The Zancudo Lodge Top 25 Hotel / The Ultimate Fishing Adventure

Wow! What an incredible opening we are having this season!
Due to the local conservation efforts, Costa Rica has finally limited the issuing of permits to TUNA SEINERS from 47 to now 7 and their catch is exclusively shipped to the local cannery. In addition to this, the seiners have to fish outside of our 40 mile perimeter and this singlehandedly has made the tuna bite nothing less than sensational. Our guests are running into massive schools daily with the tuna biting live bait cedar plugs and poppers. We’ve landed fish weighing over 200lbs and averaging in the 80lb range.
Dorados are still plentiful as well. As for the Marlin, the blue water has been moving in so most boats are landing between 2-8 daily.
With the support of our amazing sponsors, our guests will be fishing with top of the line gear!
Our brand new Contenders 32st cruise at 47mph which will get you out to the fishing grounds faster… you more time to fish.
Our entire fleet is equipped with the latest Raymarine electronics. Bring along your own music library which will be Bluetooth’d to our premium Rockford Fosgate sound systems. Yeti Coolers will definitely keep your catch and your beverages ice cold.
Only a few spaces remain for the rest of this season so don’t wait!   Call for your ultimate fishing experience at 1-800-8548791.

Our fishing in the southern zone of Costa Rica continues to be FANTASTIC!!!!!

The LODGE’s boats are STILL catching dorado and the inshore action has been steady with an abundance of Roosters and Cubera Snappers being released daily.  The Marlin bite out at the sea mounts is a little on the slow side after a record setting December.  BUT the tuna action continues to be smoking hot.  On a weekly basis, we’ve been finding huge schools of spinner and spotted porpoises (which 95% of the time feed with tuna).  AND finally during the past 3 days, we have seen the sailfish numbers building with our catch and release rate moving steadily upwards.


THE ZANCUDO LODGE opened its 24th season with INCREDIBLE fishing, the best tuna fishing we have ever witnessed!
Joining us for the start of this season was Beverly (Baja Bev)and Jeff Seltzer from Northern California. Their first few days were spent chasing big schools of tuna, hooking and landing many in the 30lb-50lb class. They also fished inshore where they landed several large roosters. It was great having Baja Bev down as she is truly an inspiring world class woman angler.
Matt Athon booked his trip with his best friend Michael and father Mikel over a year and a half ago and they were such a delight!   Check out what they said on Tripadvisor………
“As we arrived at the lodge in a 32′ Contender, we were met by one of the owners ,Goldine Wang and her staff (it reminded me of how guest were greeted in the TV show Fantasy Island)! While our luggage was handled for us, we were first taken to our room, then to the restaurant for the first of many 5 Star meals, then to our private boat with captain and off fishing by 7 am. On the first outing i caught my first rooster fish estimated to be in the 40 pound range,what an experience, and it only got better as the days went by. Our guide Abillio was amazing as a person and guide. Over the course of 4 fishing days we caught rooster fish, yellow fin tuna,mahi-mahi,various jack species and had one sail fish come up to our spread (to be fair we trolled very little because once we found the schooling tuna, that was it for us). There were tuna well over 100 pounds chasing flying fish, they took both poppers and live bait. It was the most special event i have ever witnessed. We caught so many tuna that were releasing all except for the very large! The lodge is a wonderful place, full of happy friendly people. Greg and Goldine (the owners) have created a special environment that is both luxuriant and personal. There has been no detail left unaddressed. “
Super star chef Cosmo Goss came down to introduce new techniques and dishes to our kitchen staff headed by our own talented Chef Marina and he also spent some awesome bonding time fishing with his father. They got into the big tuna schools, caught a marlin and tons of Dorados.  As an avid fisherman, Cosmo said that it was in the top 3 of his best fishing days EVER!
We also hosted Richard Saville and his absolutely LOVELY UK crew (Mr. Finnis, Mr. Menzies and Mr. Lane) and by the sound of his TripAdvisor review, we’d say they had a pretty great time!
“…..Just returned from a full fishing week at The Zancudo Lodge and I’m going to start by getting straight to the point, this place is perfection in every detail. I could end there but let me give you some detail by describing a typical day at this extraordinary place.
An early start after a typically blissful night’s sleep. The room is large, the bed is supremely comfortable, stunning bathroom, and the whole accommodation is appointed to a 5-star standard, fantastic. My captain for the week was Cocoe, a hugely talented and courteous young fisherman who worked tirelessly all week and had us catching tuna, mahi mahi, roosterfish, etc. and I even got to fight but ultimately lose a swordfish that was basking on the surface. The fishing operation here is very professional and the boats and equipment are top drawer. The fishing is overseen by co-owner Gregg who is always on hand to meet you at the start and end of each fishing day and provide that personal touch which is such a hallmark of the Zancudo experience.”
THANK YOU everyone, from the bottom of our hearts, for all the generous support and comments. Your kind words give us the impetus to makes this Lodge an even greater
experience for new and returning guests. Come see for yourself! There’s still space available so call us at 1-800-854-8791 for your Ultimate Fishing Adventure.
Phone: 1-800-854-8791


