Costa Rica August 2016 Inshore Fishing at Crocodile Bay

Our Escape to Costa Rica-Day Two, Inshore Fishing

We had a great day offshore fishing yesterday.  I have to admit that I enjoy the inshore fishing more.  The big trophy sailfish, marlin and tuna are awesome and we have certainly enjoyed fishing for them.  My favorite is still the inshore fishing for all of the beautiful species and exotic fish that live in the waters off Central America in the Pacific.


Costa Rica August 2016 Inshore Fishing-Roosters and More

The morning was a little more overcast for day two.  Lisa is all smiles though as we head out.  Fish often are more aggressive when it is cloudy and a storm is approaching.  One theory is the sun and glare is hard on their eyes so fish stay deeper on sunny days.   Another is that fish feel the change in pressure and the environment when a storm is approaching and feed aggressively anticipating the storm.  No storm today though and we had an unexpected surprise as well.

Whales Saying “Look At Me! Look At Me!”

Just a few minutes into the trip, we saw some whales in the distance.   Lisa shot this two picture sequence below of one of the breaching just as we pulled up. 



We got so close and with all of the action, I wrote another article about this few minutes of watching these beautiful creatures.  Check it out—two adults and a baby.  Now it is time to get on with the fishing.

Reeling the Roosters


Inshore means just that—you can see the beach and rain forest easily from the boat.   We were fishing with live bait.  You let out line as the bait fish swims and you can feel them move as predator fish come near.   We used circle hooks for inshore as well—just smaller hooks than for the sailfish the day before.  The circle hooks are not typically swallowed by the fish versus other hook types.   As we fish conservatively it makes it easy to release the fish with the least amount of stress.  Here is Lisa in the classic tight line, rod tip up, pose with a nice rooster fish on.


Perfect technique leads to a perfect result—a beautiful roosterfish.   You can see in this picture the feathery dorsal fin that is the namesake for the fish.  When they are swimming in the water, the fin will often be above the water and the fin rises as the roosterfish gets ready to strike.  Many people fly fish for roosterfish as well.  Fly fishing starts with trolling teasers and lures without hooks to attract the fish and then casting for them with flies as they come to the surface.  Bill’s turn again—Lisa seems to always get the first fish.


Roosterfish are one of the most distinctive looking fish in the ocean.  Look closely and you can see the “comb” of the dorsal fin on its head.  There are many exotic looking fish in the tropics with beautiful shapes and colors.  Roosterfish live only in the Eastern Pacific from the Baja Peninsula of Mexico down to Peru.


Another very nice fish.  We hooked several more and also a couple of barracuda and a small snapper this day.  Roosters are very intelligent fish and are difficult to catch.  Many times they will follow bait and just play with it.  Other times they will swim aggressively at the bait and then veer off suddenly.  Even when they take the bait, sometimes they will chew it and even run with it and then spit it out without being hooked.  There is an inherent amount of frustration in pursuit of roosterfish and also an equal amount of excitement when you land one!

Each roosterfish has seven spines in its “comb.”  There are many ways to catch roosterfish.  You can cast poppers and spinners reeling them back on the surface but live bait seems to be the favorite technique at Crocodile Bay.  You don’t always need a boat either—there are places where you can catch them from shore.  All roosterfish are released.  With their exotic look and their closeness to shore, roosterfish are on of the bucket list fish for many anglers.

Hi–I’m The Bait

Meet the Costa Rica fish called the Goggle Eye.  We had stopped earlier in the morning to catch a few of these little guys.  This is the filet mignon of the roosterfish world at Crocodile Bay.   They also love Blue Stripers.


He was served late in the day when apparently all the roosterfish were full.  He was released at the end of the day—one lucky goggle eye.


As we run back in that afternoon, you can see the skies have cleared and the water is beautiful.  The boat in the distance is the Strike Tower we were on the day before going after sailfish.  At Crocodile Bay, inshore fishing is done from 24 foot Boston Whalers where you can get close to shore.  There are typically two people on the boat fishing.

The End of Another Great Day on the Water

End of the day with Johnny our captain and our mate with the visor and sun protector, McFly.  Nicknames are a big deal in Costa Rica and everyone gets one.  You don’t get to choose.   McFly got his during his interview process with Todd Staley, the fishing director.  Todd told me he just looked like the Dad in Back to the Future and the name has stuck for years.  I cannot wait for my nickname and I have a few suggestions for Lisa.  Please feel free to submit your own.

The next day, a guest at the Resort caught and released her first roosterfish.


 Come Join Us This Winter

There is only one way to catch your first sailfish or roosterfish.  There is only one way to see your first whale or hear a howler monkey and the rain forest.  This is a trip people talk about all their lives and now is your time to go. 

Come with us next year and start adding to your list of “firsts” in life.  Choose from a world-class bill fishing experience in February with Rob EndsleyClick here and complete the request form for more information. 

Or, you can have a combination of inshore and offshore fishing the first week of April with Luxurious Fishing Vacations, Bill & Lisa Montgomery of course.   To get more information about our trip in April, click here and complete the request form.

Next up is a little taste of the eco tours at Crocodile Bay.  We hope to see you with us on the water this winter in Costa Rica.

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