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Embark on an unforgettable angling adventure with our comprehensive fishing calendar

Whether you are looking to target Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, or Wahoo or going for the inshore species, roosterfish, jacks, snapper, and others, you need to know when to come to have a better chance of catching your trophy! Here were sharing the Costa Rica fishing seasons that will help you pick the best time to come to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Fishing Calendar

Costa Rica Fishing Seasons: A Guide to Year-Round Angling Adventures

With its stunning coastlines and diverse marine ecosystems, Costa Rica offers anglers a paradise for fishing adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, understanding the fishing seasons in Costa Rica can greatly enhance your chances of a successful and memorable fishing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fishing seasons of Costa Rica, providing valuable insights into the best times to target specific fish species throughout the year.

1 Pacific Coast (Central and Southern Regions):

1.1 Sailfish Season:
The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is renowned as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” The peak sailfish season runs from December to April, with the months of January, February, and March offering the most prolific action. During this time, the warm waters attract large numbers of sailfish, providing anglers with incredible opportunities to hook into these acrobatic fish. Another peak season occurs from August to November when sailfish are also abundant.

1.2 Marlin Season:
Blue marlin and striped marlin can be found along the Pacific coast year-round. However, the best time to target Marlin is from November to January, when their numbers are highest. These majestic creatures present a thrilling challenge for anglers with their impressive size and powerful fights.

1.3 Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) Season:
Dorado fishing in Costa Rica is exceptional during the rainy season, typically from May to November. These vibrant and acrobatic fish are attracted to floating debris and weed lines, providing anglers with exciting opportunities to hook into them. The peak months for dorado fishing are often September and October.

1.4 Tuna Season:
Yellowfin tuna can be targeted year-round along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. However, specific peak seasons may vary depending on the location. Tuna fishing is generally excellent during the dry season from December to April, when the waters are warmer and tuna are actively feeding.

2 Northern Pacific Coast (Guanacaste Region):

2.1 Roosterfish Season:
Roosterfish, known for their iconic crests and aggressive strikes, can be caught year-round in the Guanacaste region. However, the best months for targeting these prized gamefish are typically from May to September. During this time, the waters are warm, and roosterfish are highly active, offering exciting challenges for anglers.

2.2 Snapper and Grouper Season:
Snapper and grouper species provide thrilling inshore fishing opportunities along the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. These fish can be caught year-round, but the dry season from December to April is particularly productive. During this time, the water clarity improves, and the fish are more active, making for exciting angling experiences.

2.3 Wahoo Season:
Wahoos are fast and aggressive predators that inhabit the Guanacaste region. The best time for targeting Wahoo is generally from December to April when their numbers peak. These toothy gamefish offer thrilling fights and are highly prized for their delicious flesh.

3 Caribbean Coast:

3.1 Tarpon and Snook Season:
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is famous for its tarpon and snook fishing. The best time for tarpon fishing is typically from February to June, when these iconic silver giants migrate to the area’s river mouths and estuaries. Snook fishing is excellent from September to December when these elusive and powerful fish are most active. Anglers can experience heart-pounding action and the chance to land trophy-sized specimens.

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Inshore Fishing in Costa Rica

Half day Fishing

Half-day fishing trips are better for inshore fishing since they will give you much time to go out as much as a full day, but this also depends on the season.

Full day Fishing Trip

A full day is excellent for offshore. It will give you enough time to go out for Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Mahi-Mahi; it is a favorite for hardcore fishermen.

Mahi Mahi Sportfishing

Fishing Vacation Package

These are customizable packages that can accommodate any group, and it’s great for people who want the whole experience of Costa Rica Fishing at its best

Costa Rica Fishing Calendar, Fishing Seasons – Best Fishing Months

If you take the time to research your fishing options in Costa Rica, you will see that many packages sell sport fishing in Costa Rica. As a customer, how do you know which one to choose? Not only do we offer the absolute best rate, but due to our unique relationship with the legendary charter operators over the years, we proudly offer the best fishing trips with significant activities in areas including private transportation.

As Costa Rican charter boat operators, we know what is needed. Sometimes you have to burn more fuel to get to where the fish are.

Our job is to take you where the fish are or closer to their home with the best crew, We have many large and small boats with great equipment, and they can move together to give you a lifetime fishing adventure.

At Costa Rica Fishing Experts, we give you great options. We can change our Costa Rican boats and country houses menu as needed. While the teams and owners will not change the operation’s quality, that makes the difference between a spectacular fishing experience and a boat trip with bad Chow.

