rica.

During the December-April peak months, Sailfish may congregate even closer to shore. So you don’t have to spend time traveling. Instead, you can be actually fishing during most of the time on the water. Furthermore, you don’t need a huge boat to get out to Blue Water. So if you are one, two or three anglers who want to come for Sailfish, don’t despair. You don’t need a big boat to catch fish in Costa Rica.

Anglers who experience the peak Costa Rica fishing bite can also target Marlin, especially Blue Marlin. In addition, they will encounter some Black Marlin, and some Striped Marlin. The usual Marlin:Sailfish ratio stands at about 12-15:1 during this period.

How Sailfish are caught Costa Rica fishing

Anglers who fish Costa Rica catch most of their Sailfish while trolling in a spread of teasers and dead bait on circle hooks. In addition, they can even fish with live bait around reefs and reed lines. Naturally, Sailfish – and all billfish – are a catch-and-release only species.

Of course, this is nothing new for many anglers who want to catch billfish in Costa Rica. More important, right now, most of the top Los Sueños fishing captains are Quepos fishing captains are quickly filling up their calendars for the coming months.

Christmas week and Easter week bring the highest influx of tourists to Costa Rica. But for Costa Rica fishing, mid-January to mid-March lure the greatest number of anglers. Furthermore, these 60 days offer Costa Rica’s best and most consistent weather.

Book your Costa Rica fishing trip now

catching billfish costa rica

Book your Costa Rica fishing trip now and enjoy

So as we always say at this time: if you are after Sailfish, book your Costa Rica fishing trip now. Don’t wait! The Central Pacific peak billfish bite is just days ahead. The longer you put it off, the fewer open days you will find. If you have a specific Costa Rican sport fishing captain in mind, contact FishCostaRica now. Even today, his open days may not coincide with your initial travel plans. Furthermore, hotel space at your preferred Costa Rica fishing destination may be at a premium.

Furthermore, there are options if you want to target billfish. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to charter a Los Sueños fishing boat or a Quepos fishing boat, consider a trip to Golfito in the South Pacific. IGFA award-winning captain Bobby McGuinness still has a host of open days between December and May 1. In addition, you will encounter a superb billfish bite. There are Sailfish of course, but March is a great month for Black and Striped Marlin.

On any given day, you can catch a billfish

Once Easter and the end of April come and go, the peak Costa Rica Sailfish bite moves north. Guanacaste in the North Pacific takes its turn. Tamarindo, Flamingo and the Gulf of Papagayo are great billfish destinations from June through September.

The North Pacific Sailfish bite isn’t quite as spectacular as is the Central Pacific’s. However, anglers coming to enjoy Costa Rica sport fishing specifically for Sailfish will not be disappointed. If they charter boats in the North Pacific during this period, 10-15 Sailfish releases are not uncommon. They will also encounter Blue, Black and Striped Marlin.

In the end, however, no matter what your Costa Rican sportfishing destination on the Pacific coast may be and no matter when or how you fish, you have a great chance of hooking, fishing and releasing a magnificent Sailfish or Marlin on any given offshore fishing day.


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