This time of year the offshore fishing reports and billfish tournaments get all the headlines, but there are plenty of anglers who aren’t interested in deep sea trolling all day and prefer inshore fishing instead.  Popping, jigging, casting rapalas, and slow trolling live bait is how they prefer to fish and we have specific captains and boats to accommodate that.  The surface appeal of inshore fishing is that you’ll catch a variety of fish and have good action all day long, but deep down it seems that everyone wants one thing – roosterfish. Fortunately Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world for inshore fishing and with a fairly strict ‘catch-and-release’ policy on all roosterfish there are plenty to be had.  By our count we put 24 different Central America Fishing anglers on roosterfish in January, many of them their first ever, so it was another banner month inshore fishing in Costa Rica. Below is our full Costa Rica Inshore Fishing Report – Jan 2018.

costa rica inshore fishing

Costa Rica inshore fishing this month varied from being good to great, but as always there was at least some action from start to finish.  The normal live bait, blue runners and look downs, were hard to find this month so sardines were the go to most days.  Since they won’t survive overnight in livewells they can’t be bought in the morning or held over from the day before, so most of our inshore boats in Quepos spent the first 1-2 hours of their charters making bait.  After loading up with 20-30 sardines the fishing would start, and while not the toughest bait in the world they sure do elicit bites from the various inshore predators.

bottom fishing costa rica

Many of the roosters this month were small weighing under 15 lbs, but there were certainly several 30-50 lb trophies as well. While some days would only produce a couple roosters, other days of 10+ bites and several of our anglers completed double hook ups.  Many anglers were able to experience a true dream by catching a rooster on a popper. In addition to tons of roosterfish this month we also saw a lot of jack crevalles, horse-eye jacks, mackerel, needlefish, and a variety snapper.  The Pacific snook have been few and far between so far, but there have a been a few rare appearances by tripletail, a pompano, a surprising amount of big barracuda and one of the largest milkfish I’ve ever seen in Costa Rica.  Bottom fishing we’ve seen a few mullet snapper in the last week, snowy grouper, broomtail grouper, cubera snapper and one trophy goliath grouper caught by CAF angler Mike from New York.  Below are some of the best single days reported in this January 2018 Costa Rica inshore fishing report:

Jan 4 & 6 – Scott from Canada – 3 roosterfish including a double hook-up, 1 sierra mackerel, 25 lb snook
Jan 8 – Captain Willy in Drake Bay on a half day – 2 roosters, 2 jacks, 1 wahoo
Jan 12 – Robert from Austria in Quepos – 1 sierra mackerel, 1 barracua, 3 jack crevalle
Jan 13 – Rader group from Texas – 2 roosterfish, 1 barracuda, 1 jack crevalle, 20 lb cubera snapper
Jan 13 – Hilty group from Pittsburgh, PA fishing at Los Suenos – 11 roosterfish & 4 jack crevalle
Jan 14 – Veldman group from Chicago at Los Suenos – 3 roosters (double hook-up), 1 mackerel, 1 small cubera, jacks
Jan 14 – Mike from New York fishing at Los Suenos – 2 roosters and beautiful trophy 60 lb goliath grouper
Jan 18 – Wynn group from Ohio on a half day in Quepos – 3 roosterfish fish, 2 jack crevalle, 1 needlefish
Jan 18 – Captian Carlos at Los Suenos – 15 for 26 on roosterfish plus 2 barracudas
Jan 19 – Captain Willy in Drake Bay – 3 roosters, 4 lane snapper, African Pompano, 1 rock snapper
Jan 19 – Mike from New York – 3 roosters including some on popper and a double hook-up, barruda, horse-eye jack
Jan 20-21 – Fair group from Mexico – 4 roosters, 3 barracuda, 3 mackerel, 1 red snapper
Jan 24 – Captain Willy in Drake Bay – 4 roosters, 40 lb cubera snapper, 1 dorado
Jan 25 – Captain Carlos at Los Suenos – 3 cubera snapper and 10 mullet snapper bottom fishing
Jan 26 – Captain Carlos at Los Suenos – 5 cubera snapper, 15 mullet snapper, and one dorado
Jan 26 – Captain Jose at Los Suenos – 6 for 9 on roosters, a jack, and several grouper
Jan 30 – Ron from Georgia – 2 roosters & 1 mackerel
Jan 30 – Captain Mike at Los Suenos – 3 large snowy grouper, couple amberjacks, cubera, and one congrio

Congrio Costa Rica


cubera snapper osa peninsula

Cubera Snapper

sierra mackerel Costa Rica

Sierra Mackerel

Pacific snook Costa Rica

Pacific Snook

los suenos inshore fishing

Inshore fishing Costa Rica

Snowy grouper Costa Rica

Snowy Grouper

roosterfish drake bay

Big rooster!

costa rica barracuda


roostefish in Manuel Antonio

Roosterfish los suenos

roosterfish Quepos

Milk fish Costa Rica

Milk fish

roosterfish los suenos Costa Rica

Rooster double!

Rock snapper, osa peninsula

Rock Snapper

costa rica roosterfish

inshore fishing manuel antonio

roosterfish Quepos