Spring Training with Marlin Expeditions in Guatemala and Costa Rica

Get tuned up for the upcoming season with plenty of bites and professional instruction
Anglers prepare to release a large Pacific sailfish.
Kurt Greening’s Pacific sailfish is nearly ready for release during the 2023 Marlin Expeditions at Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala. Courtesy Casa Vieja Lodge / Rum Line

Marlin University is now Marlin Expeditions! We travel to the best big-game destinations on Earth, at peak times of the year, and teach the most cutting-edge techniques to catch billfish. Check out our 2024 expeditions.

It’s no secret that if you want to become a better angler, you need the practice—and that means getting lots of bites. Every single one is different, and bites can’t be replicated in any other way. World-class anglers aren’t born; they’re developed. And it takes years of dedication to get good at it. So good, in fact, that your reactions become second nature.

Central America is just one of many fishy destinations that remain amazingly consistent, just as it has been for decades. It’s entirely possible that you’ll see more billfish in a week here than you could in an entire season at home. That’s just one reason that Guatemala and Costa Rica are favorite destinations for Marlin Expeditions. This is the only true hands-on learning experience available today, where anglers of any skill level receive side-by-side instruction from some of the best in the game.

Crafted for all skill levels, from novice to tournament professional, we fish on the best boats, at the best times of the year, in the fishiest destinations the sport has to offer. It’s a long line of superlatives for sure, but that’s what makes Marlin Expeditions such an incredible experience for anyone passionate about big-game sport fishing.

Anglers pull a large Pacific sailfish boatside.
This could be you, with a sailfish ready for release off Guatemala. Courtesy Casa Vieja Lodge

For 2024, we’ll head to two of our most popular destinations: Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemala and Quepos, Costa Rica. For those who have never experienced Guatemalan billfishing, it has to be seen to be fully believed. Casa Vieja’s five-star lodging and impeccable service elevate this to a next-level trip, which is perfect for anglers of any skill level. The Casa Vieja fleet consists of some of the finest classic sportboats fishing today, including Gamefisherman, Rybovich, Merritt and Whiticar, to name a few, and they are only run by captains who have decades of experience in these waters.

Professional instructors man the cockpits, ready to offer insight into the art of light-tackle, dead-bait fishing for marlin and sailfish, teaching their anglers step by step how to improve their skills. Miss a fish? Don’t worry, another one­—or three—will be along momentarily.

Costa Rica is another ­favorite, thanks to its nearly always flat-calm seas and plenty of bites. Again, you’ll fish on some of the best boats in the country, with professional instruction every step of the way. Perhaps even better, virtually everything is included in these packages: four days of fishing, licenses, lodging, meals and all transfers. It’s a great way to warm up for the upcoming tournament season in the US, where competitive anglers can knock off the rust and put a fine point on their already sharp skills, while others can simply become a lot better at the end of the trip than they were when they arrived. All this is amid beautiful tropical scenery and friendly locals in both destinations, and the result is an unbeatable fishing experience that will keep you coming back year after year.

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