Benn GilmourThat's Fishin'

That’s Fishin’ – July 2023

Welcome to the July edition of That’s Fishin’, we are so glad to have you with us and I hope that you get to experience some of our amazing Fishing and stunning coastline during your time here. The seasonal rains arrived a little late this year, due to the present El-Nino which has kept water temperatures unseasonably high but on the positive provided some stunning weather and an extended dry season, to enjoy more time on the water.


July is an excellent month to fish here in Quepos. Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado, Grouper, & Snapper are the main Offshore targets right now. We catch primarily Blue Marlin at this time of year during Offshore day trips but some huge Black Marlin can be targeted by livebaiting Bonitos at the Offshore reefs.

For the real Marlin enthusiasts amongst you, think about heading on a 3-4 day trip to the Offshore FADS & SEAMOUNTS for the Marlin fishing adventure of a lifetime. 2-4 Anglers are perfect for these trips which take place on large Sportfishers which have plenty of sleeping space and all the comforts that you need when spending several days on the ocean. It is no secret that Costa Rica has the best Blue Marlin fishing on the planet out at the FADS & SEAMOUNTS, with double digit Marlin bites per day not uncommon! You should try it for yourself to  see what all the fuss is about and just contact me for full details.

We experienced steady Sailfishing during June with double digit Sailfish days recorded by several boats during the month. Some big Bull Dorado pushed through during May/June with some real monster Dorados landed and the Wahoo fishing was exceptional at the Offshore Reefs. Yellowfin Tuna have been present most days further Offshore and on a couple of occasions they came in close, during mid-June we were catching 50-60lb Yellow Fin Tuna only 13 miles from the Marina Pez Vela which is almost unheard of!

The Offshore bottom fishing in recent weeks has been phenomenal with excellent numbers of Red & Snowy Grouper, Silky Snapper, Congrio, and more being caught in 200-400’ of water.

Tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo should remain solid during July and the opportunities for some good Sail Fishing will be there. Blue Marlin numbers have been solid out at the FADS (60-100+ miles out) but should increase closer to shore as the rains intensify and the water temps drop during July/August.


We get some incredible Rooster-fishing at this time of year and I am excited to see what sized Roosterfish the fleet can tag & release this July. Aboard my boat GOOD DAY we have caught some real stunning Roosterfish in the 40-60lb category in the past couple of months, and many regular sized Roosters in the 15-30lb class. We have been tagging almost all of these Roosterfish for the GRAYFISHTAG RESEARCH program. We just can’t wait to see if some of our Quepos/Costa Rican Roosters start being recaptured in further afield places—Mexico, Panama, Guatemala—now wouldn’t that be pretty cool?!

Capt. Jeffrey on CHLOE FRIJOLE caught some nice SNOOK during mid-June which was great to see as the Snook had been a little slow during May/early June. The sardines along our beaches cleared out during May and were fairly scarce for around 6 weeks but have recently returned and should provide some more species variety along the beaches and local rivermouths, such as Snapper, Mackerel, Jacks, Tripletail, and more.


The 2023 Roosterfish study with GRAY FISHTAG RESEARCH & MARINA PEZ VELA looks set to be our best year yet in terms of number of Roosterfish tagged with both Satellite and fixed green spaghetti (not satellite) tags. It has been great to see more and more Quepos charter boats tagging Roosterfish this year and after a groundbreaking year of research last year with the deployment of several Satellite Tags which provided some mind boggling results of where our Tagged fish had travelled, we are confident that this year will be even better. We have already deployed 3 Satellite tags from Marina Pez Vela this year and wanted to share with you the results so far.

A 52” Roosterfish that we named “SANDRA” was Satellite Tagged on 3rd February south of Dominical, the tag popped off on 14th May, 157 miles away in Bahia de Salinas very close to the Nicaraguan border! The second Tag was on a 55” Roosterfish est. 60lbs that we named “GOOD DAY”. This was Satellite Tagged on 5th May, 2023, just south of Dominical and on 31st May after 26 days, the Tag popped off an incredible 127 nautical miles away in Guanacaste, near Playa Pitahaya. Even during this short tag deployment, we learned that Roosterfish can travel long distances in a short space of time and might not be as ‘resident’ as many people once thought. This was evident in the Roosterfish we Satellite tagged in 2022 which also travelled long distances with two Roosterfish pushing way Offshore, over the continental shelf and out into very deep water—behaviour which had never been recorded before for this species.


The tags we are using are programmed to release after 100 days giving us the route travelled and depending on the type of Tag used, further information such as the depths and water temperature of where the fish spent its time. Our 3rd Sat Tag deployment unfortunately did not stay on the fish for the full 100 days, it popped off after only 7 days not far from where the fish was originally tagged in the Manuel Antonio area.

But the cool story here is that the Satellite started receiving pings with the Tags location and as a result of an awareness campaign of local social media channels, a watersports worker managed to locate the tag and return it to GRAY FISHTAG RESEARCH intact which is just a great result so that the Tag can be used again in future. Such a community effort in helping us continue to study Costa Rica’s and Central America’s most iconic fish, huge thanks to all involved!


What a total blast we all had during this past tournament season with so many great events, new friends and memories made for a lifetime. The dates are now set for the upcoming tournament season which gets underway this November with the Dorado Derby. Each year our events go from strength to strength and we are always looking for new teams to come and join the fun. Drop me a line if you would like to get involved, you can view the full event schedule at

November 11 Dorado Derby
November 18 Dorado Derby Dos
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 Championship
July 6 Summer Shootout 

See you on the water!

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