Costa Rica has long been one of my all time favourite angling destinations. This idyllic Central American country is amazingly beautiful and safe to visit, it’s a country that really does have something to offer for everyone. On this latest trip I travelled along with five other anglers to Samara, a small and mostly underdeveloped town just south of Nicoya, Guanacaste Province, in the north of the country.


Start of another day on the beach at Samara.

We were scheduled for six days fishing, but there is no hiding from the fact that the trip started badly. On day one we woke to find heavy cloud cover and steady rain, conditions that not only persisted but throughout the day got progressively worse. The rain, which we were told had been all but continual throughout the previous week, had heavily coloured the inshore waters around the reefs we fished to the north of Samara, where we caught precisely nothing. Luckily a move offshore soon located cleaner water, and a switch to trolling lures produced some very nice sized dorado.


Andy Smith holds one of many dorado we caught during our trip.


Pink lures such as this Rapala XXX Cast 14 were especially productive.


The extra large Patchinko is a great lure for numerous species in these waters.

On day two our boat decided to fish well offshore hoping for a shot at a marlin or sailfish, but this proved to be a waste of time with just a few dorado and small tuna saving us from a blank. Once again the weather was poor and as we punched our way back to the beach through increasingly heavy seas and torrential rain, I was starting to think that we were in for a very tough trip. However when we got back to the hotel where we were based we were greeted with the encouraging news that the other boat in our group had found clear water inshore by running south, and as a result had caught some very nice fish, including a 40lb plus roosterfish for Andrew Leaves.


Hooked up to my first rooster of the trip!


A nice fish of 20lb+

Day three we enjoyed our breakfast under clear blue skies, and the mercury was already well on the rise by the time we boarded our respective boats a little after 7 in the morning. As we headed out of the bay in which Samara is located we soon spotted large shoals of surface feeding tuna and bonito, which provided as much sport as we wanted on small casting jigs fished on light tackle. And the day just got better and better. By the time we returned to Samara that afternoon we had caught around half a dozen very nice roosters, a bunch of jacks, and several more bragging size dorado.


Terry Thomas holds his first rooster.


Andy Smith with one of the 8 he caught during the trip.


Pink was undoubtedly the most effective colour lure.

On day four the fishing was incredible. For me it was one of those days when whatever I tried worked, and worked well. I personally boated three roosters, all caught on surface poppers, best fish around 30lb, plus numerous jacks and small tuna. I also caught a stunning 30-40lb dorado that inhaled the casting jig I had been using right at the rod tip. That fishes first run, one of several, ripped more than 200 yards of line from the reel.


Is there a more beautiful species of gamefish than the dorado?


Certainly they are one of my favourites…


Great sushi, too!

The fishing throughout the remainder of the trip was equally productive, indeed it got even better for dorado. On the fifth morning we located a weed line that included several large trees, and the sea in the area was thick with feeding dorado. By 10 in the morning the three of us fishing on our boat had already caught in excess of 20 dorado in the 10-25lb class. Throughout that day we located several dense bait balls of brown minnows that were being demolished by feeding frenzy of roosters, jacks, small tuna, Sierra mackerel and dorado. Any lure that was cast in the vicinity of these bait balls was immediately smashed by whichever species managed to grab it first. It was a truly awesome sight.


X marks the spot, hook up imminent!

That afternoon as we headed back towards Samara we came across a whale shark. It was totally unperturbed by our presence and after several minutes watching this incredible animal swim around the boat I could contain myself no longer, and I stripped off and dived in and swam down to it. It wasn’t the slightest bit bothered by my presence, even allowing me to gently stroke one of its fins; what an experience.


The whales shark I swam with; what an experience!

Our sixth and final day was another cracker. Plenty of dorado, roosters, tuna and as many jacks as we wanted to catch. Around lunchtime we located a few large bait balls that were being harassed by a shoal of well in excess of 1000 jacks. We could have caught as many of these as we wanted, but settled for a couple of dozen before moving on to try something different.


Sierra mackerel.


Jack crevalle.


And yet another rooster!

Samara is one of the most exciting Central American destinations I have had the privilege to fish, and I can’t wait to return. Unlike many other areas of Costa Rica this remote area remains largely undeveloped, with as yet minimal sport fishing pressure. During numerous previous trips to Costa Rica never have I seen so many roosterfish, with at times up to half a dozen fish chasing the lure right back to the boat. The standard of fishing for these most prized of inshore game fish was so good we barely tried fishing for other species such a cuberra and grouper, and I know that given the right conditions the offshore fishing for billfish and tuna is incredible.

If you would like to join me on a hosted trip to Samara or arrange a private trip, contact Anglers World Holidays on Tel; 01246 221717 or visit:


Never have I seen so many roosterfish as in the inshore waters around Samara.


And the dorado fishing was truly incredible!

I have now been proudly associated with AFTCO performance sport fishing clothing for two years. During this time I have used their incredibly well made state of the art products to fish under a variety of testing conditions, and both I and the numerous crews whom I have given samples to trial have had nothing other than great things to say about the brand. Not only do AFTCO products look great, but they really are supremely comfortable and provide excellent protection from the elements when fishing. For more information visit:


We’ll be back…


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