Category: FECOP BLOG

Costa Rica Map of places to fish

General Costa Rica Information and Fishing Map

Costa Rica Map and General Tourism Information

See the Fish Icons below for Costa Rica fishing areas/towns. Read more general tourist information about Costa Rica below the map

Costa Rica Map of places to fish

Costa Rica Fishing Species

More About Species

Costa Rica Tourism Quick Facts

Location

Costa Rica is located in Central America, south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. The western side of the country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the eastern side by the Caribbean Sea

Capital City San José Population (est.) 4.8 million

Language The native language is Spanish and English is spoken throughout various tourist areas of the country

Climate Temperatures range from 70 to 81 degrees all year round. While many tropical countries have changing weather patterns that affect the entire nation with different seasons, Costa Rica enjoys 12 different tropical micro climates that remain constant throughout the year. The most common micro climate in Costa Rica is the Tropical Moist Forest, which is filled with evergreen trees and bountiful vines, but the Tropical Sub alpine Rain Páramo is a micro climate with temperatures ranging around 41º and 57º Fahrenheit, with occasional snowfall and hail. The water temperature on both coasts is at a reliable 28-29 degrees Celsius (84°F)

Currency  The national currency is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC), though U.S. dollars and credit cards are widely accepted.

The exchange rate as of 2019 is approximately 590 CRC to $1, but can vary daily

International Airports

San Jose: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO – Costa Rica’s Main Airport )and Tobías Bolaños International Airport

Liberia: (New International Airport in Costa Rica’s Northern Zone ) Daniel Oduber International Airport Airlines American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines.

Copa, Delta AirLines, jetBlue, Spirit Airlines, Avianca Airlines, United, U.S.Airwaysand Westjet

Entry Requirements U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport – valid from 6 months AFTER your planned EXIT date, an entry and exit ticket and the exit tax is currently set at $29

Tourism Information For more information,please visit www.visitcostarica.com

 ABOUT COSTA RICA

Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean. Opportunities for sport fishing , adventure, relaxation, romance and exploration are unlimited, making it one of the most visited international destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

With an abundance of unique wildlife, an amazing variety of saltwater and freshwater fish, landscapes and climates the country proudly shelters approximately five percent of the existing biodiversity in the world, with protected areas comprising 26 percent of its land mass. The phrase “Pura Vida” can be heard echoing throughout Costa Rica from coast to coast. Used as a greeting or expression of happiness, the phrase literally translates to “pure life,” however its truer meaning is “full of life,” which accurately describes the adventure and wonder that await visitors. Beach lovers, surfers, divers and anglers quickly feel right at home along the coasts while couples and those in search of a relaxing retreat are captivated and pampered by the country’s natural beauty and diverse spas and retreats. Thrill seekers have met their match further inland as they explore Costa Rica’s volcanoes, rain forests, cloud forests, and rivers primed for white-water adventures. In order to protect and preserve such a wealth of natural resources Costa Rica has become a leader in sustainable tourism and established the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) which has a fundamental purpose of benefitting the environment and supporting the community. Business is bustling in Costa Rica, as the country is home to headquarter offices for a myriad of multinational corporations in the global marketplace. Business and group travelers will find a plethora of hotel and meeting space options, as the country hosts a sophisticated infrastructure of hotels and international brands.

GEOGRAPHY

Costa Rica’s bio diverse terrain is a key element that attracts visitors from around the world. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with a land portion that occupies only 20 thousand square miles, it is no surprise that Costa Rica’s name translates to “rich coast.” The Central American country shares borders with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.The nation is comprised of seven provinces: San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón.

From mountain ranges and rain forests to active volcanoes and cloud forests to breathtaking beaches, Costa Rica’s diversity of landscapes, climates and natural wonders provides visitors with unlimited experiences.

CENTRAL VALLEY

Many Costa Rica fishing trips start with a one day stayover in San Jose, Costa Rica. Home to the destination’s capital, San José, many of Costa Rica’s most popular museums can be found in this urban setting including the Gold Museum, Jade Museum, National Museum and Children’s Museum, in addition to the architectural jewel of Costa Rica, the National Theater. Out in the surrounding highlands, visitors can discover two active volcanoes, Poás and Irazú, as well as the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The rural towns of Turrialba and Valle de los Santos are also in the Central Valley, offering a picturesque glimpse of old Costa Rican traditional homes, large coffee plantations, sugar mills and dairies.

MID PACIFIC

Great fishing, beautiful beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, lagoons, rivers and waterfalls make the Mid Pacific region an ideal destination for visitors in search of variety. The region stretches from the city of Puntarenas, heradurra to Dominical de Osa and is made up of some of Costa Rica’s most visited areas including  Quepos, Jacó, Bahía Ballenaand Manuel Antonio. The region’s climate creates a unique landscape that transitions from tropical wet forest to tropical forest to tropical dry forest, providing the opportunity to observe a wide range of plants and animals and of course exotic Costa Rica fishing species. In addition to wildlife, the Mid Pacific region is home to a number of luscious beaches and great inshore and offshore fishing spots, some of which are less than two hours from San José.

THE CARIBBEAN COAST

The Caribbean side is world-famous for tarpon and snook. Tarpon school up outside the mouth of the river in pods that cover several acres. When it is hot, it is red hot and you will pull on big fish all day.

The diverse coastline of the Northern Caribbean region attracts anglers, naturists and water enthusiasts in search of unique experiences. The North Caribbean region runs from the San Juan River (Tarpon and Snook fishing )to Limón City, located just south of Nicaragua, and as far West as the Eastern Sarapiquí canton. Visitors to the region can head out bass fishing in rivers, lakes and streams, embark on a fascinating excursion through the area’s interconnected canals or have the opportunity to witness green turtles nesting at Tortuguero National Park.

Limón City, the largest city on the country’s Caribbean coast, welcomes thousands of cruise passengers and serves as a popular tourism and distribution center. The Southern Caribbean boasts some of Costa Rica’s best beaches and picturesque parks, which are complemented by the area’s inviting culture. The region, which extends from Limón City to the Panamaborder, features a unique blend of natural wonders and Afro-Caribbean traditions.

A wide range of activities allow travelers to mix adventure with natural history, present day culture, gastronomy and music. The region is also home to Cahuita National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve.

