Costa Rica Tarpon

Frontier Fly Fishing hosted its first tour to Costa Rica in May 2017 as part of a dual Cuba/Costa Rica trip. We had an exceptional trip to both Cuba and Costa Rica; a trip like this affords anglers the opportunity to concentrate on bonefish and very large permit in Cuba, and then tussle with Costa Rica’s enormous tarpon. These dual trips cost-wise are on a par or cheaper than other saltwater fly fishing destinations around the world BUT with one major upside – you will get a full 12 days of fishing versus the usual six or seven at other destinations for the same price.


The reality is that nothing will ever prepare an angler for what awaits him in Costa Rica! We’d heard rumours and spoken to a few anglers who had made the trip to this part of Costa Rica, but to actually experience the fishing first-hand was something else. After the first morning we got back to the lodge for lunch and thought perhaps that we had struck it lucky and the other boats hadn’t had the kind of morning we had had. How wrong we were! They had had an even better morning than us. And our first morning’s fishing was no flash in the pan! Every day turned out to be the kind of fishing you would expect if you had died and gone to tarpon fishing Valhalla. An average day saw each boat hooking between 20 to 30 tarpon. The number of fish you will boat during the day will literally depend on how many hours you have in a day to fight fish! At most we boated five fish a day on our boat simply because we ran out of time to fight and boat more fish. There were occasions too numerous to mention when we had double hook-ups on our boat. The smallest fish we boated would have weighed in the 60- to 80lb range. The largest fish we boated was just shy of 250lbs. This was a fish that we measured at 197cm (fork length) and 142cm (girth). This would have placed this fish at 245lbs according to the Tarpon and Bonefish Research Center calculator app. An average fish, according to the records we kept, would have weighed around 130lbs.

A tarpon of 245lbs is a large fish by all accounts but it was by no means the largest we hooked. There were other, much larger fish that we hooked, saw once and then never saw again after fights lasting 90 minutes and longer. We only measured fish that we gauged initially to be 150lbs and larger. A simple fork length measurement and girth measurement will give you a very accurate indication of the tarpon’s weight. We lost count of the number of fish we boated over 150lbs. We boated several over the 180lb mark. After six days of fishing and eight broken rods later we boarded the charter flight back to San Jose tired and weary but very happy. To all intents and purposes it was the best saltwater fly fishing trip of my life and far exceeded any expectations I might have had about Costa Rica’s tarpon fishery.    

Frontier Fly Fishing will be hosting trips to Costa Rica, on the Nicaraguan border, during September 2017 and during April, May, September and October 2018. Our trips are planned over new moons. The primary target species will of course be the area’s giant tarpon but a worthy bi-catch is jack crevalle which can grow to prodigious sizes and fight extremely hard for their size. Resembling a giant trevally in shape, we boated specimens which we estimated would have gone 40lbs. Almost every day we experienced feeding frenzies on the surface that went on for hours. The feeding fish were a mixture of tarpon of all sizes with thousands of jack crevalle thrown into the mix. A cast made into the feeding carnage was eaten every time! The area is also renowned for its excellent snook population which can be targeted should anglers wish to give their biceps a rest from fighting tarpon.

If you’ve dreamed of fighting and landing massive tarpon on fly, this is your opportunity to turn your dreams into reality. Space is limited to 7 guests per trip so call us now to reserve your place on this fly-fishing trip of a lifetime.

Includes: All ground transfers, two nights’ accommodation in San Jose at the start and end of the trip, return transfer to the lodge, 7 nights’ accommodation (on a shared basis) at the lodge, all meals, 6 full days fully guided fishing (2 anglers per boat)

Excludes: International flight, beverages and guides’ gratuities.

Price: Costa Rica: $4,250.00 per person (6 full day’s fishing)


 Actual Fishing Dates...

4-18 May Combination Trip, with days in Belize - Call for price

9-14 September

16-21 September

7-12 October


 Travel Check List





Jumping Tarpon

Jumping Tarpon

Jumping Tarpon