Playa Tamarindo is located at the southern end of the shallow, plankton rich Papagayo Gulf on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The close proximity to the continental shelf makes for a very short run time.
There is a large variety of boats to choose from, from single engine pangas, to air-conditioned inboard sport fishing boats, and they will differ greatly in price. In the dry season when the strong Papagayo winds are prevalent, it is recommended to fish on twin engine boat as the ocean can get choppy and captains will have to fish farther away to be in calm water.
Most charter companies offer two types of fishing charters. A half day charter which usually targets reef fish such as snapper and grouper, leaves around 7 am and returns around mid day. A full day charter targets sailfish and marlin, as well as reef fish, leaves around 7 am and returns around 4 pm.
Billfish are catch-and-release only, but it is possible to bring in ‘eating fish’, such as tuna and snapper. The boat mates will fillet your fish and bag it for you. Most restaurants will cook up your fish for a reasonable fee.
Before going out on a charter you will have to purchase a fishing license which can be done online. A license costs around $15 and is valid for 8 days. When booking your charter you will get instructions on how to go about buying the license.