Fishermen view Costa Rica as a preferred destination due to its easy access and excellent waters on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Caribbean coast offers freshwater lagoons and rivers with numerous world-class lodges tucked away in the jungle. The best time of the year is from January to May when the rain arrives and when the water rises from August to October, when the ocean flattens and boats can safely leave the river mouth.

With skill and luck, experienced anglers can expect to get a spectacular fish next to the boat in one out of six hook-ups, snap a photo and release the fish.

From San José, anglers can get to Lake Arenal after a three-hour drive. At the lake, guides are ready to start the outboards and head to their favorite deep holes where they know the guapote looks for lunch. The guapote, also known as rainbow bass, is a hard hitter and delicious on the dinner table.

The Pacific, where the sailfish reigns, offers new challenges always …

The coastline of the Pacific provides the seasonal weather that prompts many boats to move as the schools of fish move as well or the strong Papagayo winds make it too uncomfortable to be on the water. These winds are stronger in the north around December, January and February.

The sailfish is the goal for saltwater anglers and in Costa Rica, there is a great chance for success.

Sport Fishing

With coasts on both sides of the country, Costa Rica’s sport fishing is world-renowned and it is available in both freshwater and saltwater.

Freshwater fishing is available at Arenal Lake and rivers in the country’s northern region. Saltwater fishing trips can be booked on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

The fish reeled-in at Arenal Lake include rainbow bass, gaspar (alligator gar, one of the oldest fish on the planet), mojarra and machaca, from the same family as the piranha. Bobo and machaca fish are also found in the Sierpe and Savegre rivers.

The canals and rivers in the northern Caribbean region offer a large variety of fish.

Barra del Colorado is one of the best fishing spots in Costa Rica for snook, tarpon, sea bass, gaspar and catfish. The best months for sport fishing in this region are December to May, and August to October. Fishing lodges situated in Barra del Colorado, Tortuguero and Parismina offer great rooms to enjoy the rainforest surroundings.

Marlin, roosterfish, tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, dorado, sailfish, snapper and mackerel are found in the Pacific coast.

The country’s Pacific ports and resorts offer easy access to some of the best deep sea fishing in the world. Popular locations include El Coco, Ocotal, Flamingo, Tamarindo, Carrillo, Puntarenas, Tambor, Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay, Golfito and Zancudo. This area is known for its abundance of billfish and legendary battles with marlin and sailfish.

Costa Rica is a great country to enjoy sport fishing!

Costa Rica Travel: Travel Information & Tips

No matter how beautiful a destination may be, it needs easy access and be reachable within the limitations of an average vacation period. Costa Rica is only two and a half hours away from Miami!