Right off the bat, we can tell you that Costa Rica is an incredibly popular sport fishing destination and Guanacaste – specifically, central Guanacaste, in the waters off Tamarindo and Flamingo – offer some of the best catches, hard-won records, and monster fish of them all. Luckily, for every promise of a prize catch or your next tasty dinner, there are excellent fishing charters in Costa Rica to match. 

Pacific Sport Fishing in Costa Rica: The Deep-Sea Fishing Seasons in Guanacaste

sailfish catch and release fishing Costa Rica

You’ll be happy to know the ocean is productive, all 12 months of the year. No matter when you come, you’re likely to hook a catch you can be proud of (and tell a story to match, of course!). Stay awhile, and you can sample all our many resident species, including Costa Rica’s very photogenic billfish and sailfish!

Here’s a look at Guanacaste’s sportfishing seasons – at what you’re likely to catch, and when: 


A year-round catch-and-release species, sailfish season typically peaks from May through August, with fishing charters in Costa Rica, and specifically in Guanacaste, reporting the fewest catches from about mid-October through November. With migration, their numbers pick up in December and continue into the peak months. Truly, it’s possible to hook a sailfish any day of the year!

Yellowfin Tuna

yellowfin tuna Costa Rica sport fishing

When nothing else seems to be biting, hard-fighting yellowfin takes the bait. This prize fish can be caught year-round, with a probable peak from June through October. Even better, yellowfin (and the occasional bigeye) are a solid nearshore catch opportunity, often congregating <30 minutes off the coast at the Catalina Islands. Tip: If you see a pod of dolphins peppered by diving birds, yellowfin are probably close!

Blue, Black and Striped Marlin

A year-round catch-and-release species (especially blue marlin), marlin season fills in for billfish, peaking from around mid-November through February, declining in mid-March through mid-June, and rising again for a second peak in August and September. In other words, you could catch a marlin any time of year, but your chances are best during the peaks.

Dorado (Dolphinfish/Mahi Mahi)

mahi mahi sport fishing charters in Costa Rica

Known locally as dorado, dolphinfish or mahi mahi is a strong fighter and a local favorite, especially during its peak from late May through early October, when the rivers flood and create nearshore conditions that invite mahi mahi to hover close to the coast. Run of bad luck? If it’s peak dorado season, simply troll a floating log and your luck may turn.


A fan of rocky points, shoals, and islands, wahoo is a favorite for fishing charters in Costa Rica, especially during its favorite season from late May through September, with peaks in August-September. In season, you can catch wahoo while deep-sea fishing but it’s also a good bet nearer the coast, on a trip to the Catalina Islands or Bat Islands. 


red snapper catch sport fishing TamarindoCosta Rica loves snapper and snapper loves Costa Rican waters! A variety of snapper species troll the waters of Guanacaste, making this a good year-round catch. But if your heart is set on snapper – and it very well could be, given that our cubera snapper often hit the 50-80 pound range – then book your fishing charter for peak rainy season months, from June through October.


A non-migratory, year-round catch, the abundant roosterfish sees a spike in activity from May through October. That said, you can catch roosterfish year-round, if you have a bit of luck with water temperature and clarity (they like it cloudy), and bring along ample live bait.


The grouper family of fish is prevalent along Guanacaste’s coastline, offering a full menu of species, from broomtail and cabrillas to yellowfin and goliath. While they’re present year-round, this inshore fish family is easier to catch during the rainier months of May through October. 

Sport Fishing Prices, Options & How to Choose

sport fishing reels in Costa Rica

Unless you live in Costa Rica – and are willing to pony up for your own sailboat, yacht, or other deep-seaworthy craft – the fastest and easiest route to get out on the water is aboard one of the many fishing charters in Costa Rica.

The question is, which one? The answer is, choose wisely

There are two major things to look for, each with its own bouquet of sub-considerations:

Experience + Quality

Most anglers look to cost first when, really, the first consideration should be experience – both of your crew and your captain. After all, even the cheapest fishing charter costs $hundreds; you don’t want to shell that out for a sub-par experience, no matter how comparatively cheap.

A great fishing crew and captain know Guanacaste’s waters. What’s more, they know where to go, based on the season and what you’d like to catch. And when it comes to fishing charters in Costa Rica, you want experience paired with well-equipped and well-maintained boats that not only operate quality equipment, but the right equipment for your desired catch.

So, first consider your crew and captain’s experience, then your boat and equipment, and only then move on to price. 


The old adage still holds: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, you get what you pay for.

Provisos and proverbs aside, you’ll find that prices are fairly standard for sport fishing charters in/around Tamarindo. Note that the following prices are based on fully licensed (in Costa Rica) boats, crews, and other safety/legal baselines. (You definitely don’t want to cut corners, in this regard.)

  •     Half Day (4-5 hours): $450-$900
  •     3/4 Day (6-7 hours): $600-$1400
  •     Full Day (8-9 hours): $800-$1600

We know, we know – those don’t look like standard prices! The higher range is double the lower range, after all. 

Again, you get what you pay for. But this time, we’re not talking about quality but options. Fishing charters in Costa Rica offer a huge variety of options, from boat size (22’ to 50’ or more) and capacity (min. 3 anglers, up to 9+) to gear (motors, chairs, and lines, among them), amenities (onboard toilet, anyone?), and inclusions (anything from bait to onboard drinks and meals). 

Please know that tip is not included in the above rates, but it is customary and much appreciated. (Typically, 15-20%, depending on your experience.)

Our Sport Fishing Charters in Costa Rica

sport fishing charters in Costa Rica Tamarindo Flamingo Guanacaste

In 2021, we were proud to transition Blue Water Adventures to new ownership. Please visit them at Blue Zone Experience.

We may be best known for our vacation rentals and homes for sale, but we also proudly operate our sister company, Blue Water Adventures. And Blue Water Adventures operates half-day and full-day ocean fishing charters off the coast of Guanacaste.  

Call us biased, but we think it’s one of the best. Here’s why: 

  • 29’ to 50’ (or larger) Boats: Whether it’s just you and your buds, or you and your whole family reunion, our charter boats are well equipped for fishing parties of 3 to 9+. 
  • Nearshore or Offshore: Want to snag a roosterfish or snapper? You’ll do well on a coastal / inshore fishing charter. Can’t wait to snap a photo with a trophy sailfish? You’re going to want to book an offshore fishing charter. We’re equipped for both, and we’ll never shoehorn you into what we think you want. Your fishing charter is all about you, and you are our priority. 
  • Departure Options: Fishing shouldn’t start with driving. Or not a lot of it, at least. That’s why we offer launches from either Tamarindo or Flamingo; you choose which is more convenient. 
  • Great Prices: We’re licensed, we’re legal, we’re well equipped, and we’re safe. But we’re also well priced, with fishing charter rates (half-day and full day) from $450-$800 (4 people, 31’ boat). 
  • Larger Groups Accommodated: As we mentioned above, we can accommodate larger groups (9+) on our 50’ (and larger) boats. All you have to do is ask!

>> Inquire << 

Now, Consider Your Sport Fishing Wishlist

We know you have one! So go ahead, tell us your wildest sport fishing dream. Go ahead, embellish it. Make it a tall tale, even. Because Costa Rica is the kind of place where tall tales can become true tales

We’d love to hear what you have in mind. Inshore or offshore? Half-day or full-day? Trophy photo or tonight’s dinner?

While you’re at it, please tell us when you’ll be here and how many are in your fishing party. From there, we’ll be able to send you some options – and our recommendations. Because we’re anglers, too. And we can’t wait to share our tall tales with you.

    Our Blue Water Promise

    At Blue Water Adventures, we uphold our Blue Water dedication to fast response times and always putting you, our guest, first

    We have serious experience to back us up: As bilingual, bicultural, and long-term residents, we have explored Guanacaste from top to bottom, scouring every corner for the best of the best. 

    We’ve beaten a bit of a path – just enough to take you there, too. Here’s our promise:

    • You Can’t Beat Our Quality: We don’t cut corners, ever. And we settle for nothing less than the best tours, adventures, and journeys out there. 
    • We’re Fully Permitted: Our tours are fully permitted, our guides are fully insured, and we do everything above board and by the book. Because you, our travelers, deserve this level of accountability. 
    • Our Rates Are Very Competitive: We believe in pairing the highest quality with the best value. So, we offer very competitive rates with discounts for both groups and kids. 
    • We’ll Take You Where Others Won’t: We own our own vans and employ dedicated drivers, which means we have a lot more flexibility when it comes to what we offer. Let’s put it this way: We don’t have to take you to the same waterfall, the same zip line, the same sportfishing spot as everyone else. Together, we’ll forge a more authentic, more personalized path down the road less traveled. 
    • Our Bilingual Guides Have Serious Experience: Our expert guides not only know their stuff (they’ve been at it for years), but they’re also trained to have your back, in every eventuality.

    At Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica Real Estate. We have both condos and homes, land and businesses for sale.


    >> Book Fishing Charters in Costa Rica <<