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Apr, 2018

Costa Rica Fishing Report – March 2018

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We knew March 2018 would be an odd month to begin with because it featured two full moons (March 1st and March 31st) and two legs of the Los Suenos Triple Crown tournament (Feb 28-March 3 and March 21-24), but it’s also one of the best months of the year to be fishing in Costa Rica so we were ready for anything.  Below is your coast-to-coast Costa Rica fishing report – March 2018.

The billfish bite started off strong the first week of the month with the top boats getting 6-10 sailfish bites a day.  As we moved away from the March 1st full moon the second week featured several blue marlin, sometimes with boats seeing two or three a day.  Marlin are caught year round in Costa Rica and March is certainly one of the better months for them as the peak billfish season runs from December through April, but this year continues to be one of the best marlin years in the past decade.  A few days while fishing “the reef”, one of the high points that is a favorite for bottom fishing, anglers were surprised when they hooked up with black marlin.  Captain Carlos on the Wing Man landed a monster estimated at 700 lbs, and a few days later Captain Mike released another.

As often happens once or twice during Costa Rica’s peak fishing season, there is a mid-season lull that lasts a week or two where the bite just seems to slow down to a crawl.  That happened around the third week of March as sailfish numbers dropped to just 1-3 per day, and those were the fortunate boats! Each day during this drought there were boats that didn’t release a single sailfish, so the fishing was tough during one of the busiest weeks of the year.  Fortunately it didn’t last long and the bite picked back up for the last few days of the month just ahead of the March 31st full moon.  Our good buddy Captain Mike on the Epic hit the motherload one day by going 11 for 20 on sailfish – and all that was after not even seeing a fish until 1:30 PM!  As has been the case all season long, the presence of tuna and dorado is making many anglers’ day because the billfish bite has been so stop and go.

The inshore fishing remained steady, as did the lack of quality baitfish.  Sardines remain the way to go, and while not the first choice of most inshore captains they do get the job done most days.  Inshore anglers all up and down the coast released plenty of roosters, jacks, mackerel, and the table favorite snook and seabass finally started to show up towards the end of the month.  The top inshore captain at the Los Suenos Resort & Marina, Captain Carlos, had a couple banner days with 20+ mullet snappers, 35 roosters, a few big cuberas, and a few other jacks & mackerels while fishing ‘The 26′.

The conditions for tarpon fishing in Costa Rica along the Caribbean Coast continued to improve as we move deeper into the season.  The most recent winter storm on the Eastern seaboard made things quite windy for a week or two so anglers were stuck ‘inside’ the canals, but most days they were still able to jump and land plenty of tarpon.  The big snook aren’t in yet, but we expect that to happen at any time.

Finally last but not least, our good buddy Chuta and his gorgeous river float trips continued to produce as many machaca as the anglers could handle.  Fly fishing or light spinning gear, you have to see why we call these guys ‘min-tarpon’.

March 1 – Sea Fly – 18 yellow-fin tuna
March 2 – Dream Girl – 8 sailfish and 2 dorado
March 3 – Open Fly – 9 sails and 2 dorado
March 4 – Spanish Fly – 7 sailfish
March 4 – Open Fly - 1 Blue Marlin, 8 Sailfish and 1 Dorado
March 5 – Good Day Too – 1/2 on blue marlin, 5 sailfish, 1 dorado
March 5 – Circle Hook – 10 for 13 on sails
March 6 – Super Fly – 1 blue marlin and 11 sailfish
March 7 – Good Day Too – 2 blue marlin, 4 sails, 2 dorado
March 9 – Constellation – 4 for 8 on sails
March 10 – Circle Hook – 2/4 on sails and 1 yellow-fin tuna
March 11 – Good Day Too – 1 blue marlin, 11 sailfish, 1 dorado
March 11 – Pescadora – 1 blue marlin, 3 sails, 3 tuna
March 11 – Straight Up with a Twist – 8 for 12 on sails and 1 dorado
March 12 – Pescadora – 1/2 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 2 tuna, 1 dorado
March 12 – Captain Tom – 5 sailfish, 2 tuna, 1 dorado
March 13 – Sea Fly – 3 sailfish & 5 yellow-fin tuna
March 13 – Circle Hook – 6 for 11 on sails
March 13 – Epic – 2 for 2 on blue marlin and 2 for 6 on sails
March 14 – Circle Hook -  3/5 sails and two tunas
March 15 – Good Day Too – 2/4 on marlin and 6 sails
March 16 – Open Fly – 2 sailfish, 6 tuna, 1 dorado
March 16 – Spanish Fly – 1 striped marlin & 6 sailfish
March 17 – Gamefisher II – 2 for 2 on sails, 4 yellow-fin tuna, 2 dorado
March 18 – Dream Girl – 1 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 3 tuna
March 19 – Tuna Bite – 0 for 1 on blue marlin and 5 for 7 on sailfish
March 20 – Super Fly – 1 blue marlin, 2 sails, 5 tuna, 1 dorado
March 21 – Super Fly – 7 sailfish and 1 dorado
March 22 – Gamefisher II – 6 or 8 on sails, 2 dorado, 1 tuna
March 25 – Epic – 3/4 on sailfish and several snowy grouper bottom fishing
March 26 – Good Day Too – 3 sailfish and 3 dorado (one 70 lbs!)
March 27 – Epic – No bites until 1:30 PM, then went 11 for 20 on sails in two hours
March 30 – Super Fly – 4 sailfish + 1 dorado
March 31 – Open Fly – 3 blue marlin and 4/7 on sailfish
March 31 – Good Day Too – 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 10 dorado