The fishing has simply been nothing short of AMAZING.  It’s been a month of EPIC fishing where we’re able to locate big TUNA schools daily AND they have been biting.
The always fun crew from Mustad (Jay Harris, Sam Root and Magnus Gunnarsson) was here for a visit and they quoted that they had the best fishing day of their lives.   They had daily double digit hook ups on tuna and the inshore action with roosters and pargo was red hot as well. In his blog, Sam wrote:
“I just got back last night from my first Costa Rica fishing trip. I was fortunate enough to fish out of The Zancudo Lodge – Costa Rica Fishing and lucky enough to hit the waters just right this time around. 
Usually when the cameras come out, the fish often goes into hiding. I don’t say this lightly but the yellowfin tuna fishing was the best I have ever seen it. Fish on bait balls, skyrocketing tuna, hitting bait as well as poppers and jigs. It was NatGeo out there.
The staff, food and service was over the top, surpassing expectations by 3 folds. 
I was so excited about the trip and footage, I felt I had to put a teaser video together while it was still fresh in my memory. 
Life is about your experience and this one I will always remember.

Yellowfin Tuna on Baitball video I got from Zancudo Costa Rica by Sam Root

We also had a great corporate group from the Mid-West. Most of these guys had never been fishing offshore before and they were so happy as most of them caught their share of tunas, snappers and roosters!

Travis and Bill from Gray’s FishTag Research came down to specifically study the migration of Rooster fish. The Zancudo Lodge is one of their research centers and we are so proud to be a part of this great conservation program.   On this visit, the goal was to insert a GPS tag into a 40inch Rooster and the mission was accomplished during the first hour of fishing. We also tagged a bunch of roosters as well as some Yellowfin Tunas.

The McCrays fished only one day the boys were on one boat with the rest of the gang fishing on one of our Contenders.

 “I fish a lot and this was one of my best fishing days of my life”.  
The father and son team of Amour and Henry Mellon are here now to close out our season in grand style!  On Day 1, they caught, tagged and released a double digit number of Yellowfin tunas in the 30lb-60lb class. On the second day, they both caught, tagged and released big roosters as well as some jacks and rock snappers. Day 3, they rang the bell with an ultimate fishing adventure GRAND SLAM…….. a Sailfish, Blue Marlin and Tuna.
Thank you Mellons for sending us off on such a screaming high note!

Shane Steen brought a bunch of clients down for a quick trip. They all caught tuna and Roosters for a memorable trip.

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For reservations please call free : 1-800-854-8791


We’ve come a long way since purchasing THIS rustic lodge in Costa Rica 12 years ago.  Since 2015, the Zancudo Lodge is proud to be the ONLY fishing lodge in Central America to receive TRIPADVISOR’s Traveler’s Choice Award given to the top 1% of all hotels worldwide.

This 2017 Season was a record year for the lodge thanks to some amazing fishing, our excellent staff, luxurious accommodations and our continued commitment to the Sport.

2017 also saw the return of the Marlin on the offshore seamounts!   This season, we landed over 300 Blues with double-digit hookups on many days.

The upcoming 2018 season is leading up to be another record year as the booking momentum is stronger than ever.  Below are some of the tournament events on our calendar so please give us a call if you are interested in competing in any of the following:

  • December 7th-10th     The HUK Triple Crown of Fishing Tournament
  • January      8th-11th    The Purple Heart Anglers Benefit Tournament hosted by Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants
  • January     12th-16th   The White Water Shoot Out Tournament

WE would love to show you a piece of our paradise so if you are considering booking a fishing trip to Costa Rica, please give us a call soon to reserve your dates!

Call free: 1-800-854-8791

STELLAR fishing this past week

The rooster bite has been OFF THE CHART with most of the boats landing over 25 per day. The TUNA showed up as well and most are in the 40lb-80lb class. In all my years of tuna fishing, I have never experienced this incredible feeding frenzy and it carried on from the start to late in the day. At 4:30pm, there were massive amounts of 100lb+ tunas jumping 15ft clear out of the water while chasing bait. All in all, I broke 2 off the popper and then hooked one on a popper which was a monster over 100lb.

Reservations: 1-800-854-8791


What an amazing and fun week it was.   The Southern Zone of Costa Rica has really put itself on the map as being one of the top BLUE MARLIN spots worldwide.

