On May 4th, 2011 I will be heading off on an exciting 1-year trek across Central & South America. I will be carrying two fishing rods in my backpack - one spin casting & one fly rod. Join my adventure as I search for each country's best fishing spots, learn local techniques, and show you how to get in on the action. Rainbow Bass fishing in Nicaragua, Machaca in Costa Rica, and Peacock Bass in Guyana are only a few of the adventures on the itinerary.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rainbow Bass Fishing - Lake Arenal Costa Rica

My recent journey to Lake Arenal, Costa Rica proved to be very successful on many fronts. Although I hoped to land a record sized Guapote/Rainbow Bass (8 plus lbs), I was quite content when I hooked into a four and a half pounder. We arrived in Arenal expecting to fish weed beds with spinner baits and top-water lures but Captain Marc quickly assured us that catching a Guapote on those lures would be nothing short of a miracle at this time of the year (late August). Spinner baits work best in May when the fish are closer to shore in shallower water.

Marc made it crystal clear that the best way to catch a Guapote would be to troll the deeper waters with crank baits. He has fished Lake Arenal for over 20 years and has been taking people out on his boat for about 7 years. Disappointed by the captain’s warning, I decided to use his services for a half day instead of a full day as trolling for 8 hours didn’t quite appeal to my adventurous nature.

As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. At 6 a.m. we still decided to try our luck closer to shore with spinners and shallow running crank baits. But, as Marc predicted we did not have much luck. We only caught one small fish that resembled a sunfish on steroids.

With the clock ticking and the number of fish netted unchanged, we decided to give up on the casting and take the captain’s advice. On went the tail dancers and out we went into about 20 feet of water. Within the first 3 minutes of trolling my rod tip stuttered and I stood up and shouted “I think I’ve got one”.  I would repeat this chant every ten minutes for the next two hours. Every time I saw my rod dip my heart skipped a beat as I envisioned it bending to its breaking point with a 15 lb Guapote on the other end. The rod never did bend that far but it did get its fair share of action as we caught one Guapote after another. Marc suggested that we keep the fish since they were all a perfect eating size. He furthered to say “don’t worry you can give them away, no one around here will turn down Guapote”. 

2 female Guapote from Lake Arenal

Since I am trying to get this story published in the upcoming months, I will not divulge all of the details or post many pictures. If you are really interested in the adventure to Arenal, you will have to keep posted to see which magazine takes the story. In the mean time, if you are going to Costa Rica and you would like to fish for some Rainbow Bass contact me for more information. You can also check out Captain Marc Delvaux’s website http://www.fishinglakearenal.com/. If you contact him by email he may take a day or two to respond since he is always on the water. For a faster response, just give him a call. He speaks English fluently.


  1. If people concentrated on the really important things of life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles

  2. Great Photo Those fish have some beautiful markings on them Nicely done.

  3. Wow! It's a wonderful pictures, I really love it. Thanks for sharing!

    fishing tips


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