San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Strange Fishing Follows Pacific Quakes; Tarpon Hot

It’s still summer weather throughout Costa Rica, but we are starting to get the occasional showers that signal the beginning of rainy season. Don’t let the words “rainy season” scare you from fishing in Costa Rica. Our rainyseason days are usually partly sunny and nice in the mornings with some late afternoon and evening showers, and we still catch fish.

The northern Pacific bite continues to be hit-and-miss, with some sailfish and marlin being caught, while the central Pacific action has been average, seeing sailfish, mahimahi and a few marlin. On the southern Pacific, the fishing has been a little strange since last month’s earthquakes. The tarpon bite is hot on the Caribbean side, and the fishing at LakeArenal has been steady.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Lee Keidel of Kingpin Sportfishing in Tamarindo reports a recent average of five to seven sailfish raised and two or three released each day.

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing says Terry Poulin on the OutCast caught a nice wahoo and grouper. Holly and Mack Reese and their children caught a 200-pound striped marlin and a sailfish on the Talking Fish.

Capt. Skeet Warren on the Bushwacker reports a scattered bite out of Flamingo, with some red tide in the area and some greenish water offshore. They have been averaging one or two sailfish per day despite the less than-ideal conditions.

Capt. Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing continues to report some good kayak fishing in Potrero for mackerel, jack, pompano, black tuna, barracuda, roosterfish and more.

Central Pacific

Capt. Brandon Keene on the Fish Whistle took a couple of guys and their sons out for some bottom fishing, and they caught so many fish that they came in early. They hit a couple of local hot spots and caught 20 or more grouper and a half dozen nice snapper, all in the 10- to 40-pound range.

Capt. James Smith on the Dragin Fly took out a group from Houston, Texas, and released seven sailfish and kept a big mahimahi for the grill. The Texans were very pleased with the fresh mahimahi fillets. The day before, Smith took out a bachelor party and caught a couple of sailfish, a mahimahi and a 400-pound-plus marlin. The best man caught the big fish, but nobody had a camera on the boat – five guys and no camera.

Capt. Dave Motherhead on the Miss Behavin’ reports the hot bite is 50-plus miles out from Los Sueños; however, he did catch a marlin and a mahimahi one day last week while fishing a half-day at a local hot spot called “the corner,” about 25 miles offshore.

Capt. Walton Smith and the crew of the Sunny One in Los Sueños have had some good fishing, averaging four or five sailfish a day as well as some mahimahi. They’ve also released a marlin or two a week.

Capt. Jorge Fernández on the J-Barrilete in Herradura reports a scattered sailfish and mahimahi bite inside 35 miles and says most of the good fishing has been about 40 miles or more offshore.

Bill McMenemy from the Staight Up in Los Sueños had the Gulledge family from the U.S. state of North Carolina in for several days of fishing. They caught some big mahimahi, a handful of sailfish and several blue marlin.

The guys from Frenzy Sportfishing have had a couple of groups in the past few weeks and have been catching good numbers of roosterfish, sailfish and mahimahi. They also added a marlin.

Charles Rossi fished out of Quepos with the guys on the Ojaran II and raised 11 sailfish and released seven.

Capt. Dave Dobbins on the Blue Water II reports a good afternoon bite about 35 miles out in front of Quepos, with most boats releasing a handful of fish each day. Capt. Dale Weir on the Blue Water III fished in front of Los Sueños and caught a couple of nice marlin and a 500-pound-plus blue marlin.

Southern Pacific

Mike Stiles of the Río Sierpe Lodge had a group from South Africa in for five days. They really wanted to target roosterfish by casting only – no trolling. The group released 24 roosterfish, including a couple of fish over 60 pounds, and caught 16 other species while fishing the Sierpe delta, showing no interest in the good sailfish and marlin bite offshore.

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing reports that earthquakes last month caused some unusual conditions, including toxic bubbles and some fish kill. Before the quakes, they had some great fishing for sailfish and tuna. A couple of women from Nova Scotia, Canada, released a 600-pound marlin in the waters off Matapalo after a good fight.

Todd Staley of CrocodileBay also reports some strange events after the earthquakes. Before the tremors, the fishing was great; the day after, the bite stopped, bubbles appeared and the water temperature went into the 90s Fahrenheit. As things slowly returned to normal, the fishing was still a little strange. The marlin showed up early, the sailfish bite was elusive for a couple of weeks and the reef fish bite has been extra active. Staley added that longtime client Allen Ryals and Steve “Baldy” Ulman released 58 sailfish in five days of fishing on their recent vacation.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders from LakeArenal reports sunny days, light breezes and a good bite. The lake level is down and the water temperature is up, and that improves the topwater bite for guapote. Saunders has been catching three or four guapote per day in the two- to seven-pound range.


Diana Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge says the fishing has been great on the Caribbean. A wide variety of fish have been caught, including guapote, mojarra, bluegill, tigerfish, mudfish, tuna, shark, barracuda, jack and, recently, a 300-pound marlin. The tarpon fishing has also been good, with anglers averaging three or four tarpon releases each.

Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark reports calm seas and good fishing in the Tortuguero area. He says there are good numbers of tarpon outside the breakers, with anglers averaging three or four releases per day. They’ve also caught some nice eatingsize snook in and around the river mouth.

Jim DiBerardinis of Tarponville reports calm seas, light winds and one or two tarpon released per day during their seasonal migration.

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


Comments are closed.