San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

After Heavy Rains, Fishing Good All Along Pacific

They say El Niño has ended, and that is usually good news for fishing in Costa Rica. Water temperatures are dropping, and the fishing has been good up and down the coast. We are a month or so into “green season,” and it seems to be starting off normally with mostly sunny days and some evening showers. Tropical Storm Agatha off the coast of Guatemala caused lots of rain and rough seas up and down the Pacific coast, but after the rains disappeared, the bite offshore was good for marlin, sailfish, tuna and mahimahi.

The tarpon showed up in good numbers on the Caribbean side, and for a few days the ocean was flat and there were hundreds of tarpon near the river mouths.

Northern Pacific. The guys on the Gamefisher II in Flamingo took out a group from Argentina recently and released seven sailfish. A single angler from Canada caught two marlin on the fly, both over 200 pounds.

A few days later, they released five sailfish and two marlin with a group from the United States.

Ralph Solano of Costa Rica Wild Fishing in PotreroBay has been catching corvina, roosterfish and black tuna from the kayak.

Petra Schoep of Tamarindo Sportfishing reports some great fishing after the storms moved out. The Salsa caught two sailfish on a recent half-day trip and followed it up with two blue marlin on a three-quarter-day trip.

The Talking Fish caught a sail, a blue marlin and a handful of mahimahi on a full-day trip, while the OutCast caught a blue marlin, a sail and lots of yellowfin tuna and mahimahi.

Capt. Lee Keidel on the Kingpin in Tamarindo says that after the recent rains the bite has been steady for sailfish, mahimahi, tuna and some marlin. The inshore fishing for roosterfish has been slow, but the bottom fishing around the reef has been good. Congrats to Mr. Tolbert of the U.S. city of Atlanta, who released his first sailfish recently on the Kingpin.

Capt. Peter Heidenreich and Capt. Chris Watkins with Go Fish Costa Rica in Tamarindo went less than 20 miles offshore after the rains ended and started the morning with a nice-size mahimahi and went one for two on marlin and one for one on sailfish. Central Pacific. Joel Steinman and Michael Grossman, members of the Los Angeles Rod & Reel Club, were recently guests of Pam and Earl Warren at Los Sueños Resort and Marina. Their dream was to catch a trophy roosterfish, and each angler had his dream fulfilled as Capt. Jeff Dry put them both onto a trophy under less than ideal fishing conditions. Each guy caught and released an 80-pound roosterfish. They also caught a mixed bag of smaller roosters, jack crevalle, snapper and sierra. Both anglers said the big rooster was the fish of a lifetime and had the highest praise for Capt. Dry and their experience at Los Sueños.

The Spanish Fly recently caught eight wahoo, three tuna and four mahimahi with the Laramee Family from the U.S. state of Florida. The Bite released three sailfish and one marlin with a father-and-son group. A few days earlier, The Bite released five marlin. The Super Fly released four sailfish and went two for five on marlin with Sara Goff’s family. These Maverick boats all fish out of Los Sueños.

Capt. RJ Lillie on the Disco Pirate in Los Sueños released four sailfish and a striped marlin on a recent offshore trip. His group also caught a couple of 30-pound mahimahi for the grill. The day before, they fished a half-day at a local hot spot called the 26 Rock and caught a handful of wahoo, a couple of yellowfin tuna and a mahimahi.

Capt. James Smith and the crew of the Dragin Fly in Los Sueños took a group from Hong Kong and Australia out for two full days of offshore fishing. They averaged a handful of sailfish, a marlin and some tuna and mahimahi each day.

Capt. Dana Thomas on the Hoo’s Your Daddy caught a blue marlin, a striped marlin, three sailfish and two mahimahi on a recent full-day, while Capt. Bill Kieldsen on the Sailfish released two marlin and four sails offshore, adding a nice mahimahi for the fish box.

Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II reports a good mix of fish being caught out of Quepos, including sailfish, marlin, tuna, mahimahi and roosterfish.

The crew on the Blue Water III in Quepos caught 25 yellowfin tuna, two sailfish and a marlin with a group that fished two full days. They say the water has been a little choppy because of the big storms north of Costa Rica.

The guys from Blue Pearl Sportfishing in Quepos have been doing well on half-day roosterfish trips, averaging two or three fish a trip. Southern Pacific. Capt. Bob Baker of Golfito Sportfishing reports a mix of yellow fin tuna, a few black marlin, a few sails and maybe a spare sailfish. Rains have been cooling the temperatures, and the pompano and snapper bite has been good inside. The corvina start to spawn this month, so expect some 30-pound-plus fish to be caught off Playa Zancudo.

Caribbean. Capt. Eddie Brown on the Bullshark in Tortuguero called me several times recently to report calm seas and hundreds of tarpon stacking up in the river mouths. Unfortunately, I don’t think many anglers were around to enjoy the good fishing.

Diann Sánchez of Río Colorado Lodge reports big schools of tarpon at the river mouths and lots of fish moving into the river. She says you can see them swimming by right off the dock.


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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