An All-Inclusive Guide on Costa Rica Fishing Experiences

Costa Rica Fishing

With tropical climate all year round, Costa Rica is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Central America.

It has also gained popularity among fishing enthusiasts due to its multiple water attractions. With two oceans, many rivers, and lakes, tourists can have many kinds of fishing experiences.

The country has a coastline of about 1,290 kilometers and this offers ample opportunities for anglers to try their hand at fresh and saltwater fishing.

Here we have for you an all-inclusive guide on Costa Rica fishing experiences that will make planning your next vacation to this exotic location much more fun and easier.

Different Fishing Zones in Costa Rica

The country is flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and is divided into four fishing zones. Here is a brief description of each zone and the kind of fish you can expect to find there.

North Pacific Coast

The North Pacific Coast is the most popular tourist destination in the country and is known for its beautiful beaches. Papagayo Gulf and Flamingo have two full service marinasand many all-inclusive resorts that offer out-of-this-world fishing experiences.

The kind of fish you can expect to find here are marlin, sailfish, tuna, Dorado, wahoo, and roosterfish.

Central Pacific Coast

The fishing center in the Central Pacific is Quepos, which has a full service marina which houses over fifty professionally equipped boats. The ideal time to plan a visit is between November and March when there is plenty of big cubera, wahoo, and roosterfish.

South Pacific Coast

With the highest number of fishing lodges, Golfito is the fishing hub in the South Pacific. The peninsula located on Playa Zancudo has the ocean on one side and convergence of three rivers on the other. The type of fish in this region includes sailfish, marlin, tuna, Dorado, wahoo, and snook.

Caribbean Coast

Tortuguero and Barra Del Colorado are the best places for fishing on the Caribbean Coast as the extremely volatile weather.


This is why tarpon fishing is recommended in this region during the months from December through May. Snook is best caught during September through November.

Salt Water Fishing

The Caribbean Coast is popular for tarpon and snook. Tarpon school outside the mouths of the river in pods, and in the summer, you are bound to catch big fish all day long. While fishing in the ocean is done with lures and sardines, in the river you need to use artificial bait.

Snook are also found at the mouths of the rivers, and if it is your lucky day, you may end up catching a 35 pounder.

Fresh Water Fishing

The northern zone offers freshwater fishing where you can find Guapote (rainbow bass), and machaca, piranha’s South American relative.

Anglers can also find plenty of wild rainbow trout in almost every creek high up in the mountains. If you are traveling with kids, many trout hatcheries offer ultra-light fun for all.

Before You Go

Before you plan for the ultimate fishing experience, make sure that you get a fishing license. It costs about $15 and is valid for about eight days. Most fishing charters, half-day, or full-day, include the license, but its best to check with them beforehand.

An all-inclusive guide on Costa Rica fishing experiences can help you plan the best fishing expedition in Central America.

Rules Of Engagement

Costa Rica’s economy is highly dependent on tourism for its revenues. Among the various tourist attractions, fishing is the most popular due to the abundance of water resources in and around the country.

The government promotes fishing and provides may facilities that make it easy to visit the country for a fishing expedition. They also have many rules that guide the locals and tourists when fishing.

Here are some basic rules and regulations that you must follow when fishing in Costa Rica. Costa Rican laws allow you to keep some fish that you catch except marlin, sailfish, and roosterfish.


If you catch a billfish, don’t take it out of the water. Each boat is allowed to catch only five fish from the non-protected species. Anglers need to use circle hooks for all live bait.

Costa Rican Fishing and Aquaculture Institute (INCOPESCA) promotes the practice of tourist fishing. This is part of the country’s efforts to develop the Aquaculture in the country.

It is guided with the Fishing and Aquaculture Law, Law 8436. These laws guide the authorities to promote the safekeeping of endangered species while promoting tourist fishing.

Being the most visited country in Central America, Costa Rica has been a popular holiday destination for a while.

The most popular tourist attraction is fishing. Be it sports fishing or day angling; the country has vast natural resources and offers an experience of a lifetime. So, if you are a fishing enthusiast, or simply looking for a beach holiday, this is the place to visit.

Author Bio:

My name is Nancy Ahuja and I am a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content. I love to travel  specially in Costa Rica. If you looking to visit this place, please visit

Editorial Staffs at Healthtian, A team of Writers.