Costa Rica Fishing, Sport Fishing in Costa Rica
Costa Rica fishing means a shot at big blue marlin Costa Rica fishing for Pacific Sailfish
If you have never been fishing in Costa Rica or made the trip to Costa Rica, then you must come down and try it. It has everything to offer that a tropical “fishing paradise” is supposed to have plus so much more. Southern Costa Rica Sport Fishing is located in the far southwestern corner of Costa Rica where development hasn’t encroached yet and where the rain forest is still in its original natural state. Our region, the Osa Peninsula, has extremely resource-rich fishing grounds that are teeming with marine life because they have yet to be exploited by hordes of inexperienced anglers that might be somewhat unfriendly to the natural balances of the Costa Rica fishing grounds.
There is not an overabundance of Costa Rica fishing charters on the Osa Peninsula which is good news and the ones that are here like Captain Mark and Southern Costa Rica Sport Fishing practice catch and release if at all possible. Captain Mark always operates his Costa Rica fishing vacations as an environment-friendly service and does his part to conserve, preserve, and protect the many spectacular but fragile marine resources. As anglers aboard Captain Marks sportfishing boat, you will be allowed to keep all the fish you want.
Costa Rica Fishing Adventure Trip
Whether you are tuna fishing or marlin fishing in Costa Rica you must make sure you have an experienced Captain and crew that works well together as a team and runs their charters like a well-oiled fishing machine. Fish like marlin, yellowfin tuna, or other big game species of Costa Rica are very large and powerful fish and to properly fish for and especially land one of these monstrous beauties takes an experienced charter Captain that knows what to do in every situation. When you are on a Costa Rica charter fishing trip with Captain Mark you can rest assured that he takes everything into consideration while on the boat to account for safety and success.
Mark Corn, your Costa Rica fishing boat Captain looks at what must be over a hundred things that determine how and where he will fish that includes everything from the weather, the latest fish reports, to the experience of the anglers on board. Captain Mark includes his anglers and gets them involved in as many aspects of the catch as possible. He doesn’t hook the fish and hand you the rod (unless you want him to) but rather lets you hook your own fish and climb into the fighting chair and go to work. But he will never give you more than you are comfortable with and will never ask you to do something you don’t wish to do. But because you participate in hooking your own fish you learn more and really get immersed into what Costa Rica fishing is all about.
Costa Rica Marlin Fishing
Marlin is without a doubt the most prized fish available in the Costa Rica Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica Marlin fishing means blue marlin, black marlin, and even striped marlin and many sport fishermen will travel to Costa Rica to fish for marlin only and will pay little if any attention to the many other wonderful species available while sport fishing in Costa Rica. This type of angler is usually an enthusiastic sportfishing adventure seeker with only one thing in mind, to take advantage of these exceptional Costa Rica fishing grounds and get hooked up with the biggest marlin possible. Many of these marlin hunters are looking to catch what they call a tonner, or what would be a 2000 pound marlin.
Tuna Fishing in Costa Rica
Yellowfin tuna fishing in Costa Rica also offers fast action for visiting anglers looking to catch a large hard-charging fish that will challenge their fishing skills. Yellowfin tuna are strong swimmers that use pure brute force to make deep dives and long reel screaming runs to shake the hook loose and escape back to the freedom of the ocean. Tuna is a formidable adversary and will certainly challenge your fishing knowledge and physical strength and a large hard fighting tuna can leave even the best anglers mentally and physically drained. But it will all be worth it when you succeed in boating this magnificent creature and have him cooking on the grill later that same evening.
Costa Rica Deep Sea Fishing Species
Fish with the best rod n reels
Deep-sea fishing in Costa Rica has great marlin fishing, it has great tuna fishing, but what about the many other popular species that roam the Costa Rica fishing grounds of the Pacific Ocean? Well as you like to know the fishing in Costa Rica is exceptional and while marlin fishing is a major draw for the area many visiting anglers just want to catch something big. Anglers that come here to just catch something big usually go home very satisfied, with pictures to prove it.
Ask the anglers what they want to catch and you will likely get 5 different answers. Some will say Pacific sailfish, or a wahoo, a big bull dolphin, or how about a big roosterfish? The good news is we catch all of these species, plus some others, throughout most of the year and during our summer months from Dec to late May they are all abundantly available. The “Bottom Line” is we catch all these species and when you book your Costa Rica fishing trip with Captain Mark and Southern Costa Rica Sport Fishing you will enjoy catching these fish too and you will be telling fish stories (true ones) to your homebound fishing buddies that will have them coming with you on your next Costa Rica sportfishing trip.
Costa Rica Fishing Species
As we have said the Costa Rica fishing grounds are absolutely teeming with exceptional big game species to target. The species list is long and includes 3 types of marlin, multiple grouper species, and plenty of species most that anglers visiting the Osa Peninsula region of Costa Rica will never catch back home. The pristine ocean waters of Costa Rica are a beautiful cobalt blue and are packed full of an abundant array of sportfishing that is unrivaled in their diversity, size, and sheer numbers.
Costa Rica Fishing – Sport Fishing Species
Popular Sport Fishing Species of the Osa Peninsula and Panama. As you can see when it comes to Costa Rica sport fishing there are many great big game species including big billfish. When you make the trek to Costa Rica or Panama for your fishing vacation you certainly have a chance at catching one or most of these pictured species. Panama fishing also features Black Marlin fishing as they are fairly plentiful down in Panama’s Coiba Island waters. So check out the fish, book your charter vacation, and get ready to hook up with one of these magnificent sea creatures on your next Panama or Costa Rica fishing trip.
Pacific Blue Marlin
|Other Names:||Aguja Azul|
The Atlantic and Pacific specimens are nearly identical in appearance. The back and upper portions of the body are dark, cobalt blue in color, including the first dorsal fin. The lower portion has a silver-white color. In many cases, there are up to 15 vertical stripes, consisting of small dots and narrow bars, with a light cobalt blue color. These stripes become quite bright when the fish is ready to strike or when hooked, but they rapidly disappear when the fish is removed from the water. The remaining blue marlin fins are generally black-brown in color and the anal fins have a bit of silver-white tinge. The principal way to distinguish blue marlin from their relatives is to examine the shape of the dorsal fin tip, which is more pointed on blue marlin. In addition, the spots found on the fins of most marlin are absent on the blue marlin.
Blue marlin can be found in tropical and warm temperate waters around the globe, mostly in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is the most tropical of the billfish and is often found in waters near the equator. In eastern Pacific waters, they can be found in an area generally from southern California along the coast of Mexico to Peru in South America.
Blue marlin feed primarily near the surface, though they occasionally dive to deeper water to feed, depending on where their prey is found. Their diet consists mostly of fish and other sea life found near the surface and is highly dependent upon location. This diet can include tuna, mackerel, squid, octopus and any number of fish species indigenous to the environment.
Most believe Blue Marlin is the most sought after of all the ocean sport fish. A super strong and powerful bill-fish, blue marlin will fight hard and run fast for many hours on end, especially when you are hooked up to a very large marlin. They can suddenly dive to deep water and can make wild jumps like some type of fish acrobatic. With impressive endurance, it is not uncommon to see a hooked fish make up to 40 or more spectacular jumps. This fish can be a tough test of an anglers deep sea fishing skills.
Very little is known about the biology of the blue marlin including their migrations and spawning habits. They are known to be a highly mobile species that travels the warm ocean currents with the seasons in search of comfortable water temperatures. This species inhabits depths up to about 600 feet and water temperatures between 70 and 86 F. They are primarily an offshore species found along the edges of continental shelves, near oceanic mountains, underwater canyons, especially near a warm ocean current. Within these environments, they are most likely to be found near large sources of tuna, mackerel, and squid. Although they may occasionally form schools of up to 10 members, as they age they become more solitary in their habits.
|Other Names:||Spindlebeak, Pez Vela|
Pacific sailfish are dark blue to dark blue-green on top, though when excited they become brighter, attaining a color some call “electric blue.” The sides are brown-blue fading to silver-white on the belly. The primary color of the sail dorsal is steel blue. The upper body and the main dorsal fin are sprinkled with light and dark blue spots. The sides often have powder blue or blue-gray vertical stripes. Many Pacific sailfish have a gold or copper tint to the gill covers, especially when fatigued. Averages 30-60 pounds, but many under 30 pounds and a few up to 100 pounds are also taken. Potential maximum is less than 150 pounds in the Atlantic Ocean. World record 221 pounds.
