What to Know About Sport Fishing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s location in the heart of Central America makes it an ideal destination for saltwater fishing. On the one hand, you have the protected waters of the Caribbean Sea, and on the other, the wildest Pacific Ocean. Each side has its own species to fish and its own type of fishing.

The warm weather ensures that there is no bad time to practice sport fishing in Costa Rica. On the Caribbean side, experienced fishermen prefer to avoid the summer rainy season when bad weather and river runoff can foul the water and make fishing difficult. September to May is the best fishing season in that area. However, on the Pacific side, summer can offer excellent fishing, especially for large sport fish like marlin and sails. Be sure to check with the locals – they’ll be happy to offer a guide to where they bite that day!

On the Caribbean side, the profusion of fish is so great that it can be difficult to predict what will be found overnight. However, tarpon and snook are the most frequent catches roosterfish. Taking one of the many fishing cruises available off the Caribbean coast and heading out into the blue water will also provide access to abundant billfish and wahoo. Other fish cluster around the many river mouths that dot the Caribbean coast, including dorado, triple-tailed, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, and more.

On the Pacific side, the coast is divided into three zones. In the north, marlin fishing is incredible during the winter months, and sailfish and tuna flock to the area during the summer and fall. The central area is home to large schools of sailfish during the fall and winter, and the mouths of the local rivers are excellent hunting grounds for snook and roosterfish. Snapper and Spanish mackerel are found in large quantities throughout the year. The southern region is famous for roosterfish, and marlin and sail fishing is excellent during the fall and winter. Dorado and wahoo also frequent these waters.