San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Marlin, Mahimahi Biting on Pacific; Tarpon Steady

The weather on the central and southern Pacific coast has been great for October. On the central coast, we’ve had nice days with light winds and showers roughly every other evening, and some good mahimahi and sailfish action. Southern Pacific anglers report good numbers of marlin and inshore fishing. The northern coast has seen some heavy rains because of storms forming off the Pacific coast of Mexico, but boats there have been catching good numbers of blue marlin and mahimahi. On the Caribbean side, the weather continues to be nice, the seas calm and the fishing solid. And up north at LakeArenal, boats are bringing in the guapote and enjoying nice days with some afternoon showers.

Northern Pacific

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing reports good fishing despite the rainy weather. Capt. Maikel Rodríguez on the Salsa took Scott McCay and his wife offshore. They caught two blue marlin and dozens of yellowfin tuna and mahimahi.

Capt. Steve Curtis on the Capullo in Tamarindo has had a few trips recently. Paul

Waddell and Joe Woody each released a 300-pound marlin – it was Woody’s 40th birthday, and he said he got his birthday wish.

Angler Sam Panice went out and caught a 350-pound blue marlin and a handful of nice mahimahi. Jim Winslett caught two blue marlin and a mahimahi from a 22-foot boat, “The Old Man and the Sea” style.

Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing reports a slow bite in the area because of all the whales around. When you fish out of kayaks, those whales do look pretty big.

Felipe Fernández with the Good Day Team reports a good bite the past few weeks in the Flamingo area. They fished on the Online last week and raised 40 sailfish and released 17.

Capt. Skeet Warren on the Bushwacker had a few charters out of the Four Seasons Papagayo recently and reports a good marlin and sailfish bite.

Central Pacific

Capt. James Smith and the guys on the Dragin Fly had a big sailfish day last week, fishing 35 miles out and releasing 10 sails. Earlier in the week, the guys on the Drum Roll released 11 sailfish. Both boats were lucky enough to find blue water.

Capt. Tom Carlton and Capt. Dana Thomas took theirs wives, Tatiana and Laura, out recently for some cold beers and bottom fishing on the Agwe, hitting a couple of secret spots five to 10 miles out. They caught about two dozen grouper in the 10- to 20-pound range and a few varieties of delicious snapper. Some buddies from Missouri and I went fishing with Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish, 26 miles out by a hot spot called “the craters.”

The water was almost chocolate-brown and loaded with garbage. We caught a 35-pound and a 60-pound mahimahi and had a fish fry that night. It was a great day until the Missouri Tigers beat my Nebraska Cornhuskers by 40 points in U.S. college football.

Raúl Cabezas and the guys on the Reel Deal in Quepos took a couple out for a day offshore and caught seven mahimahi, all over 35 pounds.

Leanne Batten of Quepos Sailfishing Charters reports beautiful weather and calm seas in the Quepos area. Angler Geoff Rowsan fished the Reel Deal last week with his dad and brother, ending the day with eight mahimahi. They took their catch to a local restaurant called Marlintini’s, and the chef prepared their mahimahi eight different ways. The guys said it was delicious.

Southern Pacific

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing in Zancudo reports excellent numbers of black marlin chasing yellowfin tuna outside Matapalo – a good time to go after the big ones. They have also had a nice inshore bite for snapper, grouper and corvina. The surf casters in the area have been catching some nice snook. Baker says they put single hooks on unpainted cedar plugs and cast out over the waves; the snook attack, thinking it’s a finger mullet.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders has been catching medium-sized guapote and machaca on the morning bite at LakeArenal. Lake levels are slightly high, with mild winds and afternoon showers. Saunders guided two sets of newlyweds last week and reports that both parties were rewarded with several fish and had a great time.


Bill Reed and his buddies from Canada fished a couple of days with Capt. Speedy Thomas out of Tortuguero, averaging two or three tarpon releases each day. They fought one fish for four hours before the line broke.

Capt. Eddie Brown reports flat seas and a good bite on the Caribbean side. They’ve been jumping six or seven tarpon per day and releasing two or three.

Diann Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge reports good fishing on the northern Caribbean coast. The lodge hosted several groups these past few weeks, and everyone caught fish. One group went offshore and caught two yellowfin tuna in the 40-pound range and a nice wahoo. The tarpon groups were all jumping six or seven fish per day and boating about half of them.

Jim DiBerardinis of Tarponville Lodge on the southern Caribbean coast reports calm seas and nice weather. Several groups have come in for fly-fishing, averaging three or four releases per day of tarpon from 85 to 135 pounds. DiBerardinis says the last time the fishing was this good was when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Is the tarpon fishing better in Costa Rica when the Caribbean has an above-average hurricane season?


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