With an average of only 2 boats offshore per day, this record equates to an astonishing 3 marlins per boat.    No doubt, we take our fishing seriously and with the combination of our high speed Contenders and our experienced captains, we got our guests out to the perfect fishing grounds in record time.

We started off the week with my buddy, Dennis Dahle,  Captain Tito, Captain Coco and yours truly heading offshore. Once arriving at the seamount, we started the day catching live tuna for marlin bait.  As soon as we put out our first bait, the reel started screaming and we were immediately hooked up….. at 8am!!!   After a 40 minute battle, we had the 275lb BLACK MARLIN boat side and what a beauty it was.  We ended the day with 5 Marlins ……. plus 11 more for the next 2 days!

Also visiting were the well traveled Newlins from Louisiana.  In their 3 days of fishing, the couple managed to land 11 Blue Marlins.  The Newlins have been hunting and fishing all over the world and they were simply astonished by not only the bite here but also our beautiful beachfront accommodations.   We are simply happy to welcome them back next season for their return visit!

Susan and Tom Lewis were the winning bidders on a trip we donated to the Dallas Safari Club and in fact Susan purchased it for her husband as one of his dream trips.  This was their first time offshore fishing but they proved to be the offshore experts!  On their first day, they went inshore and caught 15 rooster fish.  On day 2, Tom hooked a fish of a lifetime and after 90 minutes, released a 400lb Blue Marlin. On day 3, not to be outdone by Tom, Susan managed to catch her FIRST marlin, wrestling a 300lb+ Blue to the boat.

The Friesens from Fresno were on their second trip of this season and both Brian and Marilyn caught their first Blue Marlin and spent another fun filled inshore day with many roosters and snappers.   The Friesens are our staff favorites as they have been longtime returning guests of the Lodge.    We look forward to seeing them next season as they will be bringing their children for some quality family time.

Dennis Peterson and Lara Prindiville, also from Fresno, visited us 8 years ago and were blown away with all the changes to the Lodge.  They decided to fish offshore for 3 days and inshore for 1 and they had an exciting time landing 6 marlins along with an array of inshore species.   Marina, our super chef, grilled their fresh catch grouper for the last evening and it was simply water to table delicious!

If you are considering a trip to Costa Rica, please reserve early as we have many sold out dates on the schedule all ready.

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Fishing Report (3-11 March 2017)

As we begin the month of March we are running at full capacity at the lodge and although the bite has been a bit tough going at times our crews are keeping the rods bent and our guests happy. March is considered ‘prime time’ for sailfish in Costa Rica and the fish are definitely here. We’re seeing countless free jumpers offshore and there are days that we had no trouble getting them to bite, while other days they seem to have a serious case of lockjaw.

There’s always something to catch here and when the billfish aren’t cooperating, we focus on Yellowfin Tuna, and there’s been some really explosive days when our guests get to feel the might of these hard fighting ocean predators. Let’s just say that there is no shortage of fresh tuna steaks/sashimi at the dinner table. There’s also been a few Dorado around and one angler, Matt Buckingham caught an absolute monster. (Above)

We have had our share of Blue Marlin too and that is a welcome bonus.  Inshore, its business as usual; roosterfish aka  “Pez Gallo” are always willing to play and we’ve got plenty to go around.

Last week Zancudo Lodge  hosted 14 guests from Smith & Wesson (USA) and we thought it would be great fun to have a fun tournament. (See Video) Anglers paired up for five days (7 boats) of friendly competition amongst friends and it turned out to be a huge success. James Debny, Tripper Dickson, Brian Murphy, Matt Buckingham, Lane Tobiassen, John Dineen, Jeff Forsberg, Jim Gianlandis, William Green, Chris Cole, Brian Phillips, Flint Virgets, Larry Massimo and Wylie Smith all had a wonderful time fishing with us.

The group released 3 Blue Marlin, 29 Sailfish, several good sized  Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Roosterfish and Snappers during the tournament. Brian Murphy and Chris Cole took 1st place (800 points) during the tournament while Matt Buckingham and Bill Green finished a close 2nd place (750 points), followed by James Debby and Brian Phillips in 3rd place (700 points).

Most of these guys had never been to Costa Rica before but I suspect that many of them will be thinking about returning with their families in the near future to enjoy the best fishing available is Costa Rica.This week we’ve got lots of great photos to share and as they say a “a picture tells a thousands words”. There is still lots of fishing to do this month so please keep on checking our fishing reports and we hope to see you down at Zancudo Lodge soon.

Tight Lines,

Albert Battoo
Zancudo Lodge, Costa Rica

Fishing Report (20 February – 2 March 2017)

As we approach the end of February there has been very noticeable improvement offshore with more Sailfish showing up between 10 and 15 miles from the Matapalo Point. The bite has been a bit sporadic on a few days but our captains are very persistent, searching the seemingly endless ocean for temperature breaks, rips or anything unusual that may hold fish. I recall a particular day that there were so many free jumping sailfish that I lost count after twenty. Nonetheless, we were able to get the hook in several sails and we’re sure that any day now the bite will explode.

