Captain Willy Atencio

Captain Willy Atencio


Team Salt Life

Captain Willy Atencio
Captain Willy Atencio: Fishing

My team and I are very excited about our new partnership with Salt Life. I am the Captain of the Reel Escape and Reel Time in Drake Bay on the central/southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I have been fortunate enough in my career to big game fish on sport fishing yachts in New Jersey, Florida and throughout the Bahamas. When It came time to start a family and a charter business, the only place for me was my home town of Drake Bay.

In addition to the awesome fishery, we are an off the beaten path destination with virtually no fishing pressure. On land there are no condos, large hotels, casinos or even concrete; just lush jungles loaded with wildlife.

Inshore, I specialize in catching big Roosterfish on live bait. Our clients have caught hundreds of fish over 50 lbs. with my personal boat record of 90 lbs! Because of their beauty and incredible fight we get anglers from all over the world. In addition to the awesome Rooster bite, clients love chasing big Cubera Snapper with top water plugs and jigs.

Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in the world for big Pacific Sailfish. During the season, December to April, its not unusual for our clients to have 15-20+ caught and released in a single day. As an added bonus, a Blue or Black Marlin may come busting through the spread.

While I love to billfish, top-water fishing for Yellow-Fin and Big-Eye Tuna has to be my favorite. Because we have such deep crystal clear blue water offshore, we attract super pods of Spinner Dolphins. These pods can have over 1000 Dolphin and is a sight to see. The Tuna swim with the Dolphin and voraciously eat the baitfish the Dolphin are chasing. Catching these Tuna on top water plugs or by skipping plastic squid on the surface is an adrenaline filled, heart pounding experience. Actually watching your bait get destroyed is every angler’s dream. I often hear clients say “Drake Bay is what Florida must have been like 100 years ago.”

My mates and I are very active in supporting the village of Drake Bay. My rule is “never sell a fish.” As a result, we provide hundreds of pounds of filets to the local community every year. We are also active in supporting the local grade school with supplies, water bottles and soccer balls. I was especially proud of our clients who donated over $8000 to help feed those in need in the village during the COVID-19 shutdown.

I can be reached at or visit us on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook!

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