jimdel1213

Costa Rica Surf Fishing

28 posts in this topic

Heading to Costa Rica at the end of the month.  Spliting time between Los suenos and tamarindo.  Offshore trip is already booked.  Looking for advice/pointers/locations where myself and my three boys could fish from the beach near Suenos and Tamarindo.  Not just targeting Roosters, would love to catch some meat fish (snapper, grouper, etc) as well.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

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 hey jimdel, have not been up tamarindo way in years so i would not comment on that. suenos is about an hour from my house so i know that area ok. has not been real good to me lately. switched to the carribean side last year with better results. a lot of commercial fishing activity in the suenos area (golfo de nicoya).  suenos itself is a pretty unproductive beach.the best spot closest to  suenos is probably the mouth of the tulin river which is about a 1/2 hr south of suenos.  sorry for the negative rpt but better the truth. good luck

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Posted (edited)

I visit Costa Rica for several weeks every other year. We will be down there for 26 days in July/August this year. Two weeks of it will be in Playa Hermosa. The rest will be in the interior doing the wife’s thing of jungle trekking to photo everything she can find.

The surf on the Pacific side of Costa Rica can be very different depending on where you are. There are some places where the surf is like the Gulf Coast of Florida and others where it’s like Oahu’s north shore in Hawaii and everything in between. You will need to bring everything you need, I only know of one tackle shop, located in Playa Coco, and it’s geared to the charter guys.  So, if you don’t bring it, you will do without.

Each beach will have a sandy area bordered north and south with rocky areas. I have found the rocky areas the best to fish. For lures, my favorite are pencil poppers in mackerel or dorado colors. Floating hard and soft swim baits also work well in the same colors but keep in mind that the rocky areas will snag those in short order if you fish them deep. I have used Rat L Traps with success, but I have lost several of those. In a few places I have gone for a swim to get my lures back. Jigs also work well in just about any shrimp color. One word of caution, if you try to bring gulp shrimp into the country they sometimes confiscate it, mostly the big tubs. Not sure why, maybe they think it's real and take it, like they would fruit or meat. I get the smaller containers and stuff it full of the baits and minimize the liquid.

If you want to use live or cut bait you will need to catch your own. You can get seafood in some grocery stores that can be used as bait, like Calamari, shrimp and clams. I mostly use fish bites in shrimp, clam and crab flavors. This will catch fish that can be used for bait.

For rods I take a 13’ surf rod for the high surf areas, a 7’ medium heavy, a 6’ medium and a 9’ fly rod.

I have caught few fish from the beach good for eating. The best has been Permit from the sandy beach areas and grunts from the rocky areas. Although I did catch one 25” Dorado once from the rocks on the north side of Playa Hermosa. I have never caught a roosterfish from the beach, but Jacks and Black Fin Tuna can show up from time to time.

I always do a full day inshore charter my first day and tell the captain I want to fish for food first. Dorado, Grouper and Snapper are usually easy to catch. After I have enough to feed us I switch to targeting the fun stuff.

The best times to fish are dawn and dusk. That works great for me because my wife is rarely up before 8:00 and by then the bite has stopped.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Trainman327

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I just did an off-shore trip out of Tamarindo last week. We had 2 boats. One boat caught 4 mahi and 2 blue marlin. They also lost a mahi and lost a blue marlin that the guides said was close to 500lbs. My boat got nothing. Eight hours of trolling and not even a bump. That's fishing for ya.

 

I agree with Trainman on the surf fishing. We were on potrero beach and there was bait crashing everywhere, but I barely caught anything from the sand. One sea-mullet, a jack and a mackeral, and I fished it a lot. The locals fish the beaches pretty hard with hand-lines though, so they must occasionally do well? Most of my catching was done from kayaking around the rocks. The grouper absolutely destroyed Gulp Alive swimming mullets. I also did a guided kayak trip for roosters from potrero. Had one on the line for about 10 seconds, but it took the bait and spit the hook. Now I'm dying to go back. 

 

If you want bait, I would suggest taking a small cast net and some sabiki rigs. I gotta believe there's a tackle shop somewhere in Tamarindo. They pretty much have everything. If not, there's definitely one in Brasilito.

 

Good luck and let us know how you do.

 

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Guys, Thanks for all the input. We will be heading offshore out of suenos and focusing on inshore trips up north. Think I have covered my basis as far as gear goes and will let you know how things go. Once again thanks for the advice. 

 

Jimdel

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Bring as much as you can. Its soooo expensive to buy gear there. 

 

If you have an afternoon fish the crocodile estuary that cuts Tamarindo, from Playa Grande. Good  Jack and Snook action in there, be careful!!!!

 

I know some buddies that paddle across it on their surfboards. Not a great idea, stay out of the water and be careful when your fishing the magroves and unhooking fish. The locals are always there and will help you. Give them a fish once in a while, and they will be very thankful. They are using hand lines. 

 

. There are some boulder fields near by that hold roosters on the beach front, but 100 yard casts are going to necessary. Not to mention all the surfers. 

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Excellent info. Squid.  I will be staying right down the beach from that crocodile estuary in May. On the playa Grande side. Psyched!

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Posted (edited)

If you walk to the end of the beach in tamarindo all the way to the right there are locals that fish there.  If you are close to tamarindo one of my favorite beaches is the one just to the right.  Playa grande. Got to see leatherback turtles hatch there.   Also about 1/2 mile or so Inland from grande is a great Italian restaurant.  I ate there every night for a month though the name escapes me.   If you need any other info on this area let me know.  Has been a few years but I stayed for a bit.. 

