Costa Rica Sport Fishing Packages


Fishing Info



Available Species


For the past few decades, Costa Rica has been home to some of the best offshore sport fishing in the entire world. A twelve month fishing season, calm seas, short run times, and some of the best captains and charter boats in Central America all play a part in why Costa Rica is called “the Billfish Capital of the World.” A day spent fishing in the blue water in Costa Rica can offer double digit sailfish bites as well as opportunities for black, blue, and striped marlin. Offshore sport fishing will also produce other pelagic species like dorado, wahoo, and large schools of yellow-fin tuna. Browse our Costa Rica sport fishing packages below, then once you contact us we’ll work with you personally to customize your dream fishing vacation. Trust our decades of local expertise and see why nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests!

Los Suenos Fishing
Coast 2 Coast
Quepos Fishing Adventure
All Inclusive Paradise
The Best of Costa Rica
Fish The Osa Peninsula
Tamarindo Fishing Vacation
5 Star Costa Rica
FADs Marlin Fishing
Los Suenos Long Weekend
Costa Rica and Panama Combo

Costa Rica Fishing Info

Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast has been known as one of the world’s premier sport fishing destinations for decades. Blessed to be at the confluence of two major ocean currents and protected by mountain ranges and extinct volcanoes, Costa Rica offers incredible offshore fishing twelve months a year. The main technique for offshore fishing in Costa Rica is trolling dead baits, such as ballyhoo. Most boats will set a spread with a plastic teaser, a long bait, and a short bait on each side of the boat. Many boats will also troll a squid daisy chain or even a dredge to attract more attention. This tried and true method, combined with a healthy (and protected) billfish population, has had a massive impact on the number of sailfish and marlin (blue, black, and striped) caught in Costa Rica which has earned it the nickname “the Billfish Capital of the World“.

A big part of what makes offshore sport fishing in Costa Rica so popular is the ease and convenience of it. The offshore fishing grounds at the continental shelf are typically no more than 20-25 miles out, which means you typically don’t have to run for more than an hour before you put lines in the water. Due to Costa Rica’s geographical location, the towering mountain ranges block seasonal winds and it is too far south for hurricanes so the seas are calm and flat the majority of the time. When the bite is hot, our top boats will finish with double-digit sailfish bites with double and triple hook-ups a common occurrence that throws the cockpit into chaos. While some months are historically better than others, marlin are always available and get the adrenaline pumping for even the most seasoned crews. Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast offers opportunities for blue marlin, black marlin, and striped marlin. For anglers looking for the ultimate offshore sport fishing experience, Costa Rica offers the best marlin fishing in the entire world if you spend a few nights out at our seamounts 100-150 miles offshore. These two and three-night overnight trips typically produce double digit marlin bites. In addition to the incredible billfish action, Costa Rica offshore fishing also offers spectacular numbers of yellow-fin tuna, dorado (mahi-mahi), and wahoo.

All billfish in Costa Rica are strictly catch and release. In Costa Rica the use of circle hooks is obligatory when fishing for billfish (sailfish and marlin). This has proven to increase hook up ratios, but more importantly it has proven to significantly increase the survival rate of hooked fish. Circle hooks tend to imbed themselves in the meaty corners of the mouth and are less likely to be swallowed and hook the fish’s vital internal organs like J-hooks. Costa Rica has recently banned taking billfish out of the water for a picture, which also helps their survival rates.

When is the Best Sport Fishing in Costa Rica?

Knowing when to visit and which part of the country to fish are as important as who you fish with and what boat you are on. While the offshore fishing in Costa Rica is productive 12 months a year, the Northern Pacific has very different weather patterns than the Central and Southern Pacific. Some months are traditionally better for marlin while others offer bigger sailfish numbers. If you are after tarpon & snook, the Caribbean Coast follows completely different weather seasons than the Pacific Coast. You can read more about these details and nuances on our Costa Rica Fishing Calendar blog. When you contact us to plan your sport fishing vacation we’ll make sure you are in the right spot at the right time for the best weather and fishing.

Where is the Best Offshore Sport Fishing in Costa Rica?

