A Guide to Costa Rica Fishing Species


Costa Rica is famous for it’s diverse fishery Costa Rica Roosterfish Tournamentinshore and off. It is in Costa Rica where going inshore for catch and release roosterfish and offshore for sailfish or marlin (billfish) can be accomplished in a single day.

Costa Rica’s  inshore volcanic coastline (Pacific side) offers anglers a full on buffet that includes some of the most sought after trophy fish on the planet. Over 10 variety of snapper alone can be found in and around Costa Rica’s South Pacific in the inshore waters surrounding places like Puerto Jimenez and Golfito. Another species that draws anglers from around the globe is the coveted roosterfish. Deriving it’s name from the spectacular seven spine comb on the dorsal fin, Costa Rica roosterfish average 10 to 15 lbs but individuals of 50 – 70+ lbs are not uncommon in Costa Rica. Roosterfish can be caught year round in Costa Rica. Cubera snapper (See FECOP article How to Catch Cubera Snapper), African pompano, Bluefin Trevally, grouper, mackerel and a variety of jacks round out the cast of characters one can run into while fishing inshore.

The main attraction offshore is sailfish and Pacific blue marlin (learn what FECOP is doing to do to keep billfish numbers healthy in Costa Rica) Anglers don’t have to venture far to get into bluewater to catch and release these amazing predators. When the porpoises are running thick schools of yellowfin tuna can caught, and wahoo can also surprise you any day of the week. Check local fishing reports and resorts/lodges to find out when the billfish bite is hot as it varies from the north to the south.

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, in the North, is famous for its population of hard fighting tarpon and tasty snook that can be found in and around the river-mouths. Click any of the species below for more information.

Related Articles About Costa Rica Fish Species

Costa Rica Fishing Species Pacific Sailfish

Costa Rica Fishing – Blue Marlin Biology

Costa Rica Fishig Species – Snook

10 Intersting Facts About Tarpon

How to Catch Cubera Snapper in Costa Rica

How and Where to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

12 Facts About Goliath Grouper

Costa Rica Fishing Species Wahoo

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

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How and Where to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

12 Facts About Goliath Grouper

Costa Rica Fishing Species – Pacific Blue Marlin

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Please Sign Our Petition Against Illegal Fishing in Costa Rica

It is estimated that up to 26% of tuna taken in Costa Rican territorial waters by foreign tuna purse seiners is unreported, taken illegally, never makes it to a Costa Rican port, and doesn’t benefit Costa Rica in any manner.

The tuna issue in Costa Rica is not new. A FECOP study in 2013 showed that Costa Rica tuna was being overexploited and the country was only benefiting $37 a ton from tuna captured here. FECOP presented a project “Tuna for Ticos” to President Laura Chinchilla and she signed the “tuna decree” at the tail end of her administration moving tuna seiners a total of 45 miles from the coast and protecting areas around sea mounts and Cocos Island. A total of 200,000 square kilometers of territorial was labeled for protection.

Dear Representatives,

Presidency of the Republic
Legislative Assembly Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Ministry of Environment and Energy
Vice Ministry of Water and Seas
National Coast Guard Service

The situation of illegal fishing that is happening in our country is a serious problem that affects our marine resources, the national economy and that of our communities. It is for this reason that through this petition we request better controls and effective surveillance for foreign tuna fleets. Better penalization mechanisms for those who break the law of our country and exploit our resources indiscriminately. As well as support and prioritization for national fleets in the consolidation of sustainable tuna fishing in our territorial waters.
I support this request by registering my information on this petition.

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