Category: FECOP BLOG

Explaining The Costa Rica Tuna Decree

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

Costa Rica’s Tuna Decree Is Saving Billfish & Dolphin

Sport Fishing Generates Nearly 500 Million Dollars Annually in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Marine Resources – Sport Fishing Isn’t The Problem

Costa Rica Top Global Fishing Destination

Costa Rica Fishing Species

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Orcas Spotted In Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

Anglers catch some great Orca Video this week just outside of Cabo Matapalo

Video taken 2/28/2019 outside of Cabo Matapalo, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

More information about Orcas from Costa Rica Journeys

Common Name: Orca, Killer Whale

Type: Mammal

Family: Delphinidae

Range: Killer whales or Orca are available in most seas and all oceans. They have a massive range. However, they prefer higher latitudes and coastal areas. They can be seen swimming along the Pacific Coast to the southeast of Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. They are also available along the south Caribbean coast.

Size: The Orca male averages a length from 5.8-6.7 meter (19-22 feet.); the largest males on traced were 9.8 meter (32 feet.) However, these are averages 4.9-5.8 meter (16-19 feet.) Calves length average 2.6 meter (8.5 feet.).

Weight: Orca can gain a weight up to 6 tons (5443 kg). The Orca male averages 3,628-5,442 kg; MALE largest males recorded weighed 10,000 kg (22,000 lb.) An Orca female averages 1,361-3,628 kg. Calve has a weight 136-181 kg.

Diet: They are Carnivore, Orca normally eat fish, squid, whales, sharks, seals, octopus, sea turtles, sea gulls and penguins, Fishes, marine mammals, birds and sea turtles. Orcas have powerful teeth that are around three inches long, and one inch in diameter. An Orca can eat about 550 pounds of food every day and can take a trip several hundred miles to get seasonal prey.

Average life span: Orcas Whale average life span in the wild is 50-80 years.

Habitat: Killer Whales are found in every ocean in the world as they can be found in tropical waters, including Costa Rica ,as well as arctic waters. They can be found near coastal waters, as well as deep waters.

Breeding/Reproduction: The breeding period for Orca whale vary from winter to start of spring and it is normally executed in warm waters. The gestation period is 16-17 months. The Calves are usually born between Octobers – March. Newly bon calf weighing approximately 400 pounds and measure from 6-8 ft long and they can swim along with their mothers within 30 minutes. Normally Orca females give birth to one calf. After birth, the calves are look after by their mothers and midwives for the period of twelve months and occasionally for a longer period until they take care of themselves.

Orca or Orcinus orca is a mammal which is a part of the family of Delphinidae in the order of Cetacea. This toothed whale is also better known as killer whales. They are mostly found in all oceans and open seas from the freezing waters of Antarctica and Arctic to the tropical and temperate water of Pacific like Costa Rica. In Costa Rica alone, these whales can be seen inhabiting the pacific coast to the southeast waters of Isla del Coco, some are also seen inhabiting the pacific coast of Ballena National Marine Park, Cahuita National Park, also in the waters of Golfo Dulce, Golfo de Papagayo, Gandoca-Manzanillo and Uvita and in the natural national parks.

One of physical attributes of an orca is their black colored back with chest and sides that are white as well as a small white spot on the upper side of the eyes as well as behind the eyes. Killer whales have a bulky and strong body. It has a big frontal fin which measures up to 2 meters tall. Their teeth are robust and wrapped by enamel with a jaw that has a powerful grip. Male is much bigger than females. They have a length of 20 to 26 feet long and weighs of more than 6 tones. While the female are 16 to 23 feet in length and 3 to 4 tones in weight. Male has also much bigger pectoral fins that look like paddles than female. Orcas are known to be social since they usually live in small pods or groups. They are very close to each other that they usually swim, play and hunt together. Also they protect the younger orca in the pod from predators. They are also known as fast swimmers. Since they were considered as the second heaviest brains in the mammal species, they were tending to be noted as intelligent creatures. They can be trained by humans.

Orca breeds mostly in the winter going to early spring usually in temperate waters. They usually carry a single offspring just one time in every five years. They carry their baby from about 16 to 17 months before giving birth. When the female give birth to its calf, it is still black but with patch of yellow or orange color but as they grow it will fade to white. A calf usually measure approximately 8 feet in length and weighs around 180 kilograms. Like most mammals, the baby is being nurtured through their mother’s milk.

These killer whales eats mostly fish but will include squids and even sea turtles in their sustenance. Also they fancy some birds like penguins and seagulls or other marine mammals like seals, sea lions, walrus and even other whales. When they hunt for food they usually hunt in groups that are the reason why they are also tagged as “wolves of the sea”. Orca has these distinct habits of doing acrobatic like leaping out of the water, slapping its tail or even holding their head above water or spy hopping. They also produce different sound to communicate from other whales like clicks, whistles and calls.

Orca are considered as an apex predator meaning they are on the top of the food chain. Mostly no animals or mammals usually threatened them but just humans. Whaling or whale hunting is also common in orcas. They were killed to get oils from their body. Also it was been foreseen that these species are considered threatened to extinction because of habitat loss due to pollution in water or oil leaks as well as these type of marine life are captured for the sake of entertainment in marine National parks of Costa Rica.

Fishermen Report More Tuna, Dolphin Along Pacific Coast

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Flying Fish – A Bird in the Hand

Flying Fish Crash Lands in Boat

This guy flew inside the boat and knocked himself out!! After a quick photo and regaining consciousness he was back on his way! 😍🐟
FACTS: The Flight Process
The process of taking flight, or gliding, begins by gaining great velocity underwater, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) per hour. Angling upward, the four-winged flying fish breaks the surface and begins to taxi by rapidly beating its tail while it is still beneath the surface. It then takes to the air, sometimes reaching heights over 4 feet (1.2 meters) and gliding long distances, up to 655 feet (200 meters). Once it nears the surface again, it can flap its tail and taxi without fully returning to the water. Capable of continuing its flight in such a manner, flying fish have been recorded stretching out their flights with consecutive glides spanning distances up to 1,312 feet (400 meters). Photo: @dante_captain
#flyingfish #flying #fish #fishes #ocean #animals #amazing #nature #wildlife

More on Flying Fish from Wikipedia

The Exocoetidae are a family of marine fish in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii, known colloquially as flying fish. About 64 species are grouped in seven to nine genera. While they cannot fly in the same way as a bird does, flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water where their long wing-like fins enable gliding for considerable distances above the water’s surface. The Exocet missile is named after them, as variants are launched from underwater, and take a low trajectory, skimming the surface, before striking their prey.

