By Rick Ruhlow • Kingfisher Sportfishing

Costa Rica, aside from being Listed #1, by Conde Nast Traveler, as among one of the most beautiful countries in the world, has an incomparable year round fishery that brings fishermen here by the thousands. Granted, months, time of year and location, affect these numbers as some periods are better or more consistent than others, but it seems we are always able to bend a rod.

While our zone was not seeing a lot of fish in September, we did manage some good days, and caught our biggest dorado this season so far, at 64 lbs. Undoubtable the dorado is one of our most colorful and fun to catch adversaries roaming the sea, and can be found almost anywhere. They will start showing up much more consistently in October, in large part due to the river runouts that create long trash lines along the current breaks. What makes this fish so special, beside how well they fight, is that they are delicious to eat, and freeze very well!

November and December marks the start of the 2019/2020 season. Boats up and down the coast have been busy the month of October getting there rigs ready for the season. We expect to see a good showing of mahi mahi in the afore mentioned current lines, more schools of porpoise holding (hopefully) the tuna, and a scattering of billfish that will gradually increase as we move into December.

This is probably the most beautiful time to visit the Playa Carrillo/Samara part of Guanacaste. The traditional rains that we received during the months of September and October have let up, everything is a lush green, and the sun is out, bathing us in its  warm comfortable  glow.  The large influx of tourists does not really start till the middle of December, so the beaches are relatively uncrowded as well.

Playa Carrillo is still a diamond in the rough. Having lived and fished here for 30 years, the change is negligible compared to the more developed areas. There are still less than a handful of boats fishing here year-round, giving the area a very exclusive feel. This is in part due its relative seclusion compared to other areas of Costa Rica. If you are looking for the high end hotels, casinos, fancy restaurants and the other amenities that go along with this, Playa Carrillo is NOT for you, but if you want to supplement your fishing with adventure comfortable accommodations, good food, tours, surfing, biking, beautiful sunsets and experiencing nature in its purest form, you might want to give this area serious consideration for your next fishing/family/vacation plans.

We receive a diversified group of travelers ranging from seasoned fishermen, beginners, families, students, couples and even the occasional celebrity, so, even if fishing is not everybody’s thing, there are plenty of activities to keep everyone happy.


Originally from California, Rick Ruhlow moved to Costa Rica over 33 years ago. While exploring the country he fished Playa Naranjo (gulf of Nicoya), Quepos, Drakes Bay and Flamingo, before discovering Playa Carrillo almost 28 years ago. He was the Fishing Manager/Captain  for the newly re-opened Hotel Guanamar for three years, before venturing off on his own. He has been owner/operator of Kingfisher Sportfishing since 1995. Contact Rick at