Costa Rica Fishing FAQ's

Most Frequently asked questions...

About Traveling to & Fishing in Costa Rica and the most accurate answers for each.

Costa Rica Fishing Questions

By far best in the country. Period! This region is globally known and recognized as the Fishing Capital of Costa Rica!  And this is why we decided to base ourselves here.

Regardless of what any one from any other part of the country tells you, the offshore Big Game fishing here is by far the most consistent and productive year round…and that’s no fish story!

The fishing in Los Suenos – Jaco Beach region is excellent year round, however during certain months of the year, different species of Game fish are more abundant than others.

To see what months typically represent the best time to fish for the different species we catch, please visit our Fishing Calendar page to use as a general guideline.

Yes. Costa Rica requires that all passengers on board a fishing charter boat, purchase and carry a valid Costa Rica fishing license wether you intend to fish or not.

You will be required to purchase your Costa Rica fishing license from the INCOPESCA agent located at the dock entrance on the morning of your first day of fishing.

The cost is $17.00 per person and is payable in Cash USD only. The license is valid for one week from date of purchase. (Tell the INCOPESCA agent you want a 1-week License only) 

Your fishing charter will depart the dock at 7:00am in the morning and return between 3:45-4:00pm. Please arrive at the dock no later than 6:50am to insure a timely departure and maximize your fishing time.

All of our Full day fishing charters include Lunch for all passengers, assorted beverages including beer, bottled water, fruit, and snacks. If you have a personal preference in food, beverage, or anything else, you are welcome to bring it aboard with you.

We suggest you bring Sun block SPF 50+ or more, a hat or cap, sunglasses, a towel, fully charged smartphone, white soled sneakers, or boat shoes, any special medications you may need.

Yes, on our carefully selected smaller Panga style and Custom Express boats, ½ day Near shore trips for Roosterfish, Snapper or Offshore for medium sized  Mahi-Mahi and small Tuna are offered.

 ½ day trips are an option with only a few of our larger boats out of the Marina, as a full day is required to deliver the quality and quantity of trophy Big Game Fish that has become synonymous with the Hooked On Costa Rica name.

All boats in our fleet are equipped with state of the art Big Game fishing gear from industry leaders such a Penn, Shimano, Daiwa, Avet, Accurate, and more. Our crews use the lures, teasers, baits, and rigging that are time tested and have proven to be the most productive for our waters.

While it’s not necessary,  you are welcome to bring your own big game rod/reel or any favorite lure/teaser you may have.

Our boats however, are equipped with tournament grade Top Shelf Rods and Reels as well as all of the time tested big game fishing tackle and gear that has proven to raise and catch the most fish in our local waters.

NO. All edible, non-release fish such as Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, or Yellowfin Tuna, Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack or Mackerel that are caught on your charter are YOURS! The mates will fillet, bag and ice your fish on board. It is customary to offer your crew a bag of fillets, however it is NOT required

All Billfish caught on our boats will be live released, once they have been brought boat side, to insure the best chances of survival. Edible species such as Dorado, Wahoo, Tuna, Snapper, and more, will be filleted by your mates on board, at no additional charge. You or a private chef can cook your fish at your fishing vacation rental, or we can gladly direct you to one of our sponsor restaurants, where they will cook your fresh fish for you at a very reasonable price.

Some Airlines may allow you to take frozen fillets home with you in your checked baggage, however it is a very cumbersome process. CHECK with your Airline before you travel to see if they allow it. 

Those that do allow it usually require that your fillets must be fully frozen, and can not be included in your carry-on luggage, but checked baggage only.

Furthermore, you can not pack your frozen fillets with any other type of ice, or foreign substance. It is very difficult to take fish back with you and we don’t suggest you attempt to.

No. Tip/Gratuity is NOT included in the price of your fishing charter.

A minimum of 15%-20% per day is customary. 20% is normal. Under no circumstances should tipping be based on how many fish you catch. If your Captain and crew work hard at finding the fish, make multiple moves, change bait presentations, service your needs, and the bite is just plain slow, they are certainly not to blame. 

Our Captains know and respect that your expectations are high as soon as you get on board, and will work hard to deliver you a trophy day on the water. They want you to catch fish just as badly as you want to,  however fishing will always be fishing, and if the fish don’t want to bite, they won’t.

