San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Big Rains on Caribbean; Good Bite on Pacific

The big weather story the first half of February was the unusually heavy rains that pounded the Caribbean side and parts of the interior. There was flooding all along the Caribbean coast, and some tarpon trips were postponed because of high waters. In contrast, the weather up and down the Pacific coast was summerlike with sunny days and no rain. Boats in the northwestern Guanacaste province had to deal with those pesky Papagayo winds the first week of February, but they seemed to die down the second week.

The big fishing story in February so far has been the good bite on the central and southern Pacific coasts. Boats out of Los Sueños at Playa Herradura that caught fish were running south into the Quepos area, and boats from Quepos and Dominical were fishing a local hot spot called the Furuno Bank, averaging good numbers of sailfish and some marlin. Down south in the Golfito area, anglers report good sailfish numbers with some marlin in the mix. And, despite the heavy rains, the fishing is getting back to normal at LakeArenal and along the Caribbean coast.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Lee Keidel of Kingpin Sportfishing reports that the winds have died down and the bite is improving south of Tamarindo. Anglers there have been seeing marlin, sailfish and mahimahi with some scattered tuna.

Roger Kirkwood from the U.S. state of Illinois, who stayed in Playa Hermosa and fished with Capt. Roy Quirós aboard the Ch’aska, said he had a great trip because his wife, Donna, caught the biggest fish. Kirkwood had high praise for Quirós and voiced his support for those helping to preserve Costa Rican sportfishing.

Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing had a group out for some kayak fishing despite a few days with high winds. They caught some small tuna and barracuda and were pleased they had something to eat.

Capt. Skeet Warren fished 10 days down in the Carrillo area and reports lots of blue marlin and striped marlin, with some sailfish and roosterfish as well. The Bushwacker is a 42-foot Bertram and can go offshore even when the winds blow.

Central Pacific

I fished with some friends from Texas on the Dragin Fly with Capt. James Smith.

We released nine sailfish the first day and six the second. The group of six guys caught 28 sailfish and six mahimahi on an annual Costa Rica fishing trip.

Capt. Dave Motherhead on the Miss Behavin’ released five sailfish and kept a 40- pound-plus mahimahi for the grill on a recent day offshore. On another day bottom fishing, he caught 10 fish, including some cubera, amberjack, tuna, mahimahi, jack and more.

Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish had a good week, averaging four or five sailfish and a marlin each day.

Fishing about 45 miles southwest of Los Sueños, Capt. Jeremy Trujillo on the Desperado went nine for 13 on sailfish and raised three marlin.

On a half-day offshore bottom-fishing trip with a group from Florida, Capt. RJ Lillie released two sails, two mahimahi and a nice cubera snapper.

Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II reports some great fishing around the Quepos area. He released three marlin in one day, as well as two black marlin in the 500-pound range and a nice blue marlin. Bernstel says the sailfish, mahimahi, tuna and striped marlin have also been around in good numbers.

The Mazek family fished with the Blue Pearl II and the Estrella de Mar in Quepos and caught more than 30 sailfish in two days. They were hoping for some good fishing, and they got their wish.

Sissi Espinoza reports that Brit Alex Scott fished with the Blue Pearl I inshore and offshore and had a great time. Scott and his friend brought some light tackle and caught dozens of fish on their half-day inshore trip. They also fished offshore a couple of days and averaged five sailfish and a couple of mahimahi each day.

Dennis Arnold of the Caribsea reports a good week of fishing in Quepos, despite the full moon. They averaged seven or eight sailfish and a mahimahi per day, and also caught a nice marlin.

Leanne Batten of Quepos Sailfishing Charters has a handful of great fishing reports from the first half of February. Her clients averaged five to eight sailfish per day with some mahimahi and marlin in the mix. The highlight was the 300-pound-plus yellowfin tuna one guy fought for about four hours.

Mark Janzen on the Mar I in Quepos has had a good month so far with an average of five or six sailfish per day, as well as some mahimahi and a couple of marlin.

Rudy Dodero of Sportfishing Dominical has been fishing the Furuno Bank, averaging nine sailfish per day as well as some big mahimahi and a few nice marlin.

Southern Pacific

Todd Staley of CrocodileBay says the fishing is so good lately, his job has been easier – lots of handshakes and thank-yous at the dock from satisfied customers. The guys have been raising 10 to 15 sailfish a day as well as some mahimahi. Staley reports the marlin are hanging around a little longer than normal.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders from LakeArenal reports lots of rain and heavy winds the first week in February, bringing the lake up almost two meters to what must be full capacity. The extra rain brought water temperatures down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with normal being about 75 F for good top-water action. The second week of February, things started to warm up and clear up, with the guapote and machaca starting to bite again – the warmer weather brings better fishing.

Caribbean Region

Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark reports the first week of February was a washout, but the second week was much improved, with the water clearing up and the ocean flattening out.

Likewise, Brent Gill of Silver King Lodge reports total flood conditions the first week of February on the Río Colorado. They had to postpone a couple of trips because the river was running about six feet higher than normal.


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