There are two primary sport fish in our lake. The Guapote (Chichlasoma Dovii of the cichclidae family) or more commonly "Rainbow Bass" because of its iridescent colors and the Machaca (Brycon Guatemalensis).
Catch and Release
Catch and release fishing is encouraged at Arenal. The live release of all larger male Rainbow Bass (4-10 lb.) and all female fish will aid in establishing a strong genetic base which will provide an outstanding fishery for our next generations of fish and fishermen alike.
Boats & Tackle
16-foot Mirrowcraft deep V boats with 30 hp Mariner motors and electric trolling motors. Each boat is configured with a large forward casting area and seating for 2 anglers plus the guide. Casting and spinning rods with necessary lures are provided in the cost of the package.
Feel free to ask your guide to demonstrate lure animation, speed of retrieval, etc. but don't ask him to fish with you. His job is to control the boat, help you with lure selection, and to aid in any way to insure a quality fishing experience. Remember to tip your guide in relation to his performance, service and helpfulness.
As a general statement, low water levels are best for Rainbow Bass Fishing while rising and high waters levels mark an increase in Machaca activity and fishing quality. The fishing cycle is as follows:
General Fishing Tips
Both Machaca and Rainbow Bass are structure oriented to standing timber and fallen trees, to sand and grass points projecting into the main body of the lake, and to rivers and river channels which feed into the lake. These are sophisticated, wary fish, so all noises and vibrations in the boat should be kept to a minimum. At Lake Arenal we regard 1-3 lb. fish to be average, 4-5 lb. good fish, 6-12 lb. EL GRANDE!
Lake Arenal is located in a tropical zone on the Atlantic slope at 400 meters above sea level; the lodge is at 700 meters. Nights are cool (60 F) and days are warm (80-85 F) but temperatures are seldom oppressive. The rainy season runs from mid April through December but wet weather can also occur at any time during the dry months.
Tirsio Hidalgo, Pescador deportivo y guía Máster de la zona de La Fortuna, Costa Rica.
La Fortuna, San Carlos, Costa Rica.