Sail Fish Season Starting Late November for Los Sueños, Costa Rica
Though sailfish are caught year round in Costa Rica, there are some “high seasons” for different areas around the country. Generally the favored months for fishing for sailfish off the Central Pacific region (Jaco, Manuel Antonio and the Osa Peninsula) are late November to April. The sailfish is so abundant during seasonal high that seeing the double-digit releases is pretty normal and its been known to happen that an angler gets two hooked at the same time.
Incredibly acrobatic and fast, the sailfish is a sport-fishing staple in Costa Rican waters. Once you get it hooked, the sailfish will spend a good deal of the fight above the water as you struggle to retain the tension on the line while he twists and turns in the air. Because of the excitement of this particular fight, the sailfish is the trophy goal of almost every angler out there.
The sail shaped dorsal fin distinctly marks the sailfish. This collapsible fin of the sailfish extends when the fish is swimming to help him appear larger to those that prey on him; his speed and narrow body help him out-maneuver many. Typically cobalt blue or navy, some sailfish also have spots or show stripes when they are hunting. Another member of the billfish group the upper jaw extends to around three times the length of his bottom jaw, which forms a spear that is used to stun fish when hunting.
Sailfish feed on small dorado, squid and other types of pelagic fish. Boasting impressively powerful speed, the fish uses its elongated upper jaw to stun its pray with powerful blows. Sailfish are able to swim up to 50 knots and typically live alone or in small groups of 2 or 3.
A great catch, the adult sailfish usually ranges from seven to ten feet long and juveniles can grow as much as four or five feet in a year. Sailfish usually weigh somewhere between 60 and 100lbs, but its pretty common to hook sails that exceed 100lbs in Costa Rica and actually, the world record for the biggest sailfish catch was 221lbs, and was caught in Costa Rica.
Most often found in warm tropical waters, sailfish generally are fished on the Pacific Ocean but they have also been found on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast and the gulf of Mexico. Typically sailfish are found in deep water past the continental shelf.