Costa Rica Freshwater fishing

Machacca Mouth FishFor the dedicated freshwater fisherman, Costa Rica also offers literally hundreds of miles of rivers and some lakes that always provide plenty of sport, Lake Arenal is the most popular water inland, located approximately four hours drive from San Jose. It is loaded with rainbow bass, a member of the cichlid family as it is the bass of the peacock found in some parts of South America and more recently introduced to the waters of Florida.

The mature male develops a strange hump on the back of his head that can be as large as a softball, shows the shadows of rainbow trout and has the bass fishing characteristics but is not related to neither of the two. During a 1 1/2-day tournament at Lake Arenal not long ago, the two-man winning team weighed in a record of 17 fish at 91 pounds. 5 oz. The IGFA record for the species, which is found only in Costa Rica and parts of Nicaragua, is 8 pounds and was trapped in Lake Hule (shown as Lake Echandi on some maps), a beautiful postmark-sized lake near San Miguel, but very difficult to access.

Lake Coto, just above the Arenal, Caño Negro lagoon in northern Guanacaste and Lake Nicaragua, located on the other side of the border, but the most accessible from Costa Rica are other hot spots in the interior.

One of my favorites is the Tortuguero or Barra Colorado areas in the rivers for tarpon and snook.