Playa Potrero Fishing: Tips, Tricks & What You Should Know

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Playa Potrero is one of the best destinations for fishing in Costa Rica. Playa Potrero is located right next to Playa Flamingo — home to 100+ boats and fishing charters in the Flamingo Marina. The abundant marine life in the Pacific Ocean and accessibility to fishing charters make fishing one of the best activities to enjoy during a trip to the Playa Potrero area.

Before you plan a fishing trip to Playa Potrero in Costa Rica, here are some things you should know:

History of Fishing in Playa Potrero

Playa Potrero has been a fishing town in Costa Rica for several decades. Many Costa Rican locals in Playa Flamingo or Playa Potrero own a boat and fish for their families or as their job or livelihood. Because of the excellent fishing off the coast in Playa Potrero, many visitors embark on fishing tours for fun during their trip to Costa Rica.

Three fishing poles on the end of a boat in Playa Potrero in Costa Rica.
Hopping on a boat and spending the day fishing is one of the best things to do in Playa Potrero.

Fish Species in Playa Potrero

If you plan to go fishing in Playa Potrero, there are a few fish species you can catch from your boat or the coast.


The ideal time to catch snapper is during the rainy season, from June to October. There are several kinds of snapper in Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo, including red, queen, mutton, and yellowtail. Though they can be caught near the shore, they are usually found in the “holes” or depressions that are about 80–300 feet deep and about three miles offshore where bait and food settle.

A man holding a red snapper on a boat on the ocean.
If you want to catch a red snapper like the one pictured above, visit Playa Potrero from June to October.


The waters off the beach of Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo are home to three types of marlin — black, striped, and blue. They are a catch-and-release species that can be caught on a fishing tour about 20–30 miles offshore. The best months for catching marlin are June – September, but they can be caught year-round. Blue and striped marlin are the most common, but black marlin have been seen more frequently in recent years.

Marlin are one of the most notable catches in Costa Rica during the dry season.
Marlin are one of the most notable catches in Costa Rica during the dry season.


Playa Potrero is most known for its sailfish population, which is abundant at all times, but especially from May to August. This catch-and-release species thrives year-round because of the live bait in the local waters and can usually be caught 10–30 miles offshore.

Sailfish are a catch-and-release fish species you can catch off the shore of Playa Potrero.
Sailfish are a catch-and-release fish species you can catch off the shore of Playa Potrero.

Yellowfin Ahi Tuna

Though you can find many types of tuna in Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo, yellowfin tuna are the most popular. The season has gone from two months out of the year to year-round, and while you can catch them both inshore and offshore, the real action is offshore. Yellowfin tuna are also abundant near the Catalina Islands. Keep an eye out for spinner dolphins pods — chances are, there are yellowfins nearby!

Dorado (Mahi-Mahi)

Dorado (more commonly known as mahi-mahi) is a popular catch in Playa Flamingo and Playa Potrero during the rainy season from May to October, though it can be caught year-round. You can catch mahi-mahi inshore or offshore, but you will have the best luck offshore.


Roosterfish are the prized fish to catch inshore in Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo. Though they can be caught year-round since they do not migrate, it’s best to avoid the month of October — this is the worst month to catch roosterfish in Playa Potrero. The best ways to catch roosterfish include single line, live bait, and slow-trolling on a downrigger in waters that are 15–25 feet deep around rocks and outcrops.

A roosterfish swimming off the shores of Playa Potrero in Costa Rica.
Roosterfish are the prized inshore fish off the coast of Playa Potrero that you can catch during the rainy season.


Wahoo is a fish species found near rocky cliffs and islands, like the Bat Islands and Catalinas Islands. They are also a popular catch off the beach in Playa Flamingo from May to September — especially in August and September. The best chance of catching wahoo is trolling (especially high speed) in waters that are 200–300 feet deep.

A man holding a wahoo fish on a boat on the ocean
You will find wahoos, like the one pictured above, near rocky cliffs and islands.

Types of Fishing in Playa Potrero

There are several different ways to go fishing in Playa Potrero — from sport fishing to shore fishing. The type of trip you choose will likely depend on the dates of your vacation, the kinds of fish you want to catch, and your budget for fishing charters.

Sport Fishing (Offshore Fishing)

Sport fishing — also called offshore fishing or deep-sea fishing — is the perfect option for catching massive catch-and-release fish, such as marlin, sailfish, and yellowfin tuna. Sport fishing charters are generally the most expensive and can cost anywhere from $600 – $2,000 per day. However, sport fishing charters include fishing equipment, gear, a captain, a crew, a fishing license, and more.

Four men holding four fish on a boat in the middle of the ocean in Costa Rica.
Booking a sport-fishing charter is a fun way to spend the day in Costa Rica while catching some big fish.

Inshore Fishing

Inshore fishing is similar to offshore fishing because it requires fishing charters, but instead of heading out to the deep sea, you will stay closer to look for the fish that hang out near the rocky cliffs and reefs, such as mahi-mahi and roosterfish. Some inshore fishing charters may pair a fishing tour with another water activity, like kayaking or snorkeling, for a full-day adventure.

A man casting a line from the beach in Costa Rica.
If you have a fishing pole, you can cast a line right from the beach in Playa Potrero.

Beach Fishing (Shore Fishing)

Some fish species, like wahoo and snapper, can be found just off the beach. If fishing charters or out of your budget (or comfort zone) during your trip to Playa Flamingo and Playa Potrero, you can still rent gear from the locals and cast a line right from the beach.

Plan a Fishing Trip During Your Trip to Costa Rica with Dream on Sport Fishing

Thanks to Dream on Sport Fishing for providing us with the helpful information about fishing in Playa Potrero and Playa Flamingo for this article.

You can book fishing tours through Dream on Sport Fishing to catch marlin, sailfish, tuna, and mahi-mahi, and other adventure tours, like sunset cruises and whitewater rafting adventures, during your vacation to Costa Rica.

Stay in Playa Potrero with Special Places of Costa Rica

Playa Potrero is a fabulous place to stay in Costa Rica for fishing, but there are plenty of other memorable things to do in this beach town — like snorkeling, kayaking, boating, and dining out, just to name a few.

Check the available dates for our vacation rentals in Playa Potrero to see if you can find the perfect rental in the perfect location for your vacation to Costa Rica!

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