Costa Rica Family Fishing Destinations: Crocodile Bay Resort by Todd Staley
The little Cessna rolled to a stop on the airstrip at Barra del Colorado. Out stepped a man and a young boy around 10 years old.
The little Cessna rolled to a stop on the airstrip at Barra del Colorado. Out stepped a man and a young boy around 10 years old.
Costa Rica Fishing Report – January 2018 by Captain Allan Smith – December is a fun time of the year at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica. The kids are on vacation and we get a lot of families down for a fishing holiday in the tropics.
Update 11/22/2017 – 450 lb Blue Marlin Released! Happy Thanksgiving
Update 11/14/2017 – This past Friday three of our boats went 21, 18, and 17 on doardo and one boat released 15 roosterfish!
November is one of my favorite months at Crocodile Bay Resort. Historically the dorado are running around like rats and of course marlin are behind them looking to munch down a few. Schools of football size tuna appear and are also a favorite snack of marlin. If the spinners or spotted dolphins pass by bigger yellowfin and bigeye tuna will be traveling below them. In short, November is a good month to knock a marlin off the bucket list. Sailfish will start moving into the area in larger numbers but it is still a month to six weeks before the big numbers are cruising the local waters.
Roosters run rampant in November at Crocodile Bay Resort.
Pictured above father and son team Henry and Sean Trimblett from NJ had a great day of kayak fishing releasing two large roosterfish.
Inshore will remain consistent with roosterfish and snapper coming from the reefs in the Golfo Dulce and off the beach outside the gulf as well. Deep water drops will produce grouper, tilefish, congria and an occasional barrelfish (pictured below). In Atlantic waters barrelfish are found in 900 feet of water or deeper. The last few years we have been taking them in 300 feet of water off the Osa Peninsula.
Crocodile Bay Captain Anthony Santos shows off a barrelfish which can be found in 300+ feet of water in the Osa.
I have downloaded “I’ve Got You Babe,” on my alarm clock because it seems like I am stuck in Ground Hog Day and that song that woke Bill Murray up every day.
Offshore is a game of patience with those putting in the time getting a shot at a marlin or a sail with a dorado here and there. Inshore continues to be red hot with lots of roosterfish, snapper, jacks, African pompano and the rest of the inshore critters readily available.
Thank you to Joe Hemphill for the following photos from his November fishing trip at Crocodile Bay Resort.
Joe Hemphill with a nice Bluefin Trevally pictured above (released)
Thinking of taking a trip to Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica? This is a true bucket list destination for sport fishing and outdoor enthusiasts looking to experience “the most biologically intense place on Earth” (as quoted by National Geographic) Come find out why every major sport fishing magazine and TV show has already been here and can’t wait to come back. The following video features testimonials from editors from Sport Fishing Magazine, Saltwater Sportsman, Coastal Angler and other media members talking about their experiences at Crocodile Bay Resort.
There is a misconception out there that nobody ever really wins these “Enter to Win” on-line free trip promotions. Rest assured at Crocodile Bay Resort, that is not the case. Jeri Heiser and Paul Hartman from Bismark, North Dakota recently won our 2014-2015 VIP contest and just returned from their fishing and eco vacation at Crocodile Bay Resort which included three full days fishing on a 33′ Strike Yacht an exciting Ecotour in one of the world’s most bioligically diverse regions and deluxe treatment in our luxury spa.
Here’s what Jeri had to say about the Crocodile Bay Resort experience.
September 30, 2015 – We had a WONDERFUL time….still can’t believe I won the trip! Paul and I feel it’s been one of the best experiences ever! We were so impressed with you, David and the whole staff at Crocodile Bay. Transfers went well, the Double Tree Cariari by Hilton was very inviting and friendly. But I really loved the way the doors were opened for us when we arrived at Crocodile Bay and we were greeted with a big smile from your beautiful bride and the fruit smoothies with an umbrella were a very welcoming touch.
Our bags were delivered to our room, the room was cozy, clean and the special touches of the towels folded on our beds was a sweet personal touch. A yummy breakfast was served to us and before long we walked the nature trail to the pier to start the Inshore fishing experience.
I believe we had started fishing around 8:30/9:00 am our first day….it was non-stop reeling in fish….we had around 40 bait fish….and by 12:30 the bait fish were all used up….the captain and mate were going to catch more bait fish so we could continue to fish until 3PM but Paul and I looked at each with a big smirk and decide we caught enough fish for today. At least that’s what our shoulders and arms we’re telling us!
One rock snapper, one red snapper, numerous roosterfish and about 5 jacks. Paul caught a 40 lb jack and I had the thrill of catching a 70 lb rooster fish (see photo below)
I still just get pumped up telling the story today. I must have gotten it to the boat 9 different times, and then it would take off and I just hung on to my pole….after 30-40 minutes….I wore it out and we got it in the boat for pictures with a pretty big smile and 2 thumbs up. I love the sportsmanship of the Captain (Melvin) and the mate of how they respect the fish on releasing them back into the ocean.