Sailfish can be found in tropical and warm temperate waters throughout the world, mostly in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Sailfish are very plentiful off the Costa Rica coast and Panama coast. In eastern Pacific waters, they can be found in an area generally running from southern California along the coast of Mexico to Peru in South America.
Sailfish feed primarily near the surface, though they occasionally dive to deeper water to feed, depending on where their prey is found. Their diet consists mostly of fish and other sea life found near the surface and is highly dependent upon location.
Unsurpassed in its size range for combined strength and spectacle. A highly popular target for sport fishermen, Pacific sailfish are a prized trophy species. Their popularity is a result of the challenge of catching one using light tackle, their penchant for dramatic leaps out of the water, and their stunning beauty. Due to declining numbers resulting from overfishing, most sailfish are now caught and released, though this is not as common off the coast of Mexico and Central America.
Like the other billfish, the Sailfish is considered an ocean species, but generally can be found closer to land than the rest, seeming to prefer areas where coral reefs and/or freshwater runoffs mingle with ocean water. At times the Sailfish comes right into the surf and quite a few have been caught over the years from beaches and piers.
|Other Names:||Thunnus Albacares – (Scientific Name)|
Yellowfin tuna have a muscular, streamlined body like a swimming torpedo and like all tuna, they can swim fast as lightning. A tuna’s color is dark blue to black on the back and tail fin, yellow and silver on the side and belly. The second dorsal and anal fins are yellow and very long in older fish. Finlets run down the back and belly from these two fins to the tail fin and are a bright, canary yellow with black edges.
Yellowfin tuna are found worldwide in tropical and some subtropical waters. These bodies of water include all three warm oceans Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and all warm seas except the Mediterranean.
Various baitfish, crustaceans, and squids make up the bulk of their diet. They will hit chunks of cut-up fish, (called chunking). Drift near a school, cut up your bait fish into halves and use for chumming while you place a fish head or half a fish on your hook. Toss out your line, no lead, and work it back into the chum pieces you throw over the side. A tune may hit the bait right near the surface. They feed most often at or near the surface and are often active at night.
Yellowfin tuna are considered excellent food and sport fish and are highly sought after by anglers and commercial fishermen alike. After hitting a lure or bait, they often go deep and will fight with great power and tenacity.
Though they can withstand cooler water, yellowfin tuna prefer warm water and are found mainly in waters between 62 and 80 F. Yellowfin tuna, particularly young fish, usually school below the surface but over deep water, often several hundred feet. They avoid depths because of their intolerance for low concentrations of oxygen.
|Other Names:||Peto, Ono|
Long, slender body marked with zebra-like stripes of white and deep blue or black. The mouth is elongated and narrow, and equipped with razor-sharp teeth.
Wahoo is present in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans in clear, tropical and subtropical waters. Heavy seasonal concentrations occur off the Pacific coasts of Panama, Costa Rica, and Baja California in the summer. Offshore of all Florida coasts, especially the Keys, but for more plentiful in the Bahamas and many Caribbean Islands.
While the wahoo is perfectly capable of biting chunks out of large fish, it primarily feeds on whole small fishes, such as sardines, scads, mackerel, and squid. They are frequently solitary feeders, but they may sometimes be found in small, loose groups. Wahoo is sub-surface hunters that hang several feet below the surface and shoot up to attack prey with tremendous speed. Although they feed at all times, they tend to be more active in the morning and evening hours.
May strike a surface bait in spectacular, greyhounding fashion, but seldom jumps after being hooked. The wild fight is characterized by several sizzling runs, usually at or near the surface. One of the fastest of all gamefish.
