Ask several serious anglers about the best moon phase to fish, and you will get several different replies, causing confusion as to when to book your Costa Rica fishing vacation.
For the sake of neutrality, I am keeping my opinions to myself about what I think is the best moon phase, as I have been proven wrong before! So for now, let’s stick to the facts so that you can plan your Costa Rica fishing vacation without contradicting opinions.
– The fish species targeted during your Costa Rica fishing vacation such as sailfish and marlin are predatory, almost always on the prowl for baitfish.
– Full and new moons cause stronger tides, impacting baitfish movement and bluewater locations that our Quepos target species prefer.
– The brightness of the moon can impact the depth of the baitfish, so that can impact where the target fish are in depth.
– Keep in mind two important caveats…black marlin typically do not roam the lower depths of the pelagic (sunlit) water column, but tuna frequently do. If you are looking to release a black marlin or boat a tuna on your next Costa Rica fishing vacation, keep that in mind.
– The rest of the target species (blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo) are variable in where they cruise the pelagic water column, but ALL of the species do inhabit the top of the water column. Therefore, trolling baits and lures near or at the surface as practiced here in Quepos is a productive strategy to hooking up with decent fish.
Regardless of any “rule of thumb” of the best moon phase to fish that you may have heard or read, it is not a guarantee. I have released 4 sailfish and boated one dorado on a full moon day here in Quepos. I have released a blue marlin on a waxing (increasing) half moon. During the full moon of January 2012, the Quepos offshore bite was on fire! The next month, the bite vanished during the full moon.
To sum it up, one experienced Costa Rica angler said to me, “I have been out during the ‘right’ moon phases and caught very little…and I have been out during the ‘bad’ moon phase and the bite was absolutely phenomenal!”
So how does the moon phase factor into planning your Costa Rica fishing vacation? It is totally up to you! The moon phase that YOU feel most comfortable and confident with should be the deciding factor. For those who believe the moon phase impacts the fishing, conduct some research online and figure out which moon phase you are feeling comfortable with and head offshore here in Quepos during the moon phase YOU want to fish!