San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fish, Whales Jumping on Pacific; Tarpon Bite On

The weather continues to be nice up and down the Pacific coast. We had a couple of days with strong winds, but for the most part it’s been sunny with some showers in the late afternoon. The boats on the northern Pacific report a decent sailfish bite with the occasional marlin. On the central Pacific, we’ve had a strong inshore bite and an average sailfish bite. The marlin bite is still going on the southern Pacific, with some tuna in the mix. In the northern region at LakeArenal, they are catching a few nice guapote, and the folks in San Carlos, Nicaragua, are gearing up for their big tarpon tourney. The bite on the Caribbean side is still hot with all boats catching tarpon and big snook.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Lee Keidel of Kingpin Sportfishing in Tamarindo reports scattered sailfish, marlin, tuna and mahimahi are being found to the north and south. The bottom fishing has been productive for roosterfish, snapper and grouper. The water temperature has been in the mid to high 80s.

Capt. Adam Hermsen on the Ocean Smasher reports an average of three to five sailfish per day, with the occasional marlin. Some yellowfin tuna in the 40- to 50-pound range have been found with the dolphins. There has also been some action on the reef, mainly roosterfish, snapper, bonita and tuna.

Rich Stark from the U.S. state of Ohio fished a couple of days with Capt. Randy Wilson on the Talking Fish. They caught several sails, a good number of mahimahi and a few nice groupers.

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing reports that a couple of anglers fished a half-day on the Salsa with Capt. Maikel Rodríguez. They caught a big sailfish and a big mahimahi.

Central Pacific

If you are a whale watcher, now is a good time to get out on the ocean. Almost all boats are reporting seeing humpback whales with their babies. We came across a mother and calf less than a mile from Los Sueños Marina.

The mother whale was cruising south at a slow pace, while the calf was jumping around and having some fun. We followed the pair for half an hour, and the little guy must have jumped 20 times. I have been out on the ocean hundreds of times and never get tired of seeing something like that.

Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish took a couple of U.S. fishermen from South Carolina out for a day offshore. They fished a local hot spot called “the corner” and caught four sailfish and a couple of nice mahimahi.

Some Jacó guys recently went bottom fishing with Capt. Brandon Keene on the Fish Whistle. Keene knows some secret deep drop spots about 20 miles offshore, where they banged out 22 silky snapper in the 12- to 15-pound range and 12 black groupers about the same size.

Capt. RJ Lillie on the Predator fished over by TortugaIsland at a spot called Negritas.

The lucky anglers from Florida, who had never caught a roosterfish, ended the day with 10 roosters and five jack. Lillie says they had a double hookup with 50-poundplus roosterfish.

Capt. Dana Thomas has been pulling double duty on the Hoo’s Up and the Hoo’s Your Daddy. He reports an average bite offshore with two or three sailfish and a mahimahi each day, and a good inshore bite with four to six fish per day.

The Stinston family from Florida went inshore fishing at Negritas with Capt. Dave Mothershead on the Miss Behavin. They caught four big roosters and a handful of jack, all on live bait.

Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II reports a bit of a slowdown offshore, but says the inshore bite for roosterfish, jack, snapper and a few whitetip sharks has been strong.

He says he heard that a few commercial boats may have sunk at a local hot spot called the Furuno Bank during last week’s windstorm.

The Streb family fished offshore with Capt. Dave Dobbins of Fish La Manta last week, ending the day with one marlin and two sailfish. Dobbins also did some bottom fishing in front of Quepos and caught 15 snappers.

Capt. Rudy Dodero of Sportfishing Dominical reports the normal slowdown for this time of year. He says the inshore bite has been good in the morning, before the seas get choppy with the afternoon rains.

Southern Pacific

Todd Staley of CrocodileBay reports a steady marlin bite. Almost all of the boats going out are getting a shot at a marlin or two. He says there have also been average numbers of mahimahi, sailfish and tuna around.

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing in Zancudo says the weather has been good in the morning, with the wind picking up in the early afternoon. Anglers have been going out early and avoiding the afternoon choppy seas. A couple from Germany recently fished offshore and caught a sailfish and three nice mahimahi, and had a marlin throw the hook. They fished inshore the next day and caught some nice roosterfish, mackerel, jack and pompano. Baker also reports some tuna in the mix.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders of Arenal Fishing took a couple of guys out last week for some freshwater action. They ended the day with a handful of guapote, including a couple over five pounds. The anglers are planning to head for the Caribbean side to try their luck with some snook and tarpon.

The Río San Juan Tarpon Fishing Tournament will be held Sept. 13 and 14 in San Carlos, Nicaragua. More than 40 boats are expected to participate. If you would like to fish the tournament, boats are still available; contact Philippe Tisseaux of San Carlos Sport Fishing at (506) 8842-7673 or visit


Capt. Eddie Brown reports a good bite and flat seas in Tortuguero. Last week, he had a customer go two for seven while fly-fishing for tarpon. A few days earlier, they caught six snook while surf casting off the beach near the river mouths. One snook was over 25 pounds, with the others ranging from 10 to 15 pounds.

Diann Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge reports some good action on the northern Caribbean. The boats are jumping 15 to 20 tarpon per day and getting a handful to the boat. One pair of anglers came across a feeding frenzy and jumped more than 50 fish, boating more than 20. Sánchez also reports that a local fisherman caught a 30- pound snook.n

Please send fishing reports, photos and comments to Jerry “Bubba” Hallstrom at fish, or call 2778-7217 in Costa Rica or 1-800-9SAILFISH from the United States. To post reports and photos on The Tico Times’ online fishing forum, go to


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