The Best Spots to Fish in Drake Bay Costa Rica

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Costa Rica is known for its incredible fishing opportunities, and one of the best places to fish is in Drake Bay. Located on the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay offers a variety of high-quality fishing experiences as several large river mouths offer a wide variety of fish to choose from. Some of the best local fishing is located on the Drake River, Ganado Estuary, Agujitas River, Sierpe River, and the world-famous Cano Island Fishery.

    The best part is – from offshore sport fishing charters to inshore angling, If you’re planning a fishing trip to Drake Bay Costa Rica in 2023, you’re in luck.

    In this article, we’ll go through the best places to go fishing in Drake Bay. Most of these spots are also great for snorkeling, but avid fishermen are always encouraged to throw in their hooks and see what the bay offers. We’ll also go through the best type of fishing, as well as the top Drake Bay fishing charters and the fish specimens you can expect. 

    Drake Bay Fishing: Top 5 Hot Spots in 2023

    Drake Bay is known for its diverse fish population, including locations to fish for anglers. There are several high-quality river mouths in the area, hosting excellent fishing locations. Including To fish Drake Bay, there are plenty of places where you can try your luck at catching big fish. Without further ado, here are the top three river mouths you should consider for inshore and offshore sport fishing.

    Drake River

    The Drake River is a popular spot for sport fishing enthusiasts. Its calm and clear waters are home to a wide variety of fish species, including tuna, snapper, and sailfish. Anglers can spend hours casting their lines and reeling in their catch while taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding lush rainforest and towering mountains.

    The river is carefully managed to ensure sustainable fishing practices, allowing both locals and tourists to enjoy the sport for years to come. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water miles off the coast or a thrilling fishing adventure on the shore, the Drake River is the perfect destination.

    Ganado Estuary

    The Ganado Estuary is another excellent spot for fishing in Drake Bay. Here, you can catch snook, grouper, and mahi-mahi. The estuary’s intricate network of channels and mangroves provides shelter and plenty of food for fish, making it a haven for anglers. 

    In addition to its abundant fish population, the Ganado Estuary offers anglers a unique and picturesque setting for their fishing adventures. Its lush mangrove forests create a tranquil atmosphere, allowing anglers to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while casting their lines. The calm and peaceful waters surrounding the place also make it an ideal spot for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed experience. 

    Agujitas River

    If you’re interested in river fishing, the Agujitas River is the place to be. Known for its abundant fish population, including snapper and mackerel, the Agujitas River offers a unique and thrilling fishing journey. You can explore the river’s stunning scenery while fly fishing for the perfect catch. 

    In addition to its diverse fish population, the Agujitas River also provides an idyllic setting. Surrounded by lush rainforest and teeming with wildlife, this river offers a truly immersive experience in nature. As you navigate its gentle currents, you may catch a glimpse of colorful birds, playful monkeys, or even elusive jaguars. The tranquility it offers and its surrounding environment creates a serene ambiance, allowing you to relax and fully enjoy your fishing adventure. 

    Cano Island 

    Cano Island, nestled just 15.0 miles / 24.2 km from Drake Bay Costa Rica, is a gem for angling enthusiasts worldwide. Revered as a premier fishing destination, the island’s surrounding waters offer an unparalleled richness of marine life, making it a bucket-list spot for both amateur and seasoned anglers. Integral to its reputation is its designation as a biological reserve, ensuring a pristine and thriving ecosystem.

    The island boasts a plethora of game fish species, from the hard-fighting roosterfish to the coveted marlin. It’s not uncommon to engage in thrilling battles with these magnificent creatures, providing tales of adventure for years to come. The confluence of deep ocean currents nearby makes it a hotspot for pelagic species, enhancing the overall experience.

    Sierpe River 

    The Sierpe River mangrove system is one of the largest in Central America. This rich ecosystem makes it a hotspot for various species of fish, including snook, tarpon, and catfish. Fishing in such biodiverse waters not only improves the chances of a good catch but also offers anglers a unique opportunity to witness and appreciate a variety of marine life.