THE PACIFIC COAST

The Pacific side of Costa Rica boasts two fishing seasons, with the central and southern regions most productive November through April. In the north, the good bite is from May through December. The last few years have seen record numbers of sailfish on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. El Niño slowed the bite last year, but during the two previous years, records were broken for the number of releases in the Los Sueños and Marina Pez Vela tournaments. Last year in the Offshore World Tournament at Marina Pez Vela, the sailfish were noticeably absent, while marlin released records were crushed. Read the FECOP Guide to Costa Rica fishing – Where to go, What You’ll Find for more information

GUANACASTE – Northern Pacific

The combination of breathtaking white-sand beaches, sweeping mountain views and an ideal tropical climate has made Guanacaste one of Costa Rica’s most popular regions. Located in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica, the region presents a diverse geography and boasts many of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches, including Playa del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Tamarindo and the Papagayo Peninsula. By day visitors can challenge themselves with a surf lesson, cool off under a waterfall at Rincónde la ViejaNational Park, discover the craters of an active volcano with the same name and more before enjoying the active nightlife in Tamarindo. High up in the mountains of Guanacaste, visitors have the opportunity to experience ecological tourism in a natural and picturesque environment

The beach’s pristine waters are ideal for a variety of water sports and some of the world’s best deep sea fishing.

Tamarindo, one of the most developed and popular beaches on the Pacific Coast, offers some of the best surfing and windsurfing in the world with a laid-back vibe to match. Long stretches of sand are perfect for walks, horseback riding and sunbathing. Offering a wide variety of water sports, excursions and restaurants, Tamarindo is a bustling beach town with plenty for visitors to experience.

On the Nicoya Peninsula, picture-perfect beaches offer snorkeling, diving and windsurfing. Samara is one of the region’s most pleasant beaches and although it is peacefully secluded, there is no shortage of restaurants, shops, excursions or hotels. Protected by a coral reef, allowing the waters near the coast to be calm and safe, Samara is particularly known for its pleasant swimming conditions. For a more quiet experience, visitors can venture just north or south to the undeveloped sands of Barrigona, Buena Vista or Playa Carrillo.

 THE CENTRAL AND SOUTH PACIFIC

Continuing south toward the mid-pacific, Jacó Beach is one of the world’s most renowned surfing destinations, known for its consistent waves. A short drive from San José, Jacóis a popular weekend getaway for locals and party goers ready to paint the town .Home to the continent’s largest Pacific coastal rain forests and some of the world’s most endangered species,Puntarenas’ beaches are lush and tropical as a result of the frequent rainfall.

Bahía Ballenais located south of Dominical and at low tide displaysa coastline that resembles a whale’s tail.An interesting fact about this bay is that whales from the north and south find the water’sreliable temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit asideal for birthing, allowing for two whale watching seasons to take place.Children love to spot the different humpback, pilot and false killer whales. While on these tours, visitors can also sight bottlenose and spotted dolphin sall year round.The neighboring beaches of Manuel Antonio are some of the country’s most immaculate. Surrounded by dense forest vegetation, the beaches of Espadilla, Blanca and Puerto Escondido are inside Manuel Antonio National Park, offering visitors often unexpected views of exotic wildlife.Nearby Dominical is known for its authenticity and world-class surfing. Frequented by backpackers seeking an experience that differs from usual tourist destinations, the unspoiled nature of Dominical offers thrilling water sports and awe-inspiring sights, including the Dominicalito and Naucaya Waterfalls. Surfing is particularly noteworthy on Pavones, a simple mile-long beach where surfers can ride the longest left-breaking waves in the world. Home to some of the

best conditions on the entire Pacific coast of North and South America, the rocky beach of Pavones is a surfer’s paradise.

Adrenaline

Outdoor enthusiasts can rejoice in the wealth of water-based activities to choose from in Costa Rica. Sport fishing, surfing, diving and rafting are several popular favorites, and the combination of a wide range of difficulty levels and destinations where visitors can partake create the perfect activity for everyone in a group.

COSTA RICA SPORT FISHING

Check out the following Links for Great Costa Rica Fishing Information:

Costa Rica Fishing – Where to go, What You’ll Find

Chasing Sailfish and Marlin in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific

Why Costa Rica is the Perfcet Destination to Take the Kids Fishing

Catching Cubera Snapper in Costa Rica’s South Pacific

Costa Rica Fishing – How and Whtere to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Sailfish For Dummies – Catching Sailfish in Costa Rica

Fresh Water Fishing in Costa Rica for Rainbows

The Northern Pacific coast, Central Pacific region, Southern Pacific region, and Caribbean coast all make for great fishing spots. Travelers can enjoy offshore fishing in the area of Quepos on the central Pacific coast, boasting large billfish such as sailfish and marlin and sport fishing in the small harbor town of Golfito on the southern coast or Puerto Jimenez – The largest town in the Osa Peninsula and the gateway to Corcovado National Park.

On the Caribbean coast, more unpredictable conditions can cause variation in the day’s tarpon and snook catches; however, fishermen can generally expect tarpon during the winter and spring and snook during the fall.

For those who enjoy inland fishing, Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest lake located at the foot of the active Arenal Volcano, boasts rainbow bass. Fishing seasons vary by location and type of fish, and a valid Costa Rican fishing license is required for any freshwater fishing done in the country.

Sport Fishing Generates Nearly 500 Million Dollars Annually in Costa Rica

 

What is a Billfish?

The Circle Hook Revolution

Costa Rica Top Global Fishing Destination

 

Costa Rica Sport Fishing – Sailfish for Dummies

Costa Rica Fishing FAQ

Costa Rica Fishing Species

 

Read Blog Detail
marlin fishing costa rica

Marlin and Sailfish Action in Costa Rica

Marlin and Sailfish Action off Quepos, Costa Rica

FECOP Featured Marina: Pez Vela, Quepos

Calm seas and great fishing equal good times in Costa Rica

Published for Marlin Magazine by Sam White

Perched on a narrow strip of rugged Pacific coast, snugged between the mountains and the sea, Quepos, Costa Rica, has always produced great fishing, not to mention generations of top-flight Costa Rican captains and mates. And with the world-class Marina Pez Vela fully online, Quepos is poised to take its rightful place among the world’s top destinations.

I got the call from Brent Brauner, the global brand manager for Columbia Sportswear’s PFG line of performance fishing gear. He wanted to field-test some new warm-weather clothing and capture some blue marlin action on camera. The only catch was that the trip had to take place before the end of 2018. Over the next few weeks we narrowed down the choices, finally deciding on Costa Rica.

