The fishing in Costa Rica in February 2019 picked up right where January left off with lots of marlin, solid sailfish numbers, and still plenty of tuna and mahi around to provide anglers with tasty dinners. The first half of the month was a seamless transition from how January ended with at least a couple blue or striped marlin released most days and a handful of sailfish to go along with them. As long as you could locate the fish, you were destined to have a great day on the water. There were plenty of reports from boats who fished 23-25 miles out and didn’t see much and suffered through long, hot days of slow fishing, but for the boats who ventured 35-45 miles offshore the fishing was as good as it has ever been. There were even three grand slams this month by boats out of the Los Suenos Resort & Marina and the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos – including the very rare Super Slam by our friends at Hoo’s Your Daddy. While we catch striped marlin 12 months a year, we tend to see most of them in November and December so to see them this late in the season is a nice bonus. Speaking of bonuses, a few trophy black marlin were released last month as well – notably a giant 600 pounder from the Gamefisher II who is spending this peak season in Quepos again.
We talk about how often times there is a dip in sailfish numbers right around and just after the full moon. Some captains take this as unwavering fact, others blow it off and say “fishing is fishing, I’ve had really good days right after a full moon and really bad days on new moons.” To be sure, you’d be guilty of over-simplifying things if you based billfishing performance on moon phases alone because so many other things go into that complicated equation like water temps, water clarity/quality, currents, and of course the presence of baitfish. Last month goes to show that the only real steadfast rule in fishing is that you won’t catch anything if you aren’t out there with lines in the water. The sailfish bite ratched up a few days leading up to the full moon on Feb 19 culminating with our friends on the 41′ Pescadora in Quepos completing a Grand Slam that day (with two tunas as well!). February finished strong as the bite was wide open like years past and reminded everyone how Costa Rica earned the nickname “billfish capital of the world” with three 20+ fish days and most boats at least seeing double digit sailfish the last week of the month.
Speaking of the billfish blowout the final week of the month, the second leg of the Los Suenos Triple Crown took place from Feb 28 to March 2nd. The first day featured record-setting numbers with 742 billfish released by 45 boats (737 sails and just 5 marlin). To put that in perspective – last month in Leg 1 the fleet released 648 billfish total for the three day tournament… The second day the sailfish took a bit of a breather as “only” 580 were released, but the tournament finished strong with the third day raking in 741 billfish. Team Galati edged out Fish Tank by merely 400 points to take home the big check, but everyone involved was a winner as 2,063 billfish were released in the three day tournament (2,042 sailfish and 21 marlin).
More 200+ lb tuna were caught again last month, including the Kline family as well as long-time repeat anglers Frank & Mike from OH, both who fished out of Quepos. Many more trophy sized dorado (mahi) were brought to the gaff as well, including a beautiful 57″ bull by 3x repeats Max & Carrie fishing out of Los Suenos. The inshore fishing remained strong as well with more corvina (sea bass) and roosterfish highlighting anglers’ days filled in with jacks, mackerel, and a few snapper.
Below is the full Costa Rica Fishing Report for February 2019 with highlights from the best boats each day. Overall it was a great month as we had CAF anglers fishing on the best boats in the country from the tournament-mainstay Tranquilo in Quepos to the famous Maverick Yachts at Los Suenos.