Best Marlin Fishing in Costa Rica
Known for its strength and acrobatic jumps, a marlin fight can last for hours or a few minutes. Their pull and energy make it one of the most popular species to target in the world.
Blue marlin are the most common marlin found in Costa Rica. Marlin have become so abundant here, it's not uncommon for anglers to get several releases in a day.
Black marlin and striped marlin are also found in Costa Rica, although these two species are not as common.
What makes marlin so strong is their size. Blue marlin reach an average of 150-500 lbs, and black marlin can even be bigger. In both species, females are larger and it is rare to find a male over 300 lbs.
The marlin is also a prized target because of their beauty. Blue marlin are distinguishable by their bright blue coloring on top with silver sides and white underbelly.
Black marlin are identified by their rigid pectoral fins. Unlike blue and striped marlin, the pectoral fins of the black marlin won't fold back.
Many times a blue marlin that has been feeding in the deep is incorrectly identified as a black marlin. The tell-tale sign, however, is the pectoral fins.
The most obvious physical feature of all marlin is their upper jaw. This elongated jaw, shaped like a spear is the sign of a true billfish.
Their dorsal fin is pointed near the head before tapering off, along with the pectoral and anal fins and have no spots on their fins or backs.
Marlin typically feed on squid, small tuna, dorado and various other pelagic species. They use their upper jaws to stun the prey by whipping their bodies with incredible speed and power.
Several seamounts and FADs in Costa Rica target the Marlin’s feeding habits. This represents an advantage for the angler, as there is a chance to catch more in a single day.
How to Catch Marlin?
Since Costa Rica has great numbers of marlin, there are also many different styles to catch them. All Marlin are a good way of testing the angler’s ability and strength against a herculean billfish.
The most productive way is pitch baiting. Pitch baiting uses teasers from the bridge of the boat to attract the Marlin to the surface.
As the teaser is retrieved, the angler or a mate tosses a rigged ‘bonita’ or pitch bait into the spread. The marlin then switches over to the rigged bait. This struggle is one of the greatest sights to see as an angler.
It's also possible to catch them with lures trolled farther back in the spread. If you want to try your hand at it, fly fishing for marlin has become pretty popular.
Costa Rica’s marlin may be a bit smaller than in other parts of the world, but it makes them perfect targets with a fly rod.
Where to go for Marlin in Costa Rica?
Marlin are found all along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
They're a pelagic and migratory species, which means they are always moving.
They also favor warmer tropical conditions between 70-85 degrees. Costa Rican waters provide these conditions year-round, which means they don’t have to move as much.
Day charters are a great way to catch marlin. The typical run time to the continental shelf is between 45 minutes and an hour.
In addition, now there are FADs strategically located near or above natural Seamounts. These seamounts are located between 63 and 160 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. During peak months, these seamounts produce astounding of blue marlin numbers.
The best departure points for a Costa Rica marlin fishing expedition are Los Sueños and Quepos in the Central Pacific region.
Best Time to Catch Marlin
Marlin are caught year-round in Costa Rica, but there are some prime times.
November through January and May through July have historically been the best times for Central Pacific marlin fishing. This includes the areas of Jaco, Manuel Antonio/Quepos, and the Osa Peninsula.
The North Pacific produces great marlin from May through October. This includes the areas of Tamarindo, Flamingo and Papagayo.
For Seamount and FAD trips, the best months are May through November. April and December are transitional months, but still also produce great fishing.
If you want to catch a Marlin, Costa Rica is a great destination for your fishing vacation. To avoid all the hassle, contact us and we'll gladly arrange a personalized package for you.
We live, work & travel in Costa Rica.
Every trip is designed for you.
1000+ reviews from dazzled guests.
Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Call us!(800) 262-1578