Find The Best Fishing Season in Costa Rica For Your Trip

Costa Rica deep sea fishing calendar – Fishing Chart

January Tuna, Marlin, and Dorado Taper off, and Numbers of Sailfish an increase

February Primetime for Sailfish, Occasional Marlin, Tuna, or Dorado 

March Primetime For Sailfish

April Sailfish numbers drop mid-month, and some Marlin begins to appear.

Slower for Billfish; typically, we start seeing schools of spinner dolphin with yellowfin tuna.

Slower for billfish, spinner dolphins with Yellowfin tuna,

Marlin begins to appear, a change to black Marlin and Blues and Tripped Marlin, a shift for tuna.

Marlin and Tuna

Slower for Billfish, a change for Tuna and Dorado

Dorado begins to appear in numbers, with Marlin close behind.

A mixed bag of Dorado Marlin and Some big Tuna.

Marlin, Dorado, Tuna, and Sailfish are all possibilities.

Costa Rica Fishing Calendar

if you are looking for some more information about the season for fishing in Costa Rica feel to contact us

Offshore Fish Species

Blue Marlin

A Blue Marlin has an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long rigid dorsal fin extending forward to form a crest.

Marlin prefers the higher temperature of surface waters, feeding on mackerel and tuna, but will also dive deep to eat squid. They are among the fastest fish in the ocean and use their spears to slash through dense schools, returning to eat their stunned and wounded victims.

Striped Marlin

The Striped Marlin is found in tropical to temperate Indo-Pacific oceans not far from the surface. It is a large commercial game fish with a record weight (in 1982) of 190 kg and a maximum length of 420 cm.

A predator that hunts during the day from close to the surface to about 100 meters or so: they feed on sardines, mackerel, and squid.


The Pacific Sailfish is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, and silvery white underbelly; the upper jaw is elongated in the form of a spear; the first dorsal fin is greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, They have a sizeable sharp bill, and they use for hunting sardines, tuna, and mackerel.

They prey on the faster fish in the sea because their top speed has been clocked at 68 mph.


The Dorado or Mahi-mahi live for 4 to 5 years. Catches average 15 to 29 lb. They seldom exceed 35 lb. They have compressed bodies and long dorsal fins extending nearly the entire length of their bodies.

They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body properly.


The Wahoo is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. High-quality flesh makes it a prize game fish. In Central America refer to this fish as Peto.

The body is elongated and covered with small, scarcely visible scales; the back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery, with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars, and have razor-sharp teeth. Wahoo can swim up to 60 mph.

Yellowfin tuna

The Yellowfin Tuna is a tuna found in pelagic waters of tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. One of the largest tuna species, reaching weights of over 300 pounds.

The second dorsal fin, the anal fin, and finlets between those fins and the tail are bright yellow, giving this fish its common name. The second dorsal and anal fins can be very long in mature specimens, reaching almost as far back as the tail.

Inshore Fish Species


Amberjacks are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from the nose to in front of their dorsal fins.

They have no scutes and soft dorsal bases less than twice the length of the anal fin bases. They are usually 40 pounds or less and are found associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 10 to 40 fathoms.

Red Snapper

The Red Snapper or Pargo commonly inhabits waters 30 to 200 feet deep or more. All feature a sloped profile, medium-to-large scales, a spiny dorsal fin, and a laterally compressed body.

The coloration of the red snapper is light red, with more intense pigment on the back. A red snapper attains sexual maturity at 2–5 years old. An adult snapper can live for over 50 years and weigh 50 pounds.


Snook or Robalo are caught year-round in the rivers and river mouths on the Pacific and Caribbean Coast; Snook is also seen in some of the rivers, lakes, and lagoons along the Costa Rica / Nicaragua border.

There are lots of massive Snook caught every year in Costa Rica. They average 5 lbs., with record catches up to 30 lbs. If you catch a run, you can get into great fishing and eating.


The roosterfish is a game fish from Baja, California, to Peru. It is distinguished by its “rooster comb,” seven very long dorsal fin spines. Roosterfish can reach over four ft. in length and over 100 lb.

The weight of the average fish hooked is about 20 to 50 lbs. The fish is popular game fish, but like most fish in the jack, the family is not considered a good-eating fish.

Cubera Snapper

Cubera snapper is a subtropical species with an elongated and slender body, long pectoral fin, continuous dorsal fin, and relatively truncate-shaped caudal fin. Its mouth has thick lips and large teeth. The maximum reported size is 160 cm. The species is reef-associated, living inshore or nearshore over rocky ledges and overhangs. It usually occurs at depths ranging from 18 to 55 m.

Sierra Mackeral

The Paci? Sierra Mackerel is found along the coasts of Mexico and Central America. A member of the Scombridae family of mackerel, the Paci?c Sierra Mackerel is an eastern Paci? that is excellent to eat. It is marketed as fresh and frozen. It resembles the Spanish mackerel in appearance, and the all-tackle world record is Ecuadorian. Sh of 18 pounds caught in 1990.