We are fortunate to have many more successful days on the water here than not, but like anywhere in the world you fish, slow days happen. Please don’t fault your Captain & Crew for it.

No. While booking one of our complete, customized all-inclusive fishing packages is by far the best way to go, We often have customers that already have hotel or accommodation arrangements and or transportation arrangements.

You may still enjoy the benefits of booking your fishing charters with us and  fishing on our top producing  boats , as well as  having us make all of your adventure tours, or private airport transfer reservations for you, without purchasing a complete package.

We work with the regions best tour operators, ground transportation and accommodations to ensure you have the highest quality, safest and most enjoyable experiences on our tours & excursions!

Yes. If you come in on one of our Multi-Inclusive value packages, your choice of 1 adventure tour/excursion will be included in the cost.

You are welcome to book as many other tours as you wish, for the cost of that tour. Many of our guests take the Zip Line Canopy tour as their included tour, and choose to do the ATV tour or Whitewater Rafting as well.

Depending on what you are booking such as a multi-inclusive package, or just accommodations, just a boat, or a Combo package, the amount of Deposit needed to book / reserve will vary.

In general your deposit will be between 35-50% at the time of booking. Your balance will be due 30 days prior to arrival. 

Reservations made within 30 days of  arrival for boats or accommodations require full payment at the time of booking.

We accept Visa/MasterCard Credit Cards ( NO Amex or Discover)  , PayPal, ZELLE, and check or Wire transfer into our USA Wells Fargo Business account,  for the deposit portion of your trip as well as your total balance due.

Your balance due will be no later than 30 days prior to the  day you arrive,

( Please note that any fees we incur for taking payments such as wire transfer fees or Credit Card processing fees, are payable by you and will be included in your balance due.)

Cancellation of booked houses/villas for ANY reason, must be made NO LATER than 90 days from the scheduled date of arrival to qualify for a 50%  refund of your deposit.  House/Villa Cancellations within this 90 day time frame will render your deposit Non-Refundable.

Boat Cancellations must be made 30 days or more before schedule charter date to qualify for a full refund . Boat cancellations inside of 30 days will render your deposit Non-Refundable

If for any reason we need to cancel your reservations, or any segment of your booking for any reason, you will be offered an alternative accommodation, dates, boat, or other option. If you are unable to accept an alternative, a full refund will be issued for that segment(s).

Travel Questions About Costa Rica

Yes, Costa Rica is a very safe place for visitors. The local residents are warm and welcoming to tourists. Like any country, it has its bad element and share of crime. Exercising the same common sense and safety precautions as you would when traveling anywhere in the world, insures a safe and memorable visit. Petty theft is common place,

Locking up after yourself, not leaving any valuables in your car, and keeping a close eye on your items will prevent you for having a bad experience.

One of the many added benefits to booking one of our complete packages with us is the additional security you have by having a personal and local Spanish/English speaking concierge available  during your entire stay.

They’ll guide as to you where to go, not to go, where to eat and not eat, and make sure you have a trouble-free stay during your visit with us. We are very well connected and respected in the local community, and you benefit immediately from these relationships and the fact that we are at your service during your entire stay! It’s the smart choice to book your trip with us.

Yes. All visitors to Costa Rica must have a valid Passport from their Country of Residence. Your passport must not be scheduled to expire within 90 days of your arrival date here.

Your Passport must be in good physical condition with no tears or any type of separation of the photo page or main information page. If your passport is worn, torn, tattered or damaged we strongly suggest you get it replaced with a new one ASAP and before you leave for Costa Rica. 

We also suggest that you make a photocopy of your passport prior to arrival. While in Costa Rica, you must carry your original or photo copy of your passport, with a copy of our entrance stamp page, on your person at all times.

Carrying a copy ensures that your original passport in not lost or stolen while you are here.

Don’t panic, it happens. You will need to go to the U.S. Embassy office in San Jose’. You must arrive by 8:30 am, and will be given the required forms to fill out and apply for an emergency passport. This is a very easy process, and you will be issued a temporary passport on the spot, that is valid for one year. The cost for this will be $97.00 USD total.

