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Dorado & Small Yellowfin Tuna in the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Ryan Collins

It has been quite the adventure so far for myself, Lauren and several members of My Fishing Cape Cod here in Costa Rica! 

On Monday January 14 myself, Jane and Tom Simpson, and Tom Dromgoole headed out into the Golfo Dulce to target big dorado and small yellowfin tunas.

We hired a local commercial fisherman named Kincho who had built his own panga style boat. Kincho is a terrific fisherman and a super nice person. I have fished with him four times now and each trip has been an amazing experience.


The Golfo Dulce is a deepwater fjord which opens into the Pacific Ocean. Within its depths you can find dorado, yellowfin tuna, roosterfish jack crevalles, sierra mackerel, snappers and a variety of sharks, porpoise, turtles and other marine animals. It is very close to where we stay when we visit Costa Rica.

Almost every single morning on the Golfo Dulce is flat calm with light winds, which makes it ideal for fishing from boats. Typically the wind picks up around 2pm. This would provide us with a solid 8 hours of calm and fishable conditions.

On our way to the fishing grounds we saw two very interesting creatures. The first was an adult tiger shark, and the second was a yellow and purple colored sea snake. Both can be very dangerous if you get too close!

By 7am we had arrived at the edge of the Golfo Dulce, where it opens up to the mighty Pacific Ocean. Kincho instructed us to get rigged up with Rapala style swim baits for trolling with our light tackle spinning setups.

About twenty minutes into the troll we had our first bite! Jane's rod bent over and line started peeling from her reel. I think Jane was just as shocked as I was! Instantly I realized just how much fun these small yellowfin tunas were going to be, especially on the light tackle spinning setups.

For the next couple of hours we all hooked up with our fair share of football size yellowfin tunas. The tunas hit hard and fought great. We had a blast, especially knowing that we would have plenty of fresh sashimi for dinner.

At around 9am we spotted a lone tuna going airborne as it chased bait across the silky calm surface of the Golfo Dulce. Kincho's first mate quickly ran to the bow of the boat and tossed a popper at the fish, which elicited a powerful topwater explosion!

Once I saw that happen I very quickly snapped on a popper of my own. I hustled to the bow of the boat and heaved a long cast. As soon as my popper hit the water an incredibly aggressive dorado catapulted itself towards the surface, engulfing my popper and going airborne simultaneously!

The dorado put up an amazing fight which I captured on video. I will share that video with you here on MFCC this coming Wednesday. 

Dorado (also called mahi mahi or dolphinfish) are incredible fighters, but they also make for great table fare. There was no doubt we would all be eating very well after this trip!

After making a few more casts without any more bites, we decided to put out the Rapalas and start back up on the troll. 

Not long into the troll Jane's rod bent over again, and a smaller dorado started jumping straight clear out of the water, just a few yards behind the boat!

In total we caught around 7 small yellowfin tuna and 2 beautiful dorado. On our way back to where we are staying in Costa Rica we stopped to try for roosterfish, but the tide was too low and we didn't see any life. 

By 1pm we were back at the dock just in time before the afternoon winds picked up and the seas got rough. Overall it was another great trip with captain Kincho and an awesome crew from My Fishing Cape Cod. 

Stay tuned for the video from this trip which I will publish here on MFCC this Wednesday. I hope you are all staying as warm as possible back on Cape Cod and throughout New England as the polar vortex and single digit temperatures descend upon the region. Don't worry - spring will be here before we know it!

Tight lines 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Heh Jane n Tom, looks like a lot of fun and a successful trip. Hope to see you at Block or on the Cape again this season!

  2. looks like paradise for true sportsmen and women

    1. It absolutely is George! Many world records have been set here, and big game like blue marlin and sailfish are located just 20-60 miles offshore. Inshore there are roosterfish, jacks, snappers, mackerels and a bunch of other stuff.

      Thanks for reading MFCC! I hope things are well for you up north. Stay warm!!!

  3. Tom and I just returned from Costa Rica and are still basking in the glow of a fantastic vacation. Lauren and Ryan are vacation planners extraordinaire. This well organized and well executed trip with Kinsho serves as one example of their planning skills There are countless more examples. Ryan and Lauren are special people, willing to share this gem of a location with the MFCC community.

    1. It was a ton of fun having you and Tom as part of this trip! Can’t thank you guys enough for making the trek down here. Who knows what will be next! Hope to see you guys this winter at a show, meetup and/or at Dex and Betsy’s house for dinner!

  4. Enjoy as we do our 🔥🤪!

    1. Roger that, thanks for reading Igor!


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