May officially marks the start of Costa Rica’s green season, or rainy season as so many people so unfairly label it, and with it comes a change in the fishing seasons. The doomsdayers believe that the seven months between May and November offer nothing but monsoon weather and the mass exodus of every game species in the Pacific, and try as we might, we can’t convince them all of anything otherwise. For those who have open minds they’ll hear us say that May-Sept are some of our favorite months to take a fishing vacation to Costa Rica because you get lower rates, less crowds, great weather (as long as an afternoon rain shower won’t melt you down into a heap of nothing), and of course great fishing.
While it’s true that Costa Rica’s peak billfish season runs from December through April, there are still plenty of billfish to be had in our green season. Costa Rica truly boasts a 12-month fishing season as we catch sailfish and marlin every month of the year so while it’s true that the 15-20 bite days may be over, the majority of days offshore will still produce a handful of sailfish and double digit days do still occur. As you can see in thefull Costa Rica Fishing Report below for May 2019, there were still plenty of sailfish around as many boats from the Los Suenos Marina finished with 7-9 sails several of the days – not bad for the “off”-season. Also notice the numbers of mahi and yellow-fin tuna caught on some days, and the increase in wahoo encounters. The strong winds that Guanacaste experiences from December through April die down and the bite spreads out all up and down the Pacific Coast, but the sailfish definitely don’t leave the area. Better yet, in these coming months we enjoy our ‘second season’ for marlin in Costa Rica as May-Sept traditionally offers exception blue marlin fishing as well as being one of the best times of year for the elusive black marlin. Don’t believe us? There is a reason the best months to attempt the famous marlin fishing at the FADs are May through September.
While you’ll never hear us complain about a day filled with billfish crashing our spread, what makes the next several months one of our favorite times of year to fish is the sheer variety of fish we see. We’ve tried to promote the green season fishing in Costa Rica as our ‘peak meatfish season‘ and/or ‘peak variety season‘ as it’s typically in these next 6-7 months when we see the biggest numbers of mahi/dorado, yellow-fin tuna, and the ever elusive wahoo. This time of year it’s much more common to find the super pods of spinner dolphin swimming with tuna as well as natural FADs like washed out trees and old fishing nets that collect baitfish and attract dorado and wahoo.
In addition to more variety amongst the big game pelagic species, Costa Rica’s green season is also a great time of year for bottom fishing for snapper, grouper, amberjacks and a variety of other tasty species. Often times the days spent bottom fishing don’t end up in fishing reports as anglers don’t tend to brag about snapper or grouper numbers, but plenty of anglers were eating well last month as their deep drops paid big dividends. The inshore fishing for roosterfish was particularly great in May from Quepos up to Guanacaste. If you like fishing different methods rather than trolling all day or simply love to stock your freezer, try to make your next Costa Rica fishing vacation happen in the summer or fall as the bite will be on!