Arenal Fishing Packages
Main target of anglers on Lake Arenal is the guapote, or rainbow bass, a ferocious fighter that makes for one of the best tasting meals you will ever find. Not to be outdone, the always bitey machaca, mojarra, tilapia, and tiger bass also offer great fishing year round. Contact us for more details on fishing Arenal lake!
Although many visitors head straight for Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast when embarking on a fishing expedition, there are many ideal opportunities for freshwater fishing located across the country.
Freshwater fishing involves catching fish that live in lakes, streams and freshwater inlets. One of the best places to go freshwater fishing in Costa Rica is Lake Arenal, a large and tranquil body of water that is overshadowed by the famous Arenal Volcano. Imagine setting off to the center of this peaceful lake, surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and you’re getting close to just how amazing a freshwater fishing adventure in Arenal can be.
Lake Arenal has long been one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. Until recently, only local fishermen knew that this 50-square-mile lake was home to the prized rainbow bass, or guapote, but the popularity of freshwater fishing on this picturesque lake has grown significantly in recent years. Freshwater fishing excursions typically make use of much smaller boats than other types of fishing trips, and the equipment necessary for freshwater fishing are less complicated and specialized than those necessary in sport fishing. However, several of Costa Rica’s most popular freshwater fish, including the bobo mullet, gaspar and guapote lagunero, are all attracted to highly specific types of lures. To maximize your chance of landing one of these fish, be sure to ask which flies and lures are most effective. Many bait and tackle shops will be able to point you in the right direction.
Despite the differences in name, you’ll still need a sport fishing license before you can cast your lines. These permits are often available through local tour companies, but you can also acquire one at any of the Costa Rican tourism board offices. Depending on the time of year, a one-month permit costs around $15 or so. Also, if you plan on embarking on a freshwater fishing trip in one of Costa Rica’s national parks, be sure to check with the local ranger station about catch-and-release policies, and virtually all of the country’s wildlife refuges have very strict rules regarding fishing in general and how to handle caught fish. Fines for breaking these regulations can be heavy, so check before you start casting lines.
Something else to consider is the type of fish you’re catching. Tilapia, for instance, is considered an invasive fish, and most park rangers and authorities will not mind if you catch and keep a few of these fish. They might even thank you, as tilapia have had a serious impact on the ecology of some rivers and creeks across Costa Rica where they are not usually found.
Even if you’ve been fishing your whole life, you may still want to enlist the services of a guide, as although angling techniques are universal, the best locations are often best-known to locals. For the best Costa Rican fishing trip possible, hiring a guide or chartering your own boat could mean the difference between returning to shore triumphantly or coming back empty-handed.