By Rick Ruhlow • Kingfisher Sportfishing

This January and February has been a nice surprise compared to the last two years. We always seem to see a butt load of dorado starting in October and this carries through till the beginning or middle of January and then becomes very scattered.

This season the dorado bite has remained strong so far. The billfish have been much more consistent, still not any huge numbers but we are holding our own against  places that receive the majority of the fishing  publicity in Costa Rica, sometime even exceeding their numbers. The Los Suenos Triple Crown, found up to half the boats running up the coast toward Carrillo, some fishing only 8 miles from where we tie up.  With only two full time charter boats working from Puerto Carrillo, you can safely say we have the place to ourselves.

We are seeing some incredible nice water, 20 miles offshore it is ink blue, recently there has been a strong NNW current. This year we have already seen five FADs being carried along in this same current. More than I have seen, found or heard of in the past two years combined for our area. A strong indication of a positive change. A good friend and stellar fishing captain who studies the  satellite imagery more diligent than I commented that “ this is the best imagery I have seen for your area in 10 years”

Maybe it is too early to tell but a cycle seems to be reappearing. Up to ten years ago it was standard to say that January and February were the best times for marlin and March and April were when the large quantities of sails would show up. Seeing other pelagics like tuna, dorado and wahoo thrown in the whole year.

How do you make a prediction for your area without sounding cynical,  I’m always going to tell you that the fore coming months are going to be good, and this certainly seems to be the case this year.


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