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Anglers in Costa Rican waters have landed over 100 world-record catches, including blue marlin, Pacific sailfish, dolphin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, guapote, and snook. Whether you want to head offshore looking for a big sail, wrestle a tarpon near a Caribbean river mouth, or choose a quiet spot on Arenal Lake to cast for guapote, you'll find it here. You can raise a marlin anywhere along the Pacific coast, while feisty snook can be found in mangrove estuaries along both coasts.

Many of the Pacific port and beach towns -- Quepos, Puntarenas, Playa del Coco, Tamarindo, Flamingo, Golfito, Drake Bay, Zancudo -- support large charter fleets and have hotels that cater to anglers. Fishing trips usually range between $400 and $2,500 per day (depending on boat size) for boat, captain, tackle, drinks, and lunch, so the cost per person depends on the size of the group.

Costa Rican law requires all fishermen to purchase a license. The cost is $24, and the license is good for 1 year from the date of purchase. All boats, captains, and fishing lodges listed here and throughout the book will help you with the technicalities of buying your license.

Costa Rica Outdoors ★ ((tel) 800/308-3394 in the U.S. and Canada or 2231-0306 in Costa Rica; www.costaricaoutdoors.com) is a well-established operation founded by local fishing legend and outdoor writer Jerry Ruhlow, specializing in booking fishing trips around the country.

Top Fishing Lodges

Aguila de Osa Inn, Drake Bay 

Crocodile Bay, in Puerto Jiménez 

Río Colorado Lodge, at the Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge 

Silver King Lodge, at Barra del Colorado 

The Zancudo Lodge, in Playa Zancudo

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.