Roams the deep blue water, but anglers can find them by working dropoffs, seamounts, weed lines and other favorable feeding locations.
|Other Names:||Mahi Mahi, Dolphinfish, Dorado|
The body of the dolphin is quite slender but fairly deep, with a noticeable tapering from head to tail. The male of the species is distinguished from the female by its high, vertical head. The anal fin has approximately 30 soft rays and stretches over half of the length of the body. The distinctive dorsal fin is long, covering almost three-fourths of the body, and has around 60 soft rays. The caudal fin is deeply forked and contains no spines. — A blaze of blue and yellow or deep green and yellow when in the water, and sometimes shows dark vertical stripes as well when excited. Small dark spots on sides. Dorsal fin extends nearly from head to tail. Head is very blunt in males (bulls); rounded in females (cows).
While the greatest concentrations of dolphin are believed to be in the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific, they are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters and warm water currents. All offshore waters of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
Dolphin is known as voracious predators. While their favorite prey is the flying fish, they also consume squid, shrimp, crustaceans and even smaller dolphin. Using a keen sense of eyesight the dolphin locates most food near clumps of floating vegetation and objects.
The dolphin is considered one of the top offshore game fish and is highly targeted by anglers around the world. It is famous for its leaps and flips over the surface when hooked. Because of their speed and agility, dolphin provides for an exciting catch as they run long and jump often.
Dolphin is a warm-water fish usually found in deep waters, close to the surface. While sometimes found in coastal waters, they often concentrate in the open ocean around floating objects such as buoys, driftwood, and seaweed clusters. They are considered to be the most surface-oriented of all big-game fish.
|Other Names:||Pez Gallo, Papagallo|
Grayback, silver body with two pronounced diagonal stripes. Pectoral fin long and sickle-shaped, dorsal fin very elongated and supposedly has a likeness to a rooster’s comb, hence the common name. The tail fin is deeply forked as is typical of all members of the jack family.
The Pacific Ocean, Sea of Cortez
Live bait, with mullet and sardines as their favorite. Rarely taken on lures, but when feeding will hit surface jigs.
An angler will see the roosterfish come upon and boil on the trolled bait. They will typically circle and whack at the offering before actually crashing on it. A furious fighter with unequaled stamina, unpredictable slashing moves, jumps, and long screaming runs.
Surf and Rocky areas offshore. Can also be found near islands and reefs.
Fishing in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
Unspoiled Costa Rica beach on the Osa Peninsula
Cobalt blue waters and the natural rain forest line this unspoiled beach of the Osa Peninsula.
There are many things that make the Osa Peninsula in the southern region of Costa Rica worth visiting. We would say that Osa deep sea sportfishing would have to be hands down the number one reason for visiting the Osa Peninsula, at least for anglers and sportfishing enthusiasts. Just imagine being at your lodge the night before the first day of your Osa deep sea sportfishing trip. A slight breeze is blowing, you can hear the famous Costa Rica surf pounding the beach and you have already seen white-faced monkeys staring at you from their perch in a nearby tree of the lush rain forest.
You are tucked away in the rain forest away from the hustle and bustle of the city you left at home. Your dinner is served upon the viewing deck where you can watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, exactly where you will be cranking in powerful blue marlin or feisty dorado the very next morning. The excitement starts to build, you are about to go sportfishing in this tropical fishing paradise as soon as the morning arrives. Now all you have to do is overcome all the anticipation and go to sleep so the morning and your first day of Costa Rica fishing will get here faster.
The Osa Peninsula, Southern Costa Rica Information
In the southwestern corner of Costa Rica, there is a quiet little piece of tropical paradise called the Osa Peninsula. This is an outdoor adventurers dreamland and is the country’s most spectacular region for Pacific Ocean sport fishing and marlin fishing. Whether you want to go hiking in the rain forest, visit unspoiled beaches, or go Costa Rica sportfishing you can expect Osa to have everything you would want in your dream vacation.
