San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lodge Improvements Include New Docks, Remodeling

THE major bite on the west coast appears to be off Carrillo, where Richard Hoel and his wife, from  Colorado, have been fishing for five days aboard the Wetass II. On April 14 – their first day out – they went six for 10 on sailfish and a blue marlin release. The second day brought them two marlin and six sailfish releases. They took Friday off and on Saturday they scored seven sailfish. Sunday, the Colorado anglers had two marlin and some sails in the air and brought in a tuna for dinner.

There are no reports from Los Sueños or Quepos on the Central Pacific coast, which normally spells bad news. My phone rings off the hook when fishing is good, but can’t raise a soul when the bite is off, so suspect it is not better than reported last week.

The last report from the northern Guanacaste region out of Flamingo and Tamarindo was heavy northerly winds, which means boats from there likely had a long run. Fishing is more protected in the waters south of Cabo Vela.

I got to visit the Rio Colorado Lodge, on the northern Caribbean coast, with Dick Nidever, an old friend from the United States who was here for a few weeks (we had to be satisfied with a couple of jack crevalle). While there, I was impressed with the tremendous improvements we saw at nearby Casamar Lodge.

New docks are in place and the old jon boats at Casamar have been replaced with new 23-foot center consoles built by Capt. Pete Magee at his boat yard in Santa Ana, west of San José. The entire complex has been remodeled. I look forward to getting back for a longer stay and a closer look.

NIDEVER and I also flew to the Golfito area in the Southern Pacific region for an overnight at Roy’s Zancudo Lodge and a day on the water, but “El Gato Negro” had his usual luck – got some roosterfish, but no sign of billfish.

We ran into Capt. Bobby McGinness on his boat Sweet Dream, out of the Golfito marina. McGinness is one of the top skippers in the area, but even he was having a tough day, relegated to fishing snapper. We were outraged to see the endless longlines spread along the coast by commercial fishermen.

It had been several years since my previous visit to Roy’s and I was blown away by the changes, including a new marina accessed by a concrete walkway rather than the rickety pier (and golf carts to take you between the lodge and boats).

The lodge itself is completely rebuilt since my last visit, with accommodations clustered around the swimming pool.

Rooms are spacious with air-conditioning, coffee makers, refrigerator and double beds. The dining room and bar are on par with many major resort hotels.

GOT a subsequent report from CrocodileBay, however, that said “except for the last two days (apparently while I was there), they were seeing a half dozen or so marlin every day.” According to lodge operator Dave Kanski, Charles and Tony Dorta made a return trip with brother Bob, and on their best day, released eight sails and two marlin.

The Costa Rica leg of the Central America Presidential Challenge billfish tournament will be at the Ocotal Beach Resort in Guanacaste June 27-29 and there is still time to sign up.

Proceeds from the tournament are used for the conservation of billfish in Central America. This is the second leg of the three-nation event with similar competitions in Panama and Guatemala. The Panama tournament results were not in by press time. The Guatemala event is slated for November 13-24.

The entry fee is $2,500 and includes airport transfers, three days fishing, two dinners, afternoon cocktails, boat crew tips, membership in the International Game Fish Association and various gifts and prizes.

For more info or to register, contact Joan Vernon at (305) 361-9258 or e-mail at Visit the Web site at

For more info on fishing or assistance in planning a trip to Costa Rica, contact Jerry at or visit Skippers, operators and anglers are invited to e-mail or call Jerry with fishing reports by Wednesday of each week. Call or fax: 282-6743 if calling from Costa Rica, or through the e-mail address above.


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