Sportfishing in Costa Rica

This background information is provided by JERRY RUHLOW, Editor of COSTA RICA OUTDOORS Costa Rica's monthly full-color fishing and outdoor adventure newsletter!

Two oceans, magnificent inland lakes and countless miles of pristine rivers provide anglers in Costa Rica with some of the finest and most diverse fishing you're likely to find in such a small and easily accessible area anyplace in the world.

From the capital city of San Jose, fishermen are only 30 to 40 minutes flying time from the prime fishing regions on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, with two national airlines providing daily service and a variety of charter airline services available to meet any schedule.

And because Costa Rica is a small nation geographically , there's hardly anyplace in the country you can't reach within six hours driving time, and some of the best inland fishing regions are within two to three hours from the capital.

Costa Rica's reputation for incredible fishing is well justified, but like anyplace in the world, there are never any guarantees. Action will vary with the seasons and prevailing wind, weather, currents and other natural conditions at any given time, and the following break-down, should be considered only as a general guide. Visitors will be well advised to check on what's happening shortly before their trip.

Keep in mind that fishing licenses are required of residents and visitors alike to fish inland and ocean waters. Charter operators normally provide the salt water license as part of their packages. If fishing inland waters, you will normally have to obtain your own license, and should also be aware of closed seasons. See section on Inland Fishing, below.

PACIFIC COAST: The Pacific Coastal region is divided roughly into the Northern, Central and Southern fishing areas, with conditions varying with the seasons in each area. Increasing numbers of charter boat operators on the Pacific have been "following the fish" in recent years, moving operations from one area to another depending on the season and making it possible to assure visiting anglers the best fishing available whenever they choose to visit.

Northern Pacific Central Pacific Southern Pacific
Caribbean Coast Inland Fishing
If you get serious about fishing in Costa Rica, you may want to become a member of either or both of the two large fishing clubs in San Jose, Club Nacional de Pesca and Club Amateur de Pesca. The clubs have outings and tournaments every month, lots of group activities and provide a great chance to meet local fishermen and learn something about the country and the fishing. There are many club members who speak English, but you will fare better if you have some facility with Spanish.

Check with Carlos at the Gilca Tackle Shop if you only speak English regarding membership.

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