Sport fishing in Costa Rica— undoubtedly on every serious angler’s bucket list. Playa Grande may be world famous for its surf, but the fishing in the area is second to none. Arguably, it’s the local sport fishing that was the catalyst for why we at MyPlayaGrande ended up here.

Back in the 1980s, our grandfather, “Ace” as we affectionately called him, caught his first black marlin off a boat in Playa Ocotal, a little north of Playa Grande. Since his initial trip, he’s hooked his son on the place, and his son now has two daughters living in the area. Surfing. Fishing. Costa Rica It’s in our bloodline.

We started this week off right chartering the GameFisherII out of Potrero. It’s been years since I’ve been on a charter, and this was a first for me in Costa Rica.

Captain Ricardo and crewmembers Diego and “Scooby” greeted us at the beach bright and early at 7:00 a.m.

After a short, successful stint of catching bait, we trolled the outskirts of Flamingo Bay and within half an hour, tiny, yet mighty Nicole landed a sizable Sierra Mackerel; our early success appeared like a glinting beacon over the horizon.DSC_0129

Ricardo steered us to Las Catalinas (a great dive spot and according to our sources, they’re having 60-90 feet visibility right now). The beach disappeared, but the rugged terrain stood its ground. An hour off the coast and something BIG sends a rod reeling. Ian, our best contender, takes his seat at the fighting chair and it’s game on. For the better part of the next hour, Ian plays a vicious game of tug of war with a 250 lb. black marlin. Every time he reels past the liter, the monster dives deep. Both exhausted, the beast of a fish gives in and Ian gets him to the boat. The mates retrieve the hook and the weary marlin descends back into the depths.

Las Catalinas Marlin

We spend the rest of the afternoon trolling up the coast, but have little luck with fish; on the contrary, with the pleasant weather, the affable company, and the great food, we all felt quite lucky to share the day together. One fish or ten, we agreed to call the day a success.


Right as we’re patting ourselves on the back for a day well spent, another rod gets hit hard. It’s my turn in the chair, and as the reel is set and placed in the holder, the fish rejects the bait. Within minutes, another rod bends. Still in the chair and refusing to let this one get away, I resort to the pull up and reel down.  A good twenty minutes later, I catch my first big fish in Costa Rica—a 50lb red snapper. And it’s in the same spot we got the marlin.

After that one, we all agreed to call it a day, and it’s time to make some ceviche. Thank you so much GameFisherII!