The best offshore sport fishing in Costa Rica is found along our Pacific Coast. The coastline is over 631 miles and features too many beaches and bays to count, so there are several classic beach towns from which to enjoy the spectacular offshore fishing. The two most popular and internationally acclaimed offshore hot spots are the Los Sueños Resort & Marina and the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. These are lcoated along the Central Pacific Coast and are home to some of the best captains and biggest tournaments in the country. The southern most region of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula, features Drake Bay on the Pacific side and Puerto Jimenez and Golfito on the Gulf side. Last but not least is the region of Guanacaste in nothern Costa Rica which is home to all time classic like Tamarindo, Flamingo, and the Gulf of Papagayo. While the offshore pelagics are highly migratory, these are the four main areas we concentrate on when offshore fishing.

1) Los Sueños Resort & Marina in Bahia Herradura
2) Marina Pez Vela in Quepos
3) Osa Peninsula (Drake Bay, Goflito, Puerto Jimenez)
4) Guanacaste (Tamarindo, Flamingo, Gulf of Papagayo)

Offshore Sport Fishing Species List

Black Marlin
Blue Marlin
Striped Marlin
Yellowfin Tuna

Costa Rica Fishing Lodges & Accommodations

Anglers have been visiting Costa Rica for decades so there is no shortage of quality accommodations for your next fishing vacation. You can stay at all inclusive fishing lodges, affordable 3-star hotels if you want to spend more on fishing, all inclusive resorts, and even fully furnished private condos & villas for larger groups or families. As a luxury vacation outfitter, we only work with the nicest 3, 4, and 5-star properties that meet our expectations for quality, reliability, and service. Being local experts, we have personally visited every single property we represent so we’ll use our personal experience to hand pick the perfect fit for your group.

Costa Rica Day Tours & Non-Fishing Activities

Our Costa Rica sport fishing packages don’t need to be all fishing, all the time. Costa Rica offers so much more than just fishing as it’s famous for volcanoes, rain forest, beaches, adventure tours and incredible wildlife. Whether it’s an off day from fishing or for the non-anglers in your group, there are several great eco and adventure tours available. We can also customize your Costa Rica fishing vacation so you spend a few nights in different locations throughout the country so you can see how diverse it is. The list includes:

  • Canopy zip-line tour
  • White Water Rafting
  • Waterfall rappelling
  • ATVs
  • Horseback Riding (beach or rainforest)
  • Surfing
  • Golf
  • Guided tours of national parks
  • Waterfalls
  • Sunset catamaran cruise
  • Snorkeling
  • SCUBA Diving
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skis
  • Parasailing
  • Coffee plantation tour

What Our Guests Love
Costa Rica Sport Fishing


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

What We Love
About Costa Rica Sport Fishing


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Costa Rica Fishing FAQs

Do I need a fishing license to fish in Costa Rica?

YES. All anglers need a fishing license to fish in Costa Rica. These are sold by the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Aquacultura, or INCOPESCA as they are known here. Unfortunately their website has functionality and language issues so it’s not easy to use, so you can buy the license in the morning right before you fish for the first time. The cost is $15 for one week or $30 for one month and it must be paid in cash.

How many people will be on my fishing boat?

All fishing charters booked by Central America Fishing are private, so the boat is 100% yours. We do not set up any shared charters.

What is the standard tip for a fishing charter in Costa Rica?

A standard tip for a charter fishing crew in Costa Rica is 10%-20% of the cost of the charter. Most captains are paid a low salary with the idea they’ll earn more tips the more they fish, but many mates rely 100% on tips for their income. Tipping in USD or Costa Rican colones is fine. We recommend giving the entire tip to the captain and let him divide it up with the mate.

Can I bring my own fishing gear?

OF COURSE! Even though our private charters provide all the fishing tackle and bait you’ll need, you are always welcome to bring your own lures, reels, and even rods if you want to catch fish using your own tackle. Fly anglers are always encouraged to bring their own fly gear.

Which fish in Costa Rica are catch and release and which ones can I keep to eat?

By law, all billfish in Costa Rica are strictly catch and release. While not a law, we also strongly encourage releasing all roosterfish, tarpon, and cubera snapper as they are such prized inshore species. Other species like tuna, dorado (mahi), wahoo, snappers, groupers, corvina, snook can be kept and enjoyed for a fresh seafood dinner.

Can I bring fish back home with me to my own country?

