Historically speaking, the best marlin months of the year tend to be December, January, and February, then sometime in February the numbers thin out a bit and the sailfish numbers start to increase and dominate the fishing reports. Every year is different, but this 2022 Costa Rica’s peak billfish season seems to be following that script to a ‘T’. The red hot marlin bite from December carried right over to the start of 2022 and the fleets from Los Suenos, Quepos, and the Southern Zone showed why Costa Rica has one of the best marlin fisheries in the entire world. Not only was the marlin bite steady with action every day, it was plentiful with several boats reporting two, three, and four releases throughout the first half of the month. Our good friend Captain Michael Alligood had SEVEN blue marlin bites on Jan 18th alone! While most of these bites were from blue marlin, there were still a good number of black marlin caught for those who had the patience to slow troll live bonitos over the reefs and high points. A welcome surprise is the number of striped marlin that have stuck around, which has helped complete a few Grand Slams towards the end of the month.
The sailfish numbers were still pretty pedestrian for much of the January, but no one was complaining as long as they were lucky enough to nab one of the many marlin we saw last month. If anglers missed out on a marlin however they tended to come back to the docks a little disappointed by the slow billfish bite, so it was kind of “marlin or bust” around here to start the year. Around mid January reports started to surface of a large population of sailfish hanging out in southern Costa Rica by the Osa Peninsula. That has happened in past years, and it’s usually only a matter of time until they move north into the range of the fleets out of Quepos and Los Suenos. The final five days of the month that finally happened, and boats started to report double digit sailfish bites for the first time all year.
The first two major billfish tournaments of the year were also held last month, the first leg of the Los Suenos Triple Crown and the Pelagic Rockstar Classic down in Quepos. The first leg of the LSTC (Jan 27-28-29) saw 37 boats release a respectable total of 659 sailfish and 159 marlin over the course of the three day tourney. The winner was ‘Miss AC’ with 32 sailfish and 5 marlin, beating out Team Galati by just three sailfish. The 6th annual Pelagic Rockstar Tournament was held in at the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos from Jan 14-16. Dubbed “Central America’s largest and richest Sportfishing tournament“, the total purse of $1,000,000 drew a total of 71 teams. In two days they totaled 245 marlin and 584 sailfish released. Below is our full daily Costa Rica Fishing Report – January 2022 to get an idea of how good the offshore fishing in Costa Rica has been.