    Local guides and communities prioritize sustainable fishing practices to maintain the river’s ecological balance. By opting to fish in the Sierpe River, anglers support these local efforts, ensuring that the river continues to thrive for future generations.

    Is Offshore Fishing or Inshore Fishing Better in Costa Rica?

    Both offshore fishing and inshore fishing offer unique experiences in Costa Rica. The choice between offshore and inshore fishing depends on your preferences and the type of fish you want to catch. The first one allows you to target larger species and catch marlin and sailfish, while inshore fishing provides opportunities for catching snapper, roosterfish, and snook.  

    Moreover, offshore fishing also offers the thrill of being out on the open water, far from the coastline. It allows you to experience the excitement of battling with powerful and fast fish that can put up a strong fight. Conversely, inshore fishing takes place closer to the shore, where you can enjoy the picturesque views of the coastline and the calmness of the shallower waters. It is a great option for those who prefer a more relaxed and scenic experience. For sport fishing, we suggest trying the world-famous Corcovado National Park – a mix of natural beauty, the best wildlife, and recreational angling!

    Most Common Types of Fish in Costa Rica

    When fishing in Costa Rica, you can expect to encounter a wide variety of fish species. Some of the most common types include Wahoo, Snapper, Grouper, and Roosterfish. These fish provide exciting challenges and are highly sought after by fishermen visiting the country.


    In Costa Rica, roosterfish, recognized by their unique dorsal fins, are a sportfishing favorite. Anglers frequent the Pacific coast, especially the Osa Peninsula and Drake Bay, using live bait or poppers. Once caught, roosterfish are often released due to their game value. Though edible with a mild flavor, they’re less favored for dining compared to other species. Conservation-minded practices encourage catch-and-release to sustain their population.

    Yellowfin Tuna

    Yellowfin tuna are a sought-after offshore catch. Anglers often target them near seamounts and floating debris, using lures or live bait. Their powerful, fast runs challenge even seasoned fishermen. As for dining, yellowfin is top-tier. Its rich, red meat is perfect for sashimi, grilling, or searing. Costa Rican dishes frequently feature it, making the catch doubly rewarding. Sustainable methods are promoted to ensure future abundance.


    Grouper is a prized catch among deep-sea and reef anglers. Found around rocky bottoms and coral reefs, they’re pursued using live bait or jigs. Grouper’s sturdy fight offers anglers a challenging yet rewarding experience. Culinary-wise, grouper is a treat. Its flaky, white meat is a favorite in Costa Rican cuisine, often grilled or served in a ‘casado’ – a traditional dish. Sustainable fishing practices are urged to protect their numbers.


    Marlin fishing is a thrilling deep-sea endeavor. Anglers often target the Pacific coast’s seamounts and blue waters, using live bait or lures.
    Prime season in Costa Rica: September to December


    Fishing for Wahoo fish in the Drake Bay area is an exhilarating adventure. With its crystal-clear waters and abundance of marine life, Drake Bay offers the perfect setting when seeking this fast and powerful species. From the thrill of the chase to the delicious reward on the dinner plate, Wahoo fishing in Drake Bay is an unforgettable experience.

    Cubera Snapper

    If you’re up for a fight, then try to catch a Cubera snapper fish in Drake Bay. Known for their aggressive nature and impressive size, these prized catches can exceed 100 pounds. They inhabit rocky reefs and are recognized for their large mouths and sharp teeth. Their powerful strikes and relentless fights make for an unforgettable angling adventure.


    Drake Bay offers various species like striped marlin, Mahi Mahi, and Corvina. Striped marlin are known for their impressive leaps and acrobatics, making them a thrilling catch. Mahi Mahi, vibrant and speedy, exhibit a strong fight and are prized for their delicious flesh.

    And if you want to fish a local favorite, go for the Corvina. They are known for their large size and powerful strikes. Fishing in Drake Bay promises unforgettable encounters with these magnificent creatures.

