Fishing: To Catch a Big Bad Fierce Cubera


Monster Pargo

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When an angler travels to Costa Rica to go fishing catching a Big Cubera is a real prize. The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica has some of the most consistent and exciting fishing in the world. It is no wonder it is a favored spot by both professional anglers and amateurs.  With waters abundant in sailfish, marlin, tuna, roosterfish, mackerel, mahi mahi and snapper, there is a catch here for any sport fisherman. But when it comes to snapper, which live in subtropical and tropical waters, in Costa Rica waters are the Big Cubera. It is the largest of all the snapper.  Big Cubera live on both coasts, they are more prevalent in the Pacific Ocean.

Cubera Snapper

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They are also known as the Pacific Dog Snapper. Weighing up to 100 lbs with giant canine like teeth and a bright orange, Big Cubera look fierce. And give any angler a challenge to catch.  They live in the volcanic reefs of the Pacific, which are the perfect habitat for these fish.  Where there are rocks and 150 ft or less water, there’s Big Cubera. Puerto Jiminez is a prime spot for sport fishing especially for the Big Cubera.

During the construction of the Panama Canal, people expressed concern over how the fish would be able to migrate up the coast with the new fresh water way disrupting the passage through sea water.  Those fish that are able to live in both salt and fresh were able to continue their migration patterns.  Snapper are among the fish that are able to survive in both salt and fresh water.  When they were first spotted in the Costa Rica waters after the building of the canal, fishermen were both surprised and happy.  Disrupting the migration pattern would have affected the mating habits having a detrimental impact on snapper populations.  Luckily, the canal did not have a negative impact. So today, anglers enjoy catching these fish in the waters off Puerto Jiminez, one of their favorite habitats.


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To catch a Big Cubera you need to have the following gear.


Medium to heavy weight bottom fishing fig

A peen 4 lo reel

A nice stiff bottom rod

80lb to 100lb fluorocarbon leaders

only enough weight to get you to the bottom as dictated by the current that could mean as much as a lb of lead come in cases


Live bait weighing 3lb to 5 lb

Dead bait is not usually used when fishing for cuberas


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Once you are ready to throw your line into the water, you must stay alert because it only takes several seconds for a snapper to gulp down a 3 to 5 lb bait while racing towards the reef and once they do, you have lost your chance.  You have to give the fish enough time to eat but not too much time or it will be already cozy and safe in its volcanic reef home.  You want to crank your reel as fast as you can when you first hook a snapper because they will run back into the rocks.  If you are quicker than this fierce fish, it is almost a guarantee you will catch him while fishing in the Osa Peninsula.

Crocodile Bay can accommodate both the amateur and the experienced angler on any fishing expedition.