Best Places for Deep Sea & Inshore Fishing in Costa Rica

With 95 world records from Costa Rica’s inland and coastal waters, Costa Rica is recognized as one of the top sportfishing destinations worldwide. With two expansive coastlines, extensive wetlands, and multiple rivers, this could very well be an angler’s nirvana. Costa Rica strongly believes in the preservation of its fishing resources and encourage all billfish and non-edible fish to be released.

Deep Sea Fishing: Marlin, Sailfish, & More

5 Best Sport Fishing Trips & Marinas in Costa Rica


Costa Rica is best known for marlin. The strikingly beautiful blue marlin are one of the largest fish in the world – they average 11 feet long and between 200 and 400 pounds! In February 2014, sport-fishers everywhere were astounded when an albino marlin was caught in Costa Rica. Another popular sport fishing target is the sailfish. While superficially similar to the marlin, sailfish rarely exceed 10 feet in length. Both of these fish are known for their exciting, acrobatic leaps from the water and their blinding speed. Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, and Wahoo are also found offshore in Costa Rica.

Pacific Coast Fishing Spots

The Pacific Coast is rightly famous for record-breaking off shore Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado, Wahoo, and Yellowfin Tuna. In shore, Roosterfish, Snook, and Snapper are frequently reeled in. Each fishing destination has a peak season, but hidden freshwater fishing holes and deep-sea fishing are rewarding adventures that can be had year-round. Our Experts can pre-arrange fishing charters all along the Pacific coast with local fishing experts based on your preferences.

Los Suenos Marina, Central Pacific

5 Best Sport Fishing Trips & Marinas in Costa Rica

The Los Suenos Marina is located right next door to Los Suenos Resort in the Jaco/Herradura area, offers unequaled luxury in vibrant tropical settings. It is currently the only government-sanctioned marina operating in Costa Rica, and is a full service port for a number of luxury sport fishing boats in the area. Marlin and Roosterfish are commonly found in the Jaco & Herradura area.

Crocodile Bay Sportfishing Resort, Osa Peninsula

5 Best Sport Fishing Trips & Marinas in Costa Rica


Located on the remote Osa Peninsula, Crocodile Bay Sportfishing Resort is a deluxe ecolodge that caters to the sportfishing enthusiast. They offer inshore, offshore, kayak, and shore fishing. The resort practices catch and release fishing with the safer circle hooks. Crocodile Bay has an impressive fleet of over 40 private fishing boats. Pacific Sailfish are brought in year-round, with numbers as high as 10-15 per day in the winter. Inshore fishing inside the Gulfo Dulce brings up fish like Trevally, Grouper, Snapper, Bluefin, and Roosterfish. Outside the Gulfo Dulce, fisherman can bring up Black and Stripped Marlin, Sailfish Blue, and more.

Tamarindo Sportfishing, Guanacaste

Best Sport Fishing Trips & Marinas in Costa Rica

Perfectly lip-hooked 35 pound Roosterfish caught & released on the Talking Fish by our return travelers with Tamarindo Sportfishing

Full and half day fishing charters are available year round from Tamarindo. Fishing in Tamarindo is great all year, but fishing conditions can still vary from month to month. Peak season for Billfish is mid April to August. Marlin and Sailfish are the highlights of the full day 9 hour fishing trip. The half day 5 hour trip is more inshore fishing for fish like Snapper, Amberjack, and Roosterfish. For those who prefer to fish offshore, there is also a 7 hour option.

Marina Papagayo, Papagayo Peninsula

5 Best Sport Fishing Trips & Marinas in Costa Rica

The Marina Papagayo on the Papagayo Peninsula is the newest marina in the country, built with an environmentally-conscious blueprint. It is situated directly next to the Andaz Papagayo Resort in Culebra Bay. This marina is capable of holding even super-yachts up to 220’ in length. Marlin, Roosterfish, and Tuna can be found in the waters near Papagayo.

Quepos, Central Pacific

The port town of Quepos is a world famous sportfishing destination on the central Pacific coast. Quepos has been named The Sailfish Capital of the World, but it’s also excellent for Roosterfish, Snapper, Dorado, and Marlin just to name a few. Offshore and Inshore fishing is available for half and full day fishing trips.

Marina Pez Vela, Central Pacific

Marina Pez Vela was the home of the 2014 Offshore World Championship, and is located in the Quepos & Manuel Antonio area. While less luxurious, this marina hosts charter boats for a wide variety of activities including fishing, snorkeling, and diving. Marlin and Roosterfish are common in the Quepos & Manuel Antonio area.

Inland Fishing: Catch & Release on Lake Arenal

Best Places for Sport Fishing in Costa Rica

Lake Arenal is the most popular inland fishing destination in Costa Rica. The lake is the largest in the country and sits at the base of Arenal Volcano. Fish for the freshwater guapote or rainbow bass. You may also catch the fighting machaca fish. Your seasoned guide will bring the gear and point out the best spots. Full or half-day tours are available.

Northern Caribbean Coast Fishing

The Northern Caribbean, where the Rio San Juan and Rio Colorado empty into the sea to create wetlands, is well known for Tarpon and Snook. Dorado, Gaspar, and Tuna can also be caught.

Costa Rica Fishing FAQ:

While Costa Rica fishing is seasonal, there is good fishing all year. Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, Grouper, Snapper are always found off of the Central Pacific Coast.
Fishing from a boat in Costa Rica requires a fishing license. Fishing licenses are about $15/person for a week and may be included in your fishing charter.
Fishing licenses can be purchased online, through the INCOPESCO offices, or through your fishing charter. We advise talking to a Costa Rica Expert about your options.