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 maiden trip to Costa Rica and hooked tarpon and jack crevalle until our arms ached. 

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 on our boat. 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 198cm (fork length) and 140cm (girth). This would have placed this fish at 247lbs according to the Tarpon Calculator App. An average fish, according to the records we kept, would have weighed around 130lbs.

A tarpon of 247lbs 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 our lives and far exceeded any expectations we 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 and October 2022. 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 respectable sizes and fight extremely hard for their size. Resembling a giant trevally in shape, most specimens will run in the 15lb to 20lb range. 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 in seconds!


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 seven guests per trip so call us now to reserve your place on this fly-fishing trip of a lifetime.

One of our happy clients wrote for a South African on-line publication on his Costa Rica tarpon experience.

It was published in the January 2020 edition of the Southern African Flyfishing Magazine, on pages 22 to 27.

Includes: All ground transfers; accommodation in San Jose at the start and end of the trip; return transfer to the lodge; 8 nights’ accommodation (on a shared basis) at the lodge; all meals; 7 full days fully guided fishing (2 anglers per boat)

Excludes: International flight; beverages and guides’ gratuities; camp staff tip

Price: $4,650.00 per person (7 full day’s fishing)

Fishing Dates…

  • 16 – 22 September 2023 (fishing days)
  • 16 – 22 October 2023 (fishing days)

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Richard Valentine posted on Facebook

Just finished my trip to Costa Rica. Sitting at the airport with so many thoughts and memories running through my mind. It was mad, crazy, euphoric, spiritual and just plain happiness!!! Everything I dreamed of and more … I need some time to make sense of the last week and just give thanks to the moments and getting this opportunity. Thank you to Tom Lewin and Frontier Fly Fishing for the epic adventure and world class fishing experience.