San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

North, Central Pacific Action Variable

The fishing on the northern Pacific coast continues to be hit or miss, but some marlin are starting to show, and the next few months should see some good fishing. Central Pacific fishing has also been variable, with some good days and some average days, while the southern Pacific reports good sailfish and marlin action. The folks up at LakeArenal report good fishing and volcano watching.

On the Caribbean coast, the fishing is returning to normal after some heavy rains and dirty water.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Lee Keidel of Kingpin Sportfishing raised seven striped marlin and released three last week. The next day the marlin scattered, but they are still getting a shot at one or two a day.

Bob Auster fished on the Talking Fish with Capt. Randy Wilson of Tamarindo Sportfishing and caught two blue marlin, a sailfish and a 35-pound mahimahi.

Ainsley Dyson went kayak fishing with Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing and is now hooked. They caught a mixed bag of fish and had a great time.

The guys from Go Fish Costa Rica report a good bite after catching a big striped marlin, a 400-pound blue marlin and a couple of mahimahi on a recent offshore trip.

Central Pacific

Congratulations to Capt. Cristian Sáenz and the guys on the Clean Sweep for winning the first leg of the 2009 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series. They released 35 sailfish and four marlin in the three-day event. Capt. Elliot Kline on Da Bait and Capt. David González on the Super Fly tied for second place with 26 sailfish and three marlin each. Capt. Dave Mothershead on the Miss Behavin’ recently released six sailfish and a 50-pound mahimahi, as well as raising two marlin, one well over 500 pounds.

The guys on the Marlin Mujer had a grand slam with a blue marlin, black marlin, a few sailfish and a couple of mahimahi. Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish caught six sails and a blue marlin one day, and nine sailfish and a blue marlin the next.

A group from Florida went out with Capt. Jeremy Trujillo on the R&J and caught a black marlin, three sailfish and a couple of mahimahi.

On a recent full day offshore, Capt. RJ Lillie released four sails and two mahimahi and raised two marlin.

The guys on the new Sunny One are off to a good start in their first season, averaging four or five sailfish and a couple of mahimahi each day.

Capt. Jorge Fernández on the J-Barrilete caught two marlin, 10 sailfish and a handful of mahimahi in three days of fishing. Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II has been busy offshore and reports a good sailfish bite with some marlin and mahimahi in the mix.

U.S. couple Matt and Tina Thomas fished on the Blue Pearl and caught six sailfish, a marlin and a mahimahi. Matt had just fished Florida and been skunked, so he was very happy with the fishing in Costa Rica.

The guys on the Reel Deal out of Quepos report good fishing and have been averaging four or five sailfish and a couple of mahimahi every day.

Dennis Arnold of the Caribsea also reports an average of four or five sailfish and a couple of mahimahi each day. He also released a couple of nice blue marlin recently.

Carlos Rojas reports that the Wild Lady and the Sea Lady have been averaging three or four sailfish and a couple of mahimahi each day. They also released some nice blue marlin in January.

Southern Pacific

Todd Staley of CrocodileBay reports lots of sailfish starting to show; they’ve been raising double-digit sails and some nice marlin in the past few weeks. Staley took his wife and two boys out by the Matapalo rock looking for some wahoo and ended the day going three for seven on sailfish, with the boys hooking their own fish. They were never more than a kilometer from the rock.

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing reports lots of blue marlin off Playa Zancudo, only 10 miles from Cabo Matapalo and Pavones. He says the yellowfin tuna in all sizes are 10 to 20 miles offshore, the mahimahi and sailfish are starting to show up in good numbers, and the inshore bite for snook and snapper has been steady.

Northern Region

The water level at LakeArenal is high but stable, and water temperatures are rising, which is great for the guapote bite. The weather has been partly sunny moving into the dry season, very comfortable for fishing and volcano watching.

Capt. Ron Saunders of Arenal Fishing says the fishing is good, overall. Scott Gray from New York caught nine guapote and three machaca on a half-day tour. William Crow from California had a surprise catch on a recent trip: an 8.5-pound “wild” tilapia.


Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark reports some rains and choppy seas, but they are still catching some snook and tarpon in and around the river mouths. Brown says the choppy seas have made it difficult to get past the breakers and out to the tarpon, but they expect calm seas and a good bite any day.

Brent Gill of Silver King Lodge reports some heavy rains, but they are still catching a few good-sized tarpon in the river mouths, mainly using sardines. Gill says the rains have slowed the backwater jungle fishing somewhat.

Diann Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge reports that things are getting back to normal after some rains and murky water. She says the next few months will be busy on the Caribbean.

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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