We have also noticed that the billfish are not teasing very well, and the majority of bites, with the exception of a couple all came on the long, chin-weighted swimming ballyhoo baits, fished on very light leaders. When these critters get finicky sometimes its the little things that make all the difference. Scale down the terminal tackle, 50 lb. fluorocarbon if you have to and smaller circle hooks,  and I promise you that your odds will improve. The water temperature seems to be returning to normal, currently 84-85 however it still remains a bit too high, and although the tuna schools were around, the bite was a bit tough. Captain Coco and Javier found a few nice sized fish early last week.

There marlin action was not very explosive last week but a couple guests got lucky on a some blue marlin. Rick Sullivan and his wife Sharon were here along with buddy Pete Sails and Amy Spring. Rick’s dream was to catch a marlin and he accomplished just that. The fish was estimated at around 200 lbs. His buddy Pete also released a number of Sailfish too. Congrats Pete on your bucket list fish!

Blue Marlin-Release

The inshore bite has remained very consistent over the past few months and we are surely grateful for that. Costa Rica touts some of the best rooster-fishing available along the eastern Pacific and not to mention a wonderful Cubera Snapper fishery. You can pretty much run through 40 baits on a typical inshore day here which makes for some really great fun on light tackle. Grouper, Yellowtail  and Colorado Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Snook, Sierra Mackerel and Bluefin Trevally are just some of the variety available inshore, and there’s usually plenty to go around. I’d like to give a special mention to Patrick and Julie Nye who came to visit us at  Zancudo Lodge to celebrate Julie’s 60th Birthday. This couple are certainly no strangers to Costa Rica and have been returning to the land of ‘pura vida‘ for many years. Julie’s birthday wish was a Roosterfish and on the day, captain Tito put her on a really nice fish; mission accomplished! Congratulations Julie, we know that this was one special trip for both and we are sure we will see you again in the future. Next week we expecting a full house with 8 boats fishing for 5 days so stay tuned in for our next fishing report. I’m sure i’ll have some great stories to tell.

Tight Lines!
Albert Battoo

The Zancudo Lodge, Costa Rica

Fishing Report (12-19 February 2017)

We are in the height of our high season at The Zancudo Lodge and with the club running at full capacity its all hands on deck. The weather has been absolutely perfect with flat calm seas and lots of sunshine and our guests are happy to be out of the cold winter. The HIGHLIGHT of the week would definitely be that the inshore fishing has been excellent all week with lots of trophy size Cubera Snapper and Roosterfish that  kept our guests busy with bent rods and tight lines.  Every week we record some spectacular catches and this one was no different. Alec Shultz set the bar pretty high,releasing a MONSTER 65+ lb.Roosterfish while fishing with Capt. Javier.

It’s been a really challenging week offshore for billfish and although we have seen some improvement, the Sailfish and Marlin bite has been tough going here and mostly all thorough Costa Rica.

The water temperature has been a bit high lately but as I write this report the conditions have been steadily improving and we did manage to find a few Sailfish offshore. The bite will turn on soon we are sure of that! 

Last week Seth Frankel returned to his favorite fishing spot with his sons Zachary and Jacob. This is the Frankel’s 8th fishing trip to Zancudo Lodge and most of the staff here regard them as extended family.  The boys had an awesome time chasing sailfish and Yellowfin Tuna offshore and they absolutely crushed the inshore fishing. Seth loves to catch tuna and on their second day out Cap’t Rafa found them. He caught a really solid fish in the high 70’s and Zack also scored a good one on the popper. Both Jacob and Zack also released a few Sails and had a great time inshore catching some really hefty trophy-sized Cubera Snapper.

Alec Shultz also returned to Zancudo Lodge and he also brought his two sons, Carter and Preston along for a short  but eventful fishing vacation. Alec released a couple of nice Sailfish offshore, one of them in the 120 lb. range and also scored  an absolute monster Roosterfish “Pez Gallo” while fishing inshore (See Above).His boys Carter and Preston also had loads of fun inshore with roosters and a few Snappers.

Returning guests, John and Flo Alonzo were also here at the lodge last week and had a great time fishing with us. Despite the tough offshore conditions, John released a few Sailfish. Like I mentioned earlier, the conditions offshore seem to be steadily improving and we are certain that the billfish bite will turn on again very soon. The great part about fishing the waters of Costa Rica is that you always have options and our guests were more than happy to take the opportunity and fish for what’s biting.

Tight Lines!

Albert Battoo
The Zancudo Lodge