San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Action Fast and Furious on Pacific

As usual this time of year, the best fishing on the Pacific is on the southern and central coasts, from Golfito north to Quepos and Cabo Blanco.

All the way south, out of the Golfito region, Roy’s Zancudo Lodge reports 42 sailfish and seven marlin releases fishing four to nine boats a day for the four days ending Sunday, and as always there is great inshore fishing in the area.

From the same region, Katie McClave reports from Parrot Bay Village, on the southern coast of the Osa Peninsula, that repeat clients Pete Alvarez, Burke Holland, his father George and Joe Anton, from New Jersey, fished for five days, working both offshore and inshore, and had all the action they could handle, from sailfish and marlin to cubera, tuna, a host of smaller snapper, roosterfish and more.

On the northern coast of the peninsula, Fred Maschmeir reports from his boat the El Gato, out of DrakeBay, that black marlin are in solid. He released a 300-pounder and hooked and battled two others, one estimated at well over 600 pounds jumping repeatedly as it dragged his boat for seven miles before finally breaking the leader. He said they see a lot of sails, but they are not hitting.

Boats out of Quepos and Los Sueños, on the central coast, are finding the action fast and furious.

Jeanette Perez reports her J.P. Sportfishing fleet based in Quepos is raising 10-15 sailfish and a few marlin every day, with ideal water conditions. For daily reports and fish counts from J.P., visit

Farther north, my son, Kingfisher skipper Rick Ruhlow, reported by cell phone about noon on Monday from Cabo Blanco, where he was fishing about 30 miles south of his home base at Carrillo, that marlin outnumber sailfish. Two hours later he called again to say they had found the sails, and had caught and released three since his prior call, and that the six boats fishing the same area had seen a dozen or more. The Wetass II released two marlin Sunday, the Permit nailed one and the Silverado has scored at least one marlin every day for the past week.

Fish are not being found under the porpoise schools as is most often the case, but boats out of Carrillo are still finding tuna, dorado and the occasional wahoo inshore, Rick added.

At Barra Colorado, on the northern Caribbean coast, Dan Wise of Río Colorado Lodge said anglers are all getting at least one tarpon a day, with the silver rockets concentrated just inside the breaker line of the river.

He had six boats out Sunday and Monday, with one fisherman going two for 15 tarpon in the air and another four for nine jumped.

The migration of newly hatched snook is now under way in that area, and is truly a marvel of nature. Wise said that millions of the tiny fingerlings extend for miles from the river mouth up the river, flowing like a ribbon of black three feet wide, and attracting vast numbers of feeding birds that follow the migration into Nicaragua.

Frances Roig, mother of Zancudo Lodge owner Roy Ventura, has been at the lodge fishing ultra-light tackle on four-pound line, bringing them in by the bucket full to supply the lodge with fish for the dinner table.

Apparently more Tico Times readers are interested in fishing than I suspected. I have had more than a dozen e-mails from readers regarding that mystery fish we wrote about, one of them from a reader in Canada who took issue at my comment that it could not have been a bonefish because we don’t have that species in Costa Rica.

He claims we do have bonefish here, but after 20 years keeping track of fishing in these waters, I believe he may be mistaken. Do any readers have knowledge of that species, more common to Florida, having been caught or seen in Costa Rica?


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