San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Team USA at Top of Presidential Challenge Tournament

DURING Day 1of the Costa Rica legof the annual PresidentialChallenge ofCentral America tournamentat OcotalResort last Sunday,the 15 anglers released19 sailfish,said tournament directorJoan Vernon.Team USA (BillEasum, Dale Sid-dall, Todd Weatherly)came in at the head of the pack with sixreleases. Close behind was Picapleitos(Margie Adams, Vernon, Henry Riggs-Miller) with five releases, and Sea JCharters (Hans Kaspersetz, Joe Mayer,Jamie Harless) trailed in third with fourfish to the boat.Easum was the top angler for the daywith three releases at the competition on thenorthern Pacific coast. Kaspersetz releasedtwo sails but beat the clock for earliestrelease of his second fish to claim secondplace over Scott Rickert, also with two.Adams had first release of the day at8:21 a.m. Vernon, her teammate, was rightbehind (she had the first ‘hook up!’) at8:23 a.m. Most of the action was early inthe morning as it was spotty throughout therest of the day, Vernon said.Good biting continues along the Pacificcoast. I received an e-mail from ToddStaley, who runs the fishing operation atCrocodile Bay, in the Golfito region.The resort’s boats have impressive statistics.Between Jan. 1-May 15, anglersraised 10,274 sailfish, with 3,004 to theboat for release. Marlin tally was 65released for 288 raised and a total of 457tuna, 232 dorado more than 25 pounds,seven wahoo, 2,420 roosterfish, 452 snapper,1,614 jacks and 749 miscellaneousspecies were also caught during that sametime period, Staley said.“March was the top month with 3,512sails up and February was off for the firsttime this year because of the green water,”he said.Tuna are the attraction now, with bigschools working from 4-20 miles off thebeach. A 175 pounder was the big fish lastweek, but others more than 200 poundshave been hooked and lost, Staley said.I wish more skippers, lodges, marinasand resort operators would keep similardata and stats on fishing, particularly on amonth to month basis and share them withus. It would certainly help promote fishingin this country to the international marketand gain new insights into fishing patterns.Another report came from BruceBlevins, who operates Banana Bay Marinain Golfito, who said the area enjoyed flatseas and little rain last week, with boats outof the marina nailing tuna from 30-160pounds, a 350-pound blue marlin releaseand a sprinkling of sailfish.Inshore, Captain Bobby McGuinnessof the “Sweet Dreams” has been releasinglots of snapper and roosterfish on fly tacklewhile fishing with Bruce Pratt.For more info on fishing or assistance inplanning a trip to Costa Rica, contact Jerryat orvisit www.costaricaoutdoors.comSkippers, operators and anglers areinvited to e-mail or call Jerry with fishingreports by Wednesday of each week. Call orfax: 282-6743 if calling from Costa Rica, orthrough the e-mail address above.

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