Fishing in Costa Rica

Fishing in Costa Rica

Because of the great diversity of its marine fauna, Costa Rica has become a sport fishing icon, with three Grand Slam records per year. The country hosts several important tournaments throughout the year, such as: National Sailfish Tournament, International Sailfish Tournament, and Ladies Open Sailfish Tournament, Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series, and Presidential Channel among others.

The Pacific flat coasts and exotic Caribbean coasts are abundant in species. All you have to do is choose your destination to cast your line!

It is very easy to reach you favorite fishing destinations. There are direct flights from the United States to San José and Guanacaste. You can also go by car to the different coastal zones.

At each fishing point you will have hotels, fishing equipment, guides, and boats, whether your trip is done on your own or with a specialized tour operator who promotes and practices the liberation of most of the species (catch and release), contributing to conservation and ecotourism.

The marina is equipped with electricity, drinking water, telephones, security, waste disposal, boat maintenance and repair service, small vessels and jet skis. In most specialized places, you may even request to have your lure custom made. Piers are available as well.

Depending on the region, you may find golf courses and other activities that will complement your trip in an ideal way.

North Pacific Region

This zone is ideal to enjoy consistent fishing all year long. If you want to go for a marlin, this is the perfect place to catch it.

You won't have to wait long to plunge into the sea since the area is of easy access, thanks to the direct flights from the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia and connections coming from the United States. This way, you will be 1-2 hours away from the different places where you can sail in search of adventure. Furthermore, it offers the possibility of arriving with local flights or by road from the Central Pacific or San José.

The main spots to enjoy sport fishing in this region are: Coco and Ocotal Beach, located approximately 30 minutes from the International Airport in Liberia, Tamarindo, Samara, and Carrillo are approximately one hour and a half from said airport. Besides that, there are runways for local flights in Tamarindo, Nosara, and Carrillo.

Central Pacific Region

The natural beauty of Carara and Manuel Antonio National Parks complement the active fishing centers. The Marina in Playa Herradura offers excellent services and conditions for all lovers of this thrilling sport.

Among some of the services the marina has at your disposal are 250 docks, fuel supply and repair shop, a dry dock with a crane supporting up to 10 tons, which makes it ideal to store jet skies or small recreational boats. The marina is also equipped with the Internet, telephone, commercial centers, banking services, rent-a-cars, as well as equipment for emergencies, power and potable water supply.

The proximity of this zone to the Juan Santamaria International Airport will allow you to access your chosen destination in one hour. If your trip begins in Guanacaste, you can also travel by car or by plane.

South Pacific Region

Explore the remote areas of Costa Rica to find important fishing centers like: Drake, Puerto Jiménez, Zancudo, Golfo Dulce, and Golfito, which contains the zone's main port with all the facilities for a pleasant stay.

This area has runways in Golfito, Drake, Coto 47, and Palmar Sur, giving easy access with internal flights from San José and/connections.

North Caribbean Region

Live an unforgettable experience in the Caribbean zone. Here, you will find species that differ from those in the Pacific coast, like the snook for example. While enjoying this sport, you will be enthralled by the exuberant vegetation and a unique landscape to be found only in the Caribbean of Costa Rica.

The North Caribbean counts with lodging facilities and hotels, offering complete packages. They include tours to fishing areas and transportation from San José, either by air or with vessels through the canals. At the same time, you may be checking the number of species existing in the rivers and canals at Barra del Colorado and Parismina.

You can also choose between several fishing options, whether you like in deep ocean waters, rivers, lakes, and streams, or waterways on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The Arenal Lake is the most popular for fishing cichlids (Cichlasoma dovii) ,which is also found in Coter Lake, Hule Lagoon, Congo in Sarapiquí, Río Cuarto Lake in Grecia, Bonilla Lagoon in Turrialba, and Caño Negro in Los Chiles, where the activity has been growing in the last years.

In Caño Negro you can catch the tropical gar famous for its crocodile mouth and body of a fish, also known as one of the oldest species of our continent. Experts know it as "the living fossil." That is why its capture has some restrictions.

If you are looking for a family experience, you will find small hotels and places dedicated to fishing. There are small artificial lakes located in several points of the country. These sites, besides having such species as tilapia in warm areas and trout in cool areas, give you the opportunity of tasting local and international dishes prepared on the spot, offering you and your family an unforgettable experience.


Information provided by the Costa Rican Tourist Board