Fifteen years ago, a friend and I flew into San Jose and took a small plane to Quepos, Costa Rica where we fished offshore on a 42 express boat called Fishing Frenzy. It was my first fishing trip to Costa Rica, and I didn’t know it at the time, but the over-the-top offshore experience was typical for this tropical Central American paradise. It consisted of plenty of tuna, sailfish and dorado, and the never-ending chase for marlin.
The trip had such an impact that it became an annual event. Then, four years ago everything changed. I started some business dealings in Costa Rica, which allowed me to begin splitting time between Costa Rica and my native south Florida. It has been the adventure of a lifetime.
I’m not sure I can say what specifically drew me to Costa Rica. I think it’s a little bit of everything. The people, the adventure, the fishing and the beautiful scenery are all truly amazing. The people are always happy and definitely live the national slogan “Pura Vida,” which translates to “The Pure Life.”
The diversity and magnificence of the scenery is over the top. Delivering Coastal Angler Magazine throughout the country has exposed me to different and varying locations. Within a four hour drive I can be exposed to the volcanos and hot springs of Arenal, the gorgeous beaches and surfing of Guanacaste, the beautiful and exotic jungles of Golfito and the Osa Peninsula, the quiet beauty and fishing of the Nicoya Peninsula, the world class surfing and fishing of Herradura, Hermosa and Quepos, and even the cooler climates and cultural centers of the Central Valley.
The tourism of Costa Rica is truly an adventure. From ziplining through a jungle canopy to four wheeling up a mountain, from white water rafting to rappelling down a waterfall, and even seeing sloths and monkeys in their natural habitats, the adventures are endless.
Adventure definitely exists in the fishing of Costa Rica. In 2017 the Herradura Quepos fishery was named the No. 1 billfishing area in the world by the Billfish Report. Offshore fishing easily offers the complete line up of pelagic fish and often includes double-digit catches. This is one of the few countries where catching an offshore billfish grand slam can be accomplished in one same day.
Last month, Coastal Angler Editor-in-Chief Ben Martin came down and we managed to squeeze in one day of fishing on my 32 Luhrs, Dream II out of Los Suenos. Where else in the world can you catch two blue marlin, two sailfish, and 15 dorado in a day of fishing?
The inshore fishing for roosterfish, cubera snapper, snook and even tarpon is also world class. The freshwater fishing offers everything from rainbow bass (guapote) to machaca, and trout to largemouth bass.
I have been to many places in the world, and Costa Rica stands out as one of my favorite bucket list destinations.
By Mike Erickson
Mike Erickson is co-publisher of Coastal Angler Magazine Costa Rica.