1) Concerning Fishing
What can I expect to catch?
- Tarpon size from 80lb till 200lb+ , some monster around..250lb+ .So far 95% of our guests had tarpon to the boat and released. The others had them on line.... On a year basic we have an average of 9 tarpon hits per boat per fishing day. Tarpon are present here in large quantities all year round .. Meanwhile they are very sensitive fish some day they will take anything you put in the river...some other day they are lazy so it is more difficult but we find the solution to make them nervous so attack even if they are not hungry... by changing of tactics and Lures...
- Snook are present all year round in some specific area , these are the big ones: from 15lb to 40lb and more...For the small ones ( Calva , small fat snook ) between 4lb to 10lb they are abundant during the "run" from October to January ....
- Gar We usually do not specifically fish for them ..we catch them sometimes on Casting or Trolling for Tarpon or Snook..( They take the same lures). We sometime go for them in Rio Frio or on some spots of San Juan River...We will then fish Bottom with natural bait or with a float.. this is a very funny type of fishing and we catch many...size vary from 5lb to 40lb, I had one of 100lb.
- Rainbow bass, Bass, Mojara, Machaca .. A day fishing in the specific area of Solentiname Archipelago will bring ( per Angler ) between 50 to 100 various fish on Light Spining, or Bait casting equipment or Fly... most of the fish will be between 1 to 3 lb, and Rainbow bass a realy fantastic fighter from 5 to 10lb ...
Do you practise " Catch and release"?
- We release 98% of the fish we catch. It did happen than we had problem with tarpons badly hurt during the fight for example bleeding or hooked in the geals..( Unfortunately this exeptionaly may happen even using Big lures ) in such a case if we figure than the fish will die we will take it aboard and will give it to local people in San Carlos or Los Chiles . Other exception is than I admit than I like to have snook, or Rainbow bass for dinner with my Guest. The ultimate case for not releasing would be if we think we have a potential local or IGFA record in such a case we will discuss with you about what to do... some guests are trophy hunter...Some other are pleased with a good picture...
Do you fish according to IGFA rules?
- We are the local IGFA Weighting station We always fish according to IGFA rules , Lines, leader.. etc..( and also in respect of local Regulation concerning Sport fishing ) in case of a potential world record ( obviously possible in our area for Tarpon, Snook, Machaca, Mojara, Tilapia...) We will assist you for the registration. We do know the process, we have the necessary documents. I am a member of I.G.F.A and of CLUB AMATEUR DE PECHE, from Costa Rica the club is IGFA since 1948,
Did you ever caught world record fish or had them on line?
- Company recor for Weighted fish are Tarpon 253 lb, Snook 42 lb , machaca 11lb Tropical Gar 90lb, Rainvbow bass 12lb... Comon size of tarpon around is between 90lb and 160lb but we had many tarpon of more than 200lb...several time on 12lb so World record IGFA 12lb Men and Women... 4 Children caught tarpon over 100lb so Children World record Boys and Girl... Our children local record are 240lb and 180lb Alexandre. We also played some exceptional fish much bigger. I remember one we lost we figure of more than 300lb on 40lb on line during 10 mn , line did break. We released to the boat two Tarpon also around 300lb these where black on the top, Dark green with Grass on the side... We lost three snook we figure around 60lb...Did caught many over 30lb ,some 40lb... We also caught some other World record fish but did not register them, Machacas of more than 10lb, Tropical Gar around 10 lb, Mojara between 1.5 and 2 lb....and a Tilapia of 11lb.. ( World record is 6lb something...)
- Concerning Rainbow bass we had several around 10 lb, ( the world record was around 10lb, and apparently has been beaten in 2003 and now is around 15lb ) We did broke line ( 15lb and 20lb ) on very very big of these fish...I cannot give an estimate of weight these fish do not jump.. but no doubt these where very big.
Tackles... Should I bring my fishing Tackles?
- we provide all necessary professional equipments...Meanwhile I know than It is always a great pleasure to get a fish on one’s own tackles... so you are welcome to bring some of your favorite tackles, Rods, reels and Lures... We will be glad to try them here...and to learn from you As said before we anyway provide all the necessary fishing equipments, 100 rods and 500 lures to choose from, line from 20 lb to 40lb for Tarpon fishing, Lighter for Snook and Rainbow bass, We may ask you to do us the favor to bring some specific lures or specific tackle we cannot find here... At the end of the trip I will buy from you the remaining...
- Concerning Fly fishing, please bring your own tackles, strong equipments minimum #12 if you want to fish for Tarpon . # 6, 7 or 8 for other fishing. ( From Rainbow Bass, Bass, Mojara, or Snook)
What about Fishing license and permit?
They are an absolute must and than you decide or not to go fishing with us I highly recomand you to check document,,,ask your provider to show them to you....
Otherwise at anymoment authorities may stop fishing, confisk your tackles, the boat....
I know of some persons we do not respect the laws...all goes well till...
WARMING YOU MUST ASK OUTFITER AND GUIDE FOR THE FOLOWING up date DOCUMENT
- Boat & Company or Individual Registration at
a) MTI Government transportation
b) INTUR Government Tourism Board
c) MARENA Natural resource Protection
- Captain/ Guide with up date MTI License
- 2 Crew aboard Captain/ Guide and mate
- Security equipment aboard Before fishing boat also need a Zarpe and a control ( Inspection by Marena )
At san Carlos Sport Fishing we are and will always be 100% Legal all Cost are included in our All include Fishing packages but we need than previous to your trip you send us full name, citizenship and passport number of all members in your Party , we then will be able to have these documents establish before your coming , You are coming for fishing not to wait in a government office.
What is the best time of the year to come...?
- This is the question than almost everybody ask me... I perfectly understand. My answer is clear: In my opinion there is not best time to come, fish are present all year round , we catch them all year round. We have some special incredible days than can happen in any months...we have some slow days ...It is the same all year round.
- Obviously success of your fishing trip depend of a good communication we should have before the trip...Specifically I like to know what you target and on what tackle.
- To be totally fair I like to point out than for Example if on a day fishing is slow for Tarpon next day we will go for Snook or Rainbow.. or Vice versa. In my trip the Goal is always than you catch Tarpon, Snook and Rainbow...this is what I call The San Juan River GRAN SLAM that can be done in any months of the year.
- The only variations in fishing are:
- *for Small Snook Fishing here is at very specific time. The season for the Calva ( small snook ) is between October and January this is when they are really Abundant. For the big ones COLA AMARILLA they are present all year round in some specific area..
- *Also in May the level of water is low ( dry season ) so for tarpon ( still present ) we have to use different lures... and chase them in shallow water.. a bit more difficult... At that time of the year to hit Rainbow Bass in Solentiname we fish in deeper water , due to high temperature of shallow water they prefer the cool of bottom. NOTE The rest of the year we fish for them in shallow water.
- *From Middle of June till end of August we observe incredible quantity of migrating tarpon on San Juan River these fish moving up and down from the great lake to the Caribbean sea... Some goes... some will stay so no problem from September to March...and so on
What about the Fresh water sharks of Nicaragua lake?
- They are not any special kind of shark... they are Bull sharks common in many other region of the world, they even had been reported in Mississippi river. There is only a few of them nowadays...we only had two confrontation in five years, one did took a bait??? as we were fishing for Tarpon, the other one did chase a tarpon on line since 1h30mn Tarpon run so fast than Line broke.. Obviously to much Drag.. Surprise... Surprise
Do you also offer other fishing trip for Example at sea..at sea , inshore ? Offshore?
- Yes in Nicaragua to San Juan del sur, Corn Island or Grey town ...In Costa Rica at Mal pais for Close to shore fishing and Quepos for Off Shore fishing... On special request I also organize special mix-trip: Tarpon , snook Rainbow in the San Juan area plus Rooster, Marlin, Tuna , Jacks , Sailfish...on the pacific coast of Costa Rica or Nicaragua...It can be in: San Juan Del sur, Playa del Coco, Flamingo, Samara, Quepos, Golfito all depend of what you target and time of the year you come. ( Since 19 years than I live and fish in Costa Rica, Since 12 years than I am a member of Club Amateur de Pesca... I have all the necessary contact with the Best Captains in the country, I am friend of many of them....) .
- To make this kind of mix-trip a success we need at least 9 days...In case you wish only Sea Fishing I still may organize a special trip for your party.
2) Concerning our Organisation
DDo you have some references?
- Many, many of our guests tells us at the end of the trip, to "use them" as a reference...If you wish I will give you the e mail of some of them so you can talk about quality of my fishing and organization...I do like this system...because people talk directly...I also had Articles in leader International fishing magazine (Field&Stream, VOYAGES DE PECHE, SPORTFISHING MAGASINE, Revista la pesca, Tico Times.. etc etc. ) Also TV SHOW as NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MONSTER FISH, Extreme fishing of Lary Dahlberg CNN, FISHING AMBASADOR of Cyril Chauquet DISCOVERY CHANNEL, ALBERTA TV, Scott Rawling.... Etc
DDo you have some references?
- Best actual way ( February 2015) is no doubt to arrive in Managua then Transfer by road or plane to San Carlos,,THIS IS EASY SAFE AND FAST
- If you think about safety in my opinion nowadays there is no difference, both countries are safe. Also remember than " We will wait for you at the Airport" from there your trip is 100% guided..The ideal would be to enter via San Jose and go via Managua ( or vice versa) so have a glance at both country...( I can organize that )
- All depend a lot of what you like...
- For example If you arive by San Jose Costa Rica you may decide for your first night for the fun night life of the city or the calm of the mountains of Sarcero...
- Same coming Via Managua , Hotel Mercedes close to Airport or a night and a day in so beautiful and fun city of Granada.. really a Must if you come in Nicaragua See Location, How to get there or Transfer on Pricing of Fishing Trips page
Do you have some references?
- A lot....I already talked a little bit about Granada and San Jose, now I will talk of what is around our fishing grounds... Calm water of Jungle rivers, Rainforest full of wild life, Monkeys, Caimans, outer, turtle , Dears, Some Cats ...and an incredible variety of birds...according to many of my guests Bird watching is worth the trip for itself...
- History San Juan River is a very interesting historical area. It was in the colonial time one of the High way for Spanish to transport the gold of Peru from Pacific ocean to the Atlantic then Spain...The area has been describe, by Mark Twain, the famous writer was there in 1860 , he has been one of more than 100 000 Pioneers whose travel here aboard the boats of Mr. Vanderbilt.( Gold Rush Times). Other famous "visitors": Christopher Colombus, Admiral Nelson, Pirate Morgan, ( See El Castillo and History History )
- Arts with the Painters and Wood carver of the Ernesto Cardenal Community of Solentiname Archipelago ( See Solentiname Arts )
- Meet these people of San Juan River who are so nice with us , official or individuals. They are living in small jungle towns or in Rancho on the River banks...you will be surprised by the am ability of the TICO (people from Costa Rica ) and of the NICA ( People from Nicaragua ). So far there is only a few tourist coming on Rio San Juan and I will be very very surprise if we meet another Sport fishing boat during your entire trip..
- I forgot to mention all what is on the way to our fishing ground Unique SITES...In Costa Rica Volcano Arenal, Volcano of the island of Omotepe, Volcan Irazu and Poas, Wild Iguanas spots, National parks.. etc etc In Nicaragua Granada, Leon, Laguna de Apoyo, Catarina, Masaia Volcanoe, Monbacho, Las Isletas, Masaia Artisan market etc...
What kind of Accomodation do you offer ?
