Where to Go Fishing in Costa Rica?

With its long coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a hub of rich and diverse marine life, including sailfish, marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, snapper, roosterfish, and more. Plus, you get to enjoy stunning landscapes and great weather! But with many options for fishing in Costa Rica, it can be puzzling where to start. Luckily for you, we have insider knowledge on where are the best places to go fishing in Costa Rica. 

Central Pacific

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific region is home to some of the best fishing spots in the country. Not only can you catch different fish species, but you will also have access to some of the best fishing charter Costa Rica companies to take you out on the water. 

Some of the fishing locations in Central Pacific, Costa Rica, you should visit include: 


View of a beach in Jaco, a popular fishing spot in Costa Rica.

Jaco is not only known for its world-class surfing, but it is also one of the best places to go fishing in Costa Rica! 

This popular beach town is just a few hours from some of the best fishing spots, making it the perfect place to set base if you want to explore Costa Rica’s fishing scene.

With Los Suenos Marina and Resort nearby, which offers luxury accommodations and world-class amenities, Jaco is the perfect place to stay for a fishing trip. Also, Los Suenos being the country’s first government-sanctioned Blue Flag Marina, you can be sure you’re in good hands.

Whether you’re looking to catch sailfish, marlin, tuna, guapote, wahoo, roosterfish, or snapper, there’s no shortage of fish to be caught off the coast of Jaco. 

The best time to visit for fishing is typically from December to April, when the waters are calm,, and the fish are biting.


Nestled in the lush landscapes of Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, Herradura is a hidden gem for those looking to go fishing. 

Insider Tip: This small town is home to Los Sueños, Costa Rica’s largest and most luxurious marina.

With easy access to deep waters, Herradura is the perfect place to drop a line and try deep sea fishing. You can also fish for: Sailfish, marlin, snapper, grouper, and amberjack. 

So, regardless of what type of fish you’re looking to catch, you will have a great time fishing in Herradura.


View of Quepos in Costa Rica

Fishing in Costa Rica is a truly unique experience. The country is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in the world, and Quepos is no exception. 

While Quepos is best known for its world-class marlin and sailfish, you can catch other fish, including tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and snapper. If you want to visit Quepos, the best time is to go from December to April.

So, whether you’re looking to reel a trophy fish or enjoy some time out on the water, Quepos is the perfect place to do it. 

Northern Pacific 

With its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder the Northern Pacific region of Costa Rica is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. 

But many people don’t realize that the Northern Pacific region is also home to some of the best fishing in Costa Rica. Some good places in the North to go fishing are the Gulf of Papagayo, Guanacaste, Tamarindo, and Flamingo.

Gulf of Papagayo

The Gulf of Papagayo is one of the premier rooster fishing destinations in Costa Rica. The deep waters off the coast of this peninsula are teeming with roosterfish, and anglers worldwide come here to try their luck landing these prized fish.

Many charter companies are operating in the Gulf of Papagayo. All of which are equipped with everything you need for a successful day of fishing. All you need to bring is your fishing rod and a sense of adventure!

Aside from rooster fishing, you can also try deep-sea fishing in Costa Rica. The waters off the coast of this country are home to a variety of pelagic fish, including marlin, sailfish, and tuna. From June through October, the waters around Costa Rica are particularly rich with these fish, making it an ideal time to go fishing.


Photo of a beach at Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Guanacaste is located on the country’s north-western coast and is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, and great fishing.

There are many different spots to fish in Guanacaste, including Playa Flamingo, Playa Grande, and Tamarindo. You can also find some good mountain fishing spots, such as Rincon de la Vieja and Arenal Volcano.

Playa Flamingo is a beautiful beach on the province’s north coast and is known for its clear water and great fishing. Here, you can catch snapper, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.

You should also visit Tamarindo, which is 30 minutes away from Playa Flamingo. Tamarindo is known for sportfishing. 

Expert Tip: You can go fishing in Guanacaste all year round. Although, the best time to fish for certain species may differ. For example, the best time to fish for snapper is year-round and sailfish from April to August.

Southern Pacific

Heading down to the Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica offers you the most beautiful coastlines in the country and, of course, plenty of great spots to drop a line.

Osa Peninsula

Photo of Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

With more than 850 species of fish, the Osa Peninsula is a dream destination for anglers. You can go sport fishing for marlin, sailfish, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Or, you can go freshwater for tarpon fishing in Costa Rica. 

Another must-visit place for fishing is Drake Bay, known for its relatively calm waters and home to many sportfish such as tuna, roosterfish, mackerel, and snapper. 

