FAD Fishing

How to Plan the Perfect Costa Rica Fishing Trip

Embarking on a Costa Rica fishing trip is the ultimate fishing experience in one of the best fishing grounds in the world. It’s a fantastic bachelor party activity or family vacation. Getting out on the Pacific Ocean with group of friends is an experience in and of itself, but hooking into big marlin and/or sailfish is literally an adventure of a lifetime.

A great fishing trip can be yield stories to be told for a lifetime, but so can a bad one. Planning is the key to a successful Costa Rica fishing trip. Unpredictability of weather and ocean conditions, the time of year, what areas are best… there’s a lot to plan to make sure you land the fish you are looking for. Here are some pointers to ensure your Costa Rica fishing trip is a good one:

1. Pick the Right Location

Costa Rica offers many great locations to launch your deep sea fishing adventure. Undoubtedly Los Suenos fishing charters is hands down the best bet, not only in terms of variety of species and the numbers of big game fish, but Los Suenos is home to some of the best charter boats in Central America.

The waters of the central Pacific coast are generally calm, and loaded with predator fish that cruise the region feasting on the abundant supply of feeder fish. The upwell of plankton from the rising continental shelf just off the Pacific coast bring a smorgasbord of feeder fish and following the feeder fish are all the big game fish anglers are hunting: marlin, sailfish, dorado, tuna, wahoo, etc.

2. Know Which Species to Target

There are many leisure anglers that show up in Costa Rica that have no preference on fish species, it doesn’t matter to them if they catch a Rooster, or a tuna, and there some that are looking to specifically catch a trophy marlin. Either way Costa Rica’s central Pacific will satisfy anyone’s expectations.

This is where a little research comes in, and even better find an expert to talk to and helps you to book the right boat out of the right marina to ensure a successful fishing trip. Talking to the boat captains can be daunting as they are on a mission to sell their boat. An educated, experienced third party is who you need to talk to.

3. Choosing the Right Costa Rica Fishing Package

Fishing packages in Costa Rica vary wildly, but in general these are the salient points to consider; prices, schedules, half day vs. full day, in-shore vs. off-shore, inclusive options such as accommodations and transportation, whether you want to try different regions on your trip or stick to one area, and most important especially on extended fishing trips – choosing a good third party guide to manage all the logistics from airport pick up to airport drop off.

4. Costa Rica Fishing Lodges/Resorts

A fishing lodge or resort is always a good option for all-inclusive packages. Selecting the right one will take some research. The main realization with a one-stop all-inclusive fishing lodge package is that you are locked into one region so make sure you understand the area, and what else the area offers. If you are in a lodge that is isolated for instance with nothing to do but what the lodge has to offer and you are there for two weeks things can get a little monotonous – so the take away on these type of Costa Rica fishing trips is to know what you are getting into.

5. Specialty Fishing Trips

Specialty fishing trips include FAD fishing, river fishing, or species specific trips like Caribbean tarpon fishing trips. In general, charter boats will give the option for half day or full day and in-shore fishing species like rooster, grouper, snapper, or deep sea. These fishing charters tend to be opportunistic in that you may want a marlin but end up hooking dorado and tuna all day – nothing wrong with that. But choosing the right boat for marlin fishing on the FADs requires specialized knowledge on the captains’ part, and not all boats and crews are specialist on Fad fishing. Again buyer-beware, a good third party advisor is highly recommended for specialized fishing trip planning.

For more information on the Perfect Costa Rica Fishing Trip talk to the experts – Dan Ross is a captain for over 40 years and over 20 years fishing and planning fishing trips in Costa Rica. Give us a call, we’ll hook you up!

Dan Ross, DR Sportfishing Costa Rica
Phone: 1-888-326-7677
Costa Rica, Mobile: 8345-8346
Email: dan@gofishcostarica.com

FAD Fishing Costa Rica in a Nutshell

sailfish-fad-fishing-costaricaA 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
Phone: 1-888-326-7677
Costa Rica, Mobile: 8345-8346
Email: dan@gofishcostarica.com