With the seamounts producing the most reliable blue marlin fishing on the planet, we elected on a sort of combination expedition: two days offshore with a bonus day trip to target tuna on the spinner dolphins, sailfish on baitballs or anything else we could find. With its calm seas and a great transitional bite, we chose Quepos as the place to be in mid-December.

Brauner brought Columbia’s ace cameraman Joshua VanPatter, while I tapped Marlin Senior Editor Jen Copeland to round out our team. We needed a vessel large enough to support not just our crew but a medium-sized mountain of camera gear, so I called up Ken and Amanda Cofer at Tranquilo Charters. Fortunately, their 57-foot Spencer was available. After a recent refit in Florida, the boat was perfect for our needs: The staterooms had been converted to bunks for added sleeping and gear storage, and the addition of a Seakeeper gyro meant a rock-stable platform. The plan was to arrive in Costa Rica, head for Quepos and jump straight aboard, steam all night for the distant seamounts around 100 miles offshore, fish the first day, spend the night, fish most of the next day, return to port, and day-trip out of Marina Pez Vela for our final day.

marlin leaping out of the water

Multi-day seamount trips for blue marlin often incorporate a variety of fishing techniques. Crews may start the day pulling lures in order to find productive water before switching to slow-trolled live baits.

Sam White

The Transformation

The first time I fished out of Quepos, there was no marina, or even the thought of one. Charter boats used anchor-ball moorings in the lee of the protected coastline, and fishermen arrived and departed by way of an ancient concrete quay that also served as a commercial dock. Despite the rustic conditions, the fishing has always been outstanding pretty much all year round.

Packs of sailfish arrive to reinforce the local resident fish around Thanksgiving and stay well into April most years. There are also enough blue marlin around that you have a very good shot at raising at least one, especially earlier in the season, and multiple-marlin days are a definite possibility. Blacks and stripes are not considered a common catch but it’s certainly not unusual to add one of either species to the tally, either.

Fast forward roughly two decades and my, how things have changed. Marina Pez Vela now sports a modern cofferdam system that means a safe, calm basin year-round. It has 195 slips in operation with the ability to add an additional 100 slips in the future, all with a safe operating depth of 14 feet for vessels up to 200 feet in length. The fuel dock has high-speed fuel delivery, and each slip has fiber-optic internet and digital cable.

fisherman putting live bait in a tuna tube

Daniel Arrieta loads the tuna tubes on Tranquilo with bonito and small yellowfin tuna caught on spoons fished behind a planer.

Sam White

Perhaps one of the most important yet often overlooked features is the boatyard. Before the development of Marina Pez Vela, the options to haul out a sport-fisher in this region usually meant a trip up to Puntarenas and the commercial yard there. Now, Quepos is home to Costa Rica’s first 200-ton Travelift. The full-service facility can handle just about any maintenance needs, from routine service to full refits. There also is a dry stack with a forklift for smaller vessels up to 38 feet in length.

On the upland side, Marina Pez Vela is home to six restaurants including the famed Runaway Grill, as well as a provisioning center and supermarket. There are also numerous retail stores, tour operators, car-rental agencies, Promerica Bank, a medical center and more, plus storage bodegas and even a captain’s lounge with private conference center and work stations. The entire operation is first-class and on par with any high-end marina in the world, yet it feels at-home comfortable

I asked Marina Pez Vela’s sales director, Scott Cutter, for his thoughts on the project.

“We’re seeing continued expansion over the next five or six years,” he says. “We are also committed to the boat owners and anglers as the key to the success of the project, which is why we’ve invested heavily in the conditions of the docks and things like providing high-speed internet to each slip. This is a community marina, and the original vision — amazing fishing, warm-hearted people and a strong connection to the land and the sea — continues.”

fishing reels on the bow of a boat at sunset

A beautiful sunset over 100 miles offshore ends a long day of fishing.

Sam White

The concept of a community marina was an intriguing one. Rather than be walled off in a private enclave, Marina Pez Vela is right on the main road in Quepos and is open and inviting to visitors and locals alike. Friday nights are free movie nights with free popcorn, where everyone gathers to watch movies under the stars on a big-screen projection setup, and the Bright Lights Christmas boat parade was overflowing with people. Marina staffers dress up like Santa Claus and pass out presents to the kids. It’s what Cutter calls “good human friction” — but it also creates a sense of connectivity to the local community that makes it authentic. It’s also a culture that nurtures the next generation of captains and mates.

Heading Offshore

It is roughly a two-and-a-half-hour ride to Quepos from the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. We stopped about halfway down for lunch and then again to check out the giant saltwater crocodiles hanging out on the banks of the Tarcoles River. We arrived in Quepos in time to meet the Cofers at the Runaway Grill for a cocktail before departure; Capt. Roger Muñoz and first mate Daniel Arrieta secured all the camera gear and we were underway around 8 p.m.

Fishing on the seamounts begins at first light well before dawn, and continues past dusk, basically until you can’t see the baits any longer. We began by trolling a spread of four lures on 50s to scout the area at a faster pace. It wasn’t long before we had our first knockdown — but the hooks failed to find purchase, one of the small frustrations of lure fishing that comes with the territory.

We did catch our first blue around midmorning on a lure, then transitioned to live-baiting for a bit, then back to the lures. By the end of the first day we had released four blue marlin and had seen or jumped off a few more. Not red-hot by Costa Rica standards but four blues in a single day is damn good fishing anywhere else in the world. After a hot shower, a few rum drinks and an outstanding steak dinner, not to mention more than a few fish stories, it was time to hit the bunks.

The next day, Muñoz chose to run and gun among several locations looking for the mother lode. We released a blue in the morning but never found a hot spot, so we picked up and ran home in the afternoon, fishing for about two hours on one of Muñoz’ favorite spots 45 miles off Quepos. Right away the conditions looked better: There were bait and birds, and the first bite was a 30-pound dorado. A little while later we raised one blue and then another but unfortunately failed to connect on either fish. As we got ready to pack it in for the day, I asked Muñoz what he wanted to do the following morning. The reply was an easy one: Come right back here!

