Costa Rica Fish Species

When and Where to Target Your Costa Rica Fish Species!


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Fishing Seasons for Costa Rica's Popular Fish Species

From the mighty Marlin to the hard fighting Tarpon, Costa Rica offers a varied selection of fish for all types of anglers.

blue marlin
mahi mahi / dorado
roosterfish
sailfish
snapper
tarpon
yellowfin tuna
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
BLUE MARLIN

Acrobatic and strong, this is the largest and most sought-after fish on the Pacific Ocean.

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
MAHI MAHI / DORADO

Delicious and beautiful, this is an exotic and acrobatic target that will give you a good fight and a good meal.

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
ROOSTERFISH

This strong fish will try to outmuscle you every inch of the way. A real catch!

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
SAILFISH

The fastest fish in the Pacific Ocean and one of the most prized targets.

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
SNAPPER

A large, toothed fish from the shallower waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Tortuguero
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
TARPON

Also known as the Silver King, this massive fish is a real trophy.

Excellent
Good
Fair
LOCATIONS
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Los Suenos/Quepos
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Guanacaste
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
Osa Peninsula
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
YELLOWFIN TUNA

Yellowfin Tuna are both strong and tasty. Don’t miss out on one!

Excellent
Good
Fair

Costa Rica's Best Fish Species to Catch

From hard fighting Marlin to acrobatic Tarpon, Costa Rica has a wide variety of fish species for all anglers.

Mahi-Mahi

Marlin

Roosterfish

Sailfish

Snapper

Tarpon

(...)The fishing is awesome and they really pay attention to the customer as individuals. We caught 8 marlin and 9 sailfish on our August 2018 fishing trip. They have drinks and meals on the boat as well. Last year we caught tuna, dorado, and 9 marlin...

Ashley Polley - USA 2018

Getting your Favorite Species

Costa Rica has a lot to offer for every type of angler. If you want to battle the heavier billfish, there’s Marlin and Sailfish.

Enjoy light tackle with inshore species like Roosterfish or Jacks. Tarpon are fun as well on the Caribbean Coast.

If you are looking for dinner, Grouper, Snapper, Mahi-Mahi, and Tuna are always a fan favorite.

Freshwater enthusiasts also get their chance at Rainbow Bass, Machaca or Roncadora. Whatever your interests are, Costa Rica has plenty of opportunities for fishing action.

How to Catch the Fish You Want

Once you know the species you want to catch, then the fun part begins. Finding the right part of Costa Rica, during the right time of year is key. From here, it is all about getting the best guide.

Weed out the different options until you get to the boat, crew, and area that fit your ideal dream fishing trip.

With us, your fishing vacation can be hassle-free. If you’re looking for advice and help in making a decision, that is what we are here for.

If you are an avid visitor to Costa Rica and looking for something new, we can help as well. In any case, our local fishing experts are here to help organize the trip of a lifetime.

Book the Customized Fishing Trip of Your Dreams

Fish Species in Costa Rica

It’s also good to learn about the local species before the trip to make sure you know exactly what to expect.

This is an overview of the most popular Costa Rica fish species you can here. Whether it is fresh water, salt water, inshore or offshore there is action for everyone.

We also offer conventional, spinning and fly-fishing guides for you to choose from.

If there’s one species that is on your bucket list, let your travel consultant know immediately. Your ideal fishing vacations is our goal. Designed for you and around the fish you’re after.

After all, these fishing trips are all customizable according to your goals!

Marlin

The largest and most sought-after game-fish in the Pacifc. Those lucky enough to fight and land one of these monsters will have a fisherman’s tale worth telling.

Target Marlin on the Pacific coast with an offshore trip.

Or plan an overnight adventure to fish the FADs and seamounts. Marlin are here year-round. The best months for day trips targeting Marlin are May – December. But the reality we catch marlin every day of the year in Costa Rica.

Sailfish

The most famed pelagic species found in Costa Rica. Sailfish are so abundant in Costa Rica that double-digit days are not uncommon.

Target this species on the Pacific coast. Go offshore for a day trip in the ideal area for your travel dates.

With great numbers found hear round, Sailfish are a staple for offshore enthusiast. The absolute best months are January – April in the Central Pacific.

However, they can be caught year-round in almost any part of the Pacific Coast.

Mahi-Mahi

Also known as Dorado, this colorful and acrobatic fish is a favorite game fish all over the world. Costa Rica’s deep waters are a tropical haven for this animal and a great place to find it.

Target Mahi Mahi in the Pacific coast with an offshore trip. The best months to get one are between April and September, but they are caught year round.

Roosterfish

The target and prize of the most serious inshore fisherman. The Roosterfish is one of Costa Rica’s most sought-after inshore species.

Roosterfish are targeted on the Pacific coast’s shallow waters reefs, with excellent numbers present all year. Live bait and water clarity are the primary obstacles for a great Roosterfish trip.

Tarpon

Tarpon are found in shallow, warm tropical waters in the Atlantic ocean. From the Caribbean to the coast of Africa. Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is no exception.

Target this prehistoric fish along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. This hard fighter and acrobatic jumper offers tons of action during key times of the year.

February and May, and then again between September and October are the prime months. These dates offer great weather and a lot of action.

Yellowfin Tuna

One of the strongest fish in the sea, once hooked you’ll see why people refer to tuna as a ‘ball of muscle’. Target the Yellowfin Tuna in the offshore waters of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

This species is most abundant between June and September, but with the new Tuna Decree in Costa Rica there are good numbers all year round as well in all parts of the country.

Snapper

There are a variety of Snapper Costa Rica’s most popular snappers are the Red and Cubera Snapper.

Find them on the inshore waters of the Pacific coast. Throughout the year they are abundant, except for the months of September and October.

Water clarity and weather can play a factor in snapper success. The Snapper is still here, but they can be harder to catch when the weather plays a factor.

Wahoo

Wahoo are found all over Costa Rica, but they are not as common here as in other parts of the world.

They live around offshore reefs, patrolling large floating debris. They are a great bonus fish on any given fishing day, with the best chances to catch one from May to July.

Snook

Snook are a great species to target for their strength and taste. In Costa Rica, they have become popular due to their record-breaking sizes.

Fish for Snook along both coast of Costa Rica and in our rivers and streams. During prime months, the snook action is hot and any given day could yield the next world record.

The best place to target Snook is the inshore waters of the Caribbean between February and May.

On the Pacific coast, they’re available year-round along river mouths and estuaries. The Pacific coast action revolves around the Sardina run. Starting around mid-February – May and then again November – December.

Machaca

Machaca are one of the most aggressive freshwater fish in Costa Rica! Hard fighting with acrobatic jumps, they are great.

Catching with light tackle on Costa Rica lakes and rivers yields great results. earning the nickname “mini Tarpon”.

For Machaca, head to Arenal Lake right next to Arenal volcano. Here Machaca is most abundant between January and May, when rivers are feeding lots of life into the lake.

Rainbow Bass

Better known as ‘Guapote’ (handsome) here in Costa Rica. Rainbow Bass are the main target of freshwater anglers.

Lake Arenal, near the eponymous Arenal volcano, is the place to go for this species and some adventure.

Like Machaca, it’s most abundant between January and May, but they can be caught year round as well.

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