Want to get hooked up on a BIG Costa Rica Marlin?
The Best Costa Rica Sport Fishing is located in the central pacific of Costa Rica, and Blue and Black Marlin fishing is our specialty and is also the species we target most of the time. There are a variety of reasons why most of our Costa Rica fishing trips are for marlin. Yes, they can grow to tremendous sizes which is a major attraction by itself but sharks are big too and we usually won’t target them. Our customers that fly down for exotic fishing vacations in Costa Rica seem to prefer marlin fishing too so that is one of the reasons so many of our trips target marlin. But for the crew and myself, marlin fishing is our specialty because the marlin species, either Black or Blue is Costa Rica’s ultimate fish and it’s the world’s ultimate sportfish too for that matter.
Marlin is at the top of the food chain and it is us that venture into their world, on their “turf”. Because they are the ocean’s top billfish they provide anglers that are good enough to get hooked up to a large specimen a chance to test their own fishing skills and knowledge. They offer anglers a chance to go one on one with the ocean’s top fish, it’s the man against nature’s best, and you better be ready to give it your all because this beautiful creature of the deep is going to do anything and everything for his chance at freedom. Now you know why and what the attraction is, what drives some very enthusiastic anglers to spend half their lives hunting these fish. With that in mind, you now need to know how we catch these giant Costa Rica Marlin.
The best time of the year for fishing for marlin in Costa Rica is from Sept through march. We use two different tactics for catching marlin in Costa Rica.
Tactic Number One for Costa Rica Marlin Fishing (Fishing Structures)
We fish mainly over pencils, seamounts, and ridges for both species. These structures are like an ocean cafeteria to marlin. Why do you ask? Bait, Bait Bait. The favorite bait for marlin is skipjack tuna. These tuna usually hang around these structures, because of the upsweep of the currents below. The currents bring up food that the skipjack feed on. We spot the tuna either on the depth sounder or see them feeding on top of the water.
Our method for catching the tunas is to troll white jigs through the feeding tuna. Most of the time we get multiple hookups. The bait is then reeled up and we have a wet towel to put the tuna in while he is rigged up to troll live. We use rigging floss and insert a bait needle through the top of the eye socket. This is called bridging the bait. Then twist the hook a few times to take up the slack in the floss. When completed your hook should be tight above the eyes of the bait.
We use a 300lb test fluorocarbon leader with a 16-o or 20-o circle hook depending on the size of the bait used. The rods we use for Costa Rica marlin fishing are 80lb class, with 50 wide reels spooled with 80lb test clear line. This gives you plenty of backbone in hauling in your prize catch. We fish 2 to 3 rods at a time for multiple hookups on marlin. There is nothing better than a double hook-up on marlin…This makes my job a challenge which one do we go after first??? The answer is the closest one first.
When we are Costa Rica marlin fishing using live tuna we adjust the boat speed so the tuna swims along effortlessly and looks good. When we get over the structure we put the boat into neutral and this allows the baits to swim down deeper. This method seems to produce more bites from marlin. If we have no luck the boat is put into gear to move on down the structure. Next time you are fishing in Costa Rica you should give this method a shot when fishing in Costa Rica for marlin, it produces.
Marlin Fishing in Costa Rica, Tactic Number Two (open water trolling)
When on the hunt for marlin in open water we always keep our eyes open for birds working ( feeding, diving, circling). Flocks of birds usually mean bait, where schools of skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna are feeding. We use the same method as mentioned before for catching the tuna, trolling jigs. Don’t be afraid of using a big tuna for bait. A marlin can eat a bait that is 10% of their body weight. Yes, 10% a 1000lb marlin can eat a 100lb tuna. We use tunas from 10lb to 20lb for bait. The method used in open water fishing for marlin when using live tunas for bait is to troll the tunas on the outer edge of the schooling tunas. The marlin usually stays on the outer edge of the tuna and darts into the school for their prey.
Marlin can also be taken in open water when blind trolling which is a tactic of trolling with lures at 9 knots in order to cover as much ground as possible. Using this method you have a cinch of catching other species of game fish (sailfish, dolphin, wahoo). Our favorite marlin lure is usually located on what we call the short corner. The lure is set on the 2nd wave behind the boat (only 15ft from the transom). What a spectacular bite and sight it is to see a 650lb marlin come up just 15ft behind the boat and inhale your lure and take off into the sunset.
On your next Costa Rica marlin fishing trip, I hope you will give my methods a try because I think you will hook the lady in the blue dress or the one in the black dress – AKA Costa Rica Marlin.