Costa Rica is World famous for its offshore Sport Fishing and the opportunity to catch Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, and more. There are tourists that come here just to fish these rich Pacific waters from Tamarindo in the North, Los Suenos in Herradura and Quepos for the Central Pacific, and Puerto Jimenez in the Southern Pacific Zone. Although the offshore fishing is the most popular attraction; there is great inshore and mangrove fishing, as well as, the many rivers and shoreline throughout the country.
Deep sea fishing offers the most thrill because it is amazing to reel in a huge sailfish or marlin to experience the exhilarating fight and see them up close. These fish are ‘catch and release’ only for good reason, as the fishing charters want to protect their resources and give future generations the opportunity to catch them as well. If you catch a Tuna, then you can often keep only what you can eat and you will have fresh sushi or Tuna steaks for dinner that night. You can take a professional Sport Fishing charter out of Quepos with Luna Tours (http://www.lunatours.net/).
Mangrove fishing is a fun experience as well and lesser known than the offshore fishing. For those of you that do not want to go over an hour out to sea or get sea sick, then this is a great alternative. You can catch Red Snapper, Grouper, Rooster Fish, Sea Bass, and Snook in the mangroves. On the Northern Caribbean side there is a place famous for large Snook. Around our area in the Southern Pacific Zone, the Sierpe mangroves are the best place to go. Mangrove fishing is less expensive than offshore because they use less fuel and typically stay in their general area. You can book a Sierpe fishing tour from Perla del Sur (http://www.perladelsur.net/fishing%20on%20the%20river.html).
If you do not want to take a tour or get on a boat then bring your rod and reel or even a hand line like many locals and fish the rivers, river mouths, and rocky points any where you want. This is the most affordable of all because you just need some bait and patience. You can get bait from some of the local fishers on the beach or find your own little river shrimp. There is even a river fish called a “Machaca” that eats a certain seed during the month of March and April, so you can fish with just this seed. No tours that I know of for this type of fishing, but you can give me a call and I will set you up with my brother-in-law who loves to fish and he can point you in the right direction.
If you are not the fishing type and you want the guarantee of catching a fish, there is El Pavon Tilapia Restaurant near Ojochal. This is one of our family’s favorite local spots and you go fish for your own lunch.
I am not the best fisherman and sometimes even need help catching them here, but the staff will take care of you if you are fishing challenged like me. But no matter your fishing skills you will end up with an amazing lunch like the one pictured above.
There is even a beautiful waterfall/cascade with a boulder stuck in it a short walk from the restaurant and you can swim and cool off. Always a fun day for the family at El Pavon Tilapia Restaurant.
And if all else fails, just stop by the local “Pescaria” or little fish market in Dominicalito where they sell all kinds of fish already filleted or whole and even shrimp too!