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Friday, May 24, 2024

Onset of Papagayo winds good news for anglers on Pacific; calba run starts on Caribbean

You can tell Costa Rican summer is almost here. Wind is the sign that it is arriving. News that the first signs of the Papagayo winds blowing in northern Guanacaste is a signal that fishing to the south will get better.

Roy Quirós out of Playas del Coco said anglers last week enjoyed good fishing both offshore and inshore for roosterfish. Things slowed down early this week as the winds picked up, but bottom fishing produced some nice snapper.

On the central Pacific coast, Dave Embry of Costa Rica Dreams out of Los Sueños said action offshore is starting to pick up. Boats have been seeing a couple of sails a day and some big dorado have moved into the area. Embry had a couple of mahimahi over 50 pounds this week as well as a monster 65-pound fish.

Jerry Glover in Quepos reported that crews are ready for the season and a few fish are hitting, but the bite slowed the last couple of days; a few sails and marlin are out there, but the action dropped after a decent bite last week.

In the south, marlin are still making a strong show and sails have moved into the area in better numbers. After being on the bottom of the pile for several reports now, the Southern Zone has come alive. Longtime author and U.S. Midwest television fishing host Dan Gapen wanted to film some underwater reef fishing, but a camera got banged up on the way down, forcing a change in plans. They opted for a day offshore while new equipment is rushed in from the U.S. They certainly made lemonade out of lemons when they released five sails and lost a tug-of-war with a blue marlin, all before 10:30 a.m.

Inshore fishing down south has been fair, with some tuna surprises just outside the Golfo Dulce in the 40- to 80-pound range and lots of bonito. The big tides slowed reef fishing, but some mackerel and jacks kept anglers busy. Basma Albakri traveled all the way from Saudi Arabia to catch her first fish, a dinner-size cubera snapper.

Winds also shut off the tarpon fishing this week on the Caribbean coast, although anglers forced to fish inside due to the rough water were rewarded with the first part of the annual calba run. These fish, known in English as fat snook, were running three to eight pounds apiece.

Todd Staley is the fishing manager at Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jiménez, on southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Skippers, operators and anglers are invited to email fishing reports by Wednesday of each week to To post reports and photos on The Tico Times’ online fishing forum, go to


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