Trolling for Sailfish in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Sportfishing is a traditional craft handed down from one Captain to another over the the years. Different areas of the country have different tactics. FishingNosara is a charter fleet from the mid-Pacific Coast and they have pioneered some Costa Rica fishing tactics of their own to catch massive Marlin, Sailfish, and Dorados.

Developed and perfected in Nosara, the High Speed Bait and Switch Tactic makes for one of the best strikes in all of fishing. This creates maximum excitement and the fish hit extremely close to the boat. The spread is medium or large sized high-speed lures deployed from both outriggers and the shotgun line. They add a pair of teasers off both outriggers and a single teaser back in the exhaust alley. The high-speed lures are trolled off 50 or 80 class rod and reels at 9-10 knots. The pitch baits are rigged with live bait (Blue runner or Black Tuna) or dead bait (Ballyhoo or Black tuna strips).

The larger fish like to strike the high-speed lures but also will come up the spread towards the teasers bouncing along the surface. From on high the spotter can confirm which line the moster fish is hitting on and relay that information to the cockpit. The crew immediately pulls the teasers to lure the fish in. The correct size pitch bait is offered to the target fish on either TLD30 or Penn 50W (depending on fish size) and the switch is complete. The strike is imminent so hold tight.

This medium sized/high speed spread run at 9-10 knots is brutally effective on big Marlin, Dorado, and Yellowfin Tunas. The primary advantage of this Bait and Switch tactic is that you can aim the proper bait/tackle combination on the target fish to virtually guarantee a hard strike.

For the safety of both fish and angler, FishingNosara uses only circle hooks for pitch baits. This guarantees safe live releases of ALL Sailfish and Marlin caught by the team

See the results of this tactic! FishingNosara publishes a monthly Costa Rica fishing report and hosts the archives on their website. Pura Vida!


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