Fishing on Costa Rica’s Wild Pacific Coast
One of the most enjoyable ways to fish the Pacific is to start small, fishing from shore. 6 to 8 weight rods are the name of the game here, best paired with floating or intermediate lines. Often the only things needed to find success are a handful of clouser minnows and other baitfish imitations. Snook, jacks, and snapper inhabit the rivermouths, and can be fished on foot or from a raft. For fly fishermen who want to hike, exotic species such as cabrilla, squirrelfish, and snapper can be found along the shoreline, hunting around the varied structure. Small skiffs can also effectively fish the mangrove forests and inland bays, where throwing crab and shrimp patterns can attract the attention of various snappers and the elusive golden trevally.
The next rung up the ladder is our incredible inshore fishery. Huge roosterfish, jack crevalle, cubera snapper, and other monsters can also be found inshore, but not always in casting range! While they can be sometimes be caught from the rocks and beaches, a boat seriously increases your chance of success. Bait and switch is a tried and true technique for giant roosterfish on the fly, and throwing poppers over submerged reefs can draw monster snappers from the depths. As one starts targeting larger fish, it’s important to step up the game a bit. 10 weight rods are a minimum here, and a strong reel with a smooth drag. The extra power is really appreciated when you’re trying to keep an angry leviathan out of the sharp coral or casting a large fly into a stiff ocean breeze!
For the adrenaline junkies, consider heading offshore. At this point, power is paramount. We’re talking 12 to 16 weight rods, and make sure your reel has plenty of backing! Schools of yellowfin tuna and sailfish harass bait, and the fly fisherman who’s quick with their cast will have ample shots. Tuna will take a number of squid and baitfish patterns in varying sizes, and sailfish love poppers. As the saying goes, any color works, as long as it’s pink! And there’s always a chance of one of the true giants showing their colors. Striped, black, and blue marlin are found here, and hooking into one of those freight trains is an unforgettable experience!