Costa Rica has always been an incredible destination for a vacation, thanks to its lush rainforests, exotic flora and fauna, and golden beaches that dive headfirst into crystal-clear water. In such spectacular vistas, fishing has always been one of the main draws. Enveloped by two water bodies, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is considered an ideal sport fishing destination. No matter which coast you are on, you are never too far to catch a fish.
However, fishing in Costa Rica is not limited to being a sport for professionals; thanks to the excellent selection of offshore, coastal, and freshwater locations, everyone, from expert anglers to newbies, can enjoy fishing here.
This blog post will outline the best places to fish and the peak season for each fish in Costa Rica. So, continue reading to prepare for your next fishing trip to Costa Rica.
The Best Fishing Destinations in Costa Rica
1. Los Sueños Resort & Marina
The best sport fishing experience and the availability of several privately owned luxury vacation villas make Los Sueños Resort & Marina an angler’s paradise. In addition to unending schools of dorado and yellowfin tuna, sailfish are abundant here, making sport fishing in Los Sueños one of the best experiences in the world. The ideal months for catching blue, black, and striped Marlin are from November to February and May to July.
You can also find experienced charters specializing in inshore fishing for mackerel, snapper, jacks, sea bass, and roosterfish. Bottom fishing for snapper, grouper, and amberjack at its offshore reefs are an excellent alternative if inshore fishing is not your thing.
2. Manuel Antonio/Quepos
Quepos, once known as the “fishing capital of Costa Rica,” is located an hour’s drive south of the Los Sueños Resort and Marina. The Manuel Antonio National Park at Quepos is known for its stunning beaches, verdant rainforests, exotic wildlife, five-star hotels, and fantastic sport fishing experience.
The Sailfish Capital of the World, Quepos, is also a wonderful place to catch Roosterfish, Snapper, Dorado, and Marlin. It is home to several islands and three big-mouth rivers, which makes it perfect for some of the best inshore fishing in the country for species like snook, seabass, jacks, and roosterfish. So, the next time you want to experience the best inshore fishing in Costa Rica, you know where to go.
One of the seven provinces in Costa Rica, Guanacaste is spread over the entire northwest region of the country. It is home to stunning beaches, the country’s largest resorts, and ancient fishing villages like Tamarindo, Flamingo, and the Gulf of Papagayo.
Because of its favorable geographical features and climatic conditions, it is also one of Costa Rica’s oldest and most famous fishing destinations. You can enjoy fishing at its best from May to November, i.e., the green season. Guanacaste provides excellent inshore fishing and diving experiences, thanks to its clear waters and large offshore islands.
4. Lake Arenal
The 33-acre Lake Arenal offers a stunning setting for exciting freshwater fishing for species like machaca, tilapia, and the highly sought-after rainbow bass.
In addition to bass fishing, Lake Arenal also offers float trips down some pristine jungle rivers. These float trips are a unique and unforgettable way to spend the day admiring nature as you float through the Costa Rican rainforests.
5. Osa Peninsula
The last, but not the least, on our list of the top five fishing spots in Costa Rica is the Osa Peninsula. The entire Osa Peninsula is a 164-square-mile national park called Corcovado National Park. Boasting 5% of the world’s biodiversity, this region is referred to as the “most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic. Sparse population and abundant marine life makes fishing in the Osa Peninsula an exciting experience.
Plus, many bird species, some of the most poisonous snakes in the world, crocodiles, and mammals of all sizes, can also be found here. Hence, the Osa Peninsula is also a must-visit place for nature enthusiasts. It is famous for animal sightings and visitors can spot tapirs, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, four species of monkeys, and sloths.
Costa Rica Fishing Calendar 2023
|Areas||Types of Fish||Peak Season|
|Northern Pacific (Tamarindo, Flamingo, Gulf of Papagayo)||Marlin||November-March|
|Central Pacific (Jaco, Quepos, Herradura, Puntarenas)||Marlin||September-November|
|Southern Pacific (Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez, Zancudo, Golfito, Golfo Dulce)||Marlin||August-December|
Beach Towns and More Adventures
The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is where you will find some of the country’s most well-known and popular beach towns. Just 75 minutes outside of San Jose is the surf town of Jaco, while Manuel Antonio is only around 2.5 hours away.
You can choose from a collection of adventure tours in every beach town along the coast. Eco-tours include expert-led excursions through national parks, kayaking through intricate mangroves, watching whales and turtles, or taking a catamaran cruise at dusk.
Besides sport fishing, Costa Rica is also the ideal spot for enjoying adventure tours like canopy zip-lining tours, white-water rafting, ATV tours, and horseback riding tours. These beach towns are also a popular spot for adventure sports like surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
One of the top sportfishing locations in the world, Costa Rica boasts 95 world sportfishing records made on its inland and coastal waters. It is home to two long coastlines, vast wetlands, countless rivers, and supportive government policy. Costa Ricans strongly support conserving its fishing resources and encourages anglers to release all billfish and other non-edible fish that they catch. Costa Rica just might be a paradise for every fishing enthusiast.