Benn GilmourThat's Fishin'

That’s Fishin’ – December 2023

Welcome to the December installment of That’s Fishin’, our new season has started off with a bang and the fishing has been on fire this past month with some great catches of Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado and Tuna dominating the Marina Pez Vela Catchboard!


What a weekend we all had November 11th for the 2023 DORADO DERBY! A record breaking 57 boats took to the ocean in search of the largest Dorado of the day! There were simply incredible scenes at the shotgun start as the 57 boats got underway with that air of anticipation that this could be their day for glory. The teams enjoyed some fantastic Dorado fishing and there were a lot of Dorado caught with many boats catching 10-20 Dorados apiece.  The challenge on the day was that not many large Dorados had showed up during early November and most boats could not find fish over the 15lb bracket. A couple of boats did and TEAM LA GUILA found the fish of the day in the form of a 30lb Dorado to take top honours in this years Dorado Derby and take home a cheque of US$7,500! But this year it was all about the second placed boat who caught a 27.94lb Dorado. Team TRES MIGUELS about Capt. Roy Zapata’s SKY 2 were the talk of the town when they took 2nd place in the tournament but a clean sweep of most of the day’s Jackpots for heaviest fish of the day and closest fish to 20lbs and closest fish to 30lbs, taking home a cheque for over $60,000, just wow!!  This is what the Dorado Derby is all about, literally any boat of any size and any Angler experienced or beginning has the chance of winning big under this heaviest fish format.


1. LA GUILA – 30lbs
2. TRES MIGUELS aboard SKY 2 – 27.9lb
3. NUDGE ME aboard SKY 2 – 24lb
4. THE 3 MUSKETEERS aboard AMYS DREAM – 23.8lb
5. MPV Team aboard IDRA 2 – 23.4lb
Top Lady – Ronnette Carter aboard TRIP – 22.6lb
Top Junior – Xavi Castro aboard MIRSE AZUL – 17.5lb
Top First Time Angler – Braulio Zeledon aboard AMYS DREAM – 23.8lb


The Dorado fishing during November was simply epic!  Lots of Dorados in the 15-20lb turned up this year during November which is typically our top Dorado month of the year. Some larger Bulls started to move in as the month progressed and we expect Dorado fishing to remain solid through December, not as many in overall numbers as November but certainly with the chance of some of the larger fish which many Anglers visit Costa Rica in search of. The Marlin fishing was firing on all cyliders also during November, there was a great bite 30-35 miles out during the mid part of November with boats raising several Blue Marlin per during when the bite was on. A few Striped Marlin showed up also and there was several nice Black Marlin released too over the reefs and in close for Anglers whilst they were Dorado fishing. The Sailfish arrived during November with boats raising 5-10 Sailfish per day when they found the fish, this was a really welcome arrival after we had experienced several slow months of Sail fishing during the rainy months. Expect Sailfish numbers to continue to increase this month before we see the best Sailfishing of the year January through March. November produced some good Tuna fishing and December/January typically sees some of the largest Tuna of the year run past our coast. We catch many Tuna in the 10-50lb range but this time of year will give Anglers the chance at fish in the 100-200lb plus category also, truly Wicked Tuna style proportions.


December starts our peak Inshore fishing of the year.  The seasonal rains should be all but done, inshore water clarity in tip top condition and lots of bait along the beaches. Once the rains slow down in November the sardines (threadfin herring) show up in their thousands and become the base of the food chain for our inshore fishery bring a multitude of species with them. Small to mid sized Roosterfish can be targeted at the beaches and rivermouths along with Snook, Snappers, Jacks, Mackerel, Tripletail and more.
For a larger Roosterfish head out to the rocks and island locations that we have available where the deeper water will give you the opportunity of getting to grips with a big Roosterfish. There are some great Inshore boats available for charter, check out Good Day, Asi O Mas, Fly Catcher, The Bite, Cocodrillo, Idra 2, Sky 2, Mucho Fisho, Mirse Azul, Chloe Frijole & Isabella.  All of these boats provide Inshore charters out of Marina Pez Vela here in Quepos and are the perfect option for half day or full day inshore/coastal fishing charters.


Our tournament season has now begun and our next event takes place in January, we would love to see you there at any of this years events & just drop me a line if you would like to get involved, you can view the full event schedule at
January 11-14 Pelagic Rockstar 
February 3 Roosterfish Rodeo
February 15-17 Pescadora Billfish Championship (Ladies Only)
March 9 Sailfish Slam
April 13 Marina Pez Vela Open
April 14-19 Offshore World Championships
July 6 Summer Shootout
Tight Lines, see you out there!

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Benn Gilmour
Jackpot Sport Fishing, Marina Pez Vela, Quepos
Cell: 8458 4997
[email protected]