For world-class anglers, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is considered one of the best fisheries for big game fish on the planet. The upwell vortex off the Pacific coast drives up a vast number of micro-organism along with small (feeder) fish and of course the big predators that anglers desire.

The entire Pacific coast of Costa Rica is an anglers dream but the area from Los Sueños to Quepos produces more record pelagic fish than anywhere else in the Central America. This region of Costa Rica has created a massive sportfishing industry unparalleled in this hemisphere.

The Billfish Foundation ( reported that the Costa Rica fishing tourism, is incredibly important to the economy in Costa Rica producing more than $599 million in total and $78 million in tax revenues for Costa Rica as well as 63,000 jobs.

For thousands of years deep sea fisherman have known that pelagic (open ocean) fishes will congregate around submerged or floating debris. Logs, cargo nets, bunched seaweed and just about anything that floats have all been known to attract bait fish and then the big game fish.  This is because drifting debris collects algae and other growths, this then gathers and attracts tiny plankton and small fish. This in turn attracts larger fish.  Mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, marlin, wahoo are some of the large, oceangoing species that have been observed around these floating feeding platforms.

FAD fishing is an incredibly effective technique to land fish consistently; in fact FAD fishing is so effective that it is against the rules in professional sportfishing. But what is FAD fishing?

Natural FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices), are floating structure usually under the water which attract feeder fish in large numbers which congregate around the structure. Buoys submerged and anchored make up most FAD devices.  The use of FAD’s is relatively new tactic in sportfishing industry although FADs have had a long history in the commercial industry.

In Costa Rica FAD fishing has caught on in with many charter Captains because it tremendously improves the hook up odds for their clients. You will often see a number of charter boats patrolling around known FADs, but it does take an experienced Captain to properly FAD Fish.

Because FADs have been shown to attract such an array of game fish species, there are many happy sportfishing clients consistently hooking into yellow fin and skipjack tuna, bigeye tuna, dorado (mahi mahi), wahoo, mackerel, and the action you will have for Marlin off the FADs is absolutely spectacular.

To hookup on some big marlin try slow trolling live baits near the surface or deep water down rigs also yield some amazing results. At the same time be prepared to take advantage of schooled fish near the surface with some poppers, stickbaits tube-flys and soft plastics for some crushing surface strikes!!

A good FAD can yield 30 apex predator hookups a day for a skilled Captain, and there can be several boats working the same FAD, with everyone having a great day! It does require an experienced Captain who knows what is hitting, where they are hitting, and can recognize changes in the weather and/or waves conditions. A good crew is fast to react to changing conditions, and able to switch up tack on the fly to meet these changing conditions.

Costa Rica FADs

FADs are becoming more popular here in Costa Rica every year. It is important to talk with a Captain that has FAD fishing experience because it is definitely a learned skill set.  Many Captains set up their own FADs or simple know of several spot where there are already FADs set up.

No matter if you are a seasoned deep sea angler or new to sport fishing or just want to guarantee you and your family will have an exciting time out on the high seas of Costa Rica’s  Pacific coast, get hooked up with a skilled captain and crew for some spectacular Costa Rica sportfishing on the FADs.

Dan Ross has over 30 years in sportfishing, and 17 years in Costa Rica and has mastered FAD fishing in these waters. Dan is one of the most experienced sportfishing and fishing charter experts in Central America and Costa Rica’s leading specialist in FAD Fishing and Fly Fishing for deep sea big game fish.

Dan Ross – DR Sport Fishing Costa Rica
Phone: 1-888-326-7677
CR Cell: 8345-8346