By Rick Ruhlow • Kingfisher Sportfishing

I will have to say my crystal ball fell short of the mark. Late April and May were tough months for us. We were not without fish, but not nearly the number of billfish we were hoping for.  I suspect this is in part to a predominantly south current that we are currently experiencing in our area. Still plenty of tuna if you find the right schools of porpoise (spinners and spotted have been best) with boats all the way up to Flamingo getting some good catches.

My predictions (hope) for the remainder of June was that we will have seen the north current that had been blasting Carrillo since late December come back.  If it does you can count on some good catches of sails, marlin, dorado and tuna. We found at least a dozen fish aggregating devices (FADS) floating in with the blue water since December, while most of them come with the northerly current,  and few have been found heading south,  and when  we find one,  it is usually GAME ON!.

To clarify, typically FADS are buoys or floats tethered to the bottom of the ocean with cement or large chunks of steel, that create havens for all sorts of marine life (tuna, marlin, sails, mahi mahi,  bonitas, turtles and much more). Conservatively there are at least 25 located up to 140 miles from local marinas in the central to southern region of Costa Rica, most too far out for the average charter boat (that’s us).

The FADs I’m referring to are deployed by large tuna boats or commercial vessels.  They have a low profile satellite beacon attached to a small bamboo raft covered with netting, and move with the current, sending an array of information back to the boats tracking them. The action found off of them can be nothing short of amazing!

We have had stellar fishing during July and August  in the past,  and with a little help from mother nature, hopefully  we will again this year….FADS or NOT!


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