Being a real fisherman’s Mecca, Costa Rican land breathes with angling legends and myths. The unbelievable stories about tarpon fishing and miraculous catches have become historic. However, all of these stories do not differ dramatically from reality, since huge catches and Costa Rican Grand Slams (more than three fish species caught within a day) are not a rare phenomenon both on the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. If these legends still seem unreal for you, you haven’t been to Costa Rica yet.
In this brief post we will dwell upon the most popular species caught in Costa Rica, which are tarpon also known as ‘Silver King’.
Tarpon (Silver King, Poons, Sabalo) feature unique appearance, habitat and fighting characteristics separating them from the closest species, which are the bonefish and the ladyfish.
Tarpon have blue-gray backs and silver sides. They can be easily identified by their huge sizes, protruding monstrous jaws (the lower part) and small dorsal fins with long rays. Consuming crabs, sardines, anchovies and other small fish, tarpon grow rapidly attaining huge sizes (8 feet / 350 pounds).
Tarpon Fishing Hotspots
There are several main centers for Costa Rica tarpon angling, among which is the Rio Colorado, that has been the major fishing center for decades. One of the Rio Colorado lodges displays black and white pictures of John Wayne and Lee Marvin fishing there in the 50’s and 60’s. This city is the main destination for those who would like to try their strength in getting Costa Rican Grand Slam.
Fishing Calendar and Tactics
Costa Rica tarpon are always in the shallow waters, lagoons, mouths of rivers on the Caribbean coast and along the Nicaragua and Costa Rica border. Despite the fact that the fish can be caught all year round, there are high seasons for tarpon fishing, which are dry months from December till May.
Tarpon fishing tactics depend on the place you’ve chosen to catch the fish. In case of angling in the river mouths, jigging, trolling live bait and lures are the most beneficial. Sight fishing and trolling are the best for angling in lagoons and rivers. Tarpon are known as fierce fighters, thus it can be quite challenging and exciting to catch one. If you feel a strong strike with following series of leaps and runs, there is no doubt what fish has taken the bait. Experienced anglers know that tarpon’s tastes about lures may vary, hence they have their tackle boxes finely equipped. To succeed in tarpon fishing they recommend to try surface plugs on a par with slow sinking and deep running lures of various colors and shapes. Silver and yellow mirror-sided lures are usually the most attractive for tarpon.
Hunting for these mighty fish is an exciting experience you will never forget. Simply listen to your guides and their lures and angling tactics advice and be sure you will go back home with a miraculous picture of you and your Costa Rican Grand Slam!