The oldest known fossil of a flying or gliding fish, Potanichthys xingyiensis, dates back to the Middle Triassic, 235–242 million years ago. However, this fossil is not related to modern flying fish, which evolved independently about 66 million years ago.
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costa rica jack creavalle

Inshore Fishing – Jacks or Better to Open

Costa Rica Inshore Fishing: Jacks or Better to Open

The Tico Times

Published for the Tico Times

by Todd Staley February 23, 2019

for the better part of the year, the rivers running into the Caribbean side of Costa Rica look like coffee with cream because of the runoff, mostly from the volcanoes. The San Juan, which borders Costa Rica, Rio Colorado, Tortuguero and Parismina river mouths have become famous over the years for catching tarpon.

The coffee-colored freshwater floats on the surface of the saltwater and brings nutrients to the sea that start the chain of life. The surface water looks dirty, but a couple of feet before the water is Caribbean clear, and fish have no trouble seeing to feed. As the river water pushes offshore, it collides with a current and forms a horseshoe, leaving and coming back to shore. It is as if nature had drawn a line with dirty water on one side and Caribbean emerald on the other. One side of the current will usually be flat as a pancake and the other like a washing machine on gentle cycle. Baitfish gather on the current, and the predators move in to feed.

Captains fishing the current will usually stop about 50 yards on the clear side of the current and drift back toward it. The bait of choice for years was the old Porter Sea Hawk, and bucktail and plastic jigs. In recent years, sardines, which are jigged up on small gold hooks, have become very popular.

Rolling tarpon always gets an angler’s adrenaline pumping. Photo via Pesca sabalo.

A seasoned angler from Florida worked his jig just outside the rip. Tarpon rolled on the surface nearby and the adrenaline level was rising. Finally, a tap on the line and then the rod doubled over. The angler drove the hook home and line began to scream off the reel. He was expecting to see his line head toward the surface, as it does when a tarpon takes to the air. Instead, it dug deep and he felt that old familiar head shake. He gritted his teeth as he grunted out, “It’s a #+#*#*## Jack!” Thirty minutes later, he had a 35 lb jack next to his boat that he considered a waste of time — he could have been pulling on tarpon.

Jack Crevalle are often referred to as head-shakers, bulldogs, thumpers, or the not-so-tactful words chosen by this angler because of the way they fight when hooked. They are found on both coasts of Costa Rica. For a seasoned angler used to fishing in saltwater, they might be considered a trash fish, but for a vacationing angler from somewhere in the midwest, they are one hell of a battle.

Dan Aled with a Pacific Jack caught while filming with BBC. Photo via BBC

I truly believe if they jumped and tasted better, they would be right up there on the top of the game fish list. I remember when I was about 8 years old, when my little brother and I brought home a stringer of small jacks we had caught. My mother cooked them for dinner. I never kept another jack, although I did have one prepared by Clifford the chef on the Rain Goddess years ago in Barra del Colorado that was excellent. Local Costa Rican fishermen eat them regularly. I’m sure they know something my mother didn’t.

Jacks are ferocious eaters and fighters. They readily hit a live or dead bait, jig, popper, or almost any type of artificial offering. The Atlantic jack crevalle grows larger than its Pacific counterpart. They can grow to over 60 lbs; the Pacific species can obtain a weight of nearly 40 lbs. They are for the most part an inshore species but have occasionally ventured offshore.

If you are fishing tarpon on the Caribbean, or roosterfish on the Pacific coast, you are more than likely going to encounter a Jack crevalle. If you are dealt a hand of a pair of jacks or better, you’ve still had a good day of fishing.



Tarpon in Costa Rica’s Pacific Focus of New FECOP Study – Sport Fishing Magazine

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Costa Rica Fishing Tournament

New Women’s Tournament to Fight Child Trafficking

Quepos Hosts Women’s Fishing Tournament in Quepos, Costa Rica This Week

For the first time in Costa Rica, women who love sport fishing will go to sea in a world-class retouch to compete for the title of Best International Fisher-woman during the Billfish Championship. Registration for the tournament took place today, and competition will take place today and tomorrow at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Marina will award a trophy for the team winner and for each of its participants in each category, which include  billfish (sailfish and marlin), tuna fishing, and Dorado.

A portion of all proceeds will be donated to an amazing organization called the Seeds of Hope. They work in Costa Rica on the national and local level to combat sexual exploitation, drugs, violence and trafficking of minors.

Teams will compete for cash prizes as well.

“After all the billfish releases, a verification is made by means of videos… tuna and dorado species will be weighed in the official Roman Navy of the Pez Vela,” said Jeff Duchesneau, general manager of Marina Pez Vela. “The fisherwoman who gets more points at the end of the two fishing days will be crowned as the best in the world.”

The Marina expects approximately 30 to 40 teams in the tournament, with fisherwomen from Costa Rica, the United States, Panama, Mexico, Angola and Canada. Teams have at least two members, with a maximum of five.

In addition to the main tournament, Marina Pez Vela will have other activities on Feb. 22 and 23, such as a party to start the event, activities on the docks on the second day and a white party for the award.

Costa Rica Fishing Species

Costa Rica Top Global Fishing Destination

Fecop Costa Rica and Gray FishTag Update

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Win a Costa Rica fishing trip

Meet Last Year’s Costa Rica Fishing Trip Winner

The Costa Rica Fishing Trip of a Lifetime – Review From The Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica 2017 Sweepstakes Winner

Former specialist and now veteran Joshua Cumings and his wife Ashley Cumings won our 2017 all-inclusive Costa Rica Castaway Sweepstakes.

