San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Golfito Hot, Gray Tourney Benefits Children

THEY’RE notexactly beating thefish off with baseballbats, but according toreports from bothcoasts they’re comingpretty close to it.As this is writtenSunday afternoon,tarpon are hitting hotand heavy on thenorthern Caribbeancoast, where RíoColorado Lodge reported FloridiansGeorge Mitchell and Gene O’Connor wereback on the water with guide RobertAbraham after hooking 20 tarpon beforelunch, with eight releases and three triplehookups. They fished up the river onSaturday, and also got a pair of tarpon tothe boat in the flat water.Lodge owner Dan Wise also reportedthe calba are still plentiful in the river, laterin the season than normal.And fish are all but jumping in the boatall along the Pacific coast, according toreports from that region.Golfito, on the southern Pacific coast,has been having the most incredible sailfishingseason on record, according to areport from Roy’s Zancudo Lodge, whereoperator Roy Ventura said his boat fleethas been releasing 80-100 sails per day forthe past week.Steve Underwood called our office onSaturday from Graves River, Washington,to report he had just returned home afterfishing at Roy’s for six days. On his singlebest day, he personally had 17 sails to theboat, and lost 10 more – and he was fishingalone. Steve said this was his fourth trip toRoy’s in as many years.Roy has been fishing that region formore than 20 years and said this is the mostfish he has ever seen, with big dorado, tunaand even an occasional wahoo also beingtaken in the area. Parrot Bay Village,another lodge just across the water fromZancudo at Puerto Jiménez, reports similaraction.But we are also seeing incredibleaction all the way north to Playa Carrillo,where the boat Kingfisher reported by cellphone last weekend that the sails were insolid, and plenty of marlin around,although they were getting a pretty goodwind offshore.The 34 anglers participating in the 5thAnnual Gray International Fly-fishingTournament (GIFT) in Quepos, Jan. 24-27,released 133 sailfish on the fly during thefour-day event, with Jim Gallagherreclaiming the Bill Barnes Top AnglerAward with 15 releases. Jim won the awardtwo years ago as well.First-place team for the third consecutiveyear of the tourney was Jim Gallagherand Jeff McFadden, releasing 26 sailfishaboard Gamefisher II, with Capt. RichardChellemi.Larry Deddy and Jim Stanger earnedthe second-place team trophy with 15 sailfishreleases aboard Swordfish, withCaptain Randy Morales, while AbrahamConcepción aboard Golfito SailfishRancho #4, with Captain Lindor Jiménez,took home the third-place trophy with 11releases.Founded in honor of the late HarryGray, a Costa Rica fly-fishing legend whoheld many world records for billfish takenon a fly rod, the tournament donates allproceeds to pay for medicines, equipmentand procedures involved in performingliver transplants for children in Costa Rica.Since its founding, the tournament hasraised over $50,000 for that purpose.Sponsored and organized by the GranEscape Restaurant in Quepos, the tournamentnext year will be held Jan. 23-26. Formore information, contact Marsha orChristel at more info on fishing or assistancein planning a trip to Costa Rica, contactJerry at jruhlow@costaricaoutdoors.comor visit, operators and anglers areinvited to contact Jerry with fishing reportsby Sunday of each week. Call or fax 282-6743 within Costa Rica or write to the emailaddress above.

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