The Osa peninsula which is located on the Pacific Ocean along the southwestern Costa Rica coast is undoubtedly one of the best fishing hot spots for deep sea fishing in all of South America. The Osa Peninsula is nearly 30 miles to the north of Panama and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the well known Golfo Dulce to the east. The Osa Peninsula is more remote than other parts of the country like Quepos to the north but has more unspoiled rain forests, cleaner beaches, and better sportfishing which usually produces bigger fish.
Costa Rica rain forest on the Osa Peninsula
The natural beauty of the Costa Rica rain forest and the Osa Peninsula offers picturesque views that you must capture on film to carry home for others to see.
The Osa Peninsula is accessible by road, an eight-hour drive from San Jose along the Pan American highway, or 50 minutes by one of the daily commuter flights. It is more lush and tropical here than in northern Costa Rica with spectacular wildlife, deserted beaches, and virgin forests. The population of the entire area is about 5,000 people with approximately 100 foreigners, mostly Americans, living here on the Osa Peninsula at least part of the year. For the natives and other folks that live here, the Osa Peninsula is what Costa Rica and Costa Rica fishing are all about. Not only in terms of landscape and outdoor adventure but also the rich culture and the Costa Rican people.
The Osa’s unique bio-diversity is made up of eight different habitats including cloud forest and the largest and most exuberant lowland wet tropical forest remaining in all of Pacific Central America. Species density and geographical location make it totally unique. The Osa is home to Corcovado National Park, the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s National Park system and habitat where many endangered animal and plant species still thrive. The largest trees in Costa Rica are found in the forests of the Osa.
Corcovado and the surrounding area has been called one of the most biologically diverse places on earth by none other than National Geographic. Truly a paradise lost, it is a place where jaguars still roam the jungles, Scarlet Macaws fly freely around the towns, and monkeys are found in numbers unmatched in all of Costa Rica and most of Central America. Non “mainstream” tourists have discovered this previously little known, rugged paradise and come from around the world to experience the “wild side” of Costa Rica and sample some of the world-class fishing, surfing and exploring. The Osa Peninsula is without a doubt Costa Rica’s best-kept secret! An outdoor adventurer’s dream and a sportfishing paradise, Outside Magazine calls it… “The last best peninsula!”
A beautiful sunset on the Osa Peninsula
Imagine yourself sitting here and snapping this picture. Quiet and relaxing beaches with clear pristine blue water help make the Osa Penisula a vacationers paradise.
The main town near Osa is Puerto Jimenez which was at one time an old frontier town for gold mining and cattle ranching and could only be reached by boat. Ten years ago, the road came in connecting Jimenez to the Pan American highway. Seven years later, the main-grid power made the same connection. During those years, tourist began arriving. Many flying in to visit the more remote lodges. Today, tourism and foreign investments are the main sources of income for this area and the great Costa Rica sportfishing is at the top of the list.
Puerto Jimenez, with it’s improved airport with daily commuter flights from San Jose plus two busses makes getting here no problem these days. There is a daily passenger ferry to Golfito, previously Central America’s Mecca for banana exportation and home to Chiquita Banana. Costa Rica’s largest and best-equipped National Parks Service operates out of Puerto Jimenez. Jimenez has a small hospital and a handful of businesses that sell groceries, hardware and building supplies, shops, and restaurants. Four-wheel drive taxis can take you almost anywhere in the peninsula. Today, Internet service, cellular phones and even Direct TV are all available.
Fishing in the Golfo Dulce
The Golfo Dulce is an inshore tropical sportfishing paradise in its own right. With waters rich in mineral content the Golfo Dulce attracts a very large quantity of baitfish which in turn attracts many record big game fish anglers target. Because of the rich marine food source and because sporting anglers tend to practice catch and release more often the Golfo Dulce seems to produce a new record fish every year. Situated on a small harbor facing the Golfo Dulce, the waterfront provides good anchorage and has a public pier where you board your Osa sport fishing charters each morning.
