Just returned from my second hosted trip of the year to Samara, Costa Rica, and once again the group caught some very nice fish including roosters, sailfish and a striped marlin. The weather was absolutely glorious though if I am absolutely honest, as I always like to be, the fishing we experienced throughout the week was at best tough. The inshore fishing in particular was somewhat disappointing. Despite seeing large numbers of roosters and jacks every day, getting any to bite a lure ranged from difficult to impossible. Some days we managed to tempt a few, but on others it was the best we could do to avoid a blank.

Inshore fishing was tough, but we did manage to catch a few roosters on lures.

No words necessary, a thing of beauty!

Offshore the fishing was equally tough. Throughout our five days we managed three sailfish releases with one fish lost, plus a bonus striped marlin that was probably the best part of 200lb. We averaged one or two good dorado a day, plus a few small yellowfin tuna, with other boats fishing the area reporting similar catches. January and February are traditionally absolute peak season in Costa Rica, but this year there is not getting away from the fact the fishing has been tough.

During the week we released some very nice sailfish.

Steve McDonald caught a good sail, plus an estimated 200lb striped marlin.

Nicolas Graves was delighted with his first billfish.

We caught several good dorado each day, which we later enjoyed for dinner!

Pure gold!

So why was this? Well of course we can not be 100% sure but each day offshore we witnessed plenty of (illegal) long line activity, and this has undoubtedly impacted on the pelagic fishery. Inshore we were seeing good numbers of fish, but for some obscure reason they were not feeding. Several local skippers and crew told us the inshore sea temperature was much warmer than usual, so this is most likely the reason the fish were lethargic?

I leant Tony Moreton my Shimano STC Monster/Twin Power 8000 outfit, and he was soon hooked up to his first roosterfish!

He certainly looks pleased with himself!

Tony Harris with his first rooster.

Having considered all options I have decided to reschedule my hosted trips to this wonderful destination to the very start of the season, in November and December. My first trip to Samara was in November 2017 and the inshore fishing we experienced during that trip truly incredible, see my previous blog. Certainly sea temperatures are cooler at this time of the year, but we did experience a few heavy showers. I feel the risk of rain is greatly outweighed by the huge  number of fish we caught. Most of the anglers who join me on my hosted trips to Pacific Central America travel primarily for the inshore fishing, casting and jigging, and from my experience this is the time they will most likely experience plenty of action with large numbers and dorado and jacks, roosterfish and numerous other species.

Stuart Ford holds a very nice bull dorado, these were especially prolific during my previous November trip.

There were reasonable numbers of yellowfin tuna offshore.

Jacks were unusually lethargic during this trip, not so in November 2017 when we caught dozens.

At the time of writing I have a few free places available for November 2020, get in touch with Anglers World Holidays as soon as possible if you would like to join me next year: 01246 221717.

One again the top lure was the excellent Rapala XXX-Rap Cast 14, a must have lure on these trips.

That’s one way to keep a howler monkey quiet!

One day we were visited by a humpback whale and here calf, magical!