Costa Rica Sportfishing

Costa Rica is a tropical gem that is sandwiched between two oceans. This makes for some world-famous, top-tier sport fishing opportunities. Let the over 40 fishing world records that have been set along the country’s Pacific coast speak for themselves; this is a genuinely unique and amazing fishing spot.

Sport fishing in Costa Rica is a great activity because it is fun and entertaining for everyone; whether you are traveling with your family or just here for some serious fishing you’re in the right place. Families can set off to sea to try to reel in the catch of a lifetime – and watch out cause the catch could be as big as the kids in your family! If you’re an angler, you can find a variety of fish, such as marlin, roosters, mahi mahi, sailfish, tuna and much more, available to catch.

Fishing is so popular in Costa Rica that you can find a really great – and fair – price from a touring company. No matter if your budget is big or small, you can find adventures that last just a half day or that take you out to sea for up to seven days. Many of the companies also follow a catch and release system.

Two Coastlines

Costa Rica is home to a number of gorgeous inland lakes and miles of rivers, and also has two coastlines that open up to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. These two coastlines make the tiny country of Costa Rica a mighty fishing oasis, and, to an angler’s delight, offer some of the most diverse fishing you can find in all of Central America. The two coastlines are also highly accessible, since the country has a small land mass. From the capital city of San José, you can reach either Pacific or Caribbean shores after just a 30 minute flight. That means you can head to one coast for a few days, then take a short trip to get to the other coast for more fishing. 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 Limón.

The Pacific Coast is the clear winner out of the two, which better fishing than the Caribbean side, but both coasts are still great for fishing. Each coast has its own unique perks and seasons. 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

Believe it or not, sport fishing can be a heart-pounding and adrenaline-filled experience. Once you’re out on the water with the waves rocking the boat and you get a pull on your line, you’ll be just as amped as if you were zip lining or white water rafting. Reeling in a 50-inch swordfish that is fighting on your line is no easy task – it takes concentration and skill, and you won’t even have time to think or blink!

If you’re fishing along the Pacific Coast, the area you head to will depend on the season. If you want to fish in Costa Rica on the Pacific coast, you’ll want to time your visit to get the best catches. If you visit between May and September, you’ll get the best catches in the Papagayo Gulf, Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco. If you visit between November to March, you’ll get the best catches in the Golfo Dulce, Zancudo, Puerto Jimenez and Golfito.

Fishing on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is mostly restricted to Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado, around the rivers, estuaries, and larger lagoons.

Best Spots for Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Some of the best spots in the country for fishing are Los Sueños / Playa Herradura and Quepos / Manuel Antonio.

Los Sueños / Playa Herradura is just north of Jacó. This 250 slip marina was built specifically for sport fishing, and just off the coast you’ll find some of the Pacific's friskiest fish. Ride along with a local crew that can take you to all the hotspots where you can try to land a range of fish, including yellow fin tuna, marlin, sailfish and mahi-mahi.

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Costa Rica Sportfishing Map

Characterized by calm waters, powerful fish and breathtaking vistas, Manuel Antonio / Quepos is a trophy destination for sport fishing. Here, offshore anglers will get a run for their money from all three species of marlin - blue, black and striped. Closer to the coast, roosterfish ranks as the most pursued fish among inshore species, which include Snapper, Spanish Mackerel, Crevalle and Snook. Whether you're an 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 like fighting chairs, live wells, radar and fish finders.

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