Sport fishing in Costa Rica

From the mighty Pacific over several lakes inland to the exotic Caribbean, thanks to the impressive variety of fish species in Costa Rica you will find a suitable place to throw your fishing rod. There are four different fishing areas: the North Pacific, the Central Pacific, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.

North Pacific

In the North Pacific on the coast of Guanacaste, there are several towns and beautiful beaches, which are well suited for fishing. Among the best destinations are Coco Beach, Ocotal, Tamarindo, Flamingo, Nosara, Sámara and Carrillo. In this zone, you can find marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, roosterfish, sawfish and tuna. They are present all year round; only the mahi-mahi is more likely from May to October. In the table, you can find Information on the best season.

Best time
Marlin all year Nov - Mar
Sailfish all year Mar - Aug
Tuna all year Aug - Oct
Mahi-mahi May - Oct -
Roosterfish all year Nov - Mar
Sawfish all year -

Central Pacific

You can go fishing in Puntarenas, Playa Jacó and Quepos and find marlin, mahi-mahi, roosterfish, sailfish and tuna. The fishing season and best times to fish the respective fish are listed in the table below.

Best time
Marlin Sep - Nov -
Sailfish Dec - Apr -
Tuna all year Jun - Sep
Mahi-mahi all year May
Roosterfish Jun - Sep -


South Pacific

In the South Pacific of Costa Rica, there are also numerous fishing centers, for example in Drake Bay, Puerto Jiménez, Golfito and Zancudo. The area around Zancudo is a good place to catch marlin and sailfish.

Best time
Marlin Aug - Dec -
Sailfish Dez - Mar -
Tuna all year -
Mahi-mahi May - Oct -
Roosterfish all year -
Snook all year May - Jul



The species and environment in the Caribbean differ significantly from those in the Pacific Ocean. Snooks and tarpons are available in large numbers and in quiet days, barracudas stay close to the beach. Other species and the best seasons can be found in the table.

Best time
Tarpon all year Dec - May
Snook Mar – May Sep - Nov
Atlantic sailfish all year -
sawfish all year -


Lakes and rivers

In Costa Rica, you can also fish in the interior of the country. The Arenal Lake, the lagoon in the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the Savegre River near San Gerardo de Dota are suitable destinations for fishing enthusiasts. Among the fish species are:

  • rainbow trout
  • South American trout
  • cichlids, e.g. jaguar cichlid

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