The Food – The pineapple was delicious…the best we ever ate and so was the rest of the fruit. A well packed cooler spent daily! The evening kayaking tour on the ocean, riding in the surf to transfer to the river to kayak the mangrove trees and then turning back to paddle up the river to see the sunset was a vision I can still see.
The rainforest tour was awesome, we saw many species of beautiful birds and a grand slam of monkeys (howler monkeys, white-faced capuchins, squirrel and spider monkeys). The organic chocolate farm was very interesting….one takes for granted eating chocolate in a candy wrapper….and the samples of chocolates and fresh fruits were amazing. Deep frying the whole cubera snapper for supper was worth every bite. Every meal was prepared and served hot and tasty and always served by a smiling and friendly waitress. And Clean…I have to mention clean…..everything was so clean and the staff really takes pride in what they do….THANK YOU again to everyone!
Then there was the evening of the deluxe chocolate 2 hour massage in the luxury spa……..Words cannot describe how AMAZING and RELAXED I felt……this is a must have at the spa! We were only there for 3 1/2 days but as our neighbors staying next to us told us…..”We did a high speed vacation”….we feel we did do a lot but not enough. We plan to go back and stay at least 10-14 days…..there’s so many more eco adventures to experience, more fish to catch and we couldn’t get enough of the Costa Rica vibe of the happiness you get with everyone around you….Pura Vida!
Will, I have to apologize….you told me to keep it short….but I’m sorry, it was impossible.
Thank you again for the wonderful experience of winning the fishing trip….we will be seeing you again!
Jeri Heiser/Paul Hartmann
P.S. I still can’t believe I won….THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
ENTER TO WIN! A Dream Fishing Trip for Two at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica – Over $6,500 in Value!
Includes 4 Days at Crocodile Bay Resort – Three Days Fishing and One Eco-Adventure Day
Winner will receive 3 Full Days of World Class Sport Fishing for Two (2) at Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica – Inshore or offshore, your choice
-Enjoy a guided tour (for two) of Central America’s largest coastal rainforest – home to over 400 bird species and 200 mammal species (This area has been featured on both National Geographic & Discovery channels).
-Package includes all lodging at Crocodile Bay Resort, meals and soft drinks.
-Winners receive VIP boat upgrades to a 32′ Strike for all three days fishing ($700/day value)
-Includes ground transportation from local airport (Puerto Jimenez) to Crocodile Bay Resort
-Includes fishing licenses, gear, and English speaking crew
-Complimentary Wi-Fi available on site.
Package valued at over $6,500 MSRP – Drawing will be held June 1st 2016!
“The most biologically intense place on Earth”
– National Geographic Magazine
For more information, details and restrictions call 1-855-945-4171
Drawing will be held June 1st 2016. FREE Trip must be taken between June 2nd and September 30th 2016 (certain blackout periods may apply, contact us for details).
Package does not include: Alcoholic beverages at the resort, transfer fees, domestic airline & domestic overweight seat and baggage, international airfare, meals in San Jose, airport departure tax, change fees, gratuities.
Other legal restrictions may apply in your state. Winner must be at least 18 years old and hold a passport issued by their country of residence and valid for at least 6 months following departure from Costa Rica. Package prize details may change at any time.
by Todd Staley, Fishing Director – Boston Whaler has been coming to Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica annually since 2002. Dennis Tilden coordinates their activities here at the hotel and though he makes sure everyone in the group has an exceptional time, he is sometimes too busy working to relax and enjoy the trip to the fullest. This year he managed to get on the water a little more himself. Fishing out at Matapalo Tilden connected with a big Mexican barracuda and as they landed the fish his captain mentioned he had never seen one so big. The captain took the head home to make a soup.
As the chef was preparing a barracuda ceviche and getting the rest ready for dinner, Dennis mentioned the captain’s comment. A check with the IGFA record book showed the biggest recorded was 28 lbs. Tilden’s fish at just under 32 lbs made a delicious world record meal.
You may be thinking to yourself that this is a dangerous proposition since some Atlantic barracuda are known to contain high levels of the toxin ciguatera they ingest when consuming certain coral reef animals. Pacific barracuda however is considered safe for consumption so Dennis decided this record breaking fish should be eaten immediately instead of filling out all of the paperwork. Dennis also won day two of the Boston Whaler tournament with the release of a beautiful 350 lb blue marlin. Not a bad day.
These are just a couple of highlights from the annual Boston Whaler trip this past week. Crocodile Bay once again hosted Will Rogers, Dennis Tilden and the gang for a three day fishing tournament with some eco adventure tours in the mix to reward employees for a job well done.
We had more anglers jumping off the pier this year than we have ever seen – which in case you’re not aware is the Crocodile Bay ritual for those who release their first billfish.
Over the three day tournament the Boston Whaler group of 25 raised 88 sailfish and released 32. Seven marlin were raised with three released as well. Other catches included dorado, roosterfish, snapper, jacks, and grouper.
The third day of the trip some folks were worn out from cranking and yanking and opted to tour Costa Rica’s largest coastal rainforest to experience the large variety of local wildlife. Boston Whaler continued their tradition of helping the community with an annual donation to the local high school in Puerto Jimenez to help the local children who study there. We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you again next year.
Other highlights from the past several days include a sailfish that charged a group of anglers and nearly landed in the boat (see video below “The Angler That Got Away”) and a monster 150 pound sailfish that after a long fight narrowly escaped release by Ray Downs who was here on his bucket list trip to fight sailfish (of which he released several.)
We would also like to thank Chadwick, William and Robin O’Shields for visiting us for a father and son fishing trip. When 21 year old Chadwick was given the choice by mother Robin to go anywhere in the world, he selected Crocodile Bay Resort as the destination. We hope you had a great time and look forward to seeing you again.
The sailfish bite has been good with some large roosterfish and snapper in the mix. Historically the summer months (July – Sept) see marlin with a steady inshore bite (roosterfish, snapper).
Crocodile Bay has just launched its new 3, 4 and 5 day fishing packages as well as some 6 day fishing & eco combo packages for those who would like to experience the excitement of our 30 eco and adventure expeditions in Costa Rica’s most biologically intense region (see itinerary sample below).
Hope to see you soon at Crocodile Bay Resort.
Crocodile Bay Resort
Check your local listings for details
Check out this sample fishing package below. You can add as many fishing or eco adventure days as you like. Ask about our special pricing for kids.
Experience some of the worlds best inshore and offshore fishing on Costa Rica’s South Pacific Coast. You will enjoy offshore fishing for blue, black and striped marlin, sailfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna. Inshore fishing offers an amazing variety including the sought after roosterfish, 12 kinds of snapper (Cubera being the most popular) as well as African pompano, grouper, bluefin trevally, and others. Inshore, offshore conventional or on the fly, it’s up to you. Our experienced bilingual crew will offer you as much…or as little help as you need in making this the fishing trip of a lifetime.
Arrive at Costa Rica’s International Airport (SJO) Our team of professional, bilingual drivers will greet you at the airport and take you to the luxurious Cariari DoubleTree by Hilton just minutes from the airport (15) and Costa Rica’s Capital city. This lovely hotel features a large outdoor swimming pool, casino and a gourmet restaurant with a lovely view of Costa Rica’s central valley mountains range. (*Note – your first nights stay in San Jose, meals in San Jose and domestic airfare is not included in the Crocodile Bay Resort fishing package price)
Your adventure begins with a breathtaking 45 minute flight from Costa Rica’s Capital City (San Jose) across lush coffee plantations and the spectacular Talamanca mountain range. During your flight you will experience spectacular views of Central America’s largest coastal rainforest and land in the charming town of Puerto Jimenez where the edge of the rainforest bathes in the warm waters of the Pacific. Our Crocodile Bay staff will escort you from the airstrip to Crocodile Bay Resort where you will have a fresh mango/rum cocktail in your hand within minutes. Welcome to paradise! Today is a perfect day to add an afternoon eco tour or spa treatment before your first day of fishing (may be purchased for an extra charge at the resort).
Inshore/Offshore Day 1 – After a quick orientation by our fishing director and an update on recent fishing activity, you can pick your pleasure – inshore or offshore – conventional or on the fly. Our 700 foot private pier is only a five minute walk from your room and is home to Central America’s largest private fishing fleet of Boston Whalers and Strike Yacht tower boats. Our boats are outfitted with top of the line fishing gear and you will be accompanied by professional, English speaking crew (captain and mate). Daily fishing includes lunch, snacks, soft drinks, beer, gear and fishing license.
Inshore/Offshore Day 2 – If your first day was spent offshore hunting for billfish, we encourage you to take a day inshore and pursue the roosterfish, snapper and the multitude of other species that can be found cruising the volcanic shoreline. Other inshore species include African pompano, Bluefin trevally and grouper. Make sure to check the daily catch boards to see where the action is!
Fishing Day 3 – Now that you’ve experienced inshore and offshore fishing, it’s up to you how to spend your third day! Staff from our fishing department will visit you each night around dinner time to see how your day was, address any concerns and to plan your next days trip. Our Boston Whalers and Strike tower boats go inshore or offshore, so spend the day doing either one or a little of both.
