Are There Any Sailfish In Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is the ideal location for all kinds of amazing adventures. Nature has blessed the country with remarkably jaw-dropping beauty and there are a number of activities in which visitors can participate. These escapades include zip lining across the jungles, rappelling down cascading waterfalls, exploring the marvelous rain forest and hiking picturesque trails into the mountains.

Additionally, there is the option of taking memorable ATV rides and horseback trips through the beautiful and expansive landscape. Costa Rica is also the place for sail fishing and tons of other fishing activities.


Sailfish are easily identified by their long bills, elongated bodies and large dorsal fin, which is reminiscent of a sail. They are typically a lot bigger than any species of marlin. Sailfish may appear in a variety of colors ranging from blue to brown to gray. They also have the capacity to change patterns and colors. Sailfish “light up” when they become excited and transform into brilliant iridescent purple and blue, with silver bellies. It is believed that their capacity to change colors acts as a method of communicating with other sailfish.

As a staple of Costa Rican offshore fishing, sailfish are plentiful and there is much to enjoy on charter fishing trips. Costa Rica is among the best places across the globe to land high numbers of big Pacific sailfish. In fact, the country is renowned for producing some of the biggest. On average, Costa Rican sailfish are approximately 100 pounds. However, it is not uncommon to catch much larger varieties over 10 feet long and approaching 200 pounds, with the world record being 221 pounds.

While offshore fishing in Costa Rica, sailfish can often be seen flopping around or free jumping from the water. Through these antics, they are often attempting to herd baitfish into a snug ball or getting rid of parasites from their gills or skin. They can also be seen “tailing,” which is basically cruising slowly the surface of the ocean with their dorsal fin or tail fin sticking up from the water.

Sailfish Food

Sailfish feed on squid, sardines, ballyhoo and other small fish. Typically, they travel in packs or schools and feed together. In Costa Rica, these fish are mainly caught trolling dead bait on circle hooks and while trolling a spread of teasers. It is quite common to have numerous hookups at once; these are known as quads, triples, and doubles. Additionally, they can be caught live baiting around floating debris or reefs. Occasionally, sailfish can be caught while fishing along rocks.

You can find sailfish in these waters year round; however, the main season runs from December to April/ May. The peak season runs between February and April. Getting between 10 and 30 bites from sailfish per day during the season is quite normal. There are many occasions on which good boats get more than 50 bites per day and, occasionally, over 100.

The condition of the ocean widely varies by season and area and can range from downright rough to tranquil. Costa Rica takes great pride in being inviting and accessible to tourists and travel is typically safe and easy. There are many other options when it comes to big game pelagics and you will be able to find cubera snapper, roosterfish and more.

Sailfish Charters

Sailfish charters are great at helping anglers to make the most out of their adventure and get the best catch. The breathtaking coast of Quepos and other areas of the waters of Costa Rica provide opportunities for you to enjoy the abundance of big game fish. Apart from the sailfish, there is a large quantity of blue and black marlin, which cruise the boats, keeping anglers excited every step of the way. Many of these fishing charters also provide top-quality equipment to ensure that you will have a remarkable day with a variety of big game fish.

Sailfish are highly acrobatic and fight vigorously when hooked. They will flip, tail walk and jump repeatedly to dislodge themselves from the hook. They are a remarkable sight and tremendous fun to catch. It should be noted that sailfish are catch and release only. For more information on sail fishing in Costa Rica, please go to



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