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Costa Rica Fishing

The Best Fishing in Costa Rica Fishing

Sportfishing in Costa Rica offers a mix of sensations that motivates the research of wild emotions. The sea, the fishing rod, the beautiful views, and the company of friends, all together, form one of the most intense and pleasurable experiences. The main fishing method used is the current catch and release system, which is precise to release the fish after capture. The waters of the Pacific Ocean Costa Rica, famous for its record sailfish, dorado fish, yellowfin tuna, and roosterfish, these species are particularly great fighters and very difficult to understand, but with the help of leaders’ area, we can help fishermen who visit us to get to the capture of these specimens.

Costa Rica Fishing Los Sueños

Discover the beautiful Central Pacific corridors and experience its unique wildlife and not so easy to detect in other areas, see whales, sea turtles, dolphins, among others. Admire the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica North Pacific waters of pristine white sand beach fringed by coral reefs and exotic fish.

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We have designed Big Fish Costa for the serious angler. Fishing in Costa Rica with the right guide in the right month can be the fishing experience of a lifetime. Whether it’s huge tarpon, sailfish, marlin, dolphin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, cubera snapper, the infamous roosterfish or any of our 16 freshwater fish including snook and rainbow trout, your Costa Rica fishing experience will be memorable.

All the fishing trips come down to planning, some anglers have to plan their trips a year in advance, so knowing where, when, and who can make or break your trip. Please drop us a line, an e-mail, or call us so we can help you with everything from the right guide, a guest house, or a day of sightseeing. We’d like to think of ourselves as one-stop shopping. Enjoy the website and we look forward to hearing from you.

Native Fish Descriptions

The diversity of the fish on Costa Rica’s two coasts is rivaled in a few other places around the world. Top-notch sportfishing, deep-sea fishing, and other types of fishing are all available in Costa Rica’s crystal blue waters. Listed below are the fish native to the area, and plentiful in their numbers. Even the elusive Rooster Fish can be well represented if you plan your vacation wisely. View our Fish Availability Calendar to see the best times of year to catch the native Costa Rican fish.


Dorado Mahi Mahi

Dorado Mahi Mahi

(Mahi Mahi, Dolphinfish) – This beautifully and brightly colored fish is a favorite of most anglers in the Caribbean and other warm water areas. Its fast speeds and strong fight allow it to be elusive and challenging. Large schools of Dorado can be found from May through November, yet the fish is available in smaller quantities for the remainder of the year. Don’t worry nature lovers…although it is called a “dolphinfish” it is not similar to the protected and intelligent true dolphins. A prized food fish, the Dorado is served in many tropical restaurants and is often the special of the day in Caribbean themed grills.

Marlin (Black or Blue) 

Found on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, these monster fish are sought after by the true sports fisherman. Marlin can grow to upwards of 2000 pounds. Blue Marlin, the more common of the two varieties, can be found almost year-round, but are extremely plentiful from December to April. Black Marlin are plentiful during April and May. These beautiful fish are often stuffed and used as decorations for the serious angler. Their “sword” similar to a sword fish’s spiked nose but grouped with the spearfish, rather than the swordfish, make this fish eye-catching and prized.

Sailfish in Costa Rica

Another year-round Costa Rican resident, the sailfish is a beautiful and strong fishing specimen. Many tournaments are based around this airborne fish. When hooked, this fish flails and jumps with a display out of the water that is any fisherman’s and nature photographer’s dream. They are quite abundant from December to March but swim the waters of Costa Rica in decent numbers all throughout the year.

Yellowfin Tuna 

Yellowfin Tuna 

Common year-round on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the yellowfin tuna is strong and can be as large as 350 pounds. A great fight can be had by any angler, even with the smaller of the species (about 10 pounds).

Snook Fish

This rainy season fish is common in rivers and Atlantic coast lagoons. Their availability usually peaks between March and May and then September through November but their appearance depends largely on the onset of the rainy seasons in Costa Rica. Popular with the locals, this fish is easy to catch when you can find them in their preferred murky waters and is perfect for the beginner angler.

Snapper Fish

(Cubera Snapper) – A shallow, warm water fish, snappers are plentiful throughout the Caribbean, southern Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. The Cubera Snapper, commonly found in Costa Rica, is a strong fighting fish when hooked, and are also a delicious food fish commonly served in Caribbean and Tropical themed restaurants as a staple fish type.

Tarpon  Fish

A favorite of Captain Tony no matter where he is fishing, Tarpon can be found almost anywhere in the Caribbean. While the availability of tarpon seems to peak in the early spring, they can be found in smaller numbers year-round. Their strong fight is a challenge for even the most experienced angler. And again for you nature lovers, tarpon, while large and beautiful in photos, are not a food fish, and are immediately released.

Guapote – A river and lake freshwater fish, this Costa Rican native seems to have a brilliant mind of its own. The fish resembles an American bass but is not related to the North American traditional fish. Not only are these fish attractively marked and colored, they literally try to outsmart the seasoned angler.

Once hooked, they swim deeper in their chosen slow-moving environment and try to cut the fisherman’s lines on the dense weeds and sticks of their homeland.

Within their own schools, these fish have elaborate battles, with displays of aggression rarely seen in a freshwater fish. They are a common tropical aquarium fish due to their colorings but require intense care, large amounts of food, and a very stable environment to survive in.


Available year-round, but hard to catch, the Roosterfish is a prize every Costa Rican fisherman strives for. Their striking appearance (with a fan-like dorsal fin similar to a rooster’s fan) and their very aggressive strong nature make this a serious angler’s dream. The fight this deep water dweller puts up can make a fisherman’s vacation.

Wahoo – This unfriendly fish can be found virtually anywhere in the world but can be found in large numbers in the summer months off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. While not particularly strong, the wahoo is fast, and when hooked, immediately takes off in a spectacular burst of speed and accuracy. The inexperienced angler could lose a line or even a reel to such a fast fish. But, once pulled aboard, the angler is rewarded with one of the tastiest fish in the ocean.

Wahoo: Fishing Costa Rica
Wahoo: Fishing Costa Rica

Other Fish, Visiting Species: Descriptions

The ocean is a big place, and fish don’t need a visa to travel to new areas. Often when there are unseasonably warm waters, heavy rains, or other abnormalities, neighboring fish species from Mexico, the northern Caribbean, or even deeper off-shore will come to the beautiful coasts of Costa Rica. There is no guarantee that you will see these species, but the adventuring angler could be fortunate enough to hook some of these interesting visitors.

African Pompano – Another Florida native, this silvery fish puts up a good struggle for a smaller weight fish. This fish can be found in any warm water area in the world but prefers the Atlantic hot spots. This fish can be seen on the Atlantic or Pacific Costa Rican coast on a more regular basis than most of the other visiting fish.

Grouper (Leopard) – There are many varieties of grouper found in most Southern areas in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The Leopard Grouper, a fish with an interesting leopard pattern, is a wonderful food fish as most groupers are, and are seen commonly in most seafood restaurants. This variety of grouper will migrate to the Costa Rican coast when the rains are exceptionally heavy, or the water temperatures are fluctuating.

Hawkfish – There are many varieties of Hawkfish, most notably the brightly colored aquarium favorites that adjust very well to life in captivity. Their aggressive nature means that they need more space, and privacy than most fish, and travel only in small schools or congregate during breeding seasons. They are normally found in the South and Indo-Pacific but will move to the Costa Rica Pacific coast when food supplies surge.

Jack Crevalle – A fish native to the Atlantic Ocean, can be commonly found off the Florida Coast but also spends some time offshore, especially for breeding. This fish varies greatly in size depending on the environment, anywhere from 3 – 50 pounds is common. Known for their long, drawn-out battles when they are hooked, even the most experienced angler could fight the larger of the species for over an hour to finally make the catch. The smaller of the species are relatively easy to hook and put up a fun fight for the beginner angler. They appear on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica when the waters around Florida are cooler or the temperature is fluctuating.