Departure or Extra day – Some anglers like to extend their trips with an extra day of inshore or offshore fishing. Additional Days may also be added for our new guided Kayak Fishing trips and shore casting (or you may enjoy a visit to our spa or explore one of 30 eco adventure tours). Anglers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Talk to one of our team members about including an extra day just in case you just aren’t ready to call it quits.
Included at Crocodile Bay Resort
Sport Fishing Charters Include fishing boat, fishing gear, guide, fishing licenses, lunch cooler with beer & soft drinks
Not included: Alcoholic beverages at the resort, transfer fees, domestic airline overweight seat and baggage, international airfare, meals in San Jose, Costa Rican sales tax of 13% on room rates, airport departure tax, change fees, gratuities.
A transfer fee of $395 per person is not included in these rates and can be added to your package. The transfer fee includes inbound night stay at The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose (double occupancy), round trip ground transfers between airports and hotels, & scheduled round trip domestic air transportation between San Jose and the resort.
Deposits, cancellations & refunds:
A deposit of $1,500 per guest is required upon booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to scheduled arrival at Crocodile Bay Resort. A refund of the deposit less a handling fee of $150 per person will be returned if written notice of cancellation is received at least 90 days prior to scheduled arrival. There will be no refund of any monies for “no shows” or cancellations received less than 90 days prior to arrivals.
Passport: For entry into Costa Rica, U.S. citizens must present valid passports that will not expire for at least six months after arrival, and a roundtrip/outbound ticket.
Travel/Trip insurance is strongly recommended for your protection in case of emergency; call your Agent or see our website.
Costa Rica Fishing at Crocodile Bay Resort is world-class with catch and release bill fishing in the Pacific Ocean for sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin, dorado, tuna and wahoo.
Fishing in Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) for roosterfish, cubera snapper, jack crevalle, bluefin trevally, sierra mackerel, tripletail, and grouper is excellent throughout the year.
Costa Rica Marlin FishingMarlin
The “lady in the blue dress” or blue marlin is the most common of our marlin and cruise our cobalt waters all year. They peak in November and December as well as March and April. Black Marlin are most abundant in July and August and few Striped Marlin are around at the same time.
Costa Rica Sailfish FishingSailfish
Again year round when a half dozen are common any day of the year. From November to May the numbers increase.
Any day of the year, common January through may and very abundant November and December.
Yellowfin is the main species. The big boys, those 100 to 300 pounds can test your back any day of the year if you are lucky enough to come across a school of porpoises offshore. The big Tuna swim with them and the feed on the same baitfish. “football size tunas hang around floating debris or peak in schools in July and August and November and December. No wonder the Marlin peak at the same time.
A Wahoo can surprise you any day of the year but are not common in this area.
Voted #1 for Roosterfish!
Costa Rica Roosterfish FishingPuerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
the home of Crocodile Bay, is voted the #1 Roosterfish Destination in the world by Saltwater Sportsman Magazine!
The species most sought after is the Roosterfish. Twenty-five to fifty pound fish are very common and we catch a couple over 50 each week. The Resort record for this fish is 106 lbs.
Costa Rica Snapper FishingSnapper — We have a dozen different kinds of snapper with the cubera being top dog. They average about 15 to 20 lbs with the biggest to date here 63 lbs. Other bottom fish is the Broomtail Grouper as well as other groupers and the Goliath Grouper.
Costa Rica SnookOther species caught inshore include but are not limited to Barracuda, several types of Jacks, Snook, Bonito, Mackerel, African Pompano, Bluefin Trevally, Rainbow Runners, Shark, etc.
Costa Rica Fishing Report, April 2015 by Todd Staley – Just got back from my busman’s holiday fishing adventure to Mexico. I took the trip I was awarded by the IGFA by winning the Chester H. Wolfe, Sportsman of the Year award to Isla Mujeres . I fished with Capt Anthony Mendillo on the Keen M. I don’t think you could find a finer fishing crew anywhere. In adverse conditions he managed to find us some sails and dorados on the first day out and then a northeaster blew down from the states and we were stuck on shore for the next two days of our scheduled trip.
It made me realized just how blessed we are here by generally calm seas. In 16 years of operation, We have been chased off the water one time by weather and kept off the ocean just one other day.
Fishing the last 5 days has been very good. Boats are raising over a dozen sails each a day and some days over twenty. Top boat this week went 14 for 28 and most everyone is getting their fill of this pre-spawn activity. Ken Smith and his family had lemons turn to lemonade when they had to postpone their trip a couple of weeks back because the Turrialba volcano burped and closed air transportation down for a little over a day. What started as a disappointment turned into a hay day as the whole family caught multiple sails.
Inshore has seen little action as everyone is going after the sails but the few that stayed inside injoyed dinner sized snapper, some roosters and African pompano.
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