NO. Costa Rica no longer requires a negative COVID to enter the country from the USA or Canada


The Emergency and General Healthcare services here are excellent! There are emergency facilities in the Jaco – Los Suenos area as well as a large fleet of Ambulatory and Paramedic services. All local Pharmacies are staffed with a full time M.D. as well.

Most US Cell phone service providers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint offer Global plan add ons that will allow you to have working cell service with data while you are in Costa Rica.

Please check with your cell phone carrier and let them know you are traveling to Costa Rica. They should be able to offer you affordable option that will allow you to have full service while you are here. 

Overall it’s quick  and reliable. All of our homes, villas and condos have WiFi internet service as well as most restaurants, bars, sidewalk cafes and many other locations here. 

Internet speed won’t be as fast as you are used to back home and varies from location to location. In general it’s usually pretty quick and reliable. 

Electrical outlets in your accommodations and throughout the country are similar to households in the U.S. Standard 110. Wall outlets will be 2-prong and require no special adapters for use of your appliances/electronics. Should you have any devices that have 3-prong male plugs, you will need a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter.

Incredible, Fresh and delicious! Restaurants of all types prepare food with locally grown fruits and vegetables and fresh meats, fresh fish and cheese. There are no artificial colorings, flavors, growth hormones, or additives in the food.  A typical Costa Rican diet consists of rice, black beans, cheese, chicken, beef, fish, salads, vegetables, and of course fresh tropical fruit. You will also find that the kitchens in every restaurant are extremely clean and sanitary.

The Costa Rican currency is called Colones pronounced (Kuh-Low-nez). The rate of exchange varies weekly  and has been fluctuating from 595-625 Colones to 1 American Dollar.

Do not exchange large amounts of money at the airport. The exchange windows at the airport charge very high fees for their exchange services. We will direct you to a local bank where you can exchange currency at a much better rate.

Yes. All businesses and merchants will accept American money as payment. You will receive Costa Rican Colones back as change however. Please try not to bring larger bills with you. 100’s and 50’s are in many places difficult to make change for. Please bring denominations of 20 or less.  Your Hooked on Costa Rica concierge will show you how to be certain you receive the correct change when paying with American money. It’s a very easy currency to learn.

Most U.S. bank ATM cards will work in Costa Rica. There are several ATM machines to choose from that will offer you a choice of withdrawing Costa Rican Colones or US Dollars. 

Credit Cards – Many businesses here accept Visa/MasterCard . Restaurants, Grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, souvenir stores and  tour operators.  

We suggest you do not use credit cards in bars and nightclubs here. Cash is best in those establishments. 

Only a few places will take AMEX or Discover. You are better served bringing a Visa or MasterCard 

Call your Bank / Credit Card provider before you leave to come here and let them know what dates you will be in Costa Rica and to allow you to make  ATM withdrawals and Credit Card charges in Costa Rica.

The Los Suenos –Jaco Beach region is the closest beach town from San Jose’ airport. It’s a quick and scenic 1.5hr ride from the SJO airport to Los Sueños / Jaco Beach. 

It is a very scenic and enjoyable ride, offering multiple photo opportunities. There are plenty of places to stop and eat, as well as use restrooms along the way.

If you are not purchasing one of our value packages that include transportation, you can still book our private VIP Airport Transfer Service. 

Below are a few items we suggest:

  • Light Clothing- Shorts, light shirts- sneakers, sandals, walking shoes.
  • Sunglasses ,Hat or Cap, Sun Block (30spf or more)
  • Toiletries (Shampoo, Soap, razors, Toothbrush/paste, etc.)
  • Insect Repellent (liquid-non aerosol)
  • Any necessary prescription medications
  • Swimsuit ,Sandals, and comfortable hiking / walking shoes
  • Binoculars , Digital Camera & Fresh Battery Supply
  • Small First Aid kit
  • Comfortable, fresh clothes for the beach (shorts, Swim suits,T-shirts, light dresses)
  • Your Valid U.S. passport along with two photocopies
  • Your state issued photo drivers license
  • A pocket sized Spanish /English dictionary
Hooked On Costa Rica Fishing Experts

This is a list of the most Frequently asked questions we receive, and the honest, accurate and up to date answers to those questions.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with any additional questions you may have. It’s always our pleasure to share our wealth of local knowledge and help make your fishing vacation to this beautiful country the best it can be!

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