San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nice Bites Along Pacific Coast; Caribbean Is Hot

The fishing along the Pacific continues to bring in a variety of species.

We’ve had sunny days, evening showers and relatively calm seas up and down the coast.

Up at LakeArenal in north-central Costa Rica, things are getting back to normal after a week of heavy rains. And the Caribbean side is hot, hot, hot.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Adam Hermsen on the Ocean Smasher in Tamarindo reports a good bite in the area. Boats are averaging two or three sailfish a day mixed in with some wahoo, tuna, mahimahi and a few big marlin – one in the 400-pound range and another up around 700 pounds. The captain recently found a trash line about 12 miles offshore and caught a bunch of yellowfin tuna, some wahoo and a few huge mahimahi.

Dan Ulek went kayak fishing with Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing and caught a nice roosterfish and a few small dorado. After the roosterfish, Ulek was convinced that a kayak is the best way to fish.

Brent Jarrett from Florida fished with his dad aboard the Flamingo II with Capt. Gene Watson. The clients hooked their own fish and went five for 15 on sailfish the first day and three for eight the next, with a nice dorado. Hooking your own fish can be tough, but it’s worth it.

Capt. Randy Wilson on the Talking Fish out of Tamarindo took the Bubrick family out and caught sailfish, tuna, dorado, grouper and snapper. Wilson said the sailfish bite was heating up the last week of July.

Central Pacific

Capt. Jeremy Trujillo on the R&J out of Los Sueños took a couple from the U.S. state of Wisconsin out for some offshore fishing recently, and they ended the day with two sailfish, two tuna and two mahimahi. They were 30 miles out.

Capt. RJ Lilley on the Predator fished the “26 rock,” a submerged rock 20 miles from Los Sueños, with brothers Aaron and Bret Conant from Omaha catching 10 wahoo and six yellowfin tuna. Everyone cleared off early, but Lilley kept with it and was there when the bite turned on. Those Cornhuskers ate well.

A group of five fisherman from Michigan recently went out with Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish, hoping for some eating fish. They ended the day with three tuna in the 25-pound range and a 45-pound mahimahi.

A Texas group fished on the Barbarrosa out of Los Sueños and caught four sailfish, four mahimahi and two yellowfin tuna.

Capt. Carlos Vargas on the Scorpion out of Los Sueños had a few good weeks with lots of wahoo and yellowfin tuna at the 26 rock. He also released a handful of sailfish and a nice black marlin in the same area.

The Fish Whistle out of Los Sueños with Capt. Brandon Keene did some deep dropping in 400 feet, catching a couple of nice black groupers and silky snappers. They then ran down to the 26 rock for a few wahoo and a big cubera snapper.

Capt. Dave Mothershead on the Miss Behavin took a Florida family to the 26 rock and filled the fish box with five nice tuna, two wahoo and a 40-pound mahimahi.

Capt. James Smith on the Dragin Fly reports a good bite one day and slow the next. One group from Florida released a couple of sailfish and a marlin and kept a few nice tuna. The next day they fished the same areas and raised only a marlin and a couple of sailfish.

A family from Texas went out with Capt. Dana Thomas on the Hoo’s Up for a halfday of bottom fishing. They hit one of the captain’s secret spots and caught a couple of broomtail groupers in the 40-pound range.

Raúl Cabezas reports a slight slowdown for the Reel Deal crew in Quepos. They’ve been inshore and bottom fishing and catching average numbers of roosterfish, snapper, pompano, grouper, wahoo and tuna.

A couple on their honeymoon in Quepos recently fished on the Kinembe 2 with Capt. Chris Bernstel. They went offshore and caught three wahoo, two roosterfish and a nice dorado. A few days earlier, Bernstel fished a spot 30 miles out called the Furuno Bank and released a 400-pound blue marlin.

Southern Pacific

The Sportfishing Golfito guys report a slow few weeks for tourism in the area but a good inshore bite. Most boats have been doing half-day trips and having good luck with roosterfish, snapper and jack to 30 pounds.

Caribbean Region

Dianna Sánchez of Archie Fields’ Río Colorado Lodge reports the fishing has been red-hot. Kurt Nieradtka visited from Panama and boated four tarpon and several snook, one about 28 pounds, and possibly a record 61-pound jack. A group of four visited from South Africa and in three days jumped 54 tarpon and boated 11. Allen and Paula Morris from the U.S. state of Mississippi fished three days, jumping 24 tarpon and boating five. Also in three days, Joe Bollinger from Illinois jumped 16 tarpon and boated four.

In the Tortugero area, Capt. Eddie Brown reports a good snook bite and a decent tarpon bite in the river mouths. They fished with a couple of guys from Florida and caught three nice snook over 15 pounds and hooked up six tarpon. Unfortunately, they didn’t get any tarpon to the boat. Anyone who’s been tarpon fishing knows they never come in easy.

Northern Region

Conditions on LakeArenal are returning to normal after a week of storms. The weather whipped up whitecaps on the lake and dropped a lot of rain. Fishing was slow during this period, but the weather lessened around July 25 and the water cleared. Firsttime guapote fisherman Adrian Pratt from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania took his two sons fishing with Arenal Fishing Capt. Ron Saunders. The family braved the rain and the boys were rewarded by catching their firstever fish. Morgan and Ewan Pratt are now hooked on fishing and can’t wait to return to LakeArenal for another try at guapote.

Ending on a personal note, bubba’s tacos in Jacó will be making the world’s largest fish taco tomorrow. The grilled mahimahi fish taco will be about 20 feet long and will include all the fixings. We are asking customers to help sponsor the event with a minimum $5 donation; 100 percent of the money raised will go toward establishing a reef conservation project for local high school and junior high school science classes.

To carry out the project, the Jacó schools will work with the nonprofit Reef Ball Foundation, whose mission is to rehabilitate the world’s ocean-reef ecosystems and protect natural reef systems using artificial reef technologies (

The World’s Largest Fish Taco event will be documented and submitted to the Guinness World Records.

Please send fishing reports, photos and commentsto Jerry “Bubba” Hallstrom at, or call 2778-7217 or8841-5109. To post reports and photos on The Tico Times’ online fishing forum, go to www.


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