San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fishing Steady; Tourney Enjoys Big Marlin Bite

The recent big fishing story was the second leg of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series tournament the last three days of February. All told, 45 boats entered, catching and releasing 172 sailfish and 391 marlin – amazing marlin numbers for a threeday tournament this time of year. First place went to the boat Let it Ride, second place was D Flawless and the Game On finished third. Meanwhile, while some guys fished for thousands of dollars, others continued with their usual 9-5, taking clients offshore.

It’s the middle of summer along the Pacific, and the fishing in the central and southern parts of the coast has been steady for sailfish, mahimahi and marlin. The northern Pacific bite has been scattered, but boats are still catching some sails, marlin, mahimahi and tuna. Those fishing the interior and the Caribbean coast are catching fish despite unusual weather.

Northern Pacific

Petra Schoep from Tamarindo Sportfishing reports Jake Cassell went fishing on the Salsa with Capt. Maikel Rodríguez and caught two sails. Richard Thompson and friends caught a blue marlin and a mahimahi also on the Salsa. The Talking Fish also reports sailfish caught as well as a full cooler of grouper and other good eating fish.

Capt. Lee Keidel from KingPin Sportfishing in Tamarindo reports a scattered marlin, sailfish and tuna bite offshore with a good snapper and grouper bite closer in. Capt. Lee caught a blue marlin, a sailfish and two nice mahimahi on a recent day offshore.

Capt. Ralph Solano from Costa Rica Wild Fishing has been kayak fishing out of Potrero and catching good numbers of tuna, amberjack, mackerel, roosterfish and more.

Capt. Peter Heideneich and Chris Watkins from Go Fish Costa Rica have had good fishing out of Tamarindo. They recently released three marlin and a sailfish and kept a mahimahi for supper. A few days later, they caught a 200-plus pound striped marlin on a half day trip. The guys from Go Fish are also helping to organize a Skins and Fins charity golf and fishing tourney in which the proceeds will go to benefit a local school here in the Tamarindo area. They can be reached at 8302-6514 for more details.

Central Pacific

Capt. Brandon Keene on the Fish Whistle took the boss for some bottom fishing and caught a 70-plus pound broomtail grouper, three nice cubera snapper, an amberjack, a mahimahi and about nine small grouper.

Capt. R.J. Lillie on the Predator took the Ahner brothers out for a couple days offshore. They released 13 sailfish, a big striped marlin and kept two 40-plus pound mahimahi for the grill.

Capt. Dave Motherhead on the Miss Behavin’ released 15 sailfish and kept a 40 plus pound mahimahi 25 miles out at a local hot spot called “the corner.”

Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish also fished the corner and released six sailfish and a nice blue marlin. Kieldsen thinks the best is yet to come with the sailfish bite after raising 15 fish one day and 17 fish the next.

Capt. Jorge Fernández on the J-Barillete in Herradura took the Ashton group out for some offshore action and they caught a couple of marlin, more than a dozen sailfish and a handful of mahimahi on their three day fishing adventure.

Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II in Quepos took Joe Bond offshore and they released a nice marlin and a few sailfish, and kept a mahimahi.

The Tom Held group fished out of Quepos with the Blue Water III and caught five sailfish, while the Estrella Mar caught two sailfish and a 450-pound black marlin.

Sissi Espinoza from Blue Pearl Sportfishing sent reports for the past two weeks that they have been averaging four or five sailfish and a mahimahi or two. They have also had some big inshore days with amberjacks and roosterfish.

Dennis Arnold from the Caribsea reports they have been releasing eight to 13 sailfish per day. They also caught a 250-plus pound striped marlin.

The guys from Frenzy Sportfishing have had a busy time, making good on that hot sailfish bite south of Quepos with several 20-sailfish days, while also catching good numbers of mahimahi and a marlin or two.

Capt. Dave Dobbins on the Blue Water two took Clarke Baratti out and caught a 350 pound blue marlin on a half day trip. Dobbins reports a good sailfish and mahimahi bite with a few marlin and wahoo around.

Capt. Rudy Dodero from Sportfishing Dominical reports the bite is still hot, recently releasing nine sailfish on a half day trip while running about 25 miles offshore.

Southern Pacific

Todd Staley from CrocodileBay reports sailfish are still the headliner and the fly guys are having great fun because of the number of chances they are get to hook a sail on the fly. The mahimahi action has also picked up and Teresa Pacor’s 61 pound fish took top honors. The roosterfish bite is coming around with several 50-pounders caught recently.

Capt. Bob Baker from Golfito Sport Fishing says the weather is great and the fishing for sailfish is at its very best. Baker also reports the mahimahi and yellowfin tuna are still hanging around, with catches weighing more than 200 pounds.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders from LakeArenal says water levels are high and water temps are around 71 degrees F. The weather is breezy with occasional showers. Clients are catching guapote and machaca, and the bite is fair-to-good, mostly using topwater plugs and spinner baits, with the occasional troll.

Lee Swidler took a couple of fly fisherman up to the north-central part of Costa Rica to fish for guapote and machaca. They fished the Río Cote, Río Muerte and Río Frío and both Craig Staude and Dave Osberg claimed a machaca as their first Costa Rica catch. Waters were a little dark due to on and-off rain, but fish were caught on both dry flies as well as streamers.

Caribbean Region

Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark reports some unusual weather for March. A recent cold front came through but, before that, the seas were calm and they were jumping 10-12 tarpon per day and releasing two or three. Fishers have been catching two or three snook on the inside when it has been too rough to get outside for the tarpon.

Diana Sánchez from Río Colorado Lodge says the weather in Barra del Colorado was bad through February but the flooding has subsided. They are still getting some rain, but the sun is also shining, so things are getting better by the day. The tarpon are rolling, with one boat jumping 10. Drum and barracuda are also being caught as well as a few snook.


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