San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sails and Mahimahi Steady on Pacific Coast

The weather on the Pacific coast the past few weeks has been up and down, with a couple of nice days and then a couple of rainy and windy days. That’s OK, because it’s the end of “green season,” and it will soon be hot and sunny every day on the Pacific side. If you are reading this from someplace cold and snowy, remember: It’s just about summertime in Costa Rica.

The Caribbean side has started to dry out and water levels are returning to normal after record rains the last week of November caused severe flooding in the region.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing reports some good kayak fishing up in the Flamingo and Tamarindo area. In a few days of fishing, he caught more than 100 fish, including jacks, roosterfish, wahoo, mahimahi, mackerel, snapper, grouper and more.

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing reports the Zivley group went out last week and caught mahimahi, grouper and two nice roosterfish.

Central Pacific

I fished last week on the Dragin Fly with some friends from here in Jacó and from the U.S. state of Missouri. Capt. James Smith and crew always do a great job. We were lucky enough to have some nice weather, and we caught four sailfish, five mahimahi and eight yellowfin tuna. The tuna, all between 40 and 50 pounds, were a pleasant surprise.

I had fresh sashimi on the boat, seared tuna steaks the next couple of days and the best tuna salad sandwiches all week long.

Capt. Brandon Keene on the Fish Whistle took the Litton group offshore and fished more than 35 miles out. They caught two striped marlin, a sailfish and eight big mahimahi in the green water.

There were rumors of a good striped marlin bite out of Los Sueños Marina last week. Last year about this time, we had a really good striped marlin run that lasted into January, with boats seeing more than a dozen striped marlin some days. The bite last year was more than 35 miles out, but everyone ran the distance for the chance at multiple marlin bites.

Capt. Dave Mothershead on the Miss Behavin went out on a bad weather day and fished hard, but it was a little slow; he went 0 for 2 on sailfish. The captain saved the day when his clients hooked up and released a 400-pound-plus blue marlin. A couple of days later, he fished the same area and caught four sailfish and more mahimahi than he could count.

Capt. Jeremy Trujillo on the R&J also took a couple offshore on a bad weather day and went four for 12 on sailfish, with three nice mahimahi for the grill.

To get away from some of the wind and rain, Capt. Dana Thomas on the Hoo’s Your Daddy fished to the south and went six for 12 on sailfish, with two big mahimahi.

Meanwhile, Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish went 25 miles out for a full day offshore and ended the day with nine sailfish and four nice mahimahi.

Chris Augosto from the U.S. state of Rhode Island with Capt. RJ Lillie braved the rains and high seas and was rewarded with steady fishing. Lillie ran about 10 miles and put the baits out. They were in the mahimahi bite early and often, catching a dozen in the 20- to 40-pound range – pretty good for a five-hour trip in less-than-ideal conditions.

Capt. Chris Bernstel reports business as usual on the Kinembe II in Quepos. He took a couple of guys from the U.S. state of Nebraska out for some meat fishing. The guys wanted to catch fish they could eat, and ended the day with four nice mahimahi, a big cubera snapper and a six-foot-long shark that took about an hour to get to the boat.

They didn’t eat the shark.

Southern Pacific

Capt. Mark Corn of the Osa Yacht Club has been doing some offshore kayak fishing recently. He says they store the kayak on the swim platform of their big boat, and when they tease the fish up, the angler and guide are put in the tandem kayak to hook and fight the fish. So far, they have caught sail, tuna and mahimahi. They’re hoping for a small marlin next.

Northern Region

Philippe Tisseaux of San Carlos Sportfishing in Los Chiles had a big group from England in recently for some tarpon fishing. They jumped 50 tarpon and boated and released a dozen fish from 80 to 180 pounds. The bite was good only in the early morning, so they spent the afternoons chasing snook.


Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark reports water levels have returned to normal after a week of record rains on the Caribbean side. Once the rain stopped and the water levels dropped, they had some calm seas and were able to catch tarpon on the outside of the river mouth, as well as some snook in the backwater.

Diann Sánchez of the Río Colorado Lodge says the rains and runoff coming from the mountains caused some local flooding recently. The good news is that this usually results in fantastic calba (fat snook) fishing once the waters begin to subside.


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