The new year got off to a great start with some red hot fishing in Costa Rica. The sailfish bite was steady throughout the month, with a few 20+ fish days thrown in the mix. Marlin were plentiful, including a few days where lucky boats raised as many as 2-5 fish! To top it all off, the trend over the recent years of yellowfin tuna and dorado being available most days continued and anglers were rewarded with some fresh seafood dinners. Tournament season also began, so read on to get the full Costa Rica Fishing Report – January 2021.
January started off on a good note with boats seeing 5-15 sailfish per day out of Los Suenos and Quepos. A few captains mentioned having to drive through some green water to reach the clear blue water, but they could see it wouldn’t be long until the green water was pushed out and replaced by the quality water. It seemed like that observation was correct as the second week of the month the bite reached another level with several 20+ fish days being reported. The bite seemed to be concentrated a bit further north by the popular fishing spot ‘The Corner’, which is a short, easy run for those fishing at the Los Suenos Resort & Marina but a longer 40+ mile run for the boats from Quepos. Since Quepos is home to some smaller, more economical boats not all of them made the long run to fish that far north, but even fishing their regular spots close to home the charter fleet from the Marina Pez Vela put up a steady 5-10 sailfish bites a day.
January also signaled the return of tournament season here in Costa Rica, which was a welcome site after having half of them cancelled last year when the borders shut mid-March due to COVID-19. The 5th annual Pelagic Rock Star tournament kicked things off with 67 boats fishing from Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. This two day tournament competes on different categories of boats (large boats 35′ and bigger / small boats 34′ and smaller) as well as fish species (points for billfish released and points for heaviest tuna & dorado weighed). In the end the boats released 922 billfish (884 sailfish, 37 blue marlin, and 1 striped marlin) and boated boated 21 dorado and 18 tuna. Leg I of the Los Suenos Triple Crown also took place from Jan 20-23. A slightly smaller tournament field this year with just 38 boats, they still managed to release 1,001 billfish in three days (953 sailfish and 48 marlin). Team Grand Slam edged out Fish Tank for the win with 49 sailfish and 2 marlin released.
The final half of the month finished strong with most of the Los Sueños fishing charters reporting 10-20 bites a day and in Quepos 7-15 bites. The final week of the month the Los Suenos boats were putting up the sailfish numbers as close at 15-18 miles from the marina! Team CAF managed to sneak out for a day of fly fishing for sailfish out of Quepos with legendary Captain Franklin Araya, and as always he got the job done! Below is our day-by-day Costa Rica Fishing Report – January 2021. With perfect weather conditions, plentiful baitfish around, and a good start in January I think February and March could produce epic billfishing in Costa Rica.
Jan 2 – Sea Fly – 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 3 tuna
Jan 2 – Captain Tom – 3 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 2 dorado, 3 tuna
Jan 3 – Epic – 14 sailfish and 1 dorado
Jan 3 – Top Fly – SLAM 1 blue marlin, 1 striped marlin, 20 sailfish, 1 dorado