Joshua was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He joined the Army in February of 2003 at the age of 22 and attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at FT. Leonard Wood, MO to be a Combat Engineer/Demolitions and bomb expert. During his career, Specialist Joshua Cumings served as an Engineer Squad Leader. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His additional deployments included South Korea as a member of 2nd Infantry Division 44th Engineer Battalion Charlie Rock Sappers Air Assault Company and Kosovo as a member of KFOR (TF Falcon). During Specialist Cumings deployment to Iraq In August 2004, he and his squad survived a severe attack by enemy forces. Due to Specialist Cumings injuries during his deployment to Iraq he was later awarded a combined award of 100 % disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Please read an excellent review by Mr. and Mrs. Cumings about their vacation at Crocodile Bay Resort.

The Trip of a Lifetime!

“When you think of paradise where do you think of, Belize, Honduras, or maybe skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado? Well, let me tell you something I’ve been to all those places and nothing compares to the gorgeous lush mountains, the vibrant tropical birds and the amazing views you’re going to experience at Crocodile Bay Resort. We caught and released over 22 roosterfish, snapper and sailfish. I don’t normally go saltwater fishing, but  this was just beyond amazing.

The Resort Staff

The resort staff was out of this world. Olimpia, one of the main concierge’s was phenomenal, she was always there to make sure we had everything we needed like a mom making sure her kids had the best time possible. And her cookies are out of this world. Her son Anthony was just as kind and made sure we had a great time doing some charter fishing.

Pura Vida

The locals have a saying in Costa Rica. Pura Vida! The saying simply translates to “Simple Life”. In Costa Rica it really is all about the simple and pure life. Everything just kind of slows down when you come to the Osa Peninsula. People here really know how to make you feel at home and treat you like family here. As an American that works an average of 60-80hr work weeks we don’t tend to know how to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Like just going for a walk down the road and enjoying the wild life and the beautiful scenery.

The Food

The food that we enjoyed at the resort was out of this world. Expertly prepared in traditional plating the chef certainly knows what he’s doing. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and always fresh with an amazing flair for thinking outside the box with unique flavors. For example, we had a bowl of the pumpkin crème soup, braised and barbequed pork ribs and a local root that’s mashed and tastes like mashed potatoes that have amazing flavor as well as traditional beans and rice and a side salad.

Always going the extra mile!

Our last night at the resort the chef asked me what my wife’s favorite dessert was and I told him “Anything to do with chocolate”! He then said to me “I have the perfect dessert for her then that I shall create”. The desert that was made was so beautiful I was almost sad to eat it. But then, we took one bite and couldn’t stop. From the fresh cream and strawberries to the basil and coco locally sourced for the chocolate lava cake it was all amazing. And just the thought that was put into making our last night special simply put, makes Crocodile Bay Resort the ultimate home away from home destination with every accommodation imaginable.

In closing, if you’re looking for a world class resort with one of a kind sport fishing spectacular views, phenomenal customer service, and an experience that is unrivaled in one of the most exotic and beautiful places on earth then Crocodile Bay Resort is the place to go. From a several tour combat veteran and his wife, Thank you so much to the owners and staff for a once in a lifetime experience at Crocodile Bay Resort and until next time Pura Vida!”

Respectfully,Joshua and Ashley Cumings
Baldwinsville, NY.



 You can sign up here for a shot at winning this year’s fishing trip at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica!

Gray Roosterfish Tagging Update by Todd Staley

Win a 5 Night Costa Rica Fishing Trip for Two at Crocodile Bay Resort

Costa Rica Sets the Bar High for Sport Fishing

Gray Roosterfish Tagging Update by Todd Staley

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Costa Rica Fishing Tournament Calendar

Costa Rica Fishing Tournament Calendar

Costa Rica Fishing Tournament Calendar

January – March 2019


The triple crown consists of three annual tournaments, in January, February and March each year, and is fished out of the world class Los Sueños Resort and Marina in Costa Rica.

LEG I January 16 – January 19   LEG II February 27 – March 2

LEG III March 27- March 30

Email:   For info call:  506-2630-4000


January 12 & 13, 2019


Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Puntarenas Costa Rica

The PELAGIC Rockstar! Offshore Tournament is a team event with cash, prizes, and awards estimated to over $200,000.

2 Day Tournament Big and Small Boat Divisions      Contact:


February 22 & 23, 2019


2 Day Ladies Only Tournament

Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Puntarenas Costa Rica



March 14 – 17, 2019


3 Days – Hosted by Club Amateur de Pesca

Marina Pez Vela, Costa Rica   Contact:


March 15, 16 & 17 2019


2 Day Tournament

Big and Small Boat Divisions

Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Puntarenas Costa Rica



April 26 & 27, 2019


2 Day Tournament

Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Puntarenas Costa Rica



May 3, 4 & 5, 2019


$3500 per person – 4 per boat (light tackle)

$3995 per person – 3 per boat (fly fishing)

For info visit:

August 9-11, 2019


The tournament’s mission statement is to publicize Flamingo as the fishing destination that it used to be by helping charter captains book clients to fish this event. It will also create an increased awareness of Flamingo and the northern Pacific region of Costa Rica as a world class fishing destination. Charter Boats are Encouraged!  For more contact or visit

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Bluefin Trevally

Costa Rica Fishing Species – Bluefin Trevally

Trevally, bluefin
(Caranx melampygus)

The bluefin trevally, Caranx melampygus (also known as the bluefin jack, bluefin kingfish, bluefinned crevalle, blue ulua, omilu and spotted trevally), is a species of large, widely distributed marine fish classified in the jack family, Carangidae. The bluefin trevally is distributed throughout the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging from Eastern Africa in the west to Central America in the east, including Japan in the north and Australia in the south. The species grows to a maximum known length of 117 cm and a weight of 43.5 kg, however is rare above 80 cm. Bluefin trevally are easily recognised by their electric blue fins, tapered snout and numerous blue and black spots on their sides. Juveniles lack these obvious colours, and must be identified by more detailed anatomical features such as fin ray and scute counts. The bluefin trevally inhabits both inshore environments such as bays, lagoons and shallow reefs, as well as deeper offshore reefs, atolls and bomboras. Juveniles prefer shallower, protected waters, even entering estuaries for short periods in some locations.

