Surf fishing Costa Rica (Quepos)?

SD Carp

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Apr 15, 2009
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half of wallnut
Hi BD,

I need some guidance As I will be in Quepos, Costa Rica ( area) on vacation [ mid April]. It will NOT be a fishing vacation but a family vacation for many reasons ( just got back from a 15 day long range trip). However, I would still love to fish the surf with my girls ( young girls 6 & 10) . What to target? Where in Quepos ? Bait available ( I.e. sand crabs, squid ???) ? Should I take a small tackle bag with artificial lures ( plastics, bass lures) ? Line size? Weight? Techniques? This will be all catch & release. I might ( low %) convince my girls to do a 1/2 day inshore....but the weather must be perfect & the stars to align.

Note: my plan is to on take a 4 piece travel rod /spinner for fun ( light-med 7-14 lbs) . Should I even bother?

P.S.I did a lot of micro-fishing from shore in the Hawaii last year and had a blast with my girls. I plan on duplicating the adventure in Costa Rica if possible.
 

bays90

Member
Mar 17, 2010
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Kailua-Kona HI USA
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Chris
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46' Viking, Mi Novia, Quepos, Costa Rica
honestly, there is some beach fishing in CR is not Hawaii or Baja when it comes to surf fishing, Tony will have more info on that you are in Central America and there is good fishing around the river, BUT there are very large Crocodiles as well. What I would do is fish a 1/2 day with Roy Zapata, he has broken the WR all tackle snook 2 times last year and the women's as well. There will be quite a few small roosters and some big snook around also some sea bass and snapper. He has a panga and a 1/2 day is around 300$ i have taken my 3 year old twice with us and he had a blast.

IMG_2919.JPG IMG_2942.JPG
 
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SD Carp

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Apr 15, 2009
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Thank you much for the insights and knowledge. I appreciate it. If you have a phone number or contact information for Roy Zapata, I would appreciate it.
 

tap

"The Roving Angler"
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Jun 1, 2006
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For the time you have available I would rent a panga or small cc with a bait tank and hit the roosters, pargo and snook. Make sure there is shade for the girls but if they don't want to go it's been my experience to give them a pool day off with mom. Not everyone is ready for hot weather fishing. It's great to fish poppers, jerk baits and deep jigs but in Costa Rica your best bet is live bait. See if the skipper can arrange for you to purchase bait (sardines, mullet, green jacks) first thing in the morning unless he has a reliable area for bait. Making bait just cuts into valuable fishing time and for just two days on the water you need to maximize your time. Don't come in early because of fuel running dry. Make sure you arrange for extra fuel if necessary (that will let everyone know you're serious as well). Smile a lot and learn some nice things to say if your Spanish needs work.

If you want to fish the shoreline I would try the Marina areas where they clean fish and rock jetties (watch swells). If you can find a local pay them to take you to more remote areas.

There are a few local skippers in Quepos who take risks when targeting giant snook and roosterfish along the shoreline but you need to be cautious here and avoid them. These guys will run into the beach at high speed between big swell sets, drop their baits and scratch over the new waves coming through. A couple of years ago one boat didn't make it back. "Pura Vida".
 
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swami 805

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I tried a bunch of small lures there in the surf and didn't catch anything. Local fella showed me these little clams for bait and caught some fish with those. The clams were few and far between and spent more time finding them than fishing I think. Still fun though and something to do while the wife was hanging by the pool pounding margaritas.
 

swami 805

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Mar 9, 2016
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Not fishing related but we stayed in a airbnb on the beach outside Quepos. Every afternoon a fruit truck would come by like the ice cream man here. Best fruit ever. Worth a check if you see one.
 

pje

Member
Mar 9, 2008
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orlando
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PJ
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34 Scarab Supersport
Hi BD,

I need some guidance As I will be in Quepos, Costa Rica ( area) on vacation [ mid April]. It will NOT be a fishing vacation but a family vacation for many reasons ( just got back from a 15 day long range trip). However, I would still love to fish the surf with my girls ( young girls 6 & 10) . What to target? Where in Quepos ? Bait available ( I.e. sand crabs, squid ???) ? Should I take a small tackle bag with artificial lures ( plastics, bass lures) ? Line size? Weight? Techniques? This will be all catch & release. I might ( low %) convince my girls to do a 1/2 day inshore....but the weather must be perfect & the stars to align.

Note: my plan is to on take a 4 piece travel rod /spinner for fun ( light-med 7-14 lbs) . Should I even bother?

P.S.I did a lot of micro-fishing from shore in the Hawaii last year and had a blast with my girls. I plan on duplicating the adventure in Costa Rica if possible.
You should stop in Quepos Tackle and ask where to surf fish
 

SD Carp

Newbie
Apr 15, 2009
242
7
18
San Diego
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Bo
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half of wallnut
On my to do/eat list. Thank you.

Not fishing related but we stayed in a airbnb on the beach outside Quepos. Every afternoon a fruit truck would come by like the ice cream man here. Best fruit ever. Worth a check if you see one.
 

SD Carp

Newbie
Apr 15, 2009
242
7
18
San Diego
Name
Bo
Boat
half of wallnut
Awesome tips. If you have some recommendation for inshore pangas/small boats, please IM me.

For the time you have available I would rent a panga or small cc with a bait tank and hit the roosters, pargo and snook. Make sure there is shade for the girls but if they don't want to go it's been my experience to give them a pool day off with mom. Not everyone is ready for hot weather fishing. It's great to fish poppers, jerk baits and deep jigs but in Costa Rica your best bet is live bait. See if the skipper can arrange for you to purchase bait (sardines, mullet, green jacks) first thing in the morning unless he has a reliable area for bait. Making bait just cuts into valuable fishing time and for just two days on the water you need to maximize your time. Don't come in early because of fuel running dry. Make sure you arrange for extra fuel if necessary (that will let everyone know you're serious as well). Smile a lot and learn some nice things to say if you Spanish needs work.

If you want to fish the shoreline I would try the Marina areas where they clean fish and rock jetties (watch swells). If you can find a local pay them to take you to more remote areas.

There are a few local skippers in Quepos who take risks when targeting giant snook and roosterfish along the shoreline but you need to be cautious here and avoid them. These guys will run into the beach at high speed between big swell sets, drop their baits and scratch over the new waves coming through. A couple of years ago one boat didn't make it back. "Pura Vida".
 

pje

Member
Mar 9, 2008
178
105
43
orlando
Name
PJ
Boat
34 Scarab Supersport
Awesome tips. If you have some recommendation for inshore pangas/small boats, please IM me.
You could fish with John's guys , they'll put you on fish http://www.queposfishadventure.com/

Quepos Tackle is in town , won't find much info about shore fishing/pangas in the marina . Pez Vela marina is mostly sporties , with a few bigger CC's . Call John or the guy that Chris mentioned , those are your two best bets .
 
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tap

"The Roving Angler"
BD Writer
Jun 1, 2006
2,737
453
83
Valley Center, CA
www.rovingangler.com
Name
Tony Pena
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n/a
If those clams are important for shore fishing but hard to get I would ask around-maybe some restaurants and seafood markets have plenty of fresh ones for purchase. Or buy some from the guy who told you about them. What ever works.
 
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txwoody

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Apr 3, 2009
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wood is good
You could fish with John's guys , they'll put you on fish http://www.queposfishadventure.com/

Quepos Tackle is in town , won't find much info about shore fishing/pangas in the marina . Pez Vela marina is mostly sporties , with a few bigger CC's . Call John or the guy that Chris mentioned , those are your two best bets .
Ask for Johnnie. He drives a nice inboard diesel panga and will put you on fish.
They like to bump troll livies.
 
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luckyfisher7

Member
Jun 20, 2007
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Dudeport Beach
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Chris
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18 whaler "Nishimaru"
Hi BD,

I need some guidance As I will be in Quepos, Costa Rica ( area) on vacation [ mid April]. It will NOT be a fishing vacation but a family vacation for many reasons ( just got back from a 15 day long range trip). However, I would still love to fish the surf with my girls ( young girls 6 & 10) . What to target? Where in Quepos ? Bait available ( I.e. sand crabs, squid ???) ? Should I take a small tackle bag with artificial lures ( plastics, bass lures) ? Line size? Weight? Techniques? This will be all catch & release. I might ( low %) convince my girls to do a 1/2 day inshore....but the weather must be perfect & the stars to align.

Note: my plan is to on take a 4 piece travel rod /spinner for fun ( light-med 7-14 lbs) . Should I even bother?

P.S.I did a lot of micro-fishing from shore in the Hawaii last year and had a blast with my girls. I plan on duplicating the adventure in Costa Rica if possible.
I tried fishing a remote river mouth there with small bucktails and swimbaits. We caught tons of small snook, some good size corvina, and a couple good size pargos. I would be careful taking kids to do that as we saw several large crocodiles just up river, and we had to do some wading to get to the best looking fishing spots.
 
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SD Carp

Newbie
Apr 15, 2009
242
7
18
San Diego
Name
Bo
Boat
half of wallnut
I just want to circle back and share that I did book an inshore trip with John's crew (QueposFishAdventures) that you guys recommended. I had a blast, a fish for the bucket list and my kids a lasting memory. According to my kids fishing was the highest rating activity, right behind zip lining (I call that a success since we've covered a lot of ground and a bunch of activities). the inshore fishing with live bait was great, the views of Quepos/Manuel Antonio park and inshore waters are amazing. Sharing some pics to go with the commentary, but I know I will be back for a full offshore experience (wife approved now).