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Costa Rica Fishing Vacations

Costa Rica fishing vacations offer a variety of angling opportunities in waters that are richly populated with a multitude of different game fish.

Before you dust off your rod and reel and hop on a plane though, there are some things you need to consider to make sure you get the most out your Costa Rica fishing vacation.

What time of year is best for fishing?

This is actually quite dependent on what you want to fish for, whether it be billfish, like marlin or sailfish, or if you're looking for mahi mahi/dorado, roosterfish, tarpon etc. as each have their own high season.

There are four general regions for oceanic fishing: the North, Central and South Pacific coasts, and the Caribbean. Each region has it's own attractions, so that may be another factor to think about when considering what time of year you want to go fishing so that you make sure the right fish are running in the region you want to be in. For more information on region, seasons, and fish, check out my main Costa Rica fishing page.

If you want a quick sampler of what types of fish are caught in Costa Rica, check out this list: sailfish, blue and black marlin, dorado, tuna, wahoo, roosterfish, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, bluefin trevally, grouper, tripletail, sierra mackerel, and tarpon. Just to name some of the most highly prized catches.

What about fishing resorts in Costa Rica?

There are a few resorts with dedicated fleets of sport fishing boats like Ococtal Beach Resort, Los Suenos Marriott in Jaco, and Crocodile Bay in Puerto Jimenez, etc., and this can be a convenient option for Costa Rica fishing vacations - some even offer Costa Rica fishing packages. However, those resorts that don't have their own fleet will certainly have a connection with an outfitter or charter fishing company that can take you out fishing, whether it be offshore for big game fish or inshore for smaller but equally spirited fish, like dorado.

In my opinion, especially if you're in a town with various sport fishing charters (i.e., Tamarindo, Jaco, Puerto Jimenez, etc.), that you pick your resort based on the amenities and price and then find your own charter -- be it by walking around town and checking in with different outfitters, or consulting with your hotel or resort. This way you can bargain a little bit by checking out different companies, and you may even find a local fisherman willing to take you out for some inshore excitement for relatively cheap in his little panga (what my dad likes to do when traveling). Anyway, it can pay to check around first -- especially when you can find deals with less well advertised tour agents and fishing chaterts.

As with any Costa Rica fishing vacations, do your research and ask lots of questions; ask to see the boats...ask if they will use ice for your catch (many do not), do they do fly fishing, get recommendations, etc. If you're going in high season, then it will be beneficial to get in contact with a few fishing charters in advance to secure your place on a sport fishing charter boat.

Otherwise, part of the fun of Costa Rica fishing vacations can be walking main-street and talking to the various boat captains and fishing guides to find out who offers the best deal and makes you the most comfortable. You may find that the marlin/sailfish/whatever aren't biting well and save yourself a few hundred dollars by staying inshore indead of going deep sea fishing -- or you might rethink what fish species you want to go for instead and readjust your expectations. Either way, it's hard to beat a day fishing in the tropics!

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