Fishing In Costa Rica

By Dave Hart

May 2010

My wife and I booked a Caravan Tour to Costa Rica for twelve days circling around the country and staying two days in each of the five hotels. Each day we had wonderful side trips, including such things as the rain forest, coffee, banana and pineapple plantations, beautiful museums and an awesome volcano. Stopping at the hotels gave us wonderful swimming, meals and pleasant visitations with our fellow travelers. Every day was different and very special.

We had made an arrangement for two ocean fishing days at the end of our tour. The boat owner booked us into the Hotel Diria on Tamarindo Bay near his saltwater boats, so we left the tour the last two days. After a short walk on the beach, I met his fishing guide who ran several days in the ocean with plenty of fish. I concentrated on Atlantic Bonito, Cero, and Rooster Fish and had a ball.

The Atlantic Bonito are fished with the ten pound test line for these 1-3 foot fish with either Mackerel or Butterfish as bait or with a spin cast with lures. They are extremely fast swimmers and aggressive feeders who come near the shore but they are more often found in open sea. They are concentrated between Cape Cod and Florida.

Cero, which are 5 to 11 pounds, often look like similar King or Spanish Mackerel. Look for them on coral reefs or shoals, although they could be found in open water. They live from Massachusetts to below Florida in winter or summer where they are great fighters and jumpers. Use light tackle and troll with feathers or bait.

Rooster fish are found throughout the Pacific Central American Coast and grow 2 to 4 feet long, weigh from 10 to 40 pounds and have a telltale cockcomb of a dorsal fin. They like shallows in shore areas and reef lines and round up bait at the surface in these places where they create a show that attracts plenty of birds. Normally they are difficult to catch! The current world record is 114 pounds from Mexico.

If you ever get to Costa Rica make it a point to fish for several days- you will love it!