San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Action Up, Anglers Down

The weather on the Pacific coast has been typical of “green season” with mostly sunny days, light winds and the occasional evening shower. The rain seems to have slowed the fishermen more than the fish. Most captains are reporting good fishing but not enough anglers to enjoy it. It’s usually a little slow on the charter docks from May through mid-June. Things will pick up again when summer vacations start in North America.

The fishing up and down the Pacific coast has also been typical for the season, with more tuna, marlin and roosterfish being caught as well as some sailfish and mahimahi. The action on the Caribbean side has been good for tarpon when the weather cooperates, and the fishing at LakeArenal in north-central Costa Rica has been steady.

Northern Pacific

Capt. Lee Keidel of Kingpin Sportfishing reports water temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit, with excellent water color and clarity. The fishing has been good for sailfish, mahimahi, small tuna and wahoo within eight miles of shore. Farther out, the offshore action includes some blue marlin, large tuna and scattered sailfish bite.

The Simmons family did two days of offshore fishing recently with Capt. Richard Chellemi on the Gamefisher II out of Flamingo. They caught six sailfish, seven mahimahi and a nice tuna on day one and a sail, four mahimahi and two nice tuna on day two.

Ralph Solano with Costa Rica Wild Fishing has had good luck kayak fishing in PotreroBay. Recent catches include a 40-pound plus cubera snapper and a roosterfish about the same size.

Central Pacific

I fished offshore recently with some friends from the U.S. state of Texas on the Fish Whistle with Capt. Brandon Keene. We fished about 25 miles out in front of Jacó and released 10 sailfish by 1 p.m. We spent the rest of the day using live bait around some logs and current lines, hoping for a blue marlin, but had no luck. A few days later, I went bottom fishing with Keene and his mate Carlos, and we caught a couple of nice roosterfish in the 30-pound range, as well as two dozen snapper and grouper from five to 15 pounds.

Capt. Walter Smith and the guys on the Sunny One caught a 450-pound black marlin using live bait down by a local hot spot that always seems to hold some nice black marlin.

The guys on the Super Fly took a group from the U.S. state of Alabama out for some offshore fishing, averaging six sailfish and a couple of mahimahi each day. That same group went inshore and bottom fishing with Capt. Dana Thomas on the Hoo’s Your Daddy and caught a good mix of roosterfish, snapper and grouper.

Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II reports some good fishing in Quepos, with a good marlin, mahimahi and wahoo bite as well as some sailfish and yellowfin tuna in the mix.

Capt. Dave Dobbins on the Blue Water II reports a good sailfish and tuna bite in the Quepos area. One lucky angler caught a 250-pound yellowfin on 30-pound fishing line, Dobbins says.

Southern Pacific

Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing reports lots of 10- to 20-pound tuna about 30 minutes offshore. There are a few sailfish, marlin and mahimahi around, but the tuna have been the main target. Inshore anglers have been picking up some snapper, grouper and roosterfish, while from shore some snook have been caught on crank baits.

Northern Region

Capt. Ron Saunders of Arenal Fishing says the weather has been nice and the fishing steady at LakeArenal. Saunders reports six to 10 catches per day, with many taken on topwater lures. They’ll catch mostly machaca one day and mostly guapote the next, he says.


Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark in Tortuguero reports a recent cold front with choppy seas, but tarpon are still outside the river mouth in good numbers. Brown fished before the seas picked up and jumped eight to 10 tarpon per day with two or three releases. They’ve also been catching some snook in the five-pound range from shore and in the backwater near the river mouth.

Diann Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge says the fishing continues to be good for tarpon outside the river mouth, despite the recent cold front. She says the cold weather has slowed things for a few days, but the bite will pick back up once it warms up and the sun comes out.

Please send fishing reports, photos and comments to Jerry “Bubba” Hallstrom at fish, 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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