Costa Rica Fishing Charters

When is the Best Time To Catch Roosterfish in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Fishing Charters

There isn’t any time of year that is better than any other to catch roosterfish in Costa Rica and they can be caught year round. The best places to fish for roosterfish are in Volcanic rock outcrops and they also roam behind the surf lines and near the mouths of rivers that flow into the Pacific.

Roosterfish are one of the most sought after and exciting fishes of the inshore species that roam the entire west coast of Costa Rica. Averaging 15 to 20 pounds, forty pounds are common, and fish over 80 pounds have been taken in Costa Rican waters.

A member of the jack family, they are edible but not considered a prime food fish.

How to Catch Trophy Roosterfish

Live bait such as a feisty blue runner or a hearty small mullet will produce the most roosters. It is best to free-line them with no weight on the line and give them a second or two after the take before setting the hook.

Trolling Rapalas or similar lures will also take roosterfish as well as slow trolling belly baits on skirts. This usually produces the smaller fish in the 15 to 20 pound range. Roosterfish are one of the most difficult fish to fool on a fly. Usually a blue runner is free-lined without a hook and the roosterfish drawn to the boat and the fly presented.

This can be an aggravating process because these intelligent fish will often turn their nose on a fly. When they take one, however, it is a battle to be remembered for a lifetime.

Where to Catch Roosterfish in Costa Rica

Bat Islands Near the Nicaraguan border

This group of Islands are a reasonable run for boats leaving out of ports north of Flamingo. There are good numbers of roosters, snappers and wahoo to be taken here.

Catalina Islands

A short run out of Flamingo, the Catalinas don’t hold the same numbers of fish as the Bat Islands to the north but many a respectable catch has been taken here.

Matapalo Rock

Located at the northern side of the mouth of Golfo Dulce, this area has left many a traveling angler returning home with many stories of giant roosterfish. Large cubera snapper, groupers, and amberjacks call Matapalo their home and occasionally a mako shark will surprise an angler when skyrockets 10 feet in the air after taking a bait.


The rock piles near Manuel Antonio produce good numbers of roosterfish as well as jacks, snapper and mackerel. The river mouths between Quepos and Dominical also produce good numbers of roosters as well as big black snook.

Drakes Bay

The endless structure that runs the coastline as well as the reef inside Cano Island make this one of the prime locations to look for roosterfish. There is less fishing pressure here than in other parts of the country due to the small number of boats and the difficulty in reaching this area. Ideally, you would want to fish this area anytime between August and November.

Final Thoughts

When planning a fishing trip Costa Rica for Roosters, it goes without saying that finding a reliable charter boat with a knowledgeable crew is essential. Charter boats come and go in Costa Rica and therefore the most reliable ones have been there for many years and with the same captain and crews.

Make sure you do your research and ask around to see what boats get recommended the most and you will have the trip of a lifetime.