Deep Sea Fishing in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a paradise for many reasons, but deep sea fishing has to be the country’s crowning glory. From trolling for big game pelagics a stone’s throw from land to blue water FAD fishing a hundred miles offshore, Costa Rica is blessed with incredible big game fishing every day of the year.
There are several great towns to choose from, each with their own special something. While the Caribbean coast does yield some good catches, Costa Rica’s best deep sea fishing is found in its warm Pacific waters, with their steep drop-offs, bustling FADs, and remote seamounts all exploding with billfish and other big game species. So to help you decide on where to visit, here’s a run-down of a few of our favorites.
Quepos - Tournament-ville
Located in the middle of the country’s Pacific coast, Quepos has grown into a Mecca for big game anglers, thanks largely to its incredible tournament scene. The IGFA itself tops the bill, hosting their Offshore World Championships year after year in the town’s beautiful Marina Pez Vela. This makes April a no-go unless you book well in advance, but you will be given the show of a lifetime if you do!
Quepos is the perfect arena for these awesome big game battles. Blue and Black Marlin tag each other out over the course of the year, joined by huge numbers of big Pacific Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and a whole lot more. And when we say huge numbers, we mean it. You can land 20 billfish a day when the fishing is hot here, and even on a slow day you would be a fool to expect any downtime.
Jaco/Herradura - Glitz & Glamor
Just up the coast from Quepos, this this once-quaint community village was catapulted into celebrity sportfishing status by the construction of the Los Sueños Resort & Marina. Costa Rica’s only five-star marina opened in 2001 and has drawn the great and the good ever since. It has also gathered the largest charter fleet in the country, so ditch the golf courses and twelve-star restaurants and head offshore for some incredible sportfishing.
High season is the same for fish and people, it seems. If you come to town December through April you can expect multiple hookups of Sailfish and Marlin, as well as a ton of tasty Tuna and other deep sea favorites. Even in the height of summer, there is a permanent population of big game A-listers, but the heavy rains make getting offshore less appealing.
The sheer scale of the charter fleet makes it the perfect place to find high-end, multi-day trips. These head over 100 miles offshore in search of Costa Rica’s famous FADs. Los Sueños deep sea fishing charters provide 5-star fishing with a price tag to match. Take a walk down the beach, though, and you’ll find cheaper boats that can be just as much fun.
Playa Flamingo/Tamarindo - The Wild North
Costa Rica’s northern tip has several great sportfishing destinations. Tamarindo’s deep sea fishing scene kicked off way back in the ‘80s but has been somewhat left behind by the recent big game boom further south. These days, Culebra’s Marina Papagayo is the area’s only proper charter dock, but most trips still launch out of Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo.
The seafloor drops so steeply here that you can start trolling as soon as you leave the shore. If you want to battle billfish within sight of land, this is the place for you. Unfortunately, this is only the case in the hot summer months when no-one’s there to enjoy it. Come winter, the strong winds will have you fishing further south and half days offshore are impossible. Our advice? Brave the heat and enjoy some of the world’s best billfishing for under a thousand dollars.
Golfito/Puerto Jimenez - The Next Big Thing?
The very south of the Pacific coast is pretty much uncharted territory for most big game sportfishers. That doesn’t mean it’s unchartered, though. The area’s slowly being recognized as the undiscovered gem of Costa Rica’s Blue Marlin scene. Head out to the seamounts 60-100 miles offshore, and you’ll find big Blues in incredible numbers – without the crowds to match!
The Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) is a stunning destination, made all the more interesting by the difficulty getting there. For angling adventurers, this could be the dream location and a chance to say “I was there before it was famous”.
Whatever you’re after, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Costa Rica’s big game potential. From luxury escapes to budget breaks, you can find some real gems hidden along the country’s coastline. Isn’t it about time for a vacation?
Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Costa Rica
What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in Costa Rica
"Fishing with Felipe"
Christopher Herbert fished with Good Day Team - 36’ Good Day Too on June 17, 2018
Great team and hardly lunch! Caught five sailfish and several mahi-mahi. Weather was good, boat and fish gear amazing and plenty of beverages! Recommend for a first time deep seafishing party.
"Full day deep sea "
Jessica Reichert fished with Blue Pearl II - 32' Hatteras on February 21, 2018
We booked the full day deep sea fishing trip. It was an amazing day. My son caught 2 yellow fin tuna and 2 mahi mahi. We also had 3 sailfish on the line but they snapped the line and took the bait. We also saw thousands of porpoises during the trip. Best day ever.
"Fishing with Jackpot fishing and crew"
fished with Jackpot Sport Fishing on February 4, 2018
Fishing in Costa Rica in the town of quepos with jackpot fishing most enjoyable fishing trip I’ve ever had in my life, Benn and his crew Manuel and Jackson are awesome fisherman willing to go the extra mile to put fish in the boat don’t delay because they book fast . Don’t talk or wish about going to some deep sea fishing, DO IT!!! with Jackpot sport fishing you won’t be sorry.
Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Costa Rica
Sportfishing on the Predator
Jaco • 28 ft • 4 persons
trips from US$ 700
Herradura • 26 ft • 4 persons
trips from US$ 300
Boos Adventures - “Happy Ending”
Playa Flamingo • 28 ft • 6 persons
trips from US$ 400
Herradura • 30 ft • 5 persons
trips from US$ 540
Capullo Sportfishing/Rainbow Runner
Tamarindo • 22 ft • 3 persons
trips from US$ 475
Herradura • 23 ft • 4 persons
trips from US$ 560
Double Nickel Charters
Quepos • 42 ft • 6 persons
trips from US$ 1850
Talking Fish - 38’ Topaz Express
Tamarindo • 38 ft • 7 persons
trips from US$ 950