If you really want to enjoy your catch our best advice is to eat it while it’s fresh here in Costa Rica. We understand many of you love the idea of a Costa Rican seafood dinner in the comforts of your own home, so the good news is there is no law against it and people do it all the time. However – we do not have the final say in this so there are some things you need to keep in mind:

1 – Unlike some other popular fishing destinations, in Costa Rica there is no service that will package and ship fish home for you. If you want to bring fish home with you you’ll have to do it yourself in your own luggage. Our best advice is to bring down a soft sided, leak-proof cooler, have your fish frozen completely solid, wrap them in newspaper, and then check your cooler as part of your luggage since it will stay cooler in the cargo hold of the plane versus in the cabin as a carry-on. If you don’t have a cooler or forget to bring one, you can purchase affordable plastic coolers here in local grocery stores.

2 – While Costa Rica does not prohibit you from bringing fish fillets home with you, your international airline might. We strongly recommend you confirm this with your airline (in writing if possible) or you may have the fish confiscated from you at the airport check-in.

3 – Even if your airline lets you fly the fish home, your local customs may have an issue with you bringing in meat products from a foreign country. In our experience most customs agents don’t seem too interested in you bringing back frozen fish fillets from your fishing vacation to Costa Rica, but it can depend on the agent and depend on the day.

What if there is bad weather on our fishing day?

First of all, it is extremely rare to have a fishing day cancelled due to bad weather. Costa Rica is too far south for hurricanes, and on top of that we custom design every single one of our Costa Rica fishing packages to factor in not only where you’ll have the best fishing but also the best weather & sea conditions for the time of year you visit us.

It does happen every once in a while however, so if the captain, local marina, or government deem the conditions are unsafe the trip will be cancelled.  The first course of action is to try and reschedule you, but if that is not possible you will be refunded in full.

Please note that rain and dark clouds are not considered bad weather. We are in the tropics and rain is a common occurrence here so that is not a cause for cancelling the trip. Many great fishing days happen in the rain – as they say the fish are wet anyway!

Why Fish With CAF?

We have been fishing, living, and traveling around Central America since 2003. Plan your trip with local experts to make sure you are in the right place, at the right time, and on the right boat. We’ll help you fish for what you want, the way you want.

Free vacation planning + the best direct rates. No booking fees!

Personalized service from pre-arrival to 24/7 in-country support.

Hand-picked accommodations, fishing captains, expert guides for the best vacation experience.


Nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests. CAF puts you on the fish!

We are proud to have a global reach and have hosted anglers from 14 different countries here in Central America!

About the Author

I first visited Costa Rica during a semester abroad in 2003 and instantly fell in love with the language, culture, and natural beauty. I caught my first roosterfish on that trip, and ever since then I knew that I wanted to live here. After graduating in 2004, I worked for a year in the corporate world, but I was unhappy and unstimulated, so I returned to live in Costa Rica full time in 2005. Today I can proudly say that I’ve been in Costa Rica for half of my life, I met my wife here, and my two boys were born here so they are “Ticos”.

I’ve been working in the sport fishing industry in Central America for twenty years, I’ve had articles published in fishing magazines, hosted fishing TV shows, fished in several tournaments, and I’m a four-time IGFA trophy club member. I am however most proud to say that 40% of our anglers are repeat and referral guests. I’ve personally visited every destination, hotel, and fishing lodge that we partner with so that your next vacation with us is one of the best you’ve ever had.

Chris Atkins - Angler & Owner of Central America Fishing

All fishing vacations booked with Central America Fishing include the following:
  • Free Vacation Planning (no fees + direct rates)
  • VIP Airport Meet & Greet upon arrival into SJO
  • Private, air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
  • Luxury, private accommodations hand-picked and customized for your group. Choose between private condos & villas, luxury beach resorts, exclusive boutique hotels, and fishing lodges.
  • Private fishing charters
  • All eco / adventure tours you’d like to include
  • All Costa Rican taxes
  • Free quotes on travel insurance
  • Pre-arrival assistance with dinner reservations, tee times, pre-stocking your condo or villa, hiring a private chef, and special requests.
  • 24/7 support once you are here in country
Inquire Now
Plan With Local Experts

Please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours. If you wish to speak to us sooner please call us anytime at 1-855-414-FISH. Your 100% customized vacation starts here!

Sticky Sidebar Form