October 29, 2019
If fishing in Costa Rica is on your bucket list, but you’re not sure when to book this trip of a lifetime… allow me to advocate for the month of November. Yes, I know that Costa Rica has fantastic fishing year ‘round, and millions of visitors travel to this tropical paradise throughout the year. But honestly, there’s just something special, in my opinion, about fishing Costa Rica in November.
One word: Marlin.
Although you shouldn’t need more convincing than that, just hear me out.
Marlin here, marlin there, marlin everywhere. In November marlins are running the entire west coast of Costa Rica and people are pulling in blue marlin, black marlin, and striped marlin. Up to 20 or 30 marlin a day. I should end right here… 30 marlin in an eight-hour day?! Sold!
Okay, you may need more encouragement.
How about this: pick any city on the west coast to visit, and you’ll be able to target marlin on your offshore trip.
In the North Pacific, the marlin season is just ending, and in the central and south pacific it’s just beginning. So whether you’re offshore fishing from Tamarindo, Quepos, or the Osa Peninsula, get ready for a great marlin trip.
As part of the billfish family, marlin have a unique, spear-like “bill” that they use for attacking prey. Marlins can reach 15 feet in length and over 1,500 pounds in weight. You’ll want an experienced captain with purpose built rig for your Costa Rica marlin trip. Don’t worry… FishAnywhere can help you get started finding the perfect charter.
Your captain will probably go for bait fish first. Fishing with live bait is the best option for marlin. They eat anything that swims including tuna, squid, mahi, amberjack, and even smaller marlin. Troll with downriggers and outriggers to get the bait to your target, and get ready for the fight of your life.
Marlin are pelagic fish and are usually found in waters 500 feet deep along dropoffs or edges. When they take your bait, they’ll start running the line almost immediately. Once you reel them to the top of the water they will start jumping and thrashing to throw the hook. Their acrobatics are truly impressive, even though they can be nerve wracking for anglers.
Once you have your catch to the boat, make sure to take some pictures of your trophy before releasing it back into the wild. All marlin are catch-and-release in Costa Rica to preserve the species.
Visiting Costa Rica in November also increases your chances of getting a Grand Slam. A Costa Rica Grand Slam is when you catch a black marlin, blue marlin, and striped marlin all in one trip. It happens often in November. Some get their first marlin within thirty minutes of the trip. And you don’t have to stay out all day. This family was fishing for only 90 minutes by the time they got their Grand Slam.
Costa Rica fishing in November for marlin is without a doubt the adventure of a lifetime. Hire a private charter that will take care of everything. And if you happen to get a Grand Slam, it makes the already amazing trip even more memorable!
So, you may not be a fan of offshore fishing and you’re still not convinced? Let’s talk about the angling opportunities that await closer to shore. We’re talking roosterfish, snapper, grouper, amberjack, and more. As exciting as open water fishing in this region is, the coastline of Costa Rica offers a variety of bays, inlets, coves, and reefs for inshore species to inhabit.
Roosterfish in particular is a favorite inshore species in Costa Rica. This gamefish is easily identified by their unique feathery dorsal fins. Roosterfish stay close to the shore and will chase their prey across sandy shallows. They are typically caught on light tackle with bait fish such as smaller jacks or ladyfish. Roosterfish are fun to catch because they put up a good fight, and they look awesome!
In 2018, the First International Roosterfish Tournament was held in Crocodile Bay and hosted anglers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and South America. Of all the times and places the organization could pick to host the first tournament, they picked Costa Rica. In November.
Why is November the best time to visit Costa Rica? The real answer: the weather. May to November is called the green season for a reason; the country receives most of its rain during these months, with October being by far the rainiest month. Come November, it will maybe rain in the afternoon for a few hours, which in my opinion is the perfect time to nap after a day on the water. But that’s just me.
I always plan my Costa Rica trip in November. I’ll switch up cities but it’s always on the coast or nearby. My family spends a week and we’ll spend a few days fishing, and other days exploring waterfalls, ziplining, or relaxing on the beach. The weather is perfect, it’s not too crowded, and we always have a good time. Take my advice, plan your trip for November and get ready for an amazing Costa Rica trip!
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