Surf fishing in Sámara – Your Complete Guide

Updated on January 22nd, 2023

All you need to know about surf fishing while vacationing in the Sámara and Nosara area, Costa Rica

Surf fishing, also known as shore fishing or surf casting, is a very popular technique in Costa Rica. Fishing from shore in the Sámara, Carrillo and Nosara area is very successful due to the number of species and size of predatory fish available to surfcasting enthusiasts. Surfcasting is no easy task. There are many techniques that can be used when surf fishing in Costa Rica, depending on the target fish species and the prevailing fishing pattern (weather, water clarity, tides, bait speed, etc…).

What to bring for shore fishing in Costa Rica

If you can, bring your own equipment for surf fishing. Buying rods, reels and lures in Costa Rica is much more expensive. The fastest and easiest way is to buy the equipment on

Ask me if you aren´t sure what equipment to bring. In general I recommend bringing a 3000 or 4000 spinning reel, a 6.6 to 8-foot long rod, and a 15-20 pound braided fishing line. 

Best lures for surf fishing Costa Rica

Bring the following:
  • some Rapala X-Rap,
  • silver spoons,
  • bug tail Jiggs,
  • some DOA rubber tails,
  • some Yo-Zuri swim baits.

As for the size, no bigger than 15 cm, and for the colors: white, silver, white and red, bone color, and olive green.

That’s pretty much all you need for surf fishing around here on Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific Coast. 

How to surf fish in Costa Rica? Can I just go to the beach and throw my rod?

Yes, you can. Everywhere and at any time. Early morning, about sunrise action starts at the beaches. It´s the best time and you will notice that all ages enjoy this type of fishing, whether young boys or old men, and some only fish with a handline. There aren´t really any restrictions. Anglers should have a fishing license, but honestly, no one does and it is never checked. You can have just fun and enjoy the casting. Another good time of fishing is in the later afternoon after 3 pm or right before sunset. 

What is biting from shore?

Surf fishing in Costa Rica presents the opportunity for numerous sport fishing predators such as jacks, rooster fish, snapper, needle fish, grunts, mackerel, corvinas and snook.

Sámara´s neighbor beaches Buena Vista or Camaronal are great spots for catching snook, and in Sámara itself you can try your luck in Matapalo. September and October are good months for catching snook, mackerel and snappers due to the rainy season and river mouths. 

Don´t be afraid to talk to local surfcasters about where to get live bait (sardines). You can also check out the small store Super Olas in Sámara, on the road to Carrillo Beach. It´s the only store in Sámara that sells some lures and other fishing accessories. 

Can I hire a local surf fishing guide in Costa Rica?

If you are new to the area or a newbie in surf fising it’s more effective to find a local and experienced angler or guide. They can definitely help maximize your chances in landing good fish from shore. You can hire me as your local and bilingual surf fishing guide, if you are staying here in the Sámara or Carrillo area. But if you like to venture on your own I am always happy to give advice on surf fishing. 

In Conclusion

Surf fishing in the Sámara and Nosara area, the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, is a perfect place for surfcasting anglers and enthusiasts. Specie range is bright: Snook, jacks, rooster fish, snapper, needlefish, grunts, mackerel, corvinas and others. If you can, hire a local and experienced angler as a guide who also speaks English (even better), and take advantage of their fishing skills and knowledge of the areas. Bring your spinning reel and tackle from home as it’s so much cheaper than in Costa Rica. See my recommendations for equipment above!