By Alberto Gutierrez Acuña • Pura Pesca Costa Rica – Fishing Tackle Shop

The famous Arenal Lake exists due to a very extensive artificial dam that stretches from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tilaran. Arenal Lake is comprised of numerous medium-sized rivers that feed it with fresh water throughout the year.

The sandy lake is very technical to fish, and the techniques to use depends on a fisherman’s preference. You can cast, troll or jig for the guapote, which is a cyclid fish. They can be found near structures of trunks, stones, vegetation, etc. and this fish is very territorial.

To troll it is recommended to use a GPS and fish finder to see the bottom and locate deep structures and channels. To determine the depth to work our lures, for a deep trolling of 20 to 40 feet, we can use the rapala crankbait dt16- dt20. To occupy more depth we have to release more line to go down to 40 feet. Another technique for those who do not know the lake is to use lures for 8-10 and 15 feet and troll parallel to the shore following the contour of the lake.

For casting the level of the lake influences a lot, and this makes us change our decoys. For example, when the level is high the whole bank is full of grass and lilies. Here we have to use chartreuse white-green spinnerbaits in weights of 1/4oz to 3/8oz with metallic silver and gold leaves in the double willow model. When the lagoon level begins to lower it’s good to identify the outlets of the rivers and look for the tips of the hills that fall into the lake. There it helps to use the lure rapala countdown in 7cm and 9cm rainbow colors. Here we can also use surface lures.

The best moments on the lake to enjoy success is in May when the water level is lower. To perform any technique, the best drops for boats from the lake is in the village, the castle and the new sandy area. I recommend fishing with a trensada rope of 20 to 40lbs green moss. This will withstand the strength of these big fighting fish, as often the fish will cave in and gets tangled in the structures.