Benn GilmourThat's Fishin'

That’s Fishin’ – January 2023

That’s Fishin’- Benn Gilmour

Happy new year to you all, thank you for being with us here in Costa Rica and my best wishes for the year ahead, I hope it is filled with some great catches and more amazing memories made on the water.


Fishing Rockstars from all over North America and beyond will be descending on Quepos over the weekend of January 12-15th for the BIGGEST & COOLEST Tournament of the year, the 2023 PELAGIC ROCKSTAR! This event has literally exploded over the past few years with more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS in prize money paid out last year, making it Costa Rica’s richest Fishing Tournament. We cannot wait to get the party started at Marina Pez Vela and we hope to see you there for the Fishing or even just to come and join the fun at the nightly weigh in’s on Jan 13-14th and the non-stop Party over the weekend. Tournament Teams fish across various categories for the most Marlin and Sailfish released as well as the heaviest Tuna and Dorado over the weekend. This is the tournament that EVERYONE wants to WIN. It promises to be a total blast, wish us luck and we hope to see you there!!


The Offshore Fishing during December was simply fantastic. Literally world class Dorado fishing for most of the month and an unrelenting Tuna bite which provided our charter boats and visiting Anglers with some incredible action. There were lots of Dorados in the 18-25 lb range, however, some larger Bulls showed up and there were some huge fish caught too, with numerous reports of 50-60b fish. Huge congrats to San Jose, Costa Rica resident Peter who is a regular visitor to Marina Pez Vela. Peter has caught literally hundreds of Dorados out of Quepos over the years but none as big as the one he landed during his latest trip aboard GOOD DAY, with a huge Bull Dorado that weighed 56lbs and measured 71” in length. A true trophy sized fish and what was even better was that Peter had has wife and two young boys fishing with him also, for what was certainly a family memory made for a lifetime, which is exactly what it is all about! January should see less Dorado numbers than December but the chance will remain for some really larger fish. UPDATE: 60lb Bull Dorado caught aboard Bucketlist this week.

The Blue Marlin fishing was excellent during December and should stay excellent throughout January. Most of the Blues are in the 150-250lb range, with a few larger fish mixed in also. Striped Marlin made a welcome appearance and some good numbers of Stripeys have been released by the Quepos charter fleet over recent weeks. When the Stripeys are running it makes it the best chance of the year to catch a coveted Grand Slam of three different Billfish species in one day (such as Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Sailfish) and several boats have already caught Slams recently.

The Sail fishing improved as December progressed and should really start to fire on all cylinders throughout January and continue strong through April. Anglers around the world flock to Costa Rica to be in with a chance of catching a Billfish. Sailfish are the most prolific Billfish species here and when the starts align you can expect shots at some serious numbers of Sailfish during Offshore trips.


The next few months will provide the best Inshore fishing of the year here in Quepos with largely calm seas, blue skies and nice clear water. The huge shoals of Threadfin Herring (locally known as sardines) have arrived along the beaches and the Inshore fishing cranks up when this is the case. Roosterfish are plentiful at this time of year along our beaches, rivermouths and rock/island locations. Close into the rivermouths is where Snook can be targeted and you will also have the chance at Pacific Red Snapper, Jacks, Mackerel, Tripletail and more. Out at the rocks, other exotic species such as Broomtail Grouper, Cubera Snapper, Bluefin Trevally, Big Eye Jacks can also be targeted. Many of these more exotic Inshore species are great fun to catch, however, we prefer to lend them as much protection as possible and release many of them to help protect stocks. Please help support us with this mission, tag & release any exotic species which you catch, especially older slow growing species such as Cubera Snapper and Broomtail Grouper.

There is an excellent selection of Inshore boats available at Marina Pez Vela ready to take you Inshore fishing, be sure to check out IDRA 2, Marlin B, SKY 2, CHLOE FRIJOLE, GOOD DAY, MIRSE AZUL, MUCHO FISHO & THE CROCODILE and simply drop me a line if you would like to set up a trip.


We have a packed tournament schedule these next few months, with January being all about the big one, the PELAGIC ROCKSTAR. Then in February we have the ROOSTERFISH RODEO taking place on Feb 4th which is a super fun, low cost, family themed tournament. The event is in its 4th year, with each year going from strength to strength. Together with GRAY FISHTAG RESEARCH from Florida, we hope to make this year’s event the most concentrated ROOSTERFISH TAGGING event EVER! Where teams will be able to take part in a fun tournament but also Tag & Release as many Roosterfish as possible. This will support our ongoing Roosterfish research program and continue to build on our knowledge of the world’s most iconic Inshore fish.

Then on February 17-18th it’s all about the girls as we welcome back to Marina Pez Vela the LADIES ONLY, PESCADORA BILLFISH CHAMPIONSHIP, which has become a firm favourite in the tournament calendar and one of the top ladies billfish tournaments in the world. We cannot wait for that one!

If you would like to find out more about any of these events, simply drop me or the team at the Marina Pez Vela Guest Centre a line. Full details & schedule at

January 13-14 Pelagic Rockstar
February 4 Roosterfish Rodeo
February 17-18 Pescadora Billfish Championship (Ladies Only)
March 4 Sailfish Slam
April 15 Marina Pez Vela Open
April 16-21 Offshore World Championships
July 1 Summer Solstice Shootout

Tight lines! See you on the water!
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Benn Gilmour
Jackpot Sport Fishing, Marina Pez Vela, Quepos