- My lodge La Esquina del Lago is a very nice place each room with Private tiled bathroom, large deck, Wild life observatory etc etc, Electricity 24 h available, Tel & Internet available...IN EACH TRIP WE LIKE TO MOVE ... THIS IS ONE OF THE SPECIFICITY OF MY ORGANIZATION WITCH MADE IT SUCCESSFUL I OFFER PROFESSIONALLY ORGANIZED ADVENTURES EXPEDITIONS STYLE.. . The area is large, we move aboard our boats where the best fishing is in the days you are there.., we go as far as 50 miles We sleep on spots. using local Hotel and lodges. Owners are friends there is always room for us.... No five stars on fishing grounds ( It is different in San Jose and Managua on day1 and last day) lodging is simple around the fishing area but always very clean, wherever we stay, rooms will have private full bathroom ). I like to be very clear on this point... I always do use the best place around... . I will describe you precisely and honestly previous to your trip the place where you will stay.Some place we will stay will have Airco, some Fans ... Some none of these as not necessary.. For Example my Lodge always with nice cool air at night as built directly on the lake.. Will sound Incredible but some guests ask me for Blankets at night. Accommodations
- We take our meals at my Lodge ( we offer there a prime Cuisine..), aboard the boats , at friends place House, Rancho on the river banks, in Restaurants in Town , all depends... We like to move ..., Exist some interesting local cooking, El Casado, El bao and the Camarones de rio ( A must : River Scrimps ..one lb each, almost a Lobster ), Local fruits, Pineapple, Passion fruit, Pitahaya, Mango, Orange, Mandarine, Banana are delicious.. We are also organize to have fix at night our "catch of the day"... Ceviche, Carpacho are among our Specialties...What about snook? Rainbow bass is delicious.. Meals & Recipe
Will Women enjoy this trip?
- Obviously yes is they like fishing... they also will have a lot of fun, and they will catch as many big tarpon as men do this is not a mater of strength ..Many women fishing with us caught tarpon over 200lb some on very light tackle..
- If they are not fishing aficionados they probably will enjoy all the scenery around : Jungle, prime bird watching, wild life, History, Arts..
- We also can custom your trip in order to have less fishing and more Discovery etc ..
- I did receive many couples everything went perfectly....
Are children Welcome?
- ABSOLUTELY . If they are younger than 10 years old.. talk a bit with me before trip.. My two kids Alex and Alain now 14 and 13 enjoy and fish the area with me and Augusto (during their vacation time) since they are 6 year old... I obviously know them very well and they are trained to a certain Discipline but any kid can do it... and love it...I have many Father and son coming .. and I like it a lot.. Special moment to share with family.. Also very educating trip for children as they see and share Adventures and local people life...
How many people do you accept per Party
- From 1 to 12, exceptionally bigger Groups in such a case we will have to set up a special logistic I have the guides, the boats, to receive such party.
- We generally fish 2 per boat, with two guides , one Guide taking care of the boat , other of Fishing. Meanwhile boats are big enough to accommodate three anglers.. who knows well each other before the trip.
- VERY IMPORTANT I will never add an unknown on a party of two.
- In case of single angler I always try to offer fair deals but my pricing is higher because my operating cost are almost the same for one Guest than for two
How do I reserve and pay for a trip?
- A deposit of 40 % of the amount of the trip is necessary to confirm reservation. It has to be sent by Wire transfer to my Bank account open in a major bank in Costa Rica ( I will send you the precise wire transfer instruction) .
- For Pending it as to be cancel on Arrival on Day1 of your trip. Due to local poor banking system and Credit card problems I only can accept cash money or eventually Travelers check established by a known Institution.
- I suggest you book early in order to be able to choose your dates.. Some months of the year are very busy....
- I know than my conditions may seem strange ( specifically than in 2015 I do not accept credit card??? ) Butcondition I offer ABSOLUTELY safe for both part...If you need any Financial references or other information concerning the honesty of my company ( I perfectly understand these legitimate preoccupations ) I will be glad to forward you appropriate references and information .
What about tips to the fishing guides and Staff ?
- Tips are in no way an obligation, meanwhile they are obviously greatly appreciated,
- The usual amount for fishing guides is between 5 to 10 % of the price you paid for the trip,
- My policy is than you do not give these eventual tips to me, you give them directly to your guides.
- Staff of my lodge will also be glad to get a tip.. It can be around $10 per day
- Driver Jose, or Fabio than meet you at airport and take care of your transfer between $10 to $20
3) Concerning Safety and Health
What about Safety in Costa Rica and Nicaragua ?
- Costa Rica is well known as a pacific and Quiet country, no much to add there.... Except than even so you have to be pending...
