San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fishing starts to recover after bad weather

Anglers and operators alike were crying the blues for a week straight as rain and wind hampered fishing efforts in most of the country. Floods and rough water on the Caribbean and rough and green water on the Pacific brought fishing to nearly a standstill, with very little good news in between.

A couple of days ago, things started improving. The floodwater receded over in Barra del Colorado on the Caribbean, and the river mouth settled down enough for boats to get outside. Capt. Eddie Brown reports that boats have been taking tarpon outside the river and at the color change a couple of miles away. The calba (fat snook) have started biting in the river, and locals have been taking some nice common snook to 20 pounds at the river mouth in Tortuguero.

The famous Papagayo winds slowed fishing in northwestern Costa Rica, but anglers fishing inside managed a few roosterfish and jacks for their efforts. Some mackerel, bonito and small yellowfin tuna have been falling to trolled Rapalas, Green Mackerel reportedly being the most productive color.

On the central Pacific coast, the Quepos and Los Sueños areas reported similar results. Anglers there are managing a marlin now and then, as well as a few sails, but nothing like the big numbers a week or so ago. A few dorado are still hanging around.

Down south, things went sour for almost eight days straight, but the sails, marlin and tuna made a show on Wednesday and put smiles back on some faces. A couple of boats managed to raise enough sails to get multiple shots with fly tackle. Yellowfin tuna between 40 and 200 pounds were running fast with a school of spinner dolphins. Roy Pillack and family managed a 100-pounder and lost one much bigger after playing tug-of-war for more than an hour and a half without ever seeing the fish.

In the next print edition, Jan. 6, we’ll take a look at the commercial tuna fishing fleet in Costa Rica and the conflicts that have some people up in arms.

Todd Staley is the fishing manager at Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jiménez, on southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Skippers, operators and anglers are invited to email fishing reports by Wednesday of each week to To post reports and photos on The Tico Times’ online fishing forum, go to

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