Edited by Mikeinri

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Jim, how did the trip go? Any recommendations? Ill be down in mid May.  Mikeinri + Squid, I will be staying right near that estuary that splits up Tamarindo from Playa Grande...Ill be on the Playa Grande side and am glad to hear that the fishing is good around there. The rivermouth is part of the reason that I picked that location...however I wasnt taking the crocodiles into account and now my wife is petrified.   Bringing lots of gear and hoping to luck into a Rooster from the surf.   Any panga or offshore charter recommendations in that area? Also looking for family friendly excursions, etc. Ill be with a ton of family members. Im all ears for any info that I can get, have never been to C.R.  Thanks,  Bryan

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I never saw one crocodile in there.  And there is someone that sits there with a canoe and will paddle you across for about $1 per person. I didn’t actually do a charter over there just found a local and paid some money.  Think was $60 and included everything with me just having to show up.  I wouldn’t worry about planning a charter ahead of time.  You’ll find someone or can contact a charter when you’re there.  It’s not a big built up tourist trap.  Not a ton to do family-wise in that area but plenty of you’re willing to travel. Must see for me was lake arsenal.  Fishing good there too.  Also a volcano there with same name.  I have seen erupt.  The gem of that area is a small city called Monteverde. There is fin stuff here.  Did a late nite nature walk.  They have great zip lining.  Rappelling down waterfall and a huge suspension bridge that is hundreds of feet above jungle floor.   Just the ride there was awesome.  The views are incredible. Maybe the time I spent there was highlight of my trip.   

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look up ralph solano on google or face book he's a great local for all things fishing and kayaking 

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On 1/11/2018 at 4:23 PM, jimdel1213 said:

Heading to Costa Rica at the end of the month.  Spliting time between Los suenos and tamarindo.  Offshore trip is already booked.  Looking for advice/pointers/locations where myself and my three boys could fish from the beach near Suenos and Tamarindo.  Not just targeting Roosters, would love to catch some meat fish (snapper, grouper, etc) as well.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

How’d the trip go? I’m planning a trip in the next couple months would like to get some info. 

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On 1/16/2018 at 2:01 PM, Trainman327 said:

I visit Costa Rica for several weeks every other year. We will be down there for 26 days in July/August this year. Two weeks of it will be in Playa Hermosa. The rest will be in the interior doing the wife’s thing of jungle trekking to photo everything she can find.

The surf on the Pacific side of Costa Rica can be very different depending on where you are. There are some places where the surf is like the Gulf Coast of Florida and others where it’s like Oahu’s north shore in Hawaii and everything in between. You will need to bring everything you need, I only know of one tackle shop, located in Playa Coco, and it’s geared to the charter guys.  So, if you don’t bring it, you will do without.

Each beach will have a sandy area bordered north and south with rocky areas. I have found the rocky areas the best to fish. For lures, my favorite are pencil poppers in mackerel or dorado colors. Floating hard and soft swim baits also work well in the same colors but keep in mind that the rocky areas will snag those in short order if you fish them deep. I have used Rat L Traps with success, but I have lost several of those. In a few places I have gone for a swim to get my lures back. Jigs also work well in just about any shrimp color. One word of caution, if you try to bring gulp shrimp into the country they sometimes confiscate it, mostly the big tubs. Not sure why, maybe they think it's real and take it, like they would fruit or meat. I get the smaller containers and stuff it full of the baits and minimize the liquid.

If you want to use live or cut bait you will need to catch your own. You can get seafood in some grocery stores that can be used as bait, like Calamari, shrimp and clams. I mostly use fish bites in shrimp, clam and crab flavors. This will catch fish that can be used for bait.

For rods I take a 13’ surf rod for the high surf areas, a 7’ medium heavy, a 6’ medium and a 9’ fly rod.

I have caught few fish from the beach good for eating. The best has been Permit from the sandy beach areas and grunts from the rocky areas. Although I did catch one 25” Dorado once from the rocks on the north side of Playa Hermosa. I have never caught a roosterfish from the beach, but Jacks and Black Fin Tuna can show up from time to time.

I always do a full day inshore charter my first day and tell the captain I want to fish for food first. Dorado, Grouper and Snapper are usually easy to catch. After I have enough to feed us I switch to targeting the fun stuff.

The best times to fish are dawn and dusk. That works great for me because my wife is rarely up before 8:00 and by then the bite has stopped.

Hope this helps.

Anywhere you can go that has good fishing but also nice resorts and night life? Going with family that just wants a fun vacation they don’t care about my fishing. You seem to really know Costa Rica. 

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11 hours ago, KG33 said:

How’d the trip go? I’m planning a trip in the next couple months would like to get some info. 

KG -

I just booked a trip for my family in Playa Coco during July. Where are you planning to stay?

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Posted (edited)

On February 15, 2018 at 0:40 PM, Mikeinri said:

I never saw one crocodile in there.  And there is someone that sits there with a canoe and will paddle you across for about $1 per person. I didn’t actually do a charter over there just found a local and paid some money.  Think was $60 and included everything with me just having to show up.  I wouldn’t worry about planning a charter ahead of time.  You’ll find someone or can contact a charter when you’re there.  It’s not a big built up tourist trap.  Not a ton to do family-wise in that area but plenty of you’re willing to travel. Must see for me was lake arsenal.  Fishing good there too.  Also a volcano there with same name.  I have seen erupt.  The gem of that area is a small city called Monteverde. There is fin stuff here.  Did a late nite nature walk.  They have great zip lining.  Rappelling down waterfall and a huge suspension bridge that is hundreds of feet above jungle floor.   Just the ride there was awesome.  The views are incredible. Maybe the time I spent there was highlight of my trip.   

 

I believe the volcano you mentioned is Arenal, although there are others.  I once sat outside a cheap hotel room on a solo trip and drank beers while watching the lava flow.  Love Costa Rica and this thread is a good example of what makes SOL great.  Pura Vida. 

Edited by Sqwiddig

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