San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Marlