Fishing sports in costa rica

Near Shore Fishing

Unveiling the Best Fishing Spots in Costa Rica: An Angler’s Paradise

Costa Rica, a veritable jewel nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, offers some of the most diverse and abundant fishing spots in the world. Renowned for its eco-friendly approach and commitment to conservation, Costa Rica has carefully preserved its marine habitats, providing a haven for anglers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top fishing areas within this Central American paradise, each promising an unforgettable angling experience.

Dorado Sportfishing

I. Pacific Coast Fishing

A. The Northern Pacific: Guanacaste Region
The Guanacaste region, with its sun-kissed beaches and crystal-clear waters, is a hotspot for sport fishing. The area is teeming with marlin, sailfish, and roosterfish. Places like Tamarindo and Playas del Coco serve as excellent bases for deep-sea fishing excursions.

B. The Central Pacific: Jaco & Quepos
Home to the world-famous Los Sueños Resort and Marina and the Pez Vela Marina, the central Pacific coast boasts record-breaking catches. Anglers can reel in Dorado, yellowfin tuna, and the coveted Pacific sailfish. The annual Offshore World Championship in Quepos highlights this region’s global fishing prominence.

C. The Southern Pacific: Osa Peninsula & Golfito
The less-traveled waters of the Osa Peninsula and Golfito are where serious anglers head for a more secluded fishing adventure. These biodiverse waters are rich with big game fish, including blue marlin and cubera snapper, promising a thrilling challenge for even the most experienced fishers.

II. Caribbean Coast Fishing

A. Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado
Famed for its canals and protected national parks, the Caribbean side of Costa Rica offers a unique fishing experience. Tarpon and snook are the stars here, with the season running from January through May, offering anglers a chance to battle these hard-fighting species.

B. The Southern Caribbean: Puerto Viejo & Manzanillo
Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, with their laid-back vibe and Afro-Caribbean influence, offer a distinctive inshore fishing experience. These waters are known for a variety of snapper, jack, and mackerel, providing an exciting day on the water for those seeking variety.

III. Freshwater Fishing

A. Lake Arenal and the Northern Plains
Lake Arenal, overshadowed by the Arenal Volcano, is a freshwater angler’s dream. The lake is stocked with rainbow bass (guapote) and machaca, offering a scenic and serene setting for both fly fishing and traditional angling.

B. The Central Valley: Angostura and Cachi
The Central Valley’s reservoirs, such as Angostura and Cachi, are ideal for those looking for a tranquil fishing environment. These waters are home to tilapia and carp, providing a perfect opportunity for family outings and novice anglers.

IV. Responsible Fishing Practices in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s commitment to conservation is evident in its fishing practices. Catch-and-release is encouraged, especially for species like marlin and sailfish, to ensure the sustainability of the sport for generations to come. Local charters and guides are well-versed in responsible fishing techniques, ensuring that your fishing adventure is both enjoyable and eco-conscious.


Costa Rica’s myriad of fishing areas offer something for every angler, from the deep-sea adventurer to the riverbank enthusiast. With its commitment to sustainable practices and the sheer abundance of marine life, Costa Rica stands out as a premier fishing destination. Whether you’re looking to set a new personal record or simply enjoy the tranquility of fishing in pristine waters, Costa Rica’s fishing locales promise a rewarding and exhilarating experience.