Offshore Bonanza

Our last fishing day was a standard day trip out of Marina Pez Vela. First up: tuna under birds and spinner dolphin. The ocean was alive with these mammals, showing off their wild aerial antics and swimming within a few feet of the boat as we trolled past. It’s one of those National Geographic moments offshore, and for guys like Brauner and VanPatter who had never experienced this before, it is awe-inspiring. Brauner even broke out the fly rod, casting at busting tuna from Tranquilo’s broad Carolina bow.

striped marlin below the surface of water

A striped marlin makes an unexpected appearance while fishing around schools of yellowfin tuna and spinner dolphins approximately 45 miles off Quepos. Day trips can produce outstanding action.

Pat Ford

It wasn’t long before we had a couple nice tuna in the fish box, then one of the lines took a strange angle as it headed for the surface. “That’s no tuna,” I thought. Sure enough, a billfish erupted from the calm surface and put on a blazing display for the cameras, a real Hollywood fish. Upon closer examination, it was a striped marlin, and a nice one at that. Even more amazing, we had hooked the fish on a purple rubber-worm-and-jig combination that would have been more at home on Lake Okeechobee than in 5,000 feet of salt water off Costa Rica. (The mates have found that these rubber jigs work great on yellowfin tuna.) After a few more photos and video, we sent the striped marlin on its way.

fisherman handling a fishing reel with a blue marlin on the line

Brent Brauner puts the heat on a tough blue marlin while Joshua VanPatter captures the action. Fishing days often last more than 14 hours, including those critical periods around sunrise and sunset.

Sam White

We released two blue marlin after the stripe, a couple chunky yellowfins and a half-dozen 30-pound dorado. We missed a couple more marlin as well, all on dead baits, dredges and 30-pound-test tackle. It was a blast, and all of this took place on seas that were as flat as your dining-room table. If there was one tiny disappointment, it was that we did not catch a sailfish for our boat grand slam. Costa Rica in December, and we did not raise a single sailfish the entire trip. Odd, but that’s fishing — and the marlin more than made up for it.

The next time you find yourself seeking a destination where exceptional fishing intersects with beautiful weather in a safe, welcoming country full of truly warm-hearted people, you’ll find it all and more in Quepos.

Quepos Confidential

Lodging: By far the most convenient and luxurious option for lodging are the Marina Pez Vela Villas, located just a short walk from the docks. There are 10 luxury villas available, with two- and three-bedroom options. Amenities include high-speed Wi-Fi, full kitchens and even a rooftop pool for the exclusive use of villa owners and guests. Our group stayed here during our trip. The luxury, decor, proximity to the docks and personalized concierge service make for an unforgettable and easy experience. The Hotel Parador, located on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park, is another great option. It’s the official host for the Offshore World Championship.

the balcony of a villa at marina pez vela

The Marina Pez Vela Villas are conveniently located just a short walk from the docks.

Courtesy Marina Pez Vela

Dining: The Runaway Grill is the unofficial base of operations for anyone fishing out of Marina Pez Vela, with an extensive menu and happy-hour specials at the bar each afternoon. They also have a hook-and-cook policy where guests can bring in their own catch of the day and have it prepared that evening. We had several memorable meals at other restaurants in the marina as well, which run the gamut from fine dining to fast-casual sports pubs.

Fishing: Ken and Amanda Cofer have been chartering Tranquilo in Central America since 2012, relocating from Nicaragua to Costa Rica in 2014. “We wanted to offer a larger and nicer boat for people that wanted to experience a premier-level charter, with a great crew and all the latest equipment,” Amanda Cofer says. “Teams from the U.S. can come to Central America in their offseason to keep their anglers up to speed, and we offer them the same tackle, dredges and other gear they use on their own boats. We’re tournament-grade fishing every day, on every charter.” There are a host of additional charter operations based in Marina Pez Vela to fit nearly every species and budget. If time allows, don’t overlook the outstanding opportunities for roosterfish, cubera snapper, potential world-record snook and other species closer to shore.

Fishing the Offshore World Championship

The Offshore World Championship has been held in Quepos since 2013, thanks in large part to the support the event has received from Marina Pez Vela and the Costa Rica Tourism Board as well as the local community. According to OWC tournament director Dan Jacobs, Quepos is an optimal location for the event thanks to several key factors.

“The first is the weather,” he notes. “In April it’s nearly always flat-calm. And because the participating anglers rotate daily among the boats, the availability of a substantial charter fleet and a host facility large enough to accommodate everyone is also a critical element.” A plethora of hotels and restaurants check another must-have box.

Then there’s the fishing: Quepos has a world-class fishery, as noted in the OWC tournament records. In 2014, 64 teams video-verified 2,735 billfish releases; in 2015, 67 teams released 2,840 billfish, for an average of more than 42 billfish per team over four days of fishing. The OWC celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019 with this year’s tournament running April 29 through May 3.

Article courtesy MarlinMag.com Marlin Magazine – Please visit our supporters!

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Costa Rica Fishing

Costa Rica Fishing FAQ

Frequently Asked Costa Rica Fishing Questions

Can I take Sailfish or Marlin out of the water for a photo?

No, it is illegal to remove sailfish and marlin (see What is a Billfish) from the water for photos or other publicity/social media photos. There are a number of ways to photograph fish that is not harmful to them. Read this article on capturing Costa Rica fishing photos with minimal impact.

Do I have to use circle hooks in Costa Rica?

Yes circle hooks are required by law in Costa Rica when fishing any live bait. Other kinds of hooks are damaging to the fish because they are more likely to swallow the hooks. For more information about using or installing circle hooks during your Costa Rica fishing trip read this article The Circle Hook Revolution

Do you need a Fishing License in Costa Rica?

Yes, a fishing license is required and you can purchase them online before your Costa Rica fishing tripLearn more or purchase a Costa Rica fishing license here

Where Can I find Costa Rica Fishing Laws and Regulations?

FECOP has all the most recent Costa Rica fishing laws and regulations available online and for download. Costa Rica fishing regulations

What is FECOP?

Sport and recreational fishing has contributed actively to the coastal development of our country since its consolidation over a period of almost 70 years. Fishing clubs, tourism operators and the different stakeholders in sport fishing have contributed to the positioning of this activity, above and beyond any promotion by the State.