You can best go fishing in Osa from December to April when the water is calmest. In the Osa Peninsula, you can do fly fishing, deep sea fishing, and bottom fishing.


You can never go wrong with Zancudo. It is world-renowned for its bountiful fishing and is definitely one of the best places in Costa Rica. 

The village is relatively small, but it boasts a gorgeous grey sand beach perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. If you want to grab some refreshments or snacks, there are a few restaurants and bars in the area. 

This gulf is home to a wide variety of fish, including mahi-mahi, tuna, marlin, and sailfish. Many charter companies in the area can take you out on a boat and help you catch some of these amazing fish.

You should visit Zancudo, Costa Rica, from December to May, as the weather is the nicest, and the water is at its warmest.

Gulfo Dulce

Gulfo Dulco is a serene place perfect for day fishing. As a matter of fact, this exclusive inlet is one of the premier fishing spots in Costa Rica. 

Located between Golfito and Puerto Jimenez, Gulfo Dulce is a great place to fish for snapper, grouper, and other saltwater fish. There is an abundance of wildlife to see while you are fishing because lush tropical rainforests surround the area. 

Crocodile Bay Sport Fishing Resort is located in Gulfo Dulce. They offer excellent fishing packages that include lodging, food, and drinks. 

Caribbean Coast

Photo of Caribbean Coast from Costa Rica

For a truly unique angling experience, you should head to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. 

It is home to some great beach destinations like Puerto Viejo and Cahuita. You can also find excellent fishing spots in the nearby Tortuguero National Park. 

In terms of what to fish for, there’s no shortage of options.

You can target everything from tarpon and snook to mahi-mahi and wahoo. And if you’re lucky, you might even hook into a marlin or sailfish. Whatever you’re after, you’re sure to find it on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

If you want to try spearfishing in Costa Rica, the Caribbean Coast is the best place! Many charter companies operate in Costa Rica, so you’ll have no trouble finding a captain and crew to take you out.

What if you don’t want to go fishing? The Caribbean coast is still worth a visit – it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

Freshwater Fishing in Costa Rica

While the Caribbean coast and the Osa Peninsula are great places to go fishing, don’t forget about the many freshwater options Costa Rica offers, from rivers and streams to lakes and lagoons.

If you’re wondering what fish species you can catch in freshwater, the answer is pretty much anything. Costa Rica is home to bass, trout, catfish, and piranha. 

Lake Arenal

Phot of Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, a popular spot for freshwater fishing in Costa Rica

In the north-central part of Costa Rica, you’ll find Lake Arenal. It’s a great spot for fly fishing, and you can catch various fish, including rainbow bass, tilapia, and catfish. 

With over 1000 mammals, including Howler monkeys and jaguars, and numerous bird species, you’re sure to see some amazing wildlife while fishing here. 

This man-made lake is also a great place for windsurfing, so you can enjoy some time even if you don’t catch any fish. 

Fun Fact: Lake Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica that is surrounded by land.  

Costa Rica Fishing FAQ

What Is the Best Time of Year to Fish in Costa Rica?

The best time of year to fish in Costa Rica is from December to April. This is when the weather is the driest, and the water temperatures are the most comfortable for fish and anglers. But there are only two seasons in Costa Rica, and both are good times to fish. 

Most of the country’s visitors come from December to April (dry season), whereas May to November is the wet season. However, this shouldn’t stop you from fishing as there are still plenty of good spots to fish in, even during the rainy season.

Although during the different seasons, you will catch different types of fish. For example, when you visit Los Suenos and Jaco during May-June, you will have a great chance of catching marlin. But from September to October, you can catch yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado, and sailfish.

Are There Fishing Charters in Costa Rica?

There are many fishing charters available in Costa Rica. You can find charter companies that offer half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips.

Keep in mind that the final fishing charter prices will depend on the length of the trip, the type of boat, and the number of people in your group. Be sure to research before booking a charter to find one that’s right for you.

Some of the fishing charters in costa Rica include:

Does Costa Rica Require Fishing License?

You don’t need a fishing license from a charter boat for sportfishing. However, if you are fishing from the shore or on a boat you have rented, you will need to purchase a sportfishing license.

You can obtain a Costa Rico fishing license from the offices in San Jose or regional offices in the INCOPESCA (Instituto Costarricense de la Pesca y el Acuicultura). Alternatively, you can purchase a license on their website. 

The sport fishing license fee is $30 for 30 days and $15 for eight days. The fee applies to both residents and nationals.

Fishing in Costa Rica: A Fishing Paradise Waiting for You 

So, whether fishing from the shore or on a charter boat, fishing in Costa Rica is a great way to see the country’s jaw-dropping scenery and diverse wildlife.