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Costa Rica Fishing

As the #1 sportfishing destination in the western hemisphere and just over 250 world sport fishing records it is not surprising that Costa Rica fishing is on every anglers Must Do List. Costa Rica fishing has been covered extensively by many major sportfishing magazine and TV shows and is widely recognized as one of best fishing destinations on the globe for both leisure and professional anglers.

Why is the fishing so good in Costa Rica?

Apart from being flanked with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on other, Costa Rica has other unique geographical features that accounts for the massive number of fish of its coasts.
The Pacific coast features a continental shelf not far from Costa Rica. Here you find the deep cold, plankton rich waters being driven up onto the shallow, warm waters along the coast. Were the cold eaters meet the warm waters, you will find many Sea Mount’s a staging ground for large predator fish feeding on smaller ‘bait’ fish which in turn stage there to feed on the ample supply of plankton. This is the reason the Los Suenos Triple Crown sees numbers like ‘6,570 billfish in nine days’.

“My secret to catching fish? Fish where the fish are!” Dan Ross, GoFishCostaRica.com

Caribbean fishing in Costa Rica, while quite rich in billfish and many of the inshore species Costa Rica is really famous for Tarpon which is Costa Rica’s ‘King of the Caribbean’. The Caribbean coast sports thick, rich rainforest, with a massive number of rainforest fed rivers dumping into extensive mangroves and wetlands where it’s all funneled into the Caribbean Sea. This makes Costa Rica Caribbean coast one of the richest hunting grounds for big hard hitting Tarpon.

Costa Rica Fishing Touted as One of the Best in World

Costa Rica’s terrestrial wildlife has been recognized as one of the most bio intense places on earth by notables such as National Geographic and if you are professional angler you already know that marine wildlife around Costa Rica even more prolific!
Costa Rica is extremely proactive in conserving it eco-systems and continues to pass regulations protecting and expanding its oversite of Costa Rican waters. In a nutshell here the salient point, “All billfish and non-edible fish are to be released”.
As one of the best fisheries on the globe and cited in many global rating indices as a top ranked vacation eco-destination, Costa Rica truly cares about the preservation of all its precious ecological habitats. If you are fishing in Costa Rica you will enjoy one of the most pristine deep sea fishing environments in the world, show respect this unique place, follow the rules and enjoy.

Deep Sea Fishing in Costa Rica

The west side of Costa Rica has many smaller ports but here are only a handful of primary marinas to book a deep sea fishing charter. The number on location is undoubtedly the Los Suenos Marina.

The Quepos Marina Pez Vela is a new addition to the Central Pacific fishing scene with 100 wet slips. The Quepos area is known for its sailfish around, as well as its in-shore fishing charters opportunities. The area features a number of rocky islands which is home to variety of inshore species the most notorious being Roosterfish.

The North West coast you have goof fishing out the two main marinas at Tamarindo and, and in the South West Pacific you have Golfito, Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez as the main fishing charter destinations.

Costa Rica has variety of game fish both in-shore and off-shore but the Pacific coast is best known for large numbers of Marlin (all three species) and Sailfish.

Seamount and FAD Fishing Charters

Costa Rica is considered one of the best places in world for charter fishing, add to that seamounts and some well-placed fishing FAD’s

FAD (Fish Aggregating Device) fishing in Costa Rica with an experienced FAD fishing charter yields fantastic results for marlin, dorado, sailfish, tuna, and wahoo.Captain Dan Ross of GoFishCostaRica.com and longtime Master of seamount and FAD fishing was asked how good is seamount and FAD fishing in Costa Rica, he replied with his best day record:

“Best day ever – 31 Blue Marlin, 6 Sailfish, 1 Striped Marlin, and one 700 pound Black Marlin… that’s the Grand Slam of sport Fish, all three species of marlin in one day!”

There is excellent FAD fishing in the Central Pacific as well as in the Southern Zone.

The best sea mounts are located off the Central Pacific coast with charters avilabe from Los Suenos Marina as well as the Quepos Pez Vela Marina. Seamount are underwater mountain tops and ridges that reach close to the ocean surface and like FAD’s tht attract feeder fish and of course predator big game species.

Costa Rica Fishing Charters

There a few consideration on choosing the right Costa Rica fishing charter. Boat size is one the main factors for a couple reasons. Booking at 14’ panga (local fishing boat) to brave the heavier chop on longer runs is not a good idea, first you are going to be beat up and bounced around the entire trip. Yes, pangas are cheaper but they are not built for comfort.

Further, if you are making a longer run in a panga, out to the seamounts for instance, you will need a full day as it takes longer for the smaller boats to make the distance. Consider a panga for in-shore fishing.

When it comes to the Captain and crew it really comes down to experience, especially on seamounts and FAD fishing. If you are looking for a killer day on the FAD’s or seamounts, make sure you ask around and find out which crews have the most experience.
Deep Sea Fly Fishing in Costa Rica

Whether you are fly fishing the FAD’s for marlin on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast or big tarpon on the Caribbean side there is nothing more exciting than an explosive strike on a saltwater fly!

Fly fishing is specialty fishing skill and not all fishing charters in Costa Rica are set up to take advantage of good fly fishing opportunities.

Clear calmer sea conditions, visibility and surface feeding are what to watch for, having a saltwater fly rod set and ready can yield some of the best action an angler can hope for.


All the Costa Rica fishing charters are rigged for conventional salt water fishing. While some specialize for inshore fishing and others offshore, they generally include all the equipment: rods, reels, lures, and bait.
So in general you do not bring any sportfishing gear on your Costa Rica sportfishing charter. If you do decide to bring your own rods, reels or lures on your Costa Rica fishing trip make bring your gear as carry-on luggage on your flights, in a secure fishing gear case.
The standard essentials are a hat, a pair of good pair of non-slip deck shoes, sun screen and sunglasses.

Costa Rica Fishing Licenses

There are three options for a Costa Rica Costa Rica fishing license: $50.00 per person valid for one year, $30.00 per person which is valid for one month and $15.00 per person valid for eight days. Most anglers on vacation the one month or eight day options, unless they are returning or on an extending Costa Rica fishing trip choose the latter, as most don’t stay here for over a week.

It is also possible buy your Costa Rica fishing license online but this method is not recommended, and it only takes a couple minutes right at the dock.
For more Costa Rica fishing trips and fishing vacation packages and/or to book your Costa Rica fishing charter contact us now.

Go Fish Costa Rica
Phone: 1-888-326-7677
Costa Rica, Mobile: 8345-8346
Email: dan@gofishcostarica.com

Tags: deep sea fishing, Costa Rica fishing trip, Marlin fishing, Costa Rica fishing charter