- Nicaragua do not have the same reputation BUT IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE ...I read to day in a newspaper ( April 2008 ) than Nicaragua is rated #2 for safety in all the america only superated by Canada so I have to explain and describe the present situation...,
- All this illegitimate suspicion of Problem in Nicaragua is due to the days of the Civil war ... This is over since long, now everything is changing . Nicaragua do open to tourism, the country is very quiet, and people are very very nice with the few foreigners visiting.. Authorities are specifically helpful.. Since 8 years ( more than 850 Guests ) than i am organizing these expeditions we never had any problem. Nicaragua did change a lot in the last 17 years, Four elections have been held, and all political parties did democratically accept the results of Election.. Big international Hotel chain are present in the main cities...foreign investment specifically from USA and Europe is coming...
What about if I get thick or in case of accident?
- I ask all my Guest to buy before the trip the usual health travel insurance available in USA and Europe
- In both countries exist a good health system... In town or around fishing grounds there are many very good doctors , available at any hour...Many of them are graduate in Nicaragua and Costa Rica but also in many case in USA, EUROPE, even if we never had to use them for serious disease , we are friend of several of them .as well in San Carlos or Los Chiles...
- In case of major emergency problem There is an Hospital, three clinics, 20 Doctors in San Carlos, another one in Los chiles, both with correct equipments.
What about water? and Ice?
- Even if I and my guides do drink the local city water, we ask our Guests not to. We provide at no Extra cost Mineral water ( sealed bottle ) aboard the boats and also in your hotel room and at Restaurant
- Ice? We have our ice made with Mineral water ( A mater of logic )
4) Other questions
What about Electicity?
- There is electricity in all the place where you will stay even in far away places there are some groups or solar energy so you will always be able to charge the batteries of your camera or video ( 110 Volts ), Electric plugs are US standard.
What about Internet, E mail..?.
- At my Guest House we have internet working connection works through a celular phone system it is not very fast but work...
- Also now available a wifi acess...
- OTHER GOOD NEWS is than since 6 months exist Internet cafe in Los Chiles, San Carlos, El Castillo....Obviously nowaday Internet is ALSO in all main city San Jose, , Granada, Managua....
What about Telephones?
- At lodge we have signal CLARO MOVISTAR
- A GOOD TRICK IS TO BUY A local Chip or a Cellular phone they are cheap and you buy them in 2 minutes.. here in Nicaragua $20 with Company MOVISTAR or CLARO ..
- Much cheaper than using Satellite phone.
- Roaming and International Satellite service cellular phones works every where.
What about Liquors? Beer?
- I have my private bar open for free for Guests at my lodge, but I do not include in my packages Drinks with alcohol , beers , Whisky etc,, neither on boat at my lodge or at restaurant...
- Usually Guests buy liquors and beer at cost¨ in town with the Guides .
- All this is in order to be absolutely fair and also for safety reasons. Beers are available everywhere are good and cheap, Rum also.. Flor de Caña is the local brand ..
What about laundry?
- You can have your clothes clean at our lodge and in all the hotel we use...We generally organise a " cleaning day" in the middle of your stay, So no need to bring a lot of clothes.
Are Bugs, Mosquitos a problem?
- This is one of our major plus compared to some other fishing destination.. We are in a tropical area , our fishing is in Jungle River, meanwhile it is surprising to see than in Nicaragua San Juan River and Solentiname there is almost NO Mosquitoes... We have " Chayules" at certain time of the year but these one do not bit.. Just in case I always recommend my guests to bring some insect Repellent
What should I bring ?
- Bugs spray, Insect Repellent ( Not a must but...), Sun tan lotion, Solar lenses, camera, Films, Cap or hat, light clothes , light trousers, t shirt, a light rain jacket , a sweater.
Visa and passport
- To enter Nicaragua or Costa Rica it is necessary for US citizen to have a passport. For U S and Europeans there is no visa. Entry tax around $12 to be paid locally when entering Nicaragua from Costa Rica, coming via Rio Frio Jungle River.
- There is an International Airport departure tax when living Costa Rica or Nicaragua around $20
Pocket money ?
- You don't need much , If possible bring some small dollars note, 1-5-10 ,they are accepted everywhere and easier to change , avoid the $50 or $ 100 ....( Except in San Jose or Managua where there is no problem....) Careful in Nicaragua the notes have to be in perfect shape, Nothing write on them etc.. etc..
- Currency: on the 1st of february 2015
- Nicaragua Cordoba $1 = 26.25 Cordoba.
- Careful both Cordoba or Colones are impossible to change out of the countries..