Sandwiched between two oceans, the tropical gem of Costa Rica offers top-tier sport fishing. As a matter of fact, more than 40 fishing world records have been set along Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Set off to sea with your family to reel in the catch of a lifetime - it might even be bigger than your kids. Anglers can find a variety of fish such as marlin, roosters, mahi mahi, sailfish, tuna and much more.
Better yet, Costa Rican sport fishing companies offer prices for any budget, and many follow the catch and release system. Typically, tours range from a half day to seven days out at sea.
Home to a number of gorgeous inland lakes and miles of rivers, Costa Rica also has two coastlines that open up to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. To an angler's delight, this tiny country has some of the most diverse fishing in Central America. And since Costa Rica covers a small land area, both coasts are accessible from the capital city of San Jose, with just 30 minutes of flying time to get to either the Pacific or Caribbean shores. Some of the best inland fishing can be found a three to four hour journey by car from the capital in the inland waters within province of Limon
Without a doubt, the Pacific Coast boasts better fishing than the Caribbean side. With that being said, each has its perks. The Pacific Coast is famous for blue and black marlins, sailfish and dorados, while the Caribbean is home to the Tarpon and Snook. The worst season to fish in the Pacific is from September to November, while the on the Caribbean's side, avoid fishing in June and July.
Where and When to Go
Before setting sail along the Pacific Coast, keep in mind that the fish move seasonally. May to September offers the best catches in the Papagayo Gulf, Tamarindo
, Playa Flamingo
and Playas del Coco
. While November to March serve as the best times to fish in the Golfo Dulce, Zancudo
, Puerto Jimenez
. Fishing on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is mostly restricted to Tortuguero
and Barra del Colorado
, around the rivers, estuaries, and larger lagoons.
Many people might not consider fishing a heart-pounding experience. But when the waves are rocking and you've got a 50-inch swordfish fighting on the end of your line, you won't even have time to blink. Some of the best spots in the country are Los Suenos / Playa Herradura and Quepos / Manuel Antonio
Los Suenos / Playa Herradura
Just north of Jaco sits the 250 slip marina built specificly for sport fishing. Just off the coast in has some of the Pacific's friskiest fish. Ride along with a local crew that knows all the hotspots, where you'll try to land a range of fish, including yellow fin tuna, marlin, sailfish and mahi-mahi.
Quepos / Manuel Antonio
Characterized by calm waters, powerful fish and breathaking vistas, Manuel Antonio / Quepos is a trophy destination for sport fishing. Offshore anglers find all three species of marlin - blue, black and striped - give them a run for their money. Closer to the coast, roosterfish ranks as the most pursued fish among inshore species, which include Snapper, Spanish Mackeral, Crevalle and Snook.
Whether you're a old pro or a young beginner, casting a line in Manuel Antonio's waters will prove to be a thrilling experience. Along the way, you might catch a glimpse of sea turtles, dolphins and sometimes even whales. The fleet of boats come equipped with friendly, bilingual guides, A-grade equipment and boats with fighting chairs, live wells, radar and fish finders.