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Fishing The Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Fishing The Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica post image

The Pacific coast of Central America is an outdoorsmen’s haven, plain and simple. As far as fishing, the inshore and offshore opportunities are nothing short of spectacular.

I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the southwestern coast of Costa Rica on two separate trips over the past four years, and it’s a place I will continue visiting my whole life.


Welcome To Osa

Just before the Panama border, Costa Rica juts out into a peninsula that extends into the Pacific and forms a protected body of water.

The area is a famed natural paradise, simply referred to as the Osa.

To the east of Osa lies a giant bay called El Golfo Dulce, or “The Sweet Gulf,” named for its low saline content.

The Osa Penninsula and Golfo Dulce are both teaming with life. In fact, the area is considered to have the densest biodiversity on earth.

More species live here, per square foot, than anywhere else on the planet.​

​The Osa is remote and separate from the more developed areas in Costa Rica. Traveling to Osa from the US in one day is tough, but can be done.

During this particular trip we decided to spend a night in Costa Rica's capitol city of San Jose, before continuing onto Osa.

The Flight

The next morning we hopped a flight with Nature Air, which is a small airline that specializes in traveling to the more remote areas of Central America.

We took off in our tiny plane at the crack of dawn, leaving the city of San Jose behind, and entering into a world of mist-covered mountains, glowing with the light of a rising sun.

The plane was about the size of a car and the ride a little shaky to say the least, but the beauty of the area put me at ease.

It also helped that the pilots were videoing the scenery on their iPhones and seemed to not have a care in the world. That’s Costa Rica for you!

As we flew over Corcovado National Park (a Mecca for nature lovers) I could see an endless landscape of jungle, mountains, and rivers.

It felt like Jurassic Park.

Puerto Jimenez

After an exhilarating 50 minutes in the air, we landed on a dirt runway in a small fishing village called Puerto Jimenez.

The town is nestled where jungle meets ocean, a few miles from the southwestern-most tip of the Osa Penninsula, not far from the Panamanian border.

We stayed at the Iguana Lodge, which is an eco-friendly establishment.

The lodge consisted of cabanas built into a jungle beachfront, a spectacular staff, gourmet food, and a wide open expanse of untouched beach.

It was the most unique lodging experience of my life.

Iguana Lodge was just minutes away from the world famous Crocodile Bay fishing resort. Clearly, this is a fishy area.

Our week in Puerto Jimenez would involve two days of inshore fishing by boat, and the remaining days surfcasting the surrounding beaches and lagoons.

Minutes upon our arrival, we spotted a sloth hanging from a tree outside our cabin and a family of capuchin monkeys curiously looking down at the lodge’s lunch time crowd.

That night, the sight of a giant wolf spider on my bed made me realize this wouldn’t be the usual pampered resort experience.

The jungle was alive, and we were right in it.

Surfcasting Osa

Soon after settling in we began trekking the beach and casting. I was using a Yozuri “Bull” Popper, which creates huge splashes of water.

Within minutes, I had a Roosterfish follow the plug on top. Moments later, my dad caught a small Jack Crevalle.

There were definitely fish around.

Unfortunately, over the next couple days of surfcasting, we were unsuccessful in getting anything noteworthy from the beach besides some small Jacks, Needlefish, and Snapper.

Every morning we could clearly see Roosterfish cruising along the shoreline and attacking pods of sardines. We tried every lure in the book, but these fish would not hit!

We were doing the majority of our fishing at first light or dusk, which I ultimately realized substantially limited our chances of success.

The fish are certainly active in the morning, but the water was as flat as a lake at the start and end of our days.

However during the afternoon, the ocean would churn up, which made fooling these fish easier - as we would later find out.

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  1. I am looking at going there in a week and was doing a little reading on your page. Is there any location on the peninsula that you would recommend? Is there a local charter/boat to rent as well? Thanks

    1. Hi Paul, I would look up Cory Craig first and foremost. He might be booked, but he’s a world-renowned captain who is absolutely fantastic. He’ll cater to whatever style or species you want to experience. In terms of surfcasting, I’ve stayed in Puerto Jimenez and Matapalo. Puerto Jimenez I found was a lot easier to fish and the beaches went on for miles uninterrupted. I would recommend going there, since Cory (and other guides) is based there. He will take you to the rocks off Matapalo where there’s tremendous action. When I stayed in Matapalo, I found the deep water was too far offshore to reach from the surf. That said, there’s definitely times when the Roosters and Jacks come in close. We had our shots in both locations. Hope that helps!

      Tight lines,

  2. I am ready to explore this beautiful place. The place you stayed looks great. Enjoyed your report. Spring soon.

    1. Thank you, Jake! You’ll have a wonderful time down there. Amazing place.

  3. Looks like an awesome place to check out, and those are some BIG mahi!

    1. Thanks, Ryan! It’s incredible how close they were to shore. Definitely worth a trip during the off season.


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