Pacific Big Game Fish

The warm Pacific waters off Costa Rica’s central coast are teaming with fish.

Some species are plentiful year-round, while others migrate through the area during certain months of the year.

The Striped Marlin (Tetrapturus audax) is a favorite with sports fishermen due to their wild acrobatics when hooked. This beautiful fish has a tall pointed dorsal fin and pale blue or lavender stripes. The average weight for a striped marlin is 150-250 pounds although they can grow much larger. The IGFA record for a striped marlin is 494 pounds.

The Black Marlin (Makaira indica) also known as the Silver Marlin is a large fish black on its back and silver on its underside. These fish are incredibly fast and strong. With the ability to run fast and deep, they are a challenge for even the most experienced angler.

The average Marlin weighs 200-300 pounds, but Marlin over 1000 pounds are not uncommon. The current IGFA record is 1560 lbs.

The Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) is a very sought-after catch for big game fishermen. An average-sized Marlin may weigh 200-400lbs, but Marlin over 1000 pounds are not that unusual. The Pacific blue marlin record is 1364 pounds. Although known to roam the oceans, traveling great distances, blue marlin will take up residence off the Pacific coast from California to Panama when conditions create an abundant food source…Blue Marlin

Sailfish (Istiophorus platyperus) create a grand spectacle for fishermen. Although not as large as marlin, Pacific Sailfish can be just as exciting to hook. These fish can run and jump for hours when hooked. They seem to spend more time in the air than in the water when on the run. The IGFA record for Sail Fish is 221 lb. During the peak months, November through April sails are plentiful off the coast of Costa Rica with many charter fishermen reporting double-digit numbers of fish caught and released on a single day during these months.

The Dorado, or Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) is a brightly colored, acrobatic fish. Fun to catch and delicious to eat the Dorado is a favorite for fishermen who want to bring back dinner from their fishing charter. Dorado can be found year-round in warm oceanic currents, underneath weddings, kelp or floating debris. The average Dorado weighs around 10 pounds, but the IGFA record is 88lbs. Dorado is large and plentiful from the Baja Peninsula, along the Central American coast and down to Ecuador.

Mahi Mahi Fish

Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares).are plentiful between Baja California and the South American Coast. An average Yellowfin tuna weighs 30 to 150 pounds, fish over 200 pounds are occasionally landed. Yellowfin have intense fighting power and are thus fun to catch. They also make a delicious meal. The IGFA record for Yellowfin is 388 pounds. though like most species, they are caught to some degree year-round in the warm waters of the central Pacific.

A variety of Snapper species can be caught in the Pacific. The Cubera Snapper (Lutjanus novemfasciatus) is the largest of the snapper species, averaging 15-75lbs. Cubera Snappers are to dark brown on the head, body, and fins. These fish can be targeted nearshore or offshore, around rocky bottom structures and reefs in depths from 50-200 feet. These fish can be fun to catch. They are hard fighters that run for the bottom when hooked. A delicious fish to eat, they are another favorite of anglers who want to bring home dinner.

Roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis) is a great fighter and challenging fish to catch. The Roosterfish has a comb-like dorsal fin and has a couple of very pronounced stripes, one running along the lateral line to the tail, and the other remaining in the midsection. Roosterfish ranges between 20 and 100 pounds. The IGFA world record for roosterfish is 114 pounds.


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