San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

All-You-Can-Catch Mahimahi on Pacific Coast

The weather has returned to our normal pattern for “green season” the past couple of weeks. Most of Costa Rica has had nice days with calm water, light breezes and the occasional evening showers.

Boats all along the Pacific coast are still catching good numbers of mahimahi with some sailfish, marlin and tuna in the mix. The fishing on the Caribbean side continues to be good for tarpon, and the guapote bite at LakeArenal, in north-central Costa Rica, has been about average for this time of year.

Northern Pacific

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing reports some good action with mahimahi, grouper, tuna and the occasional blue marlin. Capt. Randy Wilson on the Talking Fish took out Richard Krug for a half day and caught several grouper and mahimahi and a nice blue marlin estimated at 300 pounds. Capt. José López on the OutCast took Rick and Vivienne Werner for a half day and caught a good number of mahimahi.

Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing took a U.S. client from New Jersey out for some inshore kayak fishing near Playa Flamingo. They hooked up a 50-pound roosterfish on 30-pound line, and it took him 35 minutes to land and safely release that fine fish.

Capt. Skeet Warren on the Bushwacker fished offshore with Eddie Alexander and friends from the U.S. state of Mississippi and caught three sailfish and seven mahimahi. A few days later, they went inshore and caught one sailfish, two roosterfish, two wahoo, three jack crevalle, two sierra mackerel and a lot of bonito. Warren says the seas have been calm and the weather great.

Central Pacific

I was lucky enough to go out last weekend with Capt. Jeremy Trujillo on the Desperado, a really nice 60-foot Bertram with DirecTV. I don’t know if it gets any better than being 25 miles offshore, fishing and watching college football on ESPN. The airconditioning was so cold I needed a blanket, and the leather couch made for a nice spot for a nap. My friends and I had a great time on a beautiful boat, and we caught a bunch of good eating fish – six nice mahimahi – and raised two sailfish.

Capt. Dana Thomas took a Ukrainian gentleman out for a day of fishing on the Hoo’s Up. The client had fished all over the world – Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico, Florida and elsewhere – but he had never caught a sailfish or marlin. The captain took him out 26 miles and fished a spot known as “the corner,” hoping to get a sailfish. They caught a dozen mahimahi, but the guy wanted a “beeg feesh,” and told Thomas that if he got him a marlin he would pay him $500. The captain responded that he would catch him a marlin for free if he could, but the bite lately has been for mahimahi and not many marlin have been caught.

Then Thomas heard on his radio about a boat that missed a couple of marlin, so he headed in that direction. About an hour later, the Ukrainian guy got his wish and they hooked up a nice blue marlin. The guy battled his fish and it was safely released. The client was very happy and had no problem following through on his $500 promise.

Capt. RJ Lillie went for a half day recently and caught 15 nice mahimahi. The clients kept a few of the bigger ones and had the local restaurant near their hotel cook up their catch.

Capt. James Smith and the guys on the Dragin Fly went out about 25 miles last week and had a great day offshore, catching five mahimahi, nine yellowfin tuna, four sailfish and a marlin.

Capt. Dave Mothershead on the Miss Behavin took a U.S. couple from Texas out for a half day and caught eight nice mahimahi and a sailfish, while Capt. Dominic Santana on the Caballo del Mar in Herradura went out recently with a couple of guys from the United States, who caught 12 mahimahi, two mackerel and a nice roosterfish.

Capt. Chris Bernstel reports the Kinembe II has been working the tuna pretty hard out of Quepos, as well as the typical piles of mahimahi going into the cooler. There have also been a few sailfish and marlin in the mix. Bernstel also reports a good inshore bite for snapper.

Capt. Dave Dobbins of Fish La Manta in Quepos reports all the mahimahi you can catch just a little ways offshore.

Southern Pacific

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing reports summer-like weather conditions in the Golfito area. The tuna and mahimahi are outside in good numbers. Wahoo are making a good showing off Matapalo and down off the reefs of Punta Burica, chasing Yo-Zuri bonito lures, subsurface tremblers, Rapalas and jetheads. There are still black marlin around the tuna and bonito schools, Baker says, and the sailfish bite has been spotty, with boats averaging a couple per day.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders of Arenal Fishing reports partly sunny days and cool mornings at LakeArenal, which is near capacity.

The upside of high water is lots of tall, grassy shoreline to cast in. The downside: the shelves keep changing depths, which keep the fish moving around. Saunders has been fishing rain or shine the last couple of weeks and is catching a few medium-sized fish on half-day tours. Fish appear to be in a postspawn funk – lots of strikes and smacks on the top-water, but it takes work to get them to actually take the hook.

Philippe Tisseaux of San Carlos Sportfishing in Nicaragua reports that the San Juan River is still up with all the rain in October, but they are still catching tarpon over 100 pounds. There has also been a good snook bite farther up the river; one lucky angler is reported to have caught a 52-pound snook near El Castillo.


Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark took Todd Staley out for some fishing last week in Tortuguero. They jumped 20 tarpon and released two, and caught a couple of snook in the 15-pound range and a nice snapper. The next morning, they caught three snook, one over 20 pounds.

Diann Sánchez of the Río Colorado Lodge reports sunny days and a good tarpon bite on the northern Caribbean coast.

The lodge has hosted several groups in the past few weeks and everyone is having some  luck. The groups going for tarpon have beenjumping an average of eight to 10 per day and releasing two or three. Several groups have been fishing the lagoons and have had good luck with guapote, machaca, mojarra and snook. One group went offshore and caught wahoo, kingfish and barracuda.

Please send fishing reports, photos and comments to Jerry “Bubba” Hallstrom at, 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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