San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Calba Running Through December in Caribbean

MIKE O’Hara,at Casamar Lodge,had an unusual catchfor the Caribbeancoast last week whenhe caught a 50-poundAtlantic sailfish justoutside Barra delColorado in theextreme northeast ofCosta Rica whiletrolling a rubbersquid for tuna (he also caught five tuna to40 pounds).Casa Mar had 18 fly anglers at thelodge last week, with more than 400 tarponin the air and at nearby Río ColoradoLodge, Dan Wise reported that as of lastSunday the weather still holding, with blueskies and tarpon was on the outside. OnSaturday, the bite slowed down from thefrenzy of the last days but is stillrespectable fishing and as of noon lastSunday his anglers had two 100 poundersto the boat, he added.The previous day, Bud Baldwin andfive buddies from Tennessee jumped 13and boated a huge tarpon, estimated atmore than 160 pounds along with severallarge jacks and a 19-pound triple tail.The annual run of calba (Fat Snook)are already plentiful up the San Juan River,and moving into the backwaters at Barra.By the time this appears they should beshowing well at Barra Colorado – peakingthere by early or mid-November and continuingin December.Calba (centropomus parallelus) aresmaller than the more sought afterCommon Snook (centropomus undecimalis)that are targeted on our Caribbeancoast, with the all-tackle InternationalGame Fish Association calba (Fat Snook)world record of 9 pounds, 5 ounces caughtat Brazil’s Barra Una in 1999.I HAVE caught them here to five or sixpounds and they provide a great opportunityto get your name in the record book as aline-test record if you care to submit datato the International Game FishAssociation, including the line-test it wascaught on and certification of the weightand measurements.Afew are already being caught at BarraColorado and the run should continue tobuild from now through November andinto December. They are a lot of fun onlight tackle.The Río Colorado Lodge is sponsoringa special calba tournament Nov. 20-22 forCosta Rica residents and nationals, whichis when the time the run is normally at itspeak.The cost is $570 per person andincludes a charter flight from San José toBarra at Nov. 20 at 1 p.m., fishing from 2-5 p.m. that day with boat, guide and tackle,a full day of fishing the following day, twonights lodging, fishing license, all mealsand an open bar (beer, soft drinks anddomestic liquor) and your choice of air orboat transport back to San José on Nov. 22.Not included are tips and lures, so bringyour own or purchase them there.That’s nearly $300 less than the normalprice for the same trip. For reservations,call the Río Colorado Lodge San Joséoffice at 232-4063; Wise at 710-6879 orCosta Rica Outdoors at 282-6743. Bringyour Costa Rica cedula.THE outrageous tarpon run we’ve hadthere in recent weeks should be slowing bythat time, but still a chance of hanging oneof the silver rockets in the river and be sureto bring a cooler to take your catch home.Snook are great eating.We’re pleased to see an operator herebringing the cost down a bit for Costa Ricaanglers and also for area residents who areoften on a short retirement budget.Not much news has come in from thenorthern Pacific coast, which was prettywell shutdown by heavy rains Friday andSaturday of last week and a lot of the skippersare out of the country.Richard Chellemi is in the UnitedStates, but his wife Melissa reports fromthat area that his mate fished Chellemi’sGamefisher II a couple of days prior to thedeluge and got a 250-pound tuna, threesails and a few dorado. The Shannon, formerFlamingo Marina operator JimMcKee’s sailboat, and a couple of smallerboats sank in the heavy rains, and thenorthwest Guanacaste marina is still out ofservice (see separate article).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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