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El Castillo, Rio San juan, Nicaragua

Tarpon Fishing Rio San Juan Report

Rio San Juan offer some of the best Tarpon Fishing in the world, this region is famous for big Tarpon and Snook, were Tarpon fishing are the main target  and  angler are seldom disappointed .

The hot spots on the river for tarpon fishing is in the  Montecisto River Eco Lodge area, between Boca de Sabalos and El Castillo, there has been some action around the new bridge Santa Fe, but by far the Montecristo area is  the most productive.  By law now everybody must practice catch and release on Tarpon, the fish can’t not be weighted, our record at the Montecristo River Lodge was caught by Walter Croft form London this 20 December at estimated 90 kilos.  This year has been one of the best season in many years, and 4 to 5 hook up´s in the morning has been the norm.


Tarpon fishing

Tarpon Fishing Season for Rio San Juan:

At Montecristo River Eco Lodge everyone ask about the best time to come to Nicaragua´s Rio San Juan for tarpon fishing. In general the best fishing or ¨high turist season¨   is from September to April, but fishing changes more week to week than it does month to month.  We have fished the middle of low turist season and caught a few Tarpon before noon, and sometime during the high season you can be skunked. But In the 14 year we have fished in Rio San Juan we only have been skunked a few trips per year.

So, when is the best time to come tarpon fishing in  Rio San Juan and catch a Tarpon, my answer, any time? is a combination of luck, weather, the right Rapala lures and time expend on the water.

The river is low late February till June or July when the rain pour and the river recover it normal level. When the river is low we fish in the channels, we can fish year round; the big tarpon don’t migrate back to the Caribbean.

The heavy rains are normally from late June to October. Rain take a bit of a break during the middle of July (a semi dry season, could be from July 1 to the 30).

We are in the rain forest, so expect rain any time of the year.

August and September are good month for fishing, the river has gained it normal level and the rain is predictable, a bit in the morning, a bit in the afternoon and another bit at night. We have our international Tarpon fishing tournament during our national independence Holidays Sept 13, 14 and 15.

As long as there is no a Tropical Storm in the Caribbean, the rain is tolerable and predictable. When we get tropical storms or a stationary front the rain stay, the river overflow and carry a lot of debris, making it uncomfortable for fishing, but the in between when the rains are normal, the fishing is great.

October has the last of the heavy rains of the season. November to February is the best overall for weather condition and action on the water.

Tarpon are always around Boca de Sabalos and El Castillo  are and you can fish during the rainy season,  Tarpon can be caught year round.

Method  : In the river and lagoon trolling and sight  fishing are common.  Guides look  for fish ¨rolling¨ or feeding   and try to place lures with  the feeding Tarpon. Best lures  are Rapala  Shad Raps, red and white body.

To fish with the fly, it has to be done, casting in the channels, where the tarpon navigate. Is a game to wait and see the tarpon coming up the river, and then cast. It is not so easy, but possible.

No tarpon is easy, they will fight and most likely they will get away after a few jumps. At least 3 to 4 out of every 5 hooks ups will be lost during normal condition, trolling with regular line. I don’t have statistic for the fly. Most of our fishing is trolling or casting conventional line, rood and real.

Thanks for your time,

Agusitin Llanes

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