Spotlight on Quepos, Costa Rica’s Sailfish and Marlin Fishery

Some of the best light-tackle sport fishing on the planet awaits
A black and white image of three sport-fishing anglers cheering each other on in the cockpit of a sport-fishing boat.
Cause for celebration: Happy anglers celebrate a blue marlin release. Jon Whittle / Marlin

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.

Perched on a narrow strip of rugged Pacific coast and snugged between the mountains and the sea, Quepos, Costa Rica, has always produced great fishing for marlin and sailfish. At the center of it all is Marina Pez Vela, one of the finest marina facilities not just in Central America, but anywhere on the planet. Quepos is poised to take its rightful place among the world’s top fishing destinations.

Packs of Pacific sailfish arrive to reinforce the resident fish around Thanksgiving and stay well past April most years. Sails are the stars of the fishing show here, and it’s not uncommon to encounter them in multiples of anywhere from two to six (or more) at once. There are also enough blue marlin around that you have a very good shot at raising at least one, especially earlier in the season, and multiple-marlin days are a real possibility. And while black and striped marlin are not considered a common catch, it is fishing, and anything can happen in a day offshore. Plenty of dorado and yellowfin tuna also inhabit these fertile waters. 

Some of the best charter boats in the world call this place home. These guys fish hard year-round and are not only highly professional, but they are also very adept at figuring out how to put their clients on the best bite, no matter what conditions they may face offshore. Most days are flat-calm, with a typical run to the fishing grounds about an hour to an hour and a half. 

A large Pacific Sailfish splashes in the ocean as it's being pulled boatside.
Big Pacific sailfish like this one take center stage off Quepos, Costa Rica, during Marlin Expeditions. Jon Whittle / Marlin

Marlin Expeditions’ expert-level instructors deliver comprehensive techniques to hook, fight, and release your own billfish with hands-on, personalized, side-by-side coaching for any skill level. Most of the fishing here is done using 20- to 30-pound-test tackle, dead bait, and circle hooks, although at times crews may opt to live-bait or pull lures for marlin.

On shore, guests will have the opportunity to experience the luxury of the Parador Resort and Spa, one of the finest resort hotels in Costa Rica, located just minutes away from Marina Pez Vela in the lush mountains surrounding Quepos. White-faced capuchin monkeys are frequent visitors at breakfast, and the scenery around the property on the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park, is breathtaking.

As with all Marlin Expeditions, the package includes all meals, charter boats and tips, accommodations, and airport transfers. The format is three days of fishing followed by a mini-tournament for the participants on the fourth and final day. Put yourself in the heart of the action and treat yourself to a trip to Quepos with Marlin Expeditions

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Sign up for free Marlin Group emails to receive expert big-game content along with key tournament updates and to get advanced notice of new expeditions as they’re introduced.