Ladyfish – This slender dainty fish can be found commonly on the Atlantic Florida coast and often moves from saltwater to freshwater estuaries and inlets. Its smaller size and tendency to travel in large schools make this a perfect starter fish for beginners. It will travel down the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, and into the freshwater water sources when food supplies up north are dwindling.

Mexican Lookdown – A silvery, flatfish commonly seen on the Eastern Pacific, Southern California Coast through Mexico, is known locally as the Antena. While it is a food fish, it is not as commonly seen in restaurants as some of the other local tropical fish. This fish will migrate to the Costa Rican coast in search of food and warmer waters.

Needlefish – A delicate often small fish with an elongated upper and lower jaw commonly travels in large schools and is native to South America’s freshwater sources, Hawaii, the Atlantic coasts, and Australia. The 60+ species of needlefish vary greatly in size, some as small as one inch, some as large as 3 feet long. They can sometimes be found in Costa Rica’s coastlines and freshwater areas.

Sting Ray – These flat, graceful fish with long “tails” have long been the study of oceanographers all over the world. Common in reef areas including Florida’s coastline, Hawaii, and Australia, as well as some parts of the eastern Pacific, these fish can be awe-striking or even startling to the scuba diver or observer. They are not often hooked, but can be seen bottom-feeding, or swimming gracefully through the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica when the waters are exceptionally warm.

Trevally (Blue Fin, Big Eye) – A native to many areas of the Pacific, including the coasts of Australia, Mexico, and Argentina, the trevally is a fighter. Hooking this fish can lead to a struggle sometimes ending in the smart breed cutting your lines on the sharp reefs, a preferred habitat for the species. These fish, especially the Blue Fin, can be seen off the Costa Rica Pacific Coast when the water is warm and the food is plentiful.

Yellowfin Croaker – This California and Mexico Native is a beautiful elongated yellow-toned fish that is usually small in weight and easy to hook. These fish are good starters for new surf anglers and can be seen on the Pacific Costa Rican coast when the waters in the north are cooler.

Wahoo Fish: Fishing in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fishing Packages

Planning your dream vacation can be time consuming and unpredictable. Allow us to assist you in planning the perfect Costa Rican fishing vacation, from airport transfer reservations to fishing trips to sightseeing. Right down the the last detail, we can help you customize your vacation experience to your needs, your time table, and your budget.

We can help find you the best way to get to your fishing location in Costa Rica, making sure you arrive at your place with closest to best activities for you. We can even arrange a car rental to be waiting for you at the airport upon your arrival.

Then, we can find you the perfect resort, hotel, guesthouse or cozy local bed and breakfast suited to your style and close to your activities (especially fishing!!). Based on where you will be staying, we can then help plan your activities, or no activities at all for a completely relaxing vacation. Take one of our many customized fishing trips for fish such as marlin, sailfish, rooster fish, mahi mahi, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, and cubera snapper.

For all of you advanced anglers, Captain Tony will take you to the best local fishing spots for full or half day trips. Are you new to fishing, or will it be your first time out? No problem! Captain Tony’s extensive fishing background is just what you need to learn the tools and tricks of the trade. Allow Captain Tony to show you why he loves fishing so much through your own customized hands on learning trip. Want to combine your fishing trip with snorkeling, swimming, or beach hopping? No problem. Captain Tony will design your trip for YOU!

Even though we’d like to think that fishing is the most important thing to do in Costa Rica…we know that this beautiful country has much more to offer than its bountiful catch! Allow us to plan your sightseeing, shopping, hiking, and other activities so you can take in the beauty and culture of this fine country. Customized and packaged sightseeing trips, trips to downtown Nosara, to the local cultural landmarks, and through the vast tropical rain forest complete with cloud forests and active volcanoes all await you through Captain Tony.

So, give us a call and we will plan your customized vacation for you…Hope to hear from you soon

506 8524 0071