Costa Rica Deep Sea Fishing

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Year-Round Costa Rica Deep Sea Fishing

Costa Rica deep sea fishing is world-class, with prolific numbers of sizable game fish and, of course, the dramatic billfish, marlin and sailfish. Picture yourself sitting in the fighting chair, battling a ferocious marlin! Boats out of the Tamarindo area on the north Pacific may fish 20 to 30 miles from home. The dropoff at the Continental Shelf 16 to 20 miles west of the coast increases the water depth from 360 feet to 2,000 feet. The varying depths, plus the volcanic rock formations all along the coast, produce an amazing variety of fish.

Most common types are sailfish; blue, black, and striped marlin; dorado; yellowfin and other tuna. Check Costa Rica travel information for seasonal peaks, but remember that this small country has excellent fishing year-round. On the north Pacific, marlin is caught every month of the year, with peaks from November to March, and from August to September. Tuna peaks from about August through October. Be aware of the conservation policy of catch-and-release for non-food fish. For food fish, the general rule is to keep what you can eat, and to release the rest of your catch.

Wind, Seasons, and Charters

The months of November to March bring high offshore winds that make deep water fishing precarious off the north Pacific. Half-day charters on smaller boats venture offshore only as weather permits, but inshore fishing for roosterfish, snapper, and jacks is always an option. Full-day charters head south for calmer waters; the water around Quepos is nearly always calm. This area has multitudes of dolphinfish, giant tuna, wahoo, and marlin.

Although Costa Rica deep sea fishing is superb all year, peak seasons in the north Pacific are from April to about November or December. September and October are the height of the rainy season, but fishing is frequently fantastic during this period. Likewise, in January and February the waters off Nicoya often yield some of the best marlin fishing found anywhere in the world! Obviously, a dedicated angler should check local conditions and fishing grounds before heading out to fish Costa Rica.

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