It is no surprise that Costa Rica is touted as the number one sportfishing destination in the western hemisphere. There are more than 250 world sport fishing records attained there, and it has been reported extensively by major sportfishing media outlets. Costa Rica is widely recognized as one of the best fishing destinations in the world for amateurs and professionals alike.

Costa Rica is lucky to have the Pacific Ocean on one coast and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It has so many varieties and quantities of fish because of its unique geographical features. Its Pacific coast has a continental shelf with deep, cold plankton-filled waters and warm, shallow water. You will find fish that live in both cold and warm as well as shallow and deep waters here.


Costa Rica has been recognized as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet by notable publications like National Geographic. The country is also proactive about conserving its ecosystems by passing legislation that protects its waters. There are strict rules about releasing billfish and inedible fish. You can enjoy your fishing trip guilt-free here.

Deep Sea Fishing

The most popular spot for deep-sea fish in Costa Rica is out of the Los Sueños Marina. The latest addition to the central Pacific area is Quepos Marina Pez Vela with one hundred wet slips. It is known for its sailfish and inshore fishing opportunities. This area has many rocky islands with a variety of inshore species, the most well-known being Roosterfish. The main marina to fish on the North West coast is Tamarindo. On the South West coast, you can go to Golfito, Puerto Jiménez, and Drake Bay. The Pacific coast is best for game fish like Marlin and Sailfish.

Fad Fishing Charters

Using a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) with an experienced FAD fishing charter will give you access to tuna, sailfish, marlin, dorado, and wahoo. There are excellent FAD fishing opportunities in the Southern Zone and Central Pacific areas, which are home to the best seamounts. These underwater mountain tops and ridges almost reach the ocean surface and are where FADs can attract feeders and big game fish.

Fishing Charters

There are a few things you should consider when chartering a boat for fishing in Costa Rica. The most important factor is the size of the ship. A small, local fishing boat (panga) may seem like the economical option, but you will be bounced around a lot in it. Pangas are better for inshore fishing. Next, you must consider your boat crew. Try to ask around to find the crew with the most fishing experience.

What to Bring

All Costa Rican fishing charters should include all of the equipment you will need: reels, rods, bait, and lures. Generally, you should not have to bring any sport fishing gear with you. But, if you prefer to bring your own equipment, make sure you pack it securely in your carry-on bag so that it stays safe. Aside from gear, you should also have non-slip deck shoes, a hat, and sunglasses.


There are three types of fishing licenses you can obtain in Costa Rica. A one-year license costs $50, one month is $30, and eight days is $15. You can get these licenses online or in person at the dock.

For help planning your Costa Rican fishing trip, contact AXR Jaco. We specialize in travel activities in Costa Rica and will ensure you get the most out of your trip.