Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Challenge of Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Costa Rica sport fishing is unrivaled. With bi-coastal waters of contrasting depths and configurations, this country's fishing is excellent all year-round. The rivers, bays, and estuaries on the Caribbean side provide ample locations for Costa Rica snook fishing and tarpon fishing. Underwater volcanic formations on the Pacific create challenging nooks for the intelligent roosterfish, known for its irritating knack of turning its nose on a fly.

Costa Rica fish are so abundant, wily (ah, the snook!), and combative (try a marlin!), that it is tough to limit your fishing to one spot, and almost impossible to come across just one kind of fish. Billfish (sailfish and marlin) are most sought after, but the Pacific coastline is literally teeming with inshore fish such as grouper, snapper, amberjack, wahoo and dorado. Boats come supplied with a variety of sport fishing options: live bait, trolling, casting, and fly fishing inshore and offshore.


With so many kinds of fish, in so many locations--ocean, rivers, river mouths--the visitor must rely on the captain and crew of the boat for expertise. Fortunately, when you rent one of the many available boats, the crew provides tackle and amenities--and advice based on years of fishing Costa Rican waters. Be sure, however, to plan your Costa Rica deep sea fishing vacation in advance. The most popular captains are sometimes booked 100 days straight in peak months!

In keeping with the conservation policies of the country, Costa Rica sport fishing crews are dedicated to catch-and-release for non-food fish. The thrill, they believe, is in matching a fighting fish move for move, not in killing it. Full hook retrieval is practiced to ensure the survival of the magnificent purple-hued marlin and other exciting game fish. Fish are looked upon as a resource, just like the other beautiful and exotic creatures on the land.

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