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December – April: Prime Costa Rica Sportfishing Months

There’s a reason why Manuel Antonio and Quepos are the most popular sportfishing destinations in Costa Rica – a country lauded for its rich ocean diversity and 570+ IGFA world records. The Central Pacific coast features phenomenal fishing year-round, but the start of the dry season marks peak season for apex predator fish likeblack marlin and sailfish. One glimpse at Quepos fishing reports this month and you’ll see a roster of sailfish and marlin releases, with some anglers boating more than seven each day!

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Marinade Pez Vela

Costa Rica sportfishing is world class
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Quepos’ Marina de Pez Vela is a state-of-the-art facility, featuring a full-service yacht yard and wet slips occupied by dozens of 27 to 34-foot custom charter boats. Veteran captains and their skilled crews know exactly where the billfish run each year, and usher anglers to prime spots offshore to cast a line. Costa Rica fishing packages – both half and full days – are easily arranged and allow ample opportunities to experience the thrill of a lifetime as you land your first 200-pound marlin or 50-pound mahi-mahi. While all marlin and sailfish are release only, guests are welcomed to keep tuna, wahoo and other smaller catches for a fresh and tasty dinner.

Quepos- site of the XV World Fishing Championship

The Atlantic coast may be famous for its epic tarpon and monster-sized snook, but the Pacific’s claim to fame is record-setting numbers of billfish. Quepos and Marina de Pez Vela has now twice been the host of the World Fishing Championship, which draws hundreds of practiced anglers from more than 30 countries world-wide. This last year, various teams who participated in the event released more than 820 billfish over the course of the four-day tournament. February 5-7 starts the 2015 Quepos Billfish Cup – just one of many Offshore World Championship qualifying events. During Costa Rica’s peak season – which is beginning right now – fishing captains say that more than 20 billfish releases are not uncommon!

Sportfishing one of the most popular Costa Rica activities
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Inshore fishing fun near Manuel Antonio

Not everyone has great “sea legs” on the open waters, so if you’re more interested in fishing closer to shore in Manuel Antonio, you’re in luck. The magnificent and aptly named rooster fish is not only a hard-fighter; it’s one of the most common catches in the area. Inshore fishing charter trips can also yield a variety of good-eating fish like red and cubera snapper, mackerel, snook and jack crevelle. A full-day of Costa Rica inshore fishing nearly always promises at least 3-10 fish, not to mention the relaxing experience of motoring around the area’s stunning coastline, which is punctuated by mangrove estuaries.

Costa Rica fishing seasons – incredible catches year-round

If you want to land dorado (mahi-mahi), yellow fin tuna, wahoo, sailfish or marlin, then it’s time to plan a deep sea fishing vacation in Quepos. Black marlins are at their peak in November and December, while blue marlins are most abundant in December and April-June. Sailfish, which are some of the ocean’s fastest swimmers, hit peak season from December through May. The iridescent mahi-mahi also runs year-round, but is more plentiful from December through April, when the Pacific waters are much less choppy.