More than 60,000 direct and indirect jobs, as well as a contribution of 330 million dollars to Costa Rica’s gross domestic product, are among the benefits obtained from this activity. In addition to this information recognized and produced by different sources, sport fishing has other less visible impacts and benefits. It represents a socioeconomic sector with a special dynamic that needs to be understood from a scientific and technical perspective so as to boost its growth and contribution to Costa Rican society.

FECOP assumes this challenge and will work with the sector in the generation of knowledge to benefit both the sport fishing and the fisheries sectors and Costa Rican society as a whole.

What Kind of Fishing Does Costa Rica offer?

Costa Rica fishing is good year round. Although certain target catch and release species e.g. sailfish and marlin peak in certain months, other inshore release fish such as roosterfish, snappers, jacks, African pompano and others may be targeted year round.

What is the best time of year to find billfish in Costa Rica?
Peak times for Costa Rica billfish vary depending on which part of the Pacific coast you’re on.

Can I catch Tarpon in Costa Rica?

Yes, Tarpon can be found on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Read more about tarpon fishing in Costa Rica here.

When should I go Fishing in Costa Rica?

Sailfish, marlin, dorado, tuna, and wahoo can be caught any day in Costa Rica but these pelagic species peak at different times, consult your fishing lodge or guide for peak times. You can also read this primer/guide on Costa Rica fishing and what to expect here

How do I catch Snook in Costa Rica?

There are variety of ways to fish for Snook or robalo in Costa Rica. Here is an article on one of Costa Rica’s best snook fisherman

Can I Eat Roosterfish?

Roosterfish are protected and may not be taken. They are a catch and release species and one of the oceans top fighting fish with amazing physical attributes. Learn more about Costa Rica roosterfish fishing here

Please send your questions to info“at”fecop.org

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Fresh Water Fly Fishing in Costa Rica

Extreme Fresh Water Fly Fishing in Costa Rica with Jesse Males, Stone Mountain Outdoors and ADPK.

adpk costa rica kayak fishiing associaitonFECOP – welcome to our newest association member ADPK – Associacion Deportiva Pesca de Kayak – The Costa Rican Kayak Sport Fishing Association. To kick off their membership enjoy the following videos featuring Costa Rica backwater fishing in lakes and rivers with Jesse Males, .

In Search of Guapote Landia. Extreme Fresh water fishing in Costa Rica’s back rivers by kayak and paddle-board. Join Jesse Males, 506 Outdoors, Stone Mountain Outdoors and BackWater Fly fishing  in search of the best Guapote fishery in Costa Rica aka “GuapoteLandia”.

More Backwater Fly Fishing Videos with Jesse Males 

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First Sailfish On The Fly – Costa Rica Fly Fishing

First Sailfish on the “Fly” by Todd Staley

Photo above by Pat Ford

Published for The Tico Times

The Tico Times

The angler stood on the veranda of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Costa Rica and looked at the vast sport fishing fleet in awe. A Colorado native and avid fly fisherman, he had never been on the ocean before. He was quite adept on his home waters, walking the bank or wading in streams, casting a dry fly to trout.

He had seen fishing shows on television and read many an article about anglers casting to and challenging big pointy nose fishes with a flimsy fly rod on a deep blue ocean. It became a dream of his. Then an obsession. It moved to the top of his bucket list. Finally, the day had come. He walked down the stairs at the marina to the boats and stepped aboard the Big Eye II.

Captain Franklin Araya shook his hand and confirmed the angler’s mission was to catch a sailfish on the fly.

“There are plenty of fish out there, but they are muy mañosa,” Araya said, explaining that the fish are lazy and finicky.

Stop Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

El Niño is the culprit — the weather phenomenon that makes every blue water fisherman in the Eastern Tropical Pacific cringe. The water temperature goes up, the fish don’t follow their normal patterns, and they become lethargic.

Captain Franklin Araya. Photo via Todd Staley.

The Big Eye II idles out of the marina and Araya pushes the throttle forward. The angler from Colorado is paying attention to every detail. They pass green water, then emerald water. The water turns blue and they pass a large pod of pilot whales. Araya motors forward. Finally, the water turns a deep cobalt blue that boat captains like to see. Sailfish feed mainly by sight. The cleaner the water, the happier the sailfish. Deep blue means nutrient-rich, clean water.

Araya throttles down and begins trolling around 6 or 7 knots. For fly fishing, he prefers to pull four teasers, lures without hooks to entice sailfish to the surface. The Sailfish are fooled into thinking it is something they usually prey on, like a bonito, flying fish, or one of several other tasty species.

The theory behind fly fishing for sailfish is quite simple. The sailfish comes up chasing and slashing at the teaser. The mate reels in the teaser with the sailfish chasing behind, and at the last second jerks the teaser from the water. At the same moment, the captain is putting the boat in neutral and the angle is casting the fly. Only a short cast is necessary. The only option for the charged-up sailfish is the fly that was just presented and a hungry sail will almost always strike it. It is really a team effort. Floating flys with a popper head works best in Costa Rica. When asked for his top three-color choices Araya replied, “pink, pink and pink!”

Teaching people or taking folks to catch their first sailfish on the fly is a passion for Araya. He says first timers or novices are his best students, because they listen well to instruction. People with saltwater fly experience sometimes seem more set in their ways and don’t always take instruction well. Every ocean is different. What works in Florida might not work so well in Costa Rica, and vice-versa.

They had been trolling nearly three hours and passed at least a half dozen “floaters,” sailfish cruising the surface with either their tail fin or their whole sail above the surface. One or two came into the teasers, took a quick sniff and faded off. The fish were definitely lazy. Araya put out a couple “naked ballyhoo” in the spread of teasers. Natural baits which will give the fish a scent to follow or even a taste, but with no hook in the bait.

Sail on the surface. Photo via Todd Staley.

Shortly, a sailfish showed up in the spread of teasers that was ready to play. It smacked the left long teaser, then charged into the short, the closest teaser to the boat. It was lit up like Christmas in a purple hue, and Araya knew with thiCosta Rica Real Estates fish it was game on.

Araya dropped the boat into neutral and hollered down to the Colorado angler to cast. In all the excitement, he remembered the captain’s instructions. “Fish it just like you would with your dry fly. When the line comes tight strike him, and hang on.” He made his cast. It was picture-perfect after that. The sail hit the fly going away, and the line immediately went tight. He struck hard. Line screamed off his reel, and the reel handle slammed into his knuckles hard for a painful initiation of hooking one of the fastest fish in the ocean.

