Our Costa Rica Fishing Report – February 2022 could best be summarized by saying, “How it starts is not always how it ends.” Towards the end of January we began to see the big sailfish numbers moving into range from the southern part of the country, and as predicted the offshore fishing in February started off red hot. Unfortunately that didn’t last as the combination of a widespread red tide and the mid-month full moon really slammed the breaks on things. All was not lost however as the marlin bite continued to be amazing, so read on for our full fishing report.
January ended with several boats reporting their first double digit sailfish days of the year. That momentum was carried over to February and the first two weeks of the month offered the kind of offshore action that we have grown accustomed to here in Costa Rica. Not only were the sailfish numbers improving, there were still tons of blue and striped marlin around so we saw even more Grand Slams completed last month. For the first half of Feb, the bite was farther north as the Los Suenos fishing fleet was putting up the best numbers. Captain Tom, Captain Mike, and two of the 50′ Maverick Yachts all completed Grand Slams within the first ten days of the month. The Geaux Fly then put up a 20 sailfish/7 dorado day on Feb 12, and it looked like we were ready to enjoy another banner peak billfish season in Costa Rica.
Unfortunately, rumors of a red tide around the southern beaches of Dominical and Drake Bay didn’t go away, and soon patches of the red tide made their way up to the Quepos and Los Suenos fishing grounds. The fleets were soon fishing at 40 miles to find the clean water, and some of the best reefs and high spots completely shut off. Couple that with a full moon on Feb 16th and some lazy sailfish in mating season, and the billfish numbers started to dwindle rather quickly. For the second half of the month boats were seeing just 1-4 sailfish a day as opposed to 8-15 like they did earlier in the month. Some days some boats in the fleet couldn’t find a single billfish and had to salvage the day with tuna and dorado, which thankfully seem to always be around.
To give you an idea of how slow the sailfish bite was the second half of the month, the Los Suenos Marina hosted the second leg of it’s Los Suenos Triple Crown from Feb 23-26. Thirty eight (38) of the biggest, best and most talented boats in Central America fished for three days and only released 186 sailfish. That’s an average of just over 1.5 sailfish per day/per boat. WOW. The silver lining however was that they also released 143 marlin in three days, so that averaged out to be 1.25 marlin per day/per boat. The winning boat, Rum Runner, tallied just three sailfish in three days but took home the big check thanks to 11 marlin. See below for our daily Costa Rica Fishing Report – February 2022:
Feb 1 – Geaux Fly – 2 blue marlin, 4 sailfish, 4 yellowfin tuna and 3 mahi
Feb 2 – Captain Tom – SLAM 2/4 on blue marlin, 1 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 5 tuna, and 4 mahi
Feb 3 – Epic – 8/12 on sails and 7 mahi
Feb 3 – Geaux Fly – 13 sailfish, 5 tuna, 2 mahi
Feb 4 – Monkey Shine – 6 sails, 6 tuna, missed two marlin
Feb 4 – Sea Fly – SLAM – 1 blue marlin, 1 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 5 dorado
Feb 6 – Gamefisher II – 1 blue marlin, 3/9 on sailfish, 3 yellowfin tuna
Feb 7 – Monkey Shine – 1 blue marlin, 9 sailfish, 5 dorado
Feb 8 – Gamefisher II – 1 blue marlin, 3/4 on sailfish, and 4 dorado
Feb 9 – Big Eye II – 6/10 on sailfish and a big mahi
Feb 10 – Open Fly – SLAM 2 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 6 sailfish
Feb 12 – Geaux Fly – 20 sailfish released & 7 dorado
Feb 13 – Reel Escape – 2 sails, 10 tuna, and a mahi
Feb 14 – Geaux Fly – 2 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 2 mahi
Feb 15 – Captain Tom – 2 blue marlin and 4 dorado
Feb 16 – Gamefisher II – 4/5 on sailfish, lost a marlin, and boated a mahi
Feb 17 – Open Fly – 1 blue marlin, 7 sailfish, 2 dorado
Feb 18 – Sea Fly – 2 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 1 dorado
Feb 20 – Geaux Fly – 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 5 tuna, 71″ wahoo
Feb 21 – Good Day Too – 3 sails released and 4 yellowfin tuna
Feb 22 – Epic – 2/3 on blue marlin and 3/4 on sailfish
Feb 24 – Gamefisher II – 1 Blue Marlin, 2/2 on sails fly fishing, 1 tuna
Feb 27 – Captain Tom – 2/2 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 1 tuna
Feb 28 – Good Day Too – 2 for 6 on sails and a dorado
Despite the red tide, somehow the talented inshore captains in Quepos still managed to catch plenty of roosterfish, jacks, and snook. Over on the Caribbean Coast, the tarpon were prevalent but so were the strong winds. When the Caribbean is agitated due to cold fronts and high pressure systems in the Caribbean it can make the tarpon fishing even more challenging as anglers are forced to fish in the river mouths and not the open ocean. A few nice silver kings were still landed, but with improved weather in March and April we expect the tarpon action to get better as well.