23 May 2016
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is famous the world over for its first-rate sportfishing, including sailfish, marlin, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, snapper and more. More than 40 fishing world records have been registered along the central and southern coastline. Sportfishing tours for beginners and experts alike are plentiful with well-equipped fishing boats taking anglers out for half-day, full-day and week-long charters.
If it’s your first time out, here are a few things to think about before you pick a boat:
- For a better experience, plan your trip with local experts; they have a vested interest in helping you make the right choices.
- Talk personally with the captain; the right boat is the key to a good experience. Ask questions about the season and what’s biting. While there are no guarantees, professional guides and operators are honest and want your expectations of what you may catch to be realistic.
- Price is not the only consideration. It’s expensive by the time you add up fuel, bait, tackle, maintenance and time. There’s a reason prices can be significantly different for nearly identical boats, and the reason often has to do with the crew, their experience and their successes. The best boats are never the cheapest. Going with the cheapest option may mean all you get is a very expensive boat ride. Talk to local anglers, they can help you navigate the pitfalls.
- Work with HRG’s concierge as they specialize in sport fishing and have longstanding relationships with some of the best captains on the water. HRG’s team members know which boats and captains are reliable, where to go and when; they’ll put you where the fish are for the best rates and times.
- Be sure to bring:
- Sunblock (30+ SPF): The sun is brighter on the ocean and there is a lot of reflective glare off its surface. Thoroughly cover your face, neck and ears; and any other exposed skin.
- Hand towel or chamois
- Camera: to capture that trophy fish photo
- Sea sickness medication: If you haven’t been out before or have a history. It doesn’t hurt to bring some. Don’t overindulge with alcohol the night before going fishing.
- Water and snacks: These things are available on the boat, but you may want to bring your own.
- What to wear:
- Think layers.
- On the ocean, it’s usually 10-20 degrees cooler than it is inland. Conditions can also change rapidly. If you wear layers, you can adjust up and down accordingly.
- Costa Rica is hot, so shorts and a t-shirt are fine, but bring a hoodie or windbreaker to wear on top. It will come in handy, especially when you are going to and coming back from the fishing grounds.
- If you have deck boots, wear them. If not, where flat, non-slip shoes. Sandals and flip flops not recommended.
- If you have little ones, it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes for them. Kids tend to have a knack of getting wet.
- When you first get on the boat, find a spot to stow your gear. Avoid putting your things directly on the deck. The deck gets wet, and the crew and other anglers need room to pass. Once the boat gets underway, the captain will tell you where all the safety equipment is stored, give you an idea of what to expect for the day, and tell you how to rig up. If you don’t catch all of it, don’t hesitate to ask a crew member.
Costa Rica is the dream destination for world-class sport fishing for all the right reasons. Over the years, it’s risen to become a top fishing destination, arguably one of the best in the world for billfish and Los Sueños Resort and Marina has risen right along with it. Some seasons are better than others, depending on the fish you’re after, but from Papagayo to Dominical, you can be sure of catching more than just fish.