 

 

 

Sail hook up fly. Photo via Todd Staley.

He recovered nicely, and 150 yards of line screamed off the reel while the sail did a fast-forward ballet across the surface before it slowed. The rest was simple angling knowledge. You don’t beat a big fish with strength; you beat it with finesse. It pulls left, you pull right; it pulls right, you pull left. When it runs, you rest. When it stops, you work.

He had the fish boat-side in around twenty minutes, an amazing time for a first sail on the fly. They gently released it. He even managed a second before the day was over, sin busted knuckles.

It might be months before someone can wipe the smile off his face.

The last thing he said to Franklin as he left the boat was, “see you next year — I think I am ready to try a marlin!”

Capt. Franklin Araya is willing to answer any of your questions about fly fishing in Costa Rica. On a busman holiday, he travels over to the Caribbean side of the country to tangle with tarpon on a fly. He can be reached at 8379-1702. 

Todd Staley has run fishing sport operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full-time to marine conservation and is the communications director at FECOP. Contact him at wetline@hotmail.com.

 

Please visit our friends and FECOP supporters at www.ticotimes.net

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Lost Sea Lion Visits Costa Rica for the Holiday Weekend

Yet another sign Costa Rica is a great place  for fishing as a Sea Lion – a master fisherman himself, shows up for Holy Week in Costa Rica

Sea Lion Swims Ashore on Malpaís Beach, Costa Rica

This species belongs to the family of seals and walruses, which form the group of marine mammals known as pinnipeds.

NCRNoticias.Com Editorial Staff Published: April 18, 2

This Thursday a Sea Lion was seen on a beach in Malpaís Costa Rica.

A user of social networks recorded the moment in which the mammal left the sea to perch on the rocks.

Sea lions are always in areas close to the coast and are cooler than tropical waters, so it is not common to see them in Costa Rica, but rather in South America or very in the north.

In Costa Rica, there have been sightings on the beaches of Punta de Banco, Pavones de Golfito, and San Pedrillo, in the Corcovado National Park, located in the province of Puntarenas, as reported by tourists and foresters to the press.

One possibility of the arrival of these mammals is to hunt food and move away from their natural area, it can also be by marine currents, but they do not get to stay, and they do not establish a population here.

The sea lion is a carnivore that fishes and, according to its species, is very social, so it seeks to be in large communities other sea lions.

It is very risky to say that climate change has to do with the arrival of sea lions on the coast and that a pattern and more studies should be established to verify this.

Sea lions arrive for a few days to rest, for the loss of direction or because they are sick.

A sea lion weighs between 275 and 450 kilograms and measures between 1.7 and 2.5 meters, is capable of submerging up to 186 meters and can be under water up to 40 minutes.

Also, nothing up to 40 kilometers per hour, although some people may consider him a lazy animal because he likes to relax and sunbathe.

Currently, there are six species of sea lions: California, Steller, Australian, Galápagos, New Zealand and South American. Sea Lions love fish and are frequently seen harassing fisherman for their catch in areas up North such as Mexico and the Pacific Northwest.

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Everything You Should Know About Sport Fishing in Costa Rica

EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FISHING IN COSTA RICA – THE ANGLER’S PARADISE

One of few places in the world you can average 10 or more billfish per day with the possibility of catching and releasing 4 different species the same day. Only few other places on earth that can beat that record!”
— Press Release by Danny Lombardo for EIN News

JACO, NEW YORK, COSTA RICA, April 14, 2019 – Fishing in Costa Rica – The Angler’s Paradise

Nature has endowed Costa Rica with vast swathes of rich coastal ecosystems, making it one of the best fishing destinations of the world. Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica commands 800 miles of coastline. The sportfishing opportunities here are nothing less than phenomenal.

As a top fishing destination, the country attracts thousands of eager anglers and trophy hunters every year from the US and Canada. While the most sought-after game fish in Costa Rica is the billfish (the collective name for marlin and sailfish), anglers can put their skills to test in big game involving dorado, tuna, snapper, roosterfish, and wahoo.

In the unrelenting world of sport fishing, Costa Rica manages to emerge victorious many a time, going by the fishing records, which include dozens of prestigious IGFA titles. Many a reputation has been built here. Many a record created or trounced. To illustrate from a recent example, 54 marlins were caught and released during the Offshore World Championship Billfish Tournament held this year. If you know your marlin well, it’s one tough cookie. Forget 54; getting just one could be your crowning moment.

The Best Time to Fish in Costa Rica

All seasons are not made equal and neither is the fishing experience. But the good news is that in Costa Rica, any time is a good time for fishing. Says Parker Bankston, a fishing veteran, “The ocean is calm 95% of the time. There’s great fishing to be done, no matter what the season is.”

How can this be? Aren’t summers universally the best time to fish? To understand this, we need to make ourselves familiar with how the seasons play out in Costa Rica. (Most of what is explained here applies to the Pacific Coast. The Caribbean side has slightly different weather conditions.)

The concepts of summer and winter don’t really apply to Costa Rica. The country enjoys a tropical climate and experiences two kinds of seasons – dry and wet. The average annual temperature is 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no drastic variation in temperature during the dry or wet seasons; rather the seasons are distinguished by the amount of rainfall received.

Dry Season or Verano (Dec-Apr)

The dry season is marked by clear skies and calm waters. Together, they set the stage for some serious billfishing in the Pacific. Starting December, the billfish make their way into Central Pacific. Their numbers start swelling from January through April. Many a tournament is launched, creating near frenzy among anglers to exhibit their competitive prowess.

Wet Season or Invierno (May-Nov)

It is when Costa Rica receives most of its rain, which averages 100 inches. Also called the green season, Invierno comes as a relief from the summer spell. Fortunately, the rains are mostly confined to afternoons and evenings, which leaves a window of opportunity open for fishing in the mornings. During May, June, July, and November (called the hedge months), it only rains for a few hours in the afternoon. October, by far, is the rainiest month.

Inshore Vs Offshore Sport Fishing in Costa Rica

For inexperienced anglers, the whole inshore and offshore conundrum might be a little perplexing. Does it make a difference if you are fishing inshore or offshore in Costa Rica? Yes, it does. Where does the best fishing happen, inshore or offshore? In both places. It all depends on your tastes and the expectations and goals you set for fishing in Costa Rica. Let’s first unpack this whole inshore and offshore thing before wading deeper into those waters.

Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Inshore Fishing in Costa Rica

Fishing anywhere within 30 miles of shoreline classifies as inshore fishing. The average run time is between 15 minutes to an hour, so inshore fishing trips can be made with just half a day to spare. However, once you get the taste of inshore fishing and get reeled in by a giant rooster, you’ll want to hang out the entire day. Because of the relatively relaxed style of fishing, inshore fishing is a hit with families out with kids.

Offshore Fishing in Costa Rica

If your heart is set on the deeper treasures of the ocean, the marlin, sailfish, wahoo, or yellowfin tuna, you need to head as far as 120 miles into the Pacific. Equipped with sonar, GPS, and state-of-the-art fishing gear, and steered by a hardy captain and crew, your offshore fishing trip could result in some epic encounters with the elusive marlins, which travel at a speed of 60 miles per hour.

Costa Rica Marlin Fishing

Sport fishing in Costa Rica: Legal Aspects

Fishing is an important source of income for Costa Rica and regulations are in place to ensure that fishing-related activities are responsible and the fish stock is not depleted. Here’s a quick rundown of things to be aware of when fishing in Costa Rica:

Fishing License All anglers need a valid fishing license issued by INCOPESCA, the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute. The license, which can be obtained online, costs $15 for 8 days, $30 for a month, and $50 for a year, regardless of whether you are a native or a foreigner.

Catch and Release All billfish should be live-released by law. To ensure their chances of survival, they are brought only up to the side of the boat before being released into the ocean. Anglers are free to keep and consume other fish they catch, such as snapper, dorado, tuna, and wahoo.

Start Planning Right Away!

A great time is guaranteed, no matter whether you are a new, lapsed, or an accomplished angler. Remember to pack your camera and leave your tackle behind. They aren’t as effective in the Pacific as they are in the Atlantic. All the leading fishing charters in Costa Rica are fitted with top class gear for the fast-paced fishing demanded by the Pacific.

 

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Costa Rica Billfish

What is a Billfish?

Can I Catch Billfish in Costa Rica? What are Billfish?

Billfish can be found in Costa Rica year round, and peek in various months depending on whether or not you are in the North, Central or South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Please ask your fishing lodge, or captain the best months to find these species in Costa Rica. It is illegal to remove a billfish from the water in Costa Rica, but don’t worry you can still take your photo with one while leaving the billfish safely in the water for release. Read this article by Todd Staley about why not to take billfish out of the water and the proper way to catch and release them. The most common billfish anglers release in Costa Rica are Sailfish, Pacific blue marlin, black marlin and striped marlin.  Although other billfish such as swordfish and long billed spearfish can be found in Costa Rica, they are usually difficult to fish for due to the limited access to them. Read this article by Todd Staley on why Sailfish are worth more alive then dead to Costa Rica’s National and local economies.

The term billfish refers to a group of predatory fish characterised by prominent bills, or rostra, and by their large size; some are longer than 4 m (13 ft). Billfish include sailfish and marlin, which make up the family Istiophoridae, and swordfish, sole member of the family Xiphiidae. They are apex predators which feed on a wide variety of smaller fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods. These two families are sometimes classified as belonging to the order Istiophoriformes, a group with origins in the Late Cretaceous around 71 million years ago with the two families diverging from one and another in the Late Miocene around 15 million years ago.[3] However, they are also classified as being closely related to the mackerels and tuna within the suborder Scombroidei of the order Perciformes.[4] However, the 5th edition of the Fishes of the World does recognise the Istiophoriformes as a valid order, albeit including the Sphyraenidae, the barracudas.[5]

billfish graphic Billfish are pelagic and highly migratory. They are found in all oceans,[6] although they usually inhabit tropical and subtropical waters; swordfish are found in temperate waters, as well. Billfish use their long spears or sword-like upper beaks to slash at and stun prey during feeding. Their bills can also be used to spear prey, and have been known to spear boats (probably accidentally), but they are not normally used in that way. They are highly valued as gamefish by sports fishermen.

Billfish are exploited both as food and as fish. Marlin and sailfish are eaten in many parts of the world, and many sport fisheries target these species. Swordfish are subject to particularly intense fisheries pressures, and although their survival is not threatened worldwide, they are now comparatively rare in many places where once they were abundant. The istiophorid billfishes (marlin and spearfish) also suffer from intense fishing pressures. High mortality levels occur when they are caught incidentally by longline fisheries targeting other fish.[55] Overfishing continues to “push these declines further in some species”.[56] Because of these concerns about declining populations, sport fishermen and conservationists now work together to gather information on billfish stocks and implement programs such as catch and release, where fish are returned to the sea after they have been caught. However, the process of catching them can leave them too traumatised to recover.[36] Studies have shown that circle fishing hooks do much less damage to billfish than the traditional J-hooks, yet they are at just as effective for catching billfish. This is good for conservation, since it improves survival rates after release.[57][58]

The stocks for individual species in billfish longline fisheries can “boom and bust” in linked and compensatory ways. For example, the Atlantic catch of blue marlin declined in the 1960s. This was accompanied by an increase in sailfish catch. The sailfish catch then declined from the end of the 1970s to the end of the 1980s, compensated by an increase in swordfish catch. As a result, overall billfish catches remained fairly stable.[59]

Costa Rica billfish

“Many of the world’s fisheries operate in a data poor environment that precludes predictions about how different management actions will affect individual species and the ecosystem as a whole.”[60] In recently years pop-up satellite archival tags have been used to monitor billfish. The capability of these tags to recover useful data is improving, and their use should result in more accurate stock assessments.[61] In 2011, a group of researchers claimed they have, for the first time, standardized all available data about scombrids and billfishes so it is in a form suitable for assessing threats to these species. The synthesis shows that those species which combine a long life with a high economic value, such as the Atlantic blue marlin and the white marlin, are generally threatened. The combination puts such species in “double jeopardy”.[62]

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Costa Rica Fishing Conservation: Why is the Costa Rica Tuna Decree so Important?

There is nothing like enjoying a fresh yellowfin tuna sushi, sashimi, or even a big fat juicy fresh tuna steak when your arms are almost too tired to lift the chopsticks. Recreational anglers are catching more tuna than ever all along the Costa Rican Pacific seaboard. Fighting yellowfin tuna on rod and reel is like having your line attached to a freight train. The increased availability of tuna has been a saving grace for many a charter captain in the off season for billfish.
People are asking: Why so many tuna?

