Costa Rica Snook Fishing Technique

Costa Rica Snook Fishing Technique
Costa Rica has numerous sport fishing opportunities with sailfish, tarpon, bonefish, roosterfish, jack crevalle and other popular game fish. Costa Rica supports a large number of snook with several types of snook flourishing in the region. The most common snook pursued and caught by anglers is the Caribbean snook, but tarpon snook, swordspine snook and fat snook are also available. Snook are often overshadowed by tarpon, but experienced saltwater anglers know that snook are hard fighters and aggressive sport fish.


Difficulty: Moderate

Locating Snook

Things You’ll Need:
  • Stout rod
  • 20-pound line
  • Spoons
  • Crab and shrimp flies
  • Chum
Step 1
Locate small snook in the Costa Rica rivers during the dry season. November and December are the best months for sight fishing and trolling in the lower sections of the rivers for small snook or "calba." Locate the larger snook in the warmest waters. Snook only can inhabit cold water for a short period of time before the fish go into shock. Fish for snook in the warmer coastal waters of Costa Rica. Look for the larger snook to be feeding in the river mouths from September to November.
Step 2
Fish for small snook in the river systems with light tackle. The average river snook weighs between 4 to 6 pounds and can be caught on spoons, jigs and flies. Use 10-pound test and move locations frequently when the fishing is slow. The snook travel in schools, and it is common to catch more than 50 snook in a single day once the school has been located.
Step 3
Fish for the large snook in the river mouths by casting spoons or large streamer flies. Look for schools of bait fish and cast your lure or flies around the edge of the school. When bait fish are not present, jig with bright pink and chartreuse marabou jigs. Also cast flies on a sinking line that imitates crabs and shrimp.
Step 4
Troll the scum lines near the river mouths. The scum or "trash" lines are a rich food resource where snook can be caught within the top ten 10 of the surface. Troll with pink, white and chartreuse flashers and leave a chum line. Be prepared to catch snook, jack trevalle and bonita.
Step 5
Use a stiff rod when chasing large snook. Snook are powerful, hard fighting fish and will require a rod with some backbone. Fish with a light line when you are catching small snook or chasing a light line record. Otherwise use a minimum of 20-pound test for large snook.

Tips & Warnings

Snook are available year-round in Costa Rica and can provide action when the fishing for other species is slow. Many of the largest snook are caught when fishermen are chasing tarpon. Always be prepared to catch snook when fishing in Costa Rica.
Fishing in Costa Rica can be hazardous. Ocean and river conditions can change with the weather, and anglers must wear life jackets. Fishing with guide is advisable, as it provides an extra measure of safety and increases your chances of catching snook.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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