Costa Rica is a rugged Central American country; it has a land area of 51,060 square kilometres and shares borders with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. You’ll find the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Costa Rica is well known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity.
The country is rich in wildlife, and with a quarter of its total landmass made up of un-spoilt rainforests, you will find animals such as Spider monkeys, frogs and many different birds on your doorstep.
With two expansive coastlines of over 800 miles, extensive wetlands, and multiple rivers, it’s easy to see why Costa Rica holds a wealth of fishing opportunities and why it’s recognised as one of the best sportfishing destinations in the world. From its inland and coastal waters, over 95 world records have been claimed.
The fishing on the island is exceptionally varied and offers something for everyone, from the explosive Tarpon fishing on the Colorado River, to the in-shore Rooster fishing at Zancudo Lodge to the big game Marlin fishing from the world-famous Crocodile Bay resort. But it’s not just great for the fisherman; it’s also a fantastic family destination with a vast array of extra activities on offer.
Below we have listed the best locations for the ultimate saltwater fishing experience.
The Zancudo Lodge, where over 70 IGFA records have been set, is world-renowned for its lure and fly fishing inshore and offshore and its finest service. You will receive access to all the required fishing tackle from ultra-light to heavy fly fishing tackle with all poppers, lures, jigs and small flies will also be included.
The world-class resort in Costa Rica called Crocodile Bay has won so many awards on Trip Adviser that we class it as a must go for any big game angler. It is also the perfect destination to take your non-angling family, as the eco tours onsite are unbelievable and if you were to stay there for a whole month, you would never get through them.
This is a very exclusive trip based on only a few anglers plus a Sportquest Host. The holiday is ideal if you are looking at travelling on your own and would like to fish with like-minded anglers. If you have wanted to go big game fishing but struggled to find other friends to travel with then now is the perfect time to join us.
Over the last few years, Silver King Lodge in Costa Rica has built a reputation as one of the best Tarpon fishing destinations found anywhere in the world. Located in a lush tropical environment on the banks of the Rio Colorado on the northeast coast of Costa Rica, it's home to abundant numbers of big Tarpon.
Without a doubt, one of the world’s finest fly fishing Tarpon destinations has managed to stay below the radar resulting in large and aggressive Tarpon who are not afraid to charge and inhale a fly. Overall, expect many shots at fish from 60 to over 200LBS each day as the Tarpon are active feeding fish with very little fishing pressure.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 88%
"Every aspect of this trip to Zancudo Lodge was first rate. Twice daily laundry service, incredible food, courteous staff, attention to detail and incredible fishing. This lodge is very much about the fishing. Expect to rise early and start the day with a hot breakfast and then off to the boats at 6:00 am. You really are in the best of hands and the staff need a gold medal for their services. Well done to all involved"
"We were 14, and we think we had the most wonderful week one can dream of. The hotel is not less than perfect in every detail. Tastefully made, expertedly run, friendly, clever staff, big beutiful rooms, wonderful food. Dinner outdoor at the terass by the sea, still the best meal was the breakfast. Comfortable sun chairs by the pool in the shade of parasolls or palm trees, every morning made ready for us, nice pools, swims in the sea even during low tide, Never crowdy, never cueing for anything, nice fellow guests. Calm family hotel And the organized activities so good, the sunset on the dow was out of this world. Yes, we were all in heaven that week And we will go back as soon as possible ! Highly recommended Gunilla Skarman"
"Tarpon fishing at Silver King Lodge has to be up there with the best in the world. My mate Mike Green & I (a complete novice) caught fish to 140 lb on flies. Fabulous!, thank to Sportquest for all the organisation which worked perfectly."
The fishing in Costa Rica is exceptionally varied but split into three main types. There’s the vast system of rivers, mangroves and creeks for the explosive Tarpon, the in-shore fishing for the brightly coloured Roosterfish and Snapper, or the off-shore big game fishing for the giant Marlin and Sailfish.
The fishing methods practised in Costa Rica are as varied as the fishing opportunities themselves. Predominantly the in-shore fishing is with either poppers or jigs, targeting the colourful Roosters, Amberjacks, Groupers and Cubera Snappers.
The off-shore big game fishing is based around trolling lures for the Marlin, Sailfish and Dorado. It’s a slightly more relaxed approach and less active than casting lures all day, however equally as explosive when one of the rods get hit.
Finally, the mangrove and creek fishing at Silver King Lodge is a mix of saltwater and freshwater fishing, mainly saltwater fly fishing for the very sought after Tarpon and Snook.
One of the great things about Costa Rica is the vast array of activities on offer for the non-angler. As well as soaking up the stunning scenery and wildlife, depending on what resort you stay at, there’s plenty to do.
At the Eco and Spa resort of Crocodile Bay, it isn’t just a standard fishing trip; you can book all manner of excursions, including Crocodile and Cayman tours, kayaking, jungle night walks, and even a zip line canopy tour.
If you’re staying at the Zancudo Lodge, you will find plenty of regional attractions within a few miles of the resort. These include Fortunato Atencio Stadium, Golfito Marina, Parque Nacional de Fauna Silvestre Golfito, Corcovado National Park Office and also Playa Cacao. Any of these attractions are a must-visit part of Costa Rica. You book them with the fishing lodge staff on arrival.
Classed as a tropical country due to it’s proximity to the equator, Costa Rica is almost unlike any other. It features different climate zones and microclimates within the country; there is no true winter season but a dry season, often referred to as high season, and a rainy season, often referred to as a green season.
There is consistently about twelve hours of sunlight per day for the entire year, and temperatures average between 12 and 27 degrees, with the highest temperatures between February and April.
If you want numbers of Sailfish, then the peak time to fish is between January to April. During these months, the waters of the Central Pacific are warmer and attract more life. This concentration of life attracts large schools of pelagic, migratory billfish.
From May, the Sailfish start to move north, chasing the baitfish, but are soon replaced by Marlin, Tuna, and Dorado, with November and December being peak months. A double-digit Marlin bite is not uncommon, and along with the abundant Dorado, it makes for some enjoyable fishing for the off-shore angler.
The in-shore Rooster fishing is good nearly all year-round, with the peak time being June.
If you’re looking to target some of the big Tarpon and Snook from the mangroves and creeks, then there are two peak seasons, September to November and then March to April; the calm seas and comfortable access to the river mouths make for easier fishing.
One of the neat things about Costa Rica, especially for families, is the new direct British Airways flights from London Gatwick straight to San Jose, the capital. However, there are also a range of indirect flights from most other UK airports, and if you are travelling with us outside of the UK, we can look for an alternative route.