In 2012 FECOP (Federacion Costarricense de Pesca), a non-governmental group made up of different sport fishing associations around the country began researching the tuna purse industry in Costa Rican waters. Territorial waters are 11 times greater than Costa Rica’s terrestrial area. Costa Rica does not have any national flagged tuna vessels and purse licenses are sold to and operated by foreign flagged vessels in Costa Rican waters. FECOP approached then President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla explaining a problem existed and she advised them to submit a project supporting their claim.

“It is estimated 25 tons of what would have been marlin bycatch in purse sein operations were saved in Costa Rican waters in 2017 alone.”

FECOP then discovered that over the 2008-2011 period, 193 purse vessels operated in Costa Rican waters while INCOPESCA the governing body of fishing in Costa Rica reported only 81 licensed vessels sold for the same period. Apparently 114 or 58% of the vessels were operating illegally. Much of the tuna never made it to port in the country. Costa Rica benefited a mere $37 a ton for tuna stored.

Knowing the government would be slow to react to just a group of sport fishers’ complaints, FECOP held meetings with the longline fleet. After decades of throwing stones at each other the two groups decided to present the project to the government together. The longline fleet expressed if there were a steady supply of tuna available they would have no interest in sailfish which are a major bycatch problem in Costa Rica with non-selective types of fishing gear.

Yellowfin Tuna Costa Rica

 

 

President Chinchilla signed the “tuna decree,” as it is known near the end of her term and newly elected President Luis Guillermo Solis delayed the publication of the decree, but it eventually passed in October of 2014. The decree protects over 200,000 square kilometers of territorial water (44%) from purse sein operations, (see map). The most important area to recreational anglers is the first 45 miles from the coastline in which sein operations are now prohibited.

In March of 2017, using data supplied by FECOP’s Director of Science Moises Mug, INCOPESCA reduced tuna purse sein licenses sold to foreign fleets from 43 vessels down to 9 for the rest of the year. The government amended the agreement and sold 13 licenses. A new decree is waiting to be signed that would only permit 8 licenses permanently. It is estimated 25 tons of what would have been marlin bycatch in purse sein operations were saved in Costa Rican waters in 2017 alone.

According to agreements in the Tuna Decree there are a few provisions that have yet to be implemented. A management plan for the coastal and special polygons. Polygons A and D on map. An onboard observer program must be created for longline fleets, and a research program including horizontal and vertical migration using archival tags. The management workshops have already begun with sport and commercial fisherman, government agencies and NGO’s all participating.

INCOPESCA, INA the governmental technical institute that trains for many occupations including different types of fishing, and FECOP have all teamed up for a year- long “greenstick” and vertical line study which started with the first voyage in October. Greenstick is a method of fishing tuna with almost zero bycatch that is common in the Atlantic side of the United States but INCOPESCA requires technical support studies done in Costa Rica before they will give licenses for fish them here. With more tuna available and a growing demand for sustainably caught tuna on the International market with a higher value at the dock, hopes are one day a portion of the longline fleet will convert to greenstick fishing. This would decrease the amount of billfish bycatch.

Cuando pensé que todo estaba bien que estaba siendo feliz que al fin Dios me recompensaba, te me vas y me dejas sola, me dejas con un vacío profundo pero sobretodo con ganas de verte una última vez de besarte y decirte lo mucho que te amo me dejaste sola en este mundo que era para los dos!! Nunca pensé sentir un Dolor ni parecido parece que pensar que esto es una pesadilla es la mejor salida porqué simplemente no veo mis días sin esa sonrisa sin tus llamadas repentinas que cambian mis días sin tus msj que me hacían pensar que todo estaría bien no me imagino mi vida sin ti que eras el hombre de mi vida te amo y no se como seguir sin ti no sé cómo se supera este dolor!!

Si en otra vida te vuelvo a encontrar me aferrare a ti tan fuerte que nunca más te volveré a soltar!!!

bycatch tremendously.

FECOP was formed in 2008 by a small group of anglers who discovered 480,000 kilos of sailfish were being exported annually into the United States. Much of this was served in seafood restaurants as smoked seafood spread and people had no idea they were eating sailfish. FECOP convinced the government to stop the exportation of sailfish but it can still be sold on the National market as a low-cost supplement to the Costa Rican diet.


The first major conservation project FECOP tackled was the creation of the largest Marine Area of Responsible Fishing in Central America. Sport fishing is allowed and small scale artisanal fishing is permitted in the Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula, but shrimp trawlers and gill nets are no longer allowed. A Golfo Dulce Commission was formed with representatives of all the users of the gulf as well as governmental agencies and NGO’s who meet monthly to manager the area.

FECOP has not existed without controversy. While the whole Costa Rican sport fishing community should have been celebrating the Tuna Decree when it passed, they were distracted by a campaign from The Billfish Foundation labeling FECOP as “quasi-green environmentalists” and a threat to sport fishing in Costa Rica. The controversy started when a FECOP member voiced his opinion at a public forum on regulating more the organized billfish tournaments in Costa Rica. TBF ran with it claiming it was FECOP’s stance to discredit the organization.
A blessing in disguise, the incident prompted FECOP to re-evaluate itself. The staff was reduced and Moises Mug, one of the most respected marine scientists in the country was hired full time. Today their agenda is quite simple. Promoting sport fishing in Costa Rica both recreationally and professionally with a focus on bycatch, research and communication. The staff is supported by a board of directors from both the recreational and professional fishing sector including sportsman and Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs who is an avid fisherman and conservationist.

Continuous maintenance of the Tuna Decree will be needed in 2018 which Dr. Mug will oversee. Henry Marin will head up a socio-economic study concentrating on coastal communities individually, demonstrating the importance of sport fishing.

One study FECOP will be doing that will be especially exciting is Pacific Tarpon. Not indigenous to Pacific waters the numbers caught on the Pacific coastline has been increasing annually. It is suspected they have come through the Panama Canal and are breeding in Pacific waters. Fish will be captured, tagged, a tissue sample taken and then released. Genetics and feeding habits can be determined by a tissue sample. The study will be done in the southern zone where more fish have been taken, but tarpon have been caught up on the Nicoya Peninsula and one was caught recently as far north as El Salvador.

More information can be found about FECOP at www.fishcostarica.org

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