San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Billfish and Tarpon Action Red-Hot

Tarpon fishing is red-hot on the northern Caribbean coast, and the gold mine for billfish on the Pacific is 10 or 12 miles straight out from Playa Carrillo, where in recent days anglers have been having the hottest bite I can remember in the 20-plus years I have been writing these reports.

Fishing out of Carrillo, Wetass II skipper Sonny Kocsis reported as many as three marlin and seven sailfish a day last week, along with some dorado. Kocsis has scored 25 marlin releases since Jan. 1.

There’s also great fishing in the Golfito region on the southernmost Pacific coast, where Zancudo Lodge had 11 boats out for three days, working 15 to 25 miles out and scoring 86 sailfish and two blue marlin in the 200-pound class.

Action slowed Thursday and Friday of last week, but the bite turned on again over the weekend, and 15 boats from the lodge tallied 63 sailfish releases and a 300-pound marlin.

Fishing has not been nearly as good on the central Pacific coast, where J.P. Sportfishing reports its Quepos boats aren’t doing any better than one or two sails for the most part, though the Big Eye II had seven sails in one day more than a week ago.

Here’s hoping the central coast bite picks up in time for the fourth annual Boomer Esiason Foundation Costa Rica Classic International Billfish Tournament, scheduled for March 23-24 out of Los Sueños Marina.

All proceeds from the tourney will be used to fight cystic fibrosis in Costa Rica. The event last year raised $25,000 for the foundation.

For more info, contact Mike Hill in Costa Rica at 344-3660 or, or visit

On the Caribbean coast, Dan Wise reports from Río Colorado Lodge that the weather has been beautiful, and a bit warm during the day when there is no breeze.

Total fish for the week as of last Sunday was 86 tarpon jumped, with 28 brought to the boat for release, along with six snook caught by Roy Haskell and Raymond Duff from Arizona, who also jumped six tarpon and boated two.

Sara and Ron Hendrickson from Minnesota in one day jumped four tarpon, boating one. Neal Orser from Pennsylvania and Gregory Evans of New Jersey in one day jumped 15 and boated four tarpon, while Louisiana anglers Carolyn and John Milner jumped eight and boated two in two days.

Richard Molden Hauer of East Aurora, New York, jumped 11 and boated four in two days on fly and conventional tackle. Michael Buck and Thorston Kramn, from Germany, in three days jumped 25 and boated nine on fly and conventional tackle, and Bob and Patricia Tarver and Jennifer Reap jumped 17 tarpon and boated six.

All of the action has been in the river mouth, just inside the breakers, and outside on the rip line,Wise said.


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