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Fishing in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A Huge Snapper, Tamarindo
A huge snapper caught with the head of a skipjack tuna in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo, located in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, along with being a great surf and resort spot, is a really fun place to fish. I was there in December, which is supposed to be a good time to catch marlin and sailfish although we didn’t, but I had just as much fun reeling in the hard fighting skipjack and yellowfin tunas that bit almost every time we threw out a line. We were even lucky enough to catch a snapper.

Aside from the fun of catching the fish, the guides will take the fish to the resort you are staying at and the chef will prepare your catch for your dinner in more ways than you can comfortably eat. Make sure you keep an eye on your snapper though, we ate plenty of tuna, but the snapper didn’t make it to the dinner table. We were also treated to some fresh yellow fin ceviche while we were fishing.

The trip isn’t cheap, but if you can get a group together its not that bad, and you get to eat what you catch so that makes it a little easier to rationalize the expense. A five hour trip that was supposed to include two hours fishing, 2 hours snorkeling was around $300. There were five of us so it was about $60 each. We spent more time fishing, and the snorkeling was nothing impressive. If I were to do it again I would just book a shorter fishing trip and skip the snorkeling.

Tuna In Tamarindo, Costa Rica
A small yellowfin tuna that was sliced up on the boat and served as fresh ceviche

We had a great guide, Pepe, out of the Crystal Sands Resort. The boat wasn’t fancy, it didn’t even have a canopy but we caught so many fish I didn’t notice. Pepe was actually more of a translator; the real guide was a local man with no name, missing one of his big toes. Legend has it he traded his toe for the ability to see to the bottom of the ocean. No joke, the guy stopped the boat, cut off the head of a skipjack and baited a hook with it. He dropped the line into the water and let it sink to the bottom, he then bobbed it up and down for about 30 seconds, hooked something big, then let my brother reel in the snapper in the picture above. He knows his fishing, so if your guide has one big toe, you are in luck.

The fishing was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it. If they try to include or offer snorkeling with your fishing package don’t do it. The water was a little murky, the gear was kind of bad and all we saw were broken conch shells.

View Of The Tamarindo Shore
Tamarindo shoreline where you have the opportunity to snorkel

Tamarindo Map

2 Good comments on "Fishing in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica"

  • Leilene  @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    what company did you go with to go fishing in Costa Rica?

    • Mike  @ Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Hi Leilene,

      The captains name was Pepe, we booked through the Tamarindo Duria Beach Resort. His crew was missing one big toe.

      Hope this helps!

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