Fishing for Machaca in the fresh waters of Costa Rica.


Machaca are one of the most aggressive, exciting and hardest fighting freshwater species that anglers who fish Costa Rica will encounter. Marchaca are often called Mini-Tarpon by local Costa Rica fishing guides because of their similar aerial acrobatics. Once hooked, this small, feisty gamefish will make spectacular leaps out of the water in an attempt to throw the hook.

Machaca are related to the Piranha

See Which Charters Target Machaca in Costa Rica

Machaca can be caught all year round.Machaca, although mainly vegetarian, is in fact related to the Piranha. Their bodies are brilliant silver with large scales, and their heads are almost golden. The bigger ones are almost football-shaped, and have ferocious, almost human-like teeth.

Anglers on Costa Rican sport fishing trips can catch freshwater Machaca all year round. Although they can be encountered in any larger river, the best areas for Machaca fishing are Lake Arenal fishing, and Caribbean fishing in the rivers, deltas and lagoons of the coast near the Nicaraguan border.

World record Machaca caught in Costa Rica

Take or book a Machaca fishing trip and see what freshwater fishing is all about in Costa Rica.Despite their impressive teeth, Machaca are primarily vegetarian, although they will eat the occasional bug. Their strong set of teeth are made for eating berries and cracking seed pods, not gripping or tearing flesh. Most Machaca caught by anglers who fish Costa Rica will weigh between two and six pounds. The world record Machaca weighing nine pounds eight ounces was caught on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.

Machaca lurk near the surface for leaves, fruit, and seeds that fall into the water. Even if the water is murky, shallow or deeper than normal, anglers on Costa Rica sport fishing adventures will find that the aggressive and splash-happy Machaca will still hit a lure, surface popper or fly if it makes a big enough splat.

Machaca are fragile, should be released quickly

Machaca are a blast to fish for with surface poppers as well as on the fly. An 8wt rod with a 9-10ft leader is recommended.

Machaca fight well for their size. However, they are fragile, and will not survive for long when handled out of the water. As they are not considered a tasty food fish, Machaca fishing in Costa Rica is completely catch-and-release; once boated, Machaca should be unhooked carefully and thrown back into the water as quickly as possible.

Conventional tackle or on the fly

Unlike Guapote, Machaca will not try to bury you in the snags and reeds, but will leap trying to throw the hook. Anglers Machaca fishing in Costa Rica should use light tackle, or catch them on the fly.

Anglers on Costa Rica fishing trips who prefer conventional tackle should target the surface or just below the surface. Small poppers work. Machaca are also curious creatures, so might strike a small lure, such as a gold or silver spinner or spoon.

As they also eat insects, Machaca can be caught on the fly; anglers Machaca fishing in Costa Rica can use a variety of flies, especially Dragonfly imitations.

Fishing for Machaca is an enjoyable experience, watching their bright silver bodies jump out of the water.

Costa Rica Charters for Machaca

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