Fishing Report Guanacaste Costa Rica


Staff member
I was lucky enough to be able to slip away down to the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica on March Break for a family vacation. We enjoyed some fantastic Costa Rican weather with 7 days of 36+ degree weather and not a hint of rain for the week. The hospitality at the Riu Palace Guanacaste, food, and seafood in particular, were all outstanding. I had what was, perhaps, the finest piece of grilled salmon I have ever eaten. The codfish also stood out as very delicious.

My daughter and I did manage to get out on a 4 hour charter aboard Dream Fishing I-I-I with Captain Jose Mendez and his mate, Dennis, and we were joined by a lovely Canadian couple from Kitchener, who were honeymooning at the resort. We were fishing for roosterfish:chicken: that day. We had a couple of fish on but could not put one in the boat. We heard that it was a slow day and we only had limited success catching bonita baitfish, which hurt our chances for more time fishing for roosterfish. For roosterfish, a downrigger is used to very slowly troll a live or cut bonita about 15' down. Also, a cut bonita (butterflied) was trolled out the chute. Our hits came off the rigger.

Although the fishing was slow, the scenery was really something to behold as we were fishing right up next to huge rock cliffs along the shoreline of the Gulf of Papagayo . Even on a calm day, it was scary to think what might happen if the sole big Yammy had failed. Fortunately, the gear and boat were all very solid, more so than my Mexican charter last year. I'm still fairly new to the Caribbean and Central America vacation thing, but, in my limited experience, Costa Rica is near the top of the class (just as @chefboyardee said it would be). Our captain suggested that, for bill fishing, it is best down Los Suenos way, but that was too long a haul for me on this trip and I'm pretty sure @Fishmaster wasn't going to drive up north for a beach pick-up ;); maybe next time I'm in Costa Rica he can hook me up?

Below are some pictures/videos from the trip.

What we wanted to catch:

What we actually caught:

Rigg'in for roosters:


Some of the scenery:
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Well-Known Member
It must be nice. You and the family deserve it. I have been a few times, need to get back there and drive Fishmaster nuts asap.

Great report, thanks.

Wave Runner

Well-Known Member
R.O.C. (Radio Operator's Certificate)
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the trip @Wave Runner . I wish my daughter or the young lad from Kitchener could have landed a rooster that day. The boat caught a couple the next day. You can see recent results @ .

I'm new to this Caribbean thing as well but I've found out quickly any of those big ocean fish fight like mad. I haven't caught one but I bet those Roosters are fun. Maybe next time you will land some, at least I hope so because I want to see the pics! :D Thanks again for sharing. (y)


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the report @stomp I cannot wait! 3 more weeks until not one but two full days out with @Fishmaster I'll post whatever I can upon my return
The wife and I honeymooned down in CR (until she broke her leg zip lining) two years later and we are going back! No zip lining allowed. We LOVED the people the country, the food, we cannot wait to go back.
Great choice I too was skunked in Guanacaste on the first try. The Manta Rays, the dolphins, gorgeous hills!


Staff member
The Manta Rays, the dolphins, gorgeous hills!
@Rex, too bad about your wife's broken leg (and the skunk) on your last trip. We did see dolphins and rays clearing water several times. I didn't know rays jumped like that. The hills were beautiful, but parched. I guess it all changes when the rainy season comes in May. Good luck on your trip and look forward to knowing how you make out! Would love to get back down there on a more dedicated fishing trip.

Duck Soup

Well-Known Member
R.O.C. (Radio Operator's Certificate)
Thanks for the pics. Like some other readers I've been there before and enjoyed the flashback.
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