You can also catch Yellowfin tuna, Wahoos, Giant Dorados, Pacific Sailfish and three kinds of Marlin. Near the shore, the 1000 ft. deep waters of the gulf are full of a variety of fish as well. Rain-forested hills provide a scenic background as you fish for Sierra Mackerel, Snook, Pompano, Amber Jack, 4 types of snapper and other exotic species.
Southern Costa Rica Climate
CLIMATE…How’s the weather? Warm all year, of course… it’s the tropics! However, being a peninsula of land surrounded by water creates a more favorable climate. More so than Guanacaste and even south Florida in the summer for example. The land is green year-round with December through April being our “summer”. Daytime temperatures are usually in the 90’s with little or no rain. The rainy season starts around May in the form of afternoon showers or rain at night. This weather pattern continues until September and October when the heavy rains begin. Daytime temperatures during the rainy season are normally in the 70’s and 80’s but can dip into the “chilling” ’60s at times.
Aside from being prime time for Costa Rica fishing, the winter also happens to be the migratory season for whales, and this is the dry season in Costa Rica when you will find warm perfect weather and blue skies. Whale sharks, Blue and humpback whales can all be seen on a tour. 3 different types of porpoises live here year-round, so you are sure to see them as well. Sea snakes and sea turtles are other creatures you can see on land and in the water as well.
Southern Costa Rica Sport Fishing – Tours and Activities
Day off from Costa Rica sport fishing?? Take a surfing tour.
Got a day off from Costa Rica fishing? Maybe you’d like to take a surfing lesson and ride down the face of a Costa Rica wave.
In addition to the great Costa Rica sportfishing, whether it is offshore charter fishing or fly fishing for sailfish there are many other activities and tours for you and your family. All our Costa Rica sport fishing packages have two days off from fishing which means you have time for a few of the fun tours or other activities that are offered at your lodge. With the wide variety of tours and activities, there is almost always something that will appeal to everybody. Don’t want to challenge the ocean on a surfboard? Then you could try looking at some beach scenery from a horse on your horseback riding tour.
Climbing to the top of the rain forest on a zipline sound good to you? If not maybe you want to try something that you likely have never ever tried before – if so then get ready to try a little panning for gold. That’s right! Panning for gold. And that’s not it, there is scuba diving, water skiing, swimming with the dolphins, whale watching, river and wildlife refuge excursions, bird watching, waterfall rappelling, and so much more. Some items may depend on what package you select as location may determine if some tours or activities are available. So if you think fishing in Costa Rica is the only thing to do while on your Osa fishing vacation then you would miss out on some other great activities. Of course, you take a Costa Rica fishing vacation to catch exotic big game fish but on your nonfishing days, there is always plenty to do other than sit at the lodge.
Costa Rica waterfall rappelling
When you aren’t on your Costa Rica fishing charter you can spend the day on a waterfall rappelling tour like the one pictured here.
Costa Rica Tours and Activities
What kind of tours do you offer? What activities besides deep-sea fishing are there in Costa Rica? Those are the main two questions. Well, there is a long list of tours and activities to fit every personality, all physical abilities, and all ages.
Some of the Tours and Activities Include everything from swimming with dolphins to climbing 100′ high trees of the Costa Rica rain forest. Some of the tours and activities available include:
Rain forest hikes
Bird watching tours
Repelling from 100ft trees – from the canopy of the rain forest
Checkout Everyday Adventures for more information.
More Costa Rica Tours and activities…….
Another tour guide we use is Escondido Trex
If that’s not enough we have more tour guides we use like OSA Adventura that offer some great activities.
Rappelling Down Waterfalls
Tree Climbing & Rappelling Down Waterfalls
Forest Horseback Riding
Horseback Riding & Forest Hike
Beach & Mangrove Horseback Riding
Gold Mining – Panning for gold
Botanical Garden Tour
Herrera Botanical Garden
There are dolphin and whale watching tours and for the really adventurous person, you can even swim with the dolphins. Other items offered include:
Zipline canopy tours.
ATV rentals to go exploring on your own
Animal refuge tour – 30min boat ride across the gulf to a refuge that releases injured animals back into the wild with lots of animals to see.
Horseback riding on the beach and in the rainforest.