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Jun, 2018

Costa Rica Fishing Report – May 2018

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Fishing calendars are meant to be loose guidelines based on historical weather data, fish migration patterns, and other factors like presence of baitfish or mating seasons.  Rarely do they adhere to the turning of the page of your desk calendar, but last month they sure seemed to know what month we were in.  Costa Rica’s dry season ended as May 1st kicked off the start of our green season, which runs through November.  While the dry season months of December through April are considered the peak billfish season, the fishing is so good from May through November that we call it our peak ‘meat season’ or ‘variety season’.

During these months the winds that affect the Guanacaste region and Gulf of Papagayo all dry season subside and the bite spreads out north along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.  While we catch plenty of billfish twelve months a year here in the ‘billfish capital of the world‘, it’s during these months that we tend to see the best numbers of yellow-fin tuna, dorado, and wahoo when fishing offshore in Costa Rica. Truth is the 2018 fishing season in Costa Rica has been full of tuna and dorado anyway, and it continued right on through to the green season.  What was most surprising was the surge in sailfish numbers at the start of the month.  The 2018 billfish season in Costa Rica was phenomenal for marlin but somewhat frustrating for sailfish as the release count was down for the second year in a row, but the first two week of May saw some of the most prolific sailfishing we’ve seen all year.  Right on cue the sailfish seemed to move north to Guanacaste as several boats reported raising 10+ sailfish a day as well as a few blue and striped marlin.  Towards the end of the month the sailfish bite returned to what is considered more normal this time of year with a couple of sailfish each day, but the tuna bite remained strong and the dorado bite was nearly automatic with some boats catching as many as 20 or 30 mahi-mah in a day!

The Caribbean Coast benefited from the start of the North American summer as the winds died down and ocean conditions for tarpon fishing in Costa Rica were near perfect.  My dad and I fished with good buddy Primo on May 5th and jumped 12 tarpon, releasing three.  Throughout the rest of the month the seas were relatively calm as anglers from the Rio Parismina Lodge up to the Rio San Juan were able to enjoy daily battles with the silver king.

Below are the highlights from each day so you can see our Costa Rica Fishing Report – May 2018.

May 1 – Stress Reeliever II – 1 sail, a 50 lb dorado, 7 tuna
May 1 – Gamefisher II – 7 for 11 on sails and missed a striped marlin
May 2 – Permit III – 1 blue marlin and 7 sailfish
May 3 – Good Day Too – 1 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 5 dorado (Fly Fishing)
May 4 – El Jefe Too – 1 blue marlin and 8 sails
May 5 – Wild Lady – 1 blue marlin and 4 sailfish
May 6 – Geaux Fly – 9 yellow-fin tuna
May 7 – Gamefisher II – SLAM 1 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 2 for 6 on sailfish
May 7 – Good Day Too – 5 for 12 on sails
May 8 – Epic – 1 blue marlin and 2/5 on sailfish
May 9 – Good Day – 1/2 on sails, 10 dorado, 11 tuna
May 10 – Captain Tom’s – 3 sailfish released, 1 mahi, 1 tuna
May 11 – Gamefisher II – 3 for 9 on sails and 40 lb dorado
May 11 – Good Day Too – Released 6 sailfish
May 12 – Gamefisher II – 7 for 12 on sailfish and 3 yellow-fin tuna
May 13 – Captain Tom’s – released 12 sailfish from Los Suenos
May 14 – Runaway – 8 for 12 on sails and 0 for 1 on marlin
May 15 – Wild Lady – 13 tuna and 1 dorado
May 17 – Good Day – 1 sailfish, 4 tuna, 7 dorado
May 18 – Epic – 2 for 2 on sailfish, 2 dorado, and 13 yellow-fin tunas
May 19 – Good Day – 3 tunas and 20+ dorado
May 20 – Predator – 3 sailfish and 3 dorado
May 21 – Good Day Too – released 3 sailfish and 15 mahi mahi
May 22 – Good Day Too – 1 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 1 dorado, 4 tunas
May 23 – Runaway – 1 dorado and 7 yellow-fin tuna
May 24 – Good Day Too – 1 blue marlin and 6 sailfish
May 25 – Chaser – 12 dorado
May 26 – Chaser – 32 dorado!
May 27 – Sea Lady – 1 marlin, 1 sailfish, 20 dorado
May 28 – Wet Ass II – 6 tuna & 6 dorado
May 29 – Gamefisher II – 2 for 4 on marlin, 1 for 3 on sailfish, 4 yellow-fin tuna
May 30 – Double Nickel – 7 for 9 on sailfish
May 31 – Pacific Fly – 1 sailfish, 2 tuna, 7 dorado

My dad’s first ever tarpon

First of three tarpon released on the day.