Sportfishing in Costa Rica – An Interview With an Expert

by / Sunday, 10 November 2013 / Published in Pesca

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Sportfishing in Costa Rica

Sportfishing in Costa Rica an extremely popular activity and for a good reason. With such healthy oceans, there are tons of big fish out there. Sportfishing in Coco is one of the top activities for adventurous and brave spirits as some fish can weigh up to 100 pounds and more.

Many tourists come to Costa Rica specifically for world class sportfishing. We talked to a local Tico, Carlos “Caliche” Barrera who has a sport fishing company and store in Playas del Coco to learn more. about sportfishing in Costa Rica. We love supporting our local Costa Rican businesses!

Carlos’s store is in the same complex as the Super Luperon where the Brazaillian Jujitsu and Yamama store is.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Carthage because my mother worked at the hospital San Juan de Dios. My family is native to Coco and my grandfather was the first person to do sportfishing trips in El Coco and is part of the testing staff at Penn Reels.

Since childhood I’ve known the sea and worked in this business as an importer and supplier of fishing items. I have been doing this for 5 years and my business is unique in Coco beach because it is the best importer of brand products for sportfishing.

sportfishing in Costa Rica

Carlos with a red snapper

2. How did your passion for fishing start?

My passion for fishing began as a child. I would go fishing with my uncles Daniel Barrera and Alfonso Barrera but then it was to fish to sell and eat, it was not for sport. At 15, my uncle Adan Barrera began to teach me all about fishing and since then I left everything behind for fishing.

3. What is the difference between sport fishing and regular fishing?

The difference between sportfishing and regular fishing is that sportfishing is at a more professional level and releases 80% of the catch. There are some species that are only for sportfishing like the marlin, swordfish, and rooster fish (only for release). Most of the regular fishing catches are brought back to the house (for eating, selling).

4. What type of fish can you find in Guanacaste?

In Guanacaste, you can find diverse species and world record species such as marlin, swordfish, yellow fin tuna, mahi mahi, snapper, wahoo, grouper, mackarel, and the famous and elegant roosterfish. Most of the year it is good to fish in the waters of Guanacaste.

sportfishing in costa rica - gulf of papagayo

A roosterfish

5. What type of equipment do you use and why?

The equipment I use is from the brand Penn, such as reels and rods, both conventional and spinning. I use the 2 types because the conventional is for trolling and spinning is for coastal fish such as snapper, mackerel and other species.

6. What is the best advice that you for somebody who wants to start sport fishing?

The best advice for people who is starting sportfishing is first ask for good advice from a professional (or someone who has experience) and then acquire appropriate equipment for the first step in sportfishing.

7. Have you noticed a decrease in fish? What species? Do you know why?

Of course I have noticed a reduction in several species such as yellow fin tuna. This happens because of the harassment of international tuna companies, the government and the international flag tuna vessels fishing in our water close to our coasts. The government does not have adequate control nor regulation to protect the species.

sportfishing in costa rica - gulf of papagayo

8.What is your biggest achievement as a lover of fishing?

My greatest achievement as a fisherman was to be part of the staff to achieve the best brand of rods and reels in USA Penn Reels. I manage the direct importing of the finest fishing brands and also won 3rd Place in the International Tarpon Tournament 2013.

9. Tell us about the fish that has given you the greatest battle

The largest fish I caught was a grouper or brown tail broom tail grouper which had a weight of 125 pounds. Pulling it lasted about 1 hour, I made this capture while vertical jigging or bottom fishing.

sportfishing in Costa Rica - gulf of papagayo

Carlos with his 125 LB grouper.
This picture is not photoshopped. 100% real!

10. What steps do you and your friends take in the conservation and protection of marine resources?

The steps we take during our fishing days are trying to free 80% of the catch and to free the fish in the best way to ensure the recovery of the fish to their environment.

sportfishing in costa rica - gulf of papagayo

Sportfishing with friends, a great way to bond and meet new people!

Fishermen, we invite you to visit and experience the best of sportfishing in the Gulf of Papagayo. In our blue waters, you can find your record fish! Come see the best fishing gear at our store and enjoy the best catches. Marlin, sailfish, bantams, golden and more await for a major battle. Cocos Fishing Supply offers fishing trips with professional fishermen, fishing equipment, information on the best fishing spots, advice on fishing in Guanacaste and more.


If you want to be learn more about sportfishing, “Sportsfishing World Magazine” is a great magazine that you can download. They are one of the most popular sportfishing magazines.


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