    Best Fishing Charter to Use

    If you are looking for the best fishing charters in Drake Bay, look no further! The tours in Drake Bay offer exceptional fishing trips with experienced captains who know the local waters like the back of their hands.

    One such charter is led by Captain Willy. This Costa Rican has plenty of expertise, ensuring that you have the best chance to fish Costa Rica’s abundant waters and catch species like marlin, sailfish, and tuna. With top-notch equipment, comfortable boats, and a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, these charters in Drake Bay are a must for any angler seeking a memorable adventure.

    Conclusion: The Best Fish Destinations in Bahia Drake Bay

    That’s everything you need to know to fish in Costa Rica. Drake Bay is a paradise for anglers looking for great fishing places since it offers some of the best fishing spots in Costa Rica. Whether you’re interested in offshore charters or local angling, you’ll find a variety of fish species and incredible fishing experiences.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to fish in Drake Bay during your visit to Costa Rica in 2023. Grab your fishing gear, and let’s get fishing!

    FAQ About Fishing Drake Bay

    1. What species of fish can I expect to catch in Drake Bay?

      • Common species include sailfish, marlin, dorado (mahi-mahi), yellowfin tuna, roosterfish, snapper, and wahoo, among others.
    2. When is the best time of day to fish in Drake Bay?

      • We suggest testing the waters 2 hours before high tide as that’s when we’ve had the best luck.
    3. When is the best month to fish in Drake Bay?
      • While fishing is good year-round, the peak season for billfish like marlin and sailfish is typically from December to April.
    4. Do I need a fishing license?
      • Yes, a Costa Rican fishing license is required. It’s typically provided by charter operators, but it’s always good to check in advance.
    5. Are there catch-and-release practices?

      • Yes, catch and release is strongly encouraged, especially for billfish, to promote conservation.
    6. Can I bring my fishing gear?

      • Most fishing charters provide all the necessary equipment, but you’re usually welcome to bring your own if you prefer. A $30 luggage fee is usually required when traveling with your fishing gear and equipment to the area of Drake Bay Costa Rica. 
    7. Are there any fishing tournaments in the area?

      • Costa Rica hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year, and while they might not all be in the exact area, it’s worth checking the local event calendar.
    8. Is it possible to combine fishing with other activities?

      • Absolutely! Many visitors combine fishing with wildlife tours, snorkeling, or diving, especially around the nearby Cano Island.
    9. Are there both inshore and offshore fishing opportunities?

      • Yes, both Inshore fishing targets species like roosterfish and snapper, while offshore trips will target sailfish, marlin, and tuna.
    10. How can I book a fishing charter?

      • Numerous operators in the area offer private charter services. It’s advisable to research and book their fishing calendar in advance, especially during peak season.
    11. What should I bring on a Charter fishing trip?

      • Sunscreen, a hat, polarized sunglasses, comfortable clothing, and any personal items or preferred snacks. Most charters provide water and other refreshments.

    12. What should I bring if I’m fishing onshore?
      • We suggest bringing your own pole (including reel / hooks etc), a bucket or net for your catch, plenty of water and hydration + any snacks as the area is somewhat remote at times. Worse case, bringing a garmin in-reach for emergencies is always suggested, as these allow for GPS cell-phone texting when cell phone reception is limited.

    Remember, while fishing is a major attraction, the ecological beauty and biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula make it a unique destination. Always practice sustainable fishing to ensure the preservation of this natural paradise.



    Contact us with any questions related to bookings, custom inquires, feedback and more. 

    A house with a thatched roof in the jungle.

    Submit your email for discounts and Special offers

    Join our mailing list and receive special offers and discounted vacation packages directly to your email.

    By clicking “Submit”, you are signing up to recieving emails from us. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.

    The best Costa Rica hotel with a house thatched roof and plants.

    Submit your email for discounts and Special offers

    Join our mailing list and receive special offers and discounted vacation packages directly to your email.

    By clicking “Submit”, you are signing up to recieving emails from us. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.