One of the biggest draws Costa Rica has is its tourist industry. Beautiful weather, numerous water sports, beaches, zip lining, hiking, hot springs, volcanoes, surfing, and historic buildings attract visitors in droves. They come from all over the world to see gorgeous churches and exotic wildlife, but also for some seriously energetic fishing. This is not angling in the traditional sense, with a flask of tea at your side and light-weight wire on the line. If you think of fishing as sedentary and dull, you have not tried sport fishing in Costa Rica. One of our favorite tour guides is Costa Rica Sportfishing Tours who do a great job!
Sport Fishing in Costa Rica for Fish that Fight Back
It’s called sport fishing for a reason; the fish do not jump willingly into the net. They protest, and when they do, you witness a fight between fish and fisherman. The excitement attracts individuals who never thought the sport was interesting, especially when the fish can be several hundred pounds and larger than a grown man. Couples take part; teenage sons and daughters willingly get on board, putting their surfboards away in search of adventure.
Types of Sport Fish
Costa Rica is famous for a number of fish including Snook, Dorado (Mahi Mahi, a type of Dolphin), Rooster Fish, Marlin, and Sailfish. Marlin fishing is available all year-round but only on the West Coast which is also where Sailfish are found. Snook and Rooster Fish favor inland waters. Dorado aren’t picky; they swim along the western or north-eastern shores of Costa Rica.
Black and Blue Marlin are each available at the same times and in the same places as they travel the Pacific Ocean, but the best times to catch them depend on whether you fish on the Northern, Central, or Southern Pacific coast, so there is always an excellent opportunity to fish for these two species if you choose the right location. Research where Marlin of both the Black and Blue varieties are most plentiful at any given time and select that spot to be the central location from which you pursue all of your holiday activities. There are hotels and resorts all along the Western side at Papagayo, Flamingo, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and other popular locations.
If Dorado is your preferred catch of the day, these holiday spots are good or head to the other side of the country. Good locations here include Tortuguero, Limon, and Cahuita. One way or the other, today is always a great day to go sport fishing in Costa Rica, and if the rest of your family objects, Costa Rica is full of tourist opportunities. Beautiful scenery, many types of wildlife and plants, volcanoes, museums, gorgeous hiking trails, and historic buildings contribute to the country’s worldwide appeal. Americans, in particular, love Costa Rica.
New Fad in Fishing
Commercial fishermen have done this for a long time, but sport fishermen have only recently been introduced to the FAD method. This stands for Fish Aggregate Device, an item anchored to a buoy which draws the attention of bait fish in huge numbers. Consequently, it also draws sport fish which congregate here to feed and become sitting targets for sport fishermen. They have to take the bait from one’s hook, of course, and there are no guarantees, but this way a charter boat captain doesn’t have to hunt for Mahi Mahi, Marlin, etc. because he knows where they are likely to be. Your chances of catching something increase, even during quieter fishing times. A lot of people feel this takes the anticipation out of fishing, but you can check with the captain to see if he uses the FAD method. If so, move along to the next captain or check their stories online. That way, if hunting the open ocean is more your cup of tea, that’s how it will be.
Marlin Fishing Charters
A few charters really specialize, going in search of Marlin fishing and other big catches. Most aren’t that fussy, but they all know the waters around their country, even if they are transplanted here. Look for someone with several years of experience no matter what and take time to get direct and honest answers to questions about safety or a boat’s seaworthiness. A great captain need not put on a big show with lots of advertising. He might be a local running a small business; someone with an authentic love of and respect for both the sea and its occupants.