Without a doubt one of the questions we hear most often is “when is the best time to come fishing?” It’s certainly something every angler should ask, but it’s also incredibly open ended has Costa Rica has over 800 miles of coastline on two different oceans that are separated by towering mountain ranges. Many anglers hear that the peak fishing season in Costa Rica is from December through April and then the rainy season, or green season, begins in May so they assume there is a correlation between the end of the peak fishing season and rainy season. Truth is we catch fish here 12 months a year so there is never a bad time to plan a fishing vacation to Costa Rica. Here are 5 reasons we love fishing in Costa Rica during the green season:
1 – Lower Rates & Specials
Costa Rica’s peak fishing season also coincides with the high season for tourism and the dry season here, so if you visit anytime between December 1st and April 30th you’ll be paying the high season rates. Once the calendar turns to May hotels across the country drop their rates so you can pay significantly less if you can visit Costa Rica between May and November. Some hotels even offers some amazing special deals during the green season like a free night after booking 4-5 nights at regular price, free spa treatments, or free tours. You don’t have to worry about torrential downpours or monsoons 24/7 either, in reality the green season weather is usually very predictable. Most days start off hot & sunny until about 2-3 PM, then it may cloud up and rain for a few hours before clearing up again at night. As the saying goes, ‘the fish are wet anyway’ so if you don’t mind the chance of a warm tropical rain in the late afternoon you have nothing to worry about!
2 – Family Vacations + Father & Son/Daughter Fishing Trips
Once school is finally out many families look to get away for a summer vacation and there is no better place for that than Costa Rica. The oft-envied combinations of rainforest & beaches, wildlife & rainforest, and adventure tours & fishing is simply hard to match anywhere in Central America. Whether it’s the entire family or a father & son/daughter fishing trip, we love hosting them in the months of June, July and August and with plenty of private villas & condos to choose from it’s easy to have everyone under the same roof. The kids may be in school to learn, but without a doubt a week of adventure and fishing in Costa Rica will be be something that none of you ever forget.
3 – Meatfish Season!
When people refer to the peak fishing season in Costa Rica they are usually referring to peak the billfish season. If you aren’t dead set on focusing on sailfish and marlin and want a good variety inshore and offshore, or if you simply want to fill your freezer with fresh fillets, then fishing in the green season is for you. The months of May-September are the peak tuna season in Costa Rica as well as when we tend to see the highest numbers of dorado and wahoo offshore. These pelagics are often found lurking beneath trash lines and natural FADs like tree trunks, all washed out to see from the coastal rivers during green season. If you like bottom fishing and jigging here you can catch several species of snapper including cubera, red, silky, mullet, rock, and yellow-tail in addition to grouper, triggerfish, and amberjacks. If you consider yourself a ‘meat fisherman’ then you need to consider fishing in the green season months in Costa Rica.
4 – FADs Trips – The World’s Best Marlin Fishing
By now it’s no secret that Costa Rica offers some of the best marlin fishing in the entire world. Already named ‘the billfish capital of the world‘, Costa Rica added to it’s lore in recent years with the invention of marlin fishing at the FADs. These man-made FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) are set on seamounts 80-140 miles offshore and have proven to attract incomprehensible marlin action between the months of May through November. The FADs create structure for smaller fish like juvenile yellow-fin tuna and bonito, which in turn attract marlin in swarms, so any boat that goes out there for 1-2-3 nights is all but guaranteed a marlin bite. We aren’t talking about going all the way out there for one fish either, for boats that spend 2-3 days fishing at the FADs it’s not uncommon to see reports of 20-30 marlin bites. I went marlin fishing at the FADs last month on the famous 42’ Maverick Yacht, Spanish Fly, so you can read my first hand account here.
5 – Peak Tarpon Season
On the Pacific Coast and throughout much of Costa Rica, September and October are the wettest months of the year and therefore the slowest for the tourism industry. Many boats come out of the water for paint jobs and maintenance and many hotels suffer from low occupancy or even close for renovations. On the Caribbean Coast however things couldn’t be more different as those two months are the hottest, driest, sunniest, and calmest months of the year. During these two months the seas are almost always calm and flat, making the run out of the river mouth from the tarpon lodges to the open ocean much less harrowing. Add into the equation that all the baby green sea turtles are hatching providing a daily bait buffet for world record sized tarpon and snook, and you create Costa Rica’s peak tarpon season. If you’ve ever wanted a shot to battle the silver king this two month window is as good as it gets.