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View of Los Sueños Marina in Costa Rica with many sport fishing boats docked

Frequently Asked Questions (with answers) about Fishing in Costa Rica: A Complete Guide with everything you need to know.

Why is Los Sueños Marina the Fishing Capital of Costa Rica?

There are more trophy fish caught out of Los Sueños Marina year round than ANY other part of Costa Rica. By booking your fishing charters through Jaco VIP you are assured of fishing only with the top producing Captains and crews in all of Costa Rica. Our fleet of carefully chosen Sport Fishing Boats represents the very best.

What's Included in the price of a fishing trip?

Full day trips: Lunch, beer, sodas, bottled water, snacks, ice, bait, and tackle are included for everyone on board for all full day trips. ½ Day Trips: Beer, Soda, Bottled water, snacks, ice, bait, and tackle are included on board. Lunch is not, however you are welcome to bring your own sandwiches or food items.

Do you need a Costa Rica Fishing License?

If departing from the Los Suenos Marina, each member of your party will be required to stop at the dock entrance and purchase a Costa Rica Fishing license. The cost is $15 per person and the license is valid for 1 week from the date of purchase. If departing on a Panga trip from Herradura Beach, you will not be required to get a fishing license.

Crew Gratuities:

A gratuity of 15-20% of the cost of your trip is customary and usually presented to the Captain at the end of your trip, which he then splits with his crew. Your gratuity should NEVER be based on how many fish you catch or don’t catch. Your Captain and mates really want you to catch fish and will work hard to find the fish, and give you a good day on the water, however they cannot make the fish bite. We are fortunate to have many more great days of fishing here than we do bad days, however slow days happen and as a fisherman, before you charter a boat, you should understand that is the case everywhere in the world.

Responsible Fishing. Save some fish for tomorrow.

All of our boats excersise catch & live release on all Billfish and Rooster Fish. You will be able to take a photo with your trophy Billfish or Rooster fish catch, after which it will be released live. We do not kill Billfish or Rooster fish here. All edible fish such as Mahi-Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Snapper, Grouper, Corvina are kept and filleted on board for you to take home and enjoy. Check out our Jaco Beach and Los Sueños fishing calendar to get a better idea of what's bitting and when.

Cook Your Catch:

From the Hook to the Cook! We will bring you and your fresh fillets to one of our favourite restaurants, or you can hire one of our in-house cooks at your vacation home, where they will cook your fish and prepare side dishes for an incredible meal at a great price. Add a few cold beers into the mix and we’re talking paradise.

What type of fishermen are you?

Casual Fishermen:

Looking for a day on the water with friends to possibly catch a few nice fish, drink, relax, enjoy the scenery and the time on the water with friends. Limited budget or for just a ½ day.

Serious Fishermen:

Looking for full blown fishing experience with a full day on the water where catching higher quantities and varieties of fish are more of a concern than is price.

Trip Categories.

Off Shore:

Traveling 18-40 miles off shore to target trophy Sailfish, Blue,Black and Striped Marlin, Mahi-Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and more. Billfish (Pacific Sailfish, Blue, Black and Striped Marlin) are caught here year round in strong numbers. The peak season for Bill fishing here is December through May. A full day trip is suggested to maximize your chances of catching Billfish. Mahi Mahi & Yellowfin Tuna are caught here year round. Peak seasons are January through April for Mahi and January through August for Yellowfin Tuna.

Near Shore:

Traveling 5-10 miles parallel to the coast or across the bay, fishing in front of Rocky bluffs and behind large wave breaks. These trips typically bring you trophy Rooster Fish, Amberjack, Grouper, Snapper and Corvina. Roosterfish are caught here year round but peak in July-August & Feb-April. Grouper, Snapper, Amberjack and Corvina are caught year round.

Trip Length: [Off shore or Near shore]

Full Day [Recomended]: 8 to 8.5 hours long.
Departing 7:00am – Return 3:45-4:00pm. best option for highest chances of success and higher numbers of fish caught.

Half Day: 4.5 to 5 hours long.
Typically departs 7:00am – Return 11:30-12:00pm or depart 12:30pm and return 4:30-5:00pm.

**NOTE** To get the most our of your fishing experiences and to maximize your chances of success, we highly recommend a full day trip, regardless of which boat size/class you chose to fish on.

Boat Categories.

Boat Types:

Getting on the right boat is a key factor in bettering your chances of success. No matter which type of trip or boat class you choose, we’ll make sure you fish with our best Captain’s and Crews in each category.

Large Size Sport Fishing Boats Departing from the Los Sueños Marina.

42 - 55 ft in length powered by twin Diesel Engines, large cabins, large decks, and large capacity. Passenger capacity is typically 8-11 max. Price Range runs from $1900-$2800 for a full day charter.

Full Size Sport Fishing Boats Departing from the Los Sueños Marina.

These boats cover more distance and fishing grounds, offering greater chances of success offshore. Enclosed cabins, full size restrooms, fighting chairs, and in some cases climate controlled cabins. 34 - 40 ft in length powered by Diesel Engines. Passenger capacity: up to 5-6 max. Price Range: $1500-$2000 for full day charter.

Express Sport Fish Boats Departing from the Los Suenos Marina and Herradura Beach.

These boats cover more distance and fishing grounds, offering greater chances of success. 29-32ft in length powered by single diesel engines or twin outboards. Passenger capacity: up to 4-5 max. Price Range: $1300-$1500 full day.

Center Console Panga Style: Departing from Herradura Beach next to the marina.

These smaller boats are typically 25-30 feet in length powered by single or twin outboard engines. Passenger Capacity: up to 5 or 6 max. (4 is most comfortable). Price Range: $700-$1000 full day or $550-$800 for a half day.