Roosters in Dreamland

Roosters in Dreamland

Stalking an elusive game fish in an extraordinary place.

By Richard Thiel — March 2005


Photo: Kanutto Fuentes
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Roosterfishing
• Part 2: Roosterfishing
• Part 3: Roosterfishing
• More Than Just Fish

 Related Resources
• Feature Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing
• Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort
• Los Sueños Resort and Marina

Almost since the day it opened, the Costa Rican resort of Los Sueños (The Dreams) has been a magnet for serious sportfishermen in search of world-class Pacific blue marlin and sailfish. Being the only real recreational marina between Mexico and Venezuela, this eight-year-old development provides anglers ready access to fertile, relatively untapped waters. It’s hardly surprising, then, that throughout the high season of December to May its 200-slip marina is full (there is actually a waiting list), its more than 20-boat charter fleet is heavily booked, and the stunning view of Herradura (horseshoe) Bay, on which the resort fronts, frequently includes a number of megayachts at anchor. The billfishing here is quite simply among the best in the world.

But Los Sueños isn’t only about billfish. Whether visitors take rooms at the four-star Marriott on site or rent one of the luxurious homes within the complex, they’re in close proximity to a host of other unique entertainment options (see “More Than Just Fish,” this story), including the world’s only golf course within a rain forest, situated right on the property. There are also plenty of nonbillfish species to tempt the angler, including dorado averaging 40 pounds and many varieties of tuna and jack. But Los Sueños’ best-kept sportfishing secret is a species many stateside anglers have never heard of: roosterfish.

A member of the jack family, the roosterfish is a Pacific species ranging to more than 100 pounds and inhabiting the coasts of Mexico and Central America. Costa Rica boasts one of the largest populations, due partly to overfishing in Mexico and partly to the strict catch-and-release ethic practiced by Costa Rican crews. These colorful fish are easily identified by their large, comb-like dorsal fin—hence the name—and prominent side stripes. Unlike blues and sails, they prefer inshore waters, especially areas around reefs and rocky outcroppings, providing a pleasant change of pace for billfish anglers who typically trek 25 miles and more offshore here to find their quarry.

Next page > Part 2: Although you can catch roosters here any time, prime season is May through September, which coincides with the quieter rainy season. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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