Fishing Methods

There probably are as many Costa Rica fishing techniques and fish-catching tricks as there are anglers on the water, but the how-to aspect of sport fishing boils down to a few basic, tried-and-true fishing methods that have worked for as long as man has been trying to catch fish on a hook and line. If you master these basic methods, you’ll become a successful angler.

Beam trawl:

In this type of trawl, the mouth or opening of the net is kept open by a beam mounted at each end on guides or skids which travel along the seabed. The trawls are adapted and made more effective by attaching tickler chains (for sand or mud) or heavy chain matting (for rough, rocky ground), depending on the ground being fished. These drag along the seabed in front of the net, disturbing the fish in the path of the trawl, causing them to rise from the seabed into the oncoming net. Electrified ticklers, which are less damaging to the seabed, have been developed but used only experimentally. Work is also being carried out to investigate whether square mesh panels (see below) fitted in the ‘belly’ or lower panel of the net can reduce the impact of beam trawling on communities living on or in the seabed.


The simplest of Costa Rica fishing methods can also be the most effective. As its name implies, still-fishing is putting your bait in the water and waiting for a fish to find it. This method will catch most fish and can be used from a boat, a dock, a jetty, or a shore. Depending on the water depth and what you’re trying to catch, you may want to still fish near the surface, at a mid-water depth, or right down on the bottom. Using a float or bobber makes it easy to feel near the surface, or you can add sinkers to your line to fish deeper.

Demersal otter trawl:

The demersal or bottom trawl is a large, usually cone-shaped net towed across the seabed. In the forward part of the net, the wings are kept open laterally by otter boards or doors. Fish are herded between the boards and along the spreader wires or swept into the mouth of the trawl, where they swim until exhausted. They then drift back through the net funnel, along the extension or lengthening piece, and into the cod-end, where they are retained.


The term casting has two meanings in fishing. It describes using a rod, reel, and line to carry your bait or lure into the water. It also is a specific fishing method, as opposed to still-fishing and other methods we will describe here.

Sometimes, a moving lure works best, especially for some fish species. At other times you may want to place a lure in a particular spot, such as right next to a submerged stump 30 feet from shore or under a tree leaning out over the water. These situations are when casting is the fishing method that offers the best chance of catching fish. It’s the kind of sports fishing where you cast and retrieve, usually with an artificial lure, to fish waters where fish might be lurking and to coax them into striking. Spinners, wobbling spoons, plugs, and spinnerbaits are lures commonly used for casting.


Many of the lures used in casting also work for trolling because it’s another fishing method that requires movement to be effective. Trolling is simply dragging a lure, bait, or bait-and-lure combination through the water using a boat rather than casting and retrieving to provide movement.


Some artificial lures function best if they’re worked through the water in an up-and-down motion, commonly called jigging. Lifting and dropping the rod tip is what provides the jigging motion. Deadheads are the most common kind of jig, but for some fish species, especially saltwater salmon and bottom fish, the jigging lure might be a long, thin slab of lead or other metal in the shape of a herring or other baitfish.

Fly Fishing:

Artificial flies are nothing more than fur, feathers, thread, tinsel, and other materials tied around a hook to resemble an insect, a grub, a minnow, or some other small morsel that a fish might eat. Because they are often tiny and always very light, they can’t be cast like a heavy lure. For that reason, they are usually fished with special lines, rods, and reels designed just for this kind of fishing.


Free diving, using a mask and snorkel, or scuba diving, is a traditional method of collecting lobster, abalone, seaweed, sponges, reef-dwelling fish, groupers, and snappers. In deeper waters, air pumped from the surface is used in helmet diving systems.

Gill Nets :

Are walls of netting set at or below the surface, on the seabed, or at any depth in between? Gill netting is probably the oldest form of net fishing, having been used for thousands of years. Accurate gill nets catch fish that attempt to swim through the net, which is seen if they are large enough to allow the head to pass through the meshes but not the rest of the body. The gills then entangle the fish as it attempts to back out of the net. The mesh size used depends upon the species and size range being targeted.


Costa Rica offers year-round fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. From the Pacific coast’s thrilling sailfish and marlin seasons

to the exhilarating roosterfish and snook fishing on the Caribbean coast, there’s never a shortage of angling adventures. By understanding the fishing seasons in Costa Rica and working with experienced local guides, you can optimize your chances of targeting specific fish species and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to adhere to fishing regulations and practice responsible fishing to preserve the natural beauty and sustainability of Costa Rica’s marine ecosystems for future generations.