A FAD (Fish Aggregating Device) is a large mooring secured to the ocean floor and set strategically at a particular depth to attract fish. FADs are generally brightly colored and can be a variety of different sizes.
Why do sport fishermen congregate to these big colorful suspended markers? Small bait fishes (feeders) are naturally attracted to structure for safety, and where there are smaller bait fish’ there are sure to be predators close by. So in essence a FAD becomes an ‘all you can eat’ smorgasbord for predator fish. Larger predators, such as marlin, mahi-mahi (dorado), sailfish, tuna wahoo, etc., will often setup residency around FAD’s and feed.
While there are a number of ways to work a FAD here are some of the basics for bait and lures:
Using Lures on a FAD:
For incredible strikes, casting surface lures, poppers, stickbaits or soft plastics around a FAD produces some crushing hits.
Pulling some smaller skirted lures around a FAD great way slam some dorado. If that’s happening double down and up the lure size in hopes of tempting a potential marlin in for the kill.
Using Bait on a FAD:
For consistent success in landing mahi-mahi try using pilchards. Rig up, drop and drag a few dead baits around a FAD, if there are mahi patrolling you will soon know it. If you are looking for bigger fish around a FAD, live bait is a better way to go. Trolling baits near-surface can pull in to top cruisers, or down deeper can pull up some big boys.
If you are new sportfishing look at any floating debris out on the open sea as a FAD: a large piece of timber, a wood pallet, floating seaweed tangles, kelp bunches, etc, these will have attracted bait fish.
Many fishing clubs set out FAD’s every year and as well there are many private ones being setup. FAD fishing is so effective commercial fishing boats set up their own FADs and will also raid sport fishing FADs as well.
If you are new to the sportfishing FAD’s are a great way to guarantee some big game fun. If you are looking at Fad fishing in Costa Rica and don’t know where to start, give Dan Ross a call. Dan has spent the last 15 years in Costa Rica sportfishing. Dan says Costa Rica, “is the best fishery in the world”. If want the excitement of slamming apex predators till your arms are sore, try some FAD fishing in Costa Rica with Dan Ross.
Dan Ross, DR Sportfishing Costa Rica
Costa Rica, Mobile: 8345-8346