The bluefin trevally is a strong predatory fish, with a diet dominated by fish and supplemented by cephalopods and crustaceans as an adult. Juveniles consume a higher amount of small crustaceans, but transfer to a more fish based diet as they grow. The species displays a wide array of hunting techniques ranging from aggressive midwater attacks, reef ambushes and foraging interactions with other larger species, snapping up any prey items missed by the larger animal. The bluefin trevally reproduces at different periods throughout its range, and reaches sexual maturity at 30–40 cm in length and around 2 years of age. It is a multiple spawner, capable of reproducing up to 8 times per year, releasing up to 6 million eggs per year in captivity. Growth is well studied, with the fish reaching 194 mm in its first year, 340 mm in the second and 456 mm in the third year. The bluefin trevally is a popular target for both commercial and recreational fishermen. Commercial fisheries record up to 50 tonnes of the species taken per year in the west Indian Ocean, and around 700 lbs per year in Hawaii. The rapid decimation of the Hawaiian population due to overfishing has led to increased research in the aquaculture potential of the species, with spawning achieved in captivity

The bluefin trevally is a large fish, growing to a maximum known length of 117 cm and a weight of 43.5 kg,[6] however it is rare at lengths greater than 80 cm.[7] It is similar in shape to a number of other large jacks and trevallies, having an oblong, compressed body with the dorsal profile slightly more convex than the ventral profile, particularly anteriorly. This slight convexity leads to the species having a much more pointed snout than most other members of Caranx.[8] The dorsal fin is in two parts, the first consisting of 8 spines and the second of 1 spine followed by 21 to 24 soft rays. The anal fin consists of 2 anteriorly detached spines followed by 1 spine and 17 to 20 soft rays.[9] The pelvic fins contain 1 spine and 20 soft rays.[10] The caudal fin is strongly forked, and the pectoral fins are falcate, being longer than the length of the head. The lateral line has a pronounced and moderately long anterior arch, with the curved section intersecting the straight section below the lobe of the second dorsal fin. The curved section of the lateral line contains 55-70 scales[10] while the straight section contains 0 to 10 scales followed by 27 to 42 strong scutes. The chest is completely covered in scales.[11] The upper jaw contains a series of strong outer canines with an inner band of smaller teeth, while the lower jaw contains a single row of widely spaced conical teeth. The species has 25 to 29 gill rakers in total and there are 24 vertebrae present.[7] The eye is covered by a moderately weakly developed adipose eyelid, and the posterior extremity of the jaw is vertically under or just past the anterior margin of the eye.[7] Despite their wide range, the only geographical variation in the species is the depth of the body in smaller specimens.[5]

The upper body of the bluefin trevally is a silver-brassy colour, fading to silvery white on the underside of the fish, often with blue hues. After they reach lengths greater than 16 cm, blue-black spots appear on the upper flanks of the fish, with these becoming more prolific with age.[9] There is no dark spot on the operculum. The species takes its name from the colour of its dorsal, anal and caudal fins, which are a diagnostic electric blue. The pelvic and pectoral fins are white, with the pectoral fin having a yellow tinge. Juvenile fish do not have the bright blue fins, instead have dark fins with the exception of a yellow pectoral fin.[8] Some juvenile fish have also been recorded as having up to five dark vertical bars on their sides.[5]


A bluefin trevally photographed in the Maldives; this species is widely distributed

The bluefin trevally is widely distributed, occupying the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, ranging along the coasts of four continents and hundreds of smaller islands and archipelagos.[7] In the Indian Ocean, the species easternmost range is the coast of continental Africa, being distributed from the southern tip of South Africa[12] north along the east African coastline to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The species’ range extends eastwards along the Asian coastline including Pakistan, India and into South East Asia, the Indonesian Archipelago and northern Australia.[6] The southernmost record from the west coast of Australia comes from Exmouth Gulf.[13] Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, the species has been recorded from hundreds of small island groups including the Maldives, Seychelles, Madagascar and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.[6]

The bluefin trevally is abundant in the central Indo-Pacific region, found throughout all the archipelagos and offshore islands including Indonesia, Philippines and Solomon Islands. Along continental Asia, the species has been recorded from Malaysia to Vietnam and mainland China.[6] Its offshore range does extend north to Hong Kong, Taiwan and southern Japan in the north western Pacific.[7][10] In the south, the species reaches as far south as Sydney in Australia.[13] Its distribution continues throughout the western Pacific including Tonga, Western Samoa and Polynesia, and the Hawaiian Islands.[11][14] The easternmost limit of the species distribution is the Mesoamerican coastline between Mexico and Ecuador in the central eastern Pacific,[7] including islands such as the Galápagos Islands.[15]


bluefin trevally

A lone bluefin trevally patrolling a coral reef, one of the species most common habitats

The bluefin trevally occurs in a wide range of inshore and offshore marine settings throughout its range, including estuarine waters. The species is known to move throughout the water column; however is most often observed in a demersal setting, swimming not far from the seabed.[16] In the inshore environment, the species is present in almost all settings including bays, harbours, coral and rocky reefs, lagoons, sand flats and seagrass meadows.[17][18][19] Juveniles and subadults are more common in these settings, and prefer these more protected environments, where they live in water to a minimum of around 2 m depth.[20] Adults tend to prefer more exposed, deeper settings such as outer reef slopes, outlying atolls and bomboras, often near drop offs,[15] with the species reported from depths up to 183 m.[20] Adults often enter shallower channels, reefs and lagoons to feed at certain periods during the day.[17] The bluefin trevally displays some habitat partitioning with giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis, tending to be more common outside the major bays than their relatives.[21]

Juvenile and subadult bluefin trevally have been recorded in estuaries in several locations,[18] and generally occupy large, open estuaries up to the middle reaches of the system. These estuaries are often lined by mudflats and mangroves, however the species rarely enters these shallow waters.[22] Individuals of between 40 and 170 mm have been recorded in South African estuaries, where they are the least tolerant carangid to the brackish and freshwater conditions of these systems. Bluefin trevally can tolerate salinities of between 6.0 and 35 ‰, and only occupy clear, low turbidity waters. There is evidence the species is only resident in these estuaries for short periods.[23] The species is also absent from coastal lakes that many other carangids are known from.[22]

Biology and ecology

The bluefin trevally is a schooling species as a juvenile, transitioning to a more solitary fish with well defined home ranges as an adult.[24] Adults do school to form spawning aggregations or temporarily while hunting, with evidence from laboratory studies indicates bluefin trevally are able to coordinate these aggregations over coral reefs based on the release of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) from the reef. DMSP is a naturally occurring chemical produced by marine algae and to a lesser extent corals and their symbiotic zooxanthellae.[25] The number of fish present in an area is also influenced by tidal factors and possibly the abundance of prey and other environmental factors.[24] Tracking studies in Hawaii have found bluefin trevally patrol back and forth along a home range of patch reef walls during the day, only stopping for variable periods where major depth changes or discontinuities in the reef were present. Several fish patrol the same reef patch, reversing direction where the others do. While most fish patrol the one reef, some have been observed to make excursions to nearby reefs, before returning to their home reef later.[26] Night time movements are less extensive than daytime movements, with the trevally moving rapidly between several small reef sections, before slowing down and milling in one patch for around an hour. The fish living in a particular region congregate in one area at night, before returning to their individual daytime range during the day. The reason for this congregation is unclear, but may be important to the social structure of the species.[26] Long term studies have found the fish may range up to 10.2 km over several months, however, is much less restricted in its movements than its relative, the giant trevally.[27] A Hawaiian biomass study found the species to be one of the most abundant large predators in the islands, however it is less abundant in the heavily exploited Main Hawaiian Islands compared to the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The main difference in these populations was the relative lack of large adult fish in the inhabited areas compared to the remote, unfished regions.[28] A study on carangids caught during a fishing tournament in Hawaii found the bluefin trevally is the most common trevally species taken, accounting for over 80% of the carangid catch. The authors note that this may not only reflect its abundance, but also it vulnerability to specific fishing methods used in the tournament.[21] Apart from the typical predator-prey relationship the species shows (described later), an individual of the species has been seen to rub itself against the skin of a Galapagos shark, apparently to rid itself of parasites. This behaviour is also observed in rainbow runner and is a rare example of a commensal cleaner relationship where the cleaner does not gain anything.[29]

Diet and feeding

A school of bluefin trevally working a baitball of anchovies

The bluefin trevally is a fast swimming, mainly piscivorous predator[30] which shows a wide range in hunting techniques.[31] Two studies of adult fish in Hawaii found fish to be the dominant food type in the species, making up over 95% volume of the stomach contents by weight.[21] Here the main fish selected were small reef dwellers, with fish from the families Labridae, Mullidae, Scaridae and Priacanthidae being the most common. Despite the preference of several families, bluefin trevally do take a very wide variety of fish in small amounts, including various species of eel.[16][21] The species appears to have a preference for fish of a specific size, which depends on its own length and age.[32] Cephalopods (mainly octopus or squid)[21] and a wide array of crustaceans are also taken in smaller quantities, with shrimps, stomatopods and crabs being the most common.[12][16] The diet of juveniles in Hawaiian and South African estuaries has also been determined, with these younger fish having a more crustacean based diet than the adults.[18][23] In Hawaii, crustaceans make up 96% of the gut contents numerically, with tanaids and isopods dominating the diet, while fish (mainly gobioids) only make up 4% numerically.[18] Juveniles less than 170 mm in South African estuaries feed predominantly on mysids and paenid prawns, before shifting to a more fish based diet at larger sizes. Small fish are able to effectively filter these small crustaceans from the water, while adults are not.[23] In both cases, a transition to a more fish based diet with age was found to occur, although the length at which this transition occurred varied between location.[18] The diet overlap with the similar C. ignobilis is low in the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting there is some separation of feeding niches.[16] Calculations suggest each individual bluefin trevally consumes around 45 kg of fish per year on average, making it one of the most effective predators in this habitat.[16]

The bluefin trevally displays a remarkable array of hunting techniques, ranging from midwater attacks to ambush and taking advantage of larger forage fish. The species is reported to hunt during the day, particularly at dawn and dusk in most locations;[30] however it is known to be a nocturnal feeder in South Africa.[12] The bluefin trevally hunts both as a solitary individual and in groups of up to 20, with most fish preferring an individual approach.[24] In groups, these fish will rush their prey, and disperse the school, allowing for isolated individuals to be picked out and eaten,[24] much in the way the related species, giant trevally have been observed to do in captivity.[33] In some cases, only one individual in a group will attack the prey school. Where the prey is schooling reef fishes, once the prey school has been attacked, the trevally chases down the prey as they scatter back to cover in the corals, often colliding with coral as they attempt to snatch a fish.[31] While hunting in midwater, fish swim both against and with the tide, although significantly more fish hunt when swimming with the tide (i.e. ‘downstream’), suggesting some mechanical advantage is gained when hunting in this mode.[24] Another method of attack is ambush; in this mode the trevally change their colour to a dark pigmentation state and hide behind large coral lumps close to where the aggregations (often spawning reef fish) occur.[31] Once the prey is close enough to the hiding spot, the fish ram the base of the school, before chasing down individual fish. These dark fish in ambush mode vigorously drive away any other bluefin trevally that stray too close to the aggregation.[31] Ambushes have also been observed on small midwater planktivorous fishes are moving to or from the shelter of the reef.[24] In many cases, the species uses changes in the depth of the reef such as ledges to conceal its ambush attacks. Bluefin trevally also enter lagoons as the tide rises to hunt small baitfish in the shallow confines, leaving as the tide falls.[34] The species is also known to follow large rays, sharks and other foraging fish such as goatfish and wrasse around sandy substrates, waiting to pounce on any disturbed crustaceans or fish which are flushed out by the larger fish.[30][35]

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Costa Rica Sport Fishing

Costa Rica Top Global Fishing Destination

FECOP Sponsor Mammoth CoolersCosta Rica : A Paradise for World Class Sport Fishing


Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the most important destinations for sport fishing aficionados in the world.

The variety of marine species found in Costa Rican waters is the main factor that makes Costa Rica ideal for the practice of this activity.

“We can say that the country has an impressive richness, it is considered one of the most important places in Latin America”, commented Henry Marin, coordinator of Strategy and Projects of the Costa Rican Fishing Federation (Fecop).

Learn More About Costa Rica Fishing Species

Blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin,and  sailfish, are just some of the many species found in the waters of this beautiful country.

Sport, recreation and tourism come together in this activity that, contrary to what many think, does not affect the ecosystem. The “catch and release” sport fishing practice frees fish without harming them and at the same time the coastal areas of the country receive the benefits of tourism.

On average a tourist that comes to practice sport fishing spends ten times more than the average visitor. A fisherman can spend a day between $1,000 to $1,500 dollars, compared to the $100 to $125 that the regular tourist spends. The sport is expensive but those who have this lifestyle seek the best experiences, the best restaurants and the best hotels”, stated Jeff Duchesneau, manager of Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, Puntarenas.

“Our sport fishing clients in particular expect nothing but the absolute best, the best boats, the best service, the best amenities and most importantly the best fishing. Once most anglers experience the Los Sueños community many decide to make it a second home” stated Michael Hardy , Owner of HRG properties and rentals, Los Sueños, Herradura.

“There are four distinct regions in Costa Rica for saltwater sport fishing: Northern Pacific, centered around Flamingo and Papagayo; Central Pacific, consisting of Quepos / Jaco/Los Sueños; Southern Pacific/Golfito; and the Caribbean. Each has its own season for certain species, while others may be found there year-round”.

Fecop has begun the process to have sport fishing recognized as a sport activity by the Costa Rican Institute of Sport and Recreation (ICODER).

The International Confederation of Sport Fishing which has over 50 million members in 77 countries also began the request with the International Olympic Committee to incorporate this activity.

“Our goal is to have sport fishing as part of the Pan-American Games, and make it an Olympic Sport just as surf or table tennis that manage to incorporate for 2020. It is time for this to be part of the most important events”, said Carlos Cavero, director of Fecop.

Fecop was clear that the country still has a long way to go, commercial fishing boats continue to invade the areas were sport fishing is practiced affecting the quantity of marine a life. The Costa Rican Fishing Institute (INCOPESCA) has recognized the lack of government control in this aspect, for instance, even though they have extended a little over 1000 licenses for local fishermen records show that in reality there could be between 6000-15,000 fishermen today.


Costa Rica’s Tuna Decree Is Saving Billfish & Dolphin

Gray FishTag Recovers a Satellite Tag off the Coast in Costa Rica

Do I Need a Fishing License in Costa Rica?

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saltwater fishing knots

The Best Salt Water Fishing Knots

The Best Fishing Knots Of All Time [Ranked Strongest To Weakest]

By: Luke Simonds for SaltStrong Online

It’s fishing knot time!

Do you want to know something that might shock you about fishing knots?

After testing hundreds of fishing knots over the past couple of years, I’ve learned one very important lesson…

The “100% fishing knot” is a myth.



Yes, simple physics is the reason why. Pretty much all knots will create a weak point on the line given that it creates a point on the line where a max load is hitting it from more than just one direction.

And although there are some instances where the main line (or leader) will break before the knot fails, there is no single knot that can always do that with all types of lines.

So step #1 in using the strongest possible knots for your fishing needs is to understand that there is no such thing as a “100% knot”…

And if you hear someone say that their knot is 100% without any exclusions, then they likely have never tested it out in a controlled test with multiple lines, so I be wary of their recommendation.

Here’s the hard truth…

Your favorite fishing knot is weak, and so is mine

This is simply due to the fact the contorting line and creating hard turns that get put under tension will always create a weak point in the line making it the weakest point in the system (assuming that the main line is not compromised).

Note: This weak point is almost always at the first hard turn in the top section of the knot coming from the main line, so it most often leaves a clean break which looks like the mainline simply snapped when an angler examines the line after a break-off. 

Now that we’re past the first hurdle (acceptance), step #2 is to actually test our knots to make sure that you don’t lose the fish of a lifetime due using a knot that isn’t the absolute best for each connection in your line system.

To help save you time in testing knots, I’ll be displaying results from my continued testing on this page.

Best of all, the individual fishing knots will be ranked based on their strength & performance results for the following knot connection categories:

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)


Knot Category Groupings

Feel free to use the links below to skip down to the knot connection that you’re most interested in. Otherwise, you can simply scroll down to see all of the knots.

And if you don’t see your favorite knot listed, just leave a comment on the bottom of this post (click here) and I’ll add it to my list of fishing knots to evaluate.

So let’s get started…

Definition of Bad, Good, & Great Fishing Knots

best fishing knots

Before going on the knot strength results, it is essential that we first all understand the different categories of knots in terms of their strength:

  • Bad Knot: unravels/slips when under heavy tension
  • Good Knot: does not unravel or slip (it breaks before unraveling)
  • Great Knot: does not unravel/slip and has a higher breaking point than “Good knots”

How To Determine A Bad Knot

A bad knot is very easy to see because it leaves behind the telltale sign of trouble… the curly tag end.

Yes, the curly tag end that you may have seen after a break-off means that the knot used was either a bad knot, or there was a poor job in tying a good/great knot.

So if you ever see the curly end after a break-off, do not tie the same knot the same way because it’ll likely happen again.

How To Determine A Good Knot vs. A Great Knot

The difference between a Good knot and a Great knot requires the act of intentionally breaking them under a controlled test to see how much tension they can hold before the break occurs.

This is the missing link that most anglers overlook because it requires time and effort.

I am the perfect example of this because I was even fishing tournaments with money and pride at stake and never even bothered to actually test my personal knots.

And when I finally did test my knots, I was shocked at the results… the very first test I did revealed that I was getting 30% less strength than I otherwise would have had I been simply using a different knot for my line to leader connection (replacing the Double-Uni knot with the FG knot… both shown below).

So I highly recommend testing out your knots. And if you’d like a shortcut, this page shows the results from my testing below to help guide you to the best knots from my many tests done so far.

And I’ll continually update this “best fishing knot” post as more and more knots are tested so that you can have the latest and greatest data.

So if you want to save time while maximizing your line strength, this post is for you.

What Are The Best Fishing Knots?

There are many different types of lines which in many cases have completely different textures, sizes, and friction coefficients.

So we’ll be evaluating knots based on the type of line used within these general line categories:

  • Braid
  • Monofilament/Fluorocarbon
  • Wire (Coming soon)
  • Flyline (Coming soon)

And to truly evaluate a fishing knot, it is essential to focus each test on a specific type of connection because a knot that is very good for line-to-line connections is often not good at all for line-to-lure connections (and visa-Aversa).

So we’ll break out the rankings shown below into the following connections types for each line category:

  • Line-to-Line Knots
  • Line-to-Hook/Lure Knots [Snug]
  • Line-to-Hook/Lure Knots [Loop]

Let’s get started!

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)


Best Fishing Knots for Braided Line

braided fishing line

Braided line has quickly become an extremely popular choice for inshore anglers because it allows for longer casts and better feel of lures given that its strength to diameter ratio is so much higher than mono/fluoro lines.

Plus, it has very little stretch which enables the angler to feel even the lightest of taps on the other end of the line.

But braid requires much for friction within the knot compared to monofilament so it almost always requires a different knot than the traditional knots used on mono.

Best Braid to Leader Knots

To kick things off, we’ll start with the most important of all connections for most saltwater anglers who use a lighter main line to connect to a stronger leader.

This setup is becoming very common because it allows for the overall system to have optimal casting performance (due to the lighter line in the reel) while having a stronger leader line at the business end to hold up to the sharp teeth and/or rough mouths of the target species.

Fluorocarbon is the most commonly used monofilament leader these days since it’s known for being less visible in the water while also being more resistant to abrasions, so this analysis is focused on connecting a braided line to a fluorocarbon leader.

Here are the top 5 ranking knots based on the knot tests I’ve done so far:

  1. PR Bobbin Knot [requires tools]
    1. Pro: This is an extremely strong knot when tied correctly
    2. Con: Requires tools to tie and takes a long time (extremely tough to do while on the water)
  2. FG Knot*
    • Pro: Thinnest knot I’ve ever seen while also having the highest breaking strength.
    • Con: Requires a strong cinch before cutting the tags so that it fully locks into place.
      • Note: Only use this knot if tying a braided line to a stronger mono/fluoro leader.
  3. 6 Turn Surgeon’s Knot
    • Pro: Very quick to tie while having a shocking strong breaking point and can be tied using lines of any size
    • Con: Bulkier and slightly weaker than the FG knot
  4. Doubled-Over Double Uni Knot
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie and it can be used for all connections
    • Con: Up to 30% weaker than the FG knot in my tests
  5. Crazy Alberto Knot
    • Pro: Nice low profile knot with a strong breaking point
    • Con: Up to 30% weaker than the FG knot in my tests
  6. Improved Albright
    • Pro: Nice low profile knot with a strong breaking point
    • Con: Weaker than the FG knot and the Crazy Alberto

Click here to see the first contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Doubled Braid-to-Leader Knots

Many anglers like to double the braid by forming a loop at the end of the braid and then tying a line-to-line knot to connect the doubled braid to the leader.

In many instances, this does increase the overall line strength for anglers who are using a lighter braid relative to the leader.

However, the FG knot tied on a single line has proven to outperform the doubled knot connections in most of my testing. The only combination that consistently beats the single line FG knot is the use of the FG knot to connect a doubled line formed by the Bimini Twist to the leader.

Line Doubling Knots [Braid]

  1. Bimini Twist
    • Pro: Extremely strong doubling knot
    • Con: It often requires more twists (30+) with braid so that it won’t slip
  2. Spider Hitch
    • Pro: Faster to tie than the Bimini Twist
    • Con: Not as strong as the Bimini Twist
  3. Surgeon Loop (6-turn)
    • Pro: Extremely fast to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Bimini Twist

Doubled Line To Leader Knots [Braid to Fluoro]

  1. FG Knot
    • Pro: Thinnest knot I’ve ever seen while also having the highest breaking strength.
    • Con: Requires a very strong cinch before cutting the tags so that it fully locks into place.
      • Note: Only use this knot if tying a braided line to a stronger mono/fluoro leader.
  2. No-Name Knot (aka- Bristol Knot)
    • Pro: Quick and easy knot to tie
    • Con: Not as strong as the FG knot
  3. Yucatan Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie (very similar to Bristol knot)
    • Con: Not as strong as the FG knot

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Braid-to-Swivel/Lure/Hook Knots

This next category is focused for anglers who use braided line and like to use swivels.

But it could also be useful if you like to use connect your braided line directly to your terminal tackle (although I do not recommend tying directly to your lure or hook using braid because fish can see it so much better than mono/fluoro… instead, use a ~20 to 30 inch leader in between your braid and lure/hook).

  1. Braid Uni Knot
    • Pro: Great knot that is very strong and easy to tie
    • Con: Although an easy knot to tie, some are faster
  2. San Diego Jam Knot
    • Pro: Strong knot that is easy and quick to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Modified Uni Knot
  3. Palomar Knot
    • Pro: Very fast and easy to tie
    • Con: Not as strong with braid as it is with mono
  4. Orvis Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: Not as strong with braid as it is with mono
  5. Improved Cinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: This knot doesn’t perform well with braid (prone to slippage)
  6. Clinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy to tie
    • Con: This knot doesn’t perform well with braid (prone to slippage)

Click here to see results from a contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Fishing Knots for Monofilament/Fluorocarbon Line

best fishing knots for mono line

Monofilament line is used by almost all anglers in some capacity, so I’ve done many tests with knots using mono line.

For tests that I’ve done for my personal use, I focused on Fluorocarbon line, which is a specific type of mono.

Many anglers use Fluorocarbon for their leader material since it’s known to be stronger the less visible than traditional monofilament line.

Here’s what I’ve tested so far:

Best Mono-to-Mono Knots

Here are the top mono-to-mono knots that I have tested:

  1. 3 Turn Surgeon’s Knot*
    • Pro: Extremely easy and fast knot to tie with very strong holding strength
    • Con: Need to tie this before tying on a lure or hook
  2. SS Knot
    • Pro: Versatile knot connection with an impressive breaking strength
    • Con: Not quite as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  3. Double Uni Knot
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie and it can be used for all connections
    • Con: Not as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  4. Albright Special
    • Pro: Easy knot to tie that looks very nice once completed
    • Con: Not as fast or strong as the Surgeon’s knot
  5. Blood Knot
    • Pro: Easy to tie with lines of similar size
    • Con: Not as effective with lines of different diameters

Click here to see results from a contest I hosted for this connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best Line-to-Hook Knots [Mono/Fluoro]

Now that we covered the very important line-to-line connection, let’s dig in to the best fishing knots for connecting our hooks and lures to the end of the line.

For this category, we’ll split it up into two sections to cover the two core different types of connections:

  1. Loop Knot – Leaves a loop so that the lure/hook has more range of motion in the water (less strength compared to snug)
  2. Snug Knot – Line hugs around hook/lure eye forming a strong connection (less range of motion)

Note: I’ve specifically focused on fluorocarbon line since it’s the most popular for saltwater anglers… if you want me to test these with standard mono, just let me know and I’ll add it to this post.

Best Loop Knot to Lure/Hook

When fishing with artificial lures, using a loop knot is an advantage because it allows the lure to have more motion in the water which most often leads to more strikes.

But the downside is that loop knots are not as strong as snug knots, so that needs to be taken into account when selecting your leader line size and when setting drag.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Rapala Loop Knot
    • Pro: The strongest loop knot I’ve tested so far
    • Con: Takes a bit longer to tie than many others and leaves a tag end facing up which can snag weeds/debris
  2. Non-Slip Loop Knot (aka. Kreh Loop)*
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie and has a tag end that points down towards the lure (more weedless)
    • Con: Just a tad weaker than the Rapalla knot
  3. Figure 8 Loop Knot
    • Pro: Tested to be very strong (very close to Rapalla Loop Knot
    • Con: Takes longer to tie than the Non-Slip Loop knot and does not have a weedless tag end
  4. Perfection Loop Knot
    • Pro: Strong loop knot that is quick to tie
    • Con: Tougher to tie since this knot requires the hook/lure to pass through a loop
  5. Canoe Man Loop Knot
    • Pro: Extremely fast loop knot to tie
    • Con: Strength test was great with traditional mono, but it didn’t perform nearly as well with fluorocarbon

Click here to see the first contest I did with this important connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

Best “Snug” Knot to Lure/Hook

When going for maximum strength when having action in the water is not as important, then the snug knot is the way to go because a good snug knot will be a significant amount stronger than a good loop knot.

Here’s my ranking of the Snug knots that I’ve tested so far:

  1. Palomar Knot
    • Pro: Very strong knot that is easy to tie when using bare hooks
    • Con: Can become cumbersome when using larger lures because it requires the lure pass through a loop
  2. Uni Knot
    • Pro: Good knot that is fairly quick to tie and can be used for almost any connection
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Palomar knot
  3. Orvis Knot*
    • Pro: Very quick and easy knot to tie that is very strong
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Palomar knot
  4. Clinch Knot
    • Pro: Quick and easy knot to tie
    • Con: Not as fast and easy as the Orvis Knot nor as strong as the Palomar Knot
  5. Double Davy Knot
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie (just 1 more twist vs. the Davie Knot)
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Orvis knot which is just as easy to tie
  6. Davy Knot
    • Pro: Very quick and easy to tie
    • Con: Not quite as strong as the Orvis knot which is just as easy to tie

Click here to see the first contest I did with this important connection.

Note: If your favorite knot isn’t included, leave a comment below and I’ll test it out and add it to the list.

More test data getting added soon, so be sure to bookmark this page!


best fishing knots

Of the many factors that determine if you land the fish of a lifetime that you hook, the one that we have 100% control over is the quality of the knots that we use.

So it’s essential for us to select the absolute best fishing knot for each connection to get the most overall line strength.

You have certainly heard the saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link…” Well, a rod, reel, and an angler are only as strong as the knot between them and the fish.

Make it count.

There isn’t (and never will be) one fishing knot that can do everything with all line types and connection needs, so make sure to be mindful of the knot options you have for each connection need you have.

This post will continually grow over time as knot suggestions come in, so leave a comment below letting us know of any other knots you’d like us to add to this analysis.

Note: The * symbols next to the knots listed above are the ones that I personally use for each of the respective connections.

The tests have been done using 10 to 20 lb PowerPro tied to 20 to 30 lb Ande and Seaguar fluorocarbon.

Do You Know The STRONGEST Fishing Knot For Every Situation?

The results of these knot strength tests might surprise you!

Click here to download the FREE “Ultimate Fishing Knot PDF Guide” (only takes a few seconds)


Related Posts:

1. How To Tie The Perfect Leader Assembly For Inshore Fishing

2. What Is The Proper Drag Tension To Use For A Fishing Reel?

3. How To Get A Hooked Fish Out Of Structure Without Breaking Off


P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would enjoy seeing this, please Tag them or Share this with them.

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