We Use Quality Fishing Tackle
- Wide assortment of MOLDCRAFT lures
- BLACK BART Trolling lures and teasers
- STAR trolling lures
- Butterfly jigs for jigging over structure
- Ilander trolling lures and cedar plugs
- Eagle Claw and Mustad Circle Hooks
- Penn Downriggers
How We Fish
These trips typically leave the marina around 7:30 am and return at 1 pm in the afternoon. The main target of these trips is typical dorado and roosterfish and other inshore species. Due to their short duration and limited range during half days we do not actively target billfish. That is not to say they are not caught during half day trips but, they are an infrequent catch therefore if you desire to catch sailfish or marlin we ask that you please consider a full day trip. The techniques used during half day trips include bait and switch as well as live baiting around structure.
These trips are a little more flexible in terms of the target species. Their longer duration and increased range allow us to fish productive structure that is beyond the capability of a half day trip. We run two different types of full day trips depending on the season consisting of a traditional offshore/billfish trip and a mixed bag inshore trip. We run the billfish trips year round and they target sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin and striped marlin as well as dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo. These trips generally occur anywhere from 10 to 40 miles from the marina in bluewater and employ bait and switch fishing which is some of the most exciting big game fishing you can experience.
Our mixed bag inshore trips are typically run from late April to early November depending on the prevailing trade winds. These trips take advantage of the structure rich areas north of Santa Rosa National park to target monster roosterfish, almaco jacks and cubera snapper. Due to the dynamic bottom topography of this area, we also regularly encounter sailfish, dorado and other pelagics on these trips as well. The fishing style is slightly different in that instead of trolling teasers and pitching dead baits, we troll a selection of live baits on the surface and on downriggers. These methods have produced multiple certified world records for our anglers and you could be the next one to pull a record from these rocks!
Our Most Successful Methods Are:
Bait and Switch
We troll a combination of hookless teasers and rigged trolling lures to "raise" fish at which point the teasers are reeled up to the boat with the fish in pursuit, then a dead bait is fed to the fish right off the back of the boat.
We slow troll live baits on the surface and deep with downriggers over pinnacles and structure-rich areas for monster roosterfish, snapper, wahoo, tuna and maybe even a sailfish.
Conservation in Action
Costa Rican law requires the use of circle hooks when fishing bait for billfish and we at Billfish Safaris fully support the use of circle hooks when fishing dead or live baits for billfish and other gamefish species. The fact of the matter is, that when circle hooks are properly fished, hook-up ratios and post release survival rates of fish increase dramatically. The most difficult aspect of fishing circle hooks is teaching new users the intricacies of getting a good hookset. We at Billfish Safaris are more than willing to teach you how to effectively fish circle hooks for billfish and inshore species utilizing both live and dead bait.
Billfish Safaris is also dedicated to the preservation of our pelagic resources in Costa Rica, and as a result, we have self-imposed bag limits on our target species. Anyone who has been sportfishing a few times has bloodied the decks once or twice (ourselves included), however; we have begun to ask the question: "Do we really need to harvest this many tuna, dorado, etc.?" Our answer is: no. We will gladly harvest a dorado or some tuna for you to take back to your hotel or restaurant, but, if the bite is wide open we institute a catch and release policy after a certain number of fish (Example: 4 yellowfin tuna under 30 lbs, 1 yellowfin tuna over 30 lbs.).
At no point will we stop you from catching as many fish as you want to fight, but, we will ask that you embrace our catch and release policy. This helps ensure our pelagic resources remain healthy and there are plenty of fish for you to fight on your next trip.
The use of circle hooks when fishing billfish on bait is Costa Rican law. The proper use of circle hooks, along with revival of the fish, increases post-release survival of billfish when compared to using J-hooks. Studies have proven circle hooks to be the single most important and effective conservation device used in sport fishing.