Mackerel Fishing In Costa Rica

The type of Mackerel in Costa Rica, is one of the prettiest fish you will ever see, both inside and out. They have a bronze-green back with iridescent silver-blue sides, highlighted with lateral golden spots and a single aqua blue to dark blue stripe that traces from the back of the gill to the tail.

Mackerel is abundant in Costa Rica in-shore. Not a particularly hard fighting fish, our particular type of Mackerel is known for and targeted for its delicious, rosey pink meat. Rosey pink meat is delicious?

Yes, not only is the color of the meat quite pretty, it boasts a sweet mild flavor and a medium texture (neither hard and chewy or soft and mushy). Due to its flavor and texture it is often enjoyed in sushi or sashimi style.

[NOTE: Although, this site is dedicated to fishing and not the culinary arts, we have quite a bit of experience in both catching and eating Spanish Mackerel and we would highly recommend that you first wrap the freshly filleted Mackerel meat in a paper towel and place in the fridge for an hour prior to serving it as sushi or sashimi style. Trust us, it’s just better that way!]

Spanish Mackerel can be found in Costa Rica on both the Atlantic (caribbean) and Pacific coasts. Traditionally, Atlantic Mackerel is referred to as Spanish Mackerel, but is essentially the same species that we call Pacific Sierra Mackerel (also known as ‘Mexican Sierra’ in Mexico). They can reach a length of 3.5 feet and weigh up to about 18 lb. Although specimens around 2 to 2-½ feet long and 8-12 lbs are much more common.

They have small razor sharp teeth on their upper and lower jaws, so it is best if you use a steel leader to help avoid breaking them off, and you will also want to be careful when handling them out of the water to avoid injury.


Mackerel fishing season in Costa Rica is year round.

It is possible to find larger adults traveling alone, but they are typically found in large schools close to shore around wrecks, reefs, rocky outcroppings or other types of cover. Although Mackerel can occasionally be found off-shore around piers or other structures, that is not typically the case in Costa Rica.


Our fishing packages are all in-shore on ‘Panga’ style boats (the local term for smaller outboard powered boats) which can be booked for full or half day charters. Sunshade, fruit and refreshments are typically included on our panga fishing tours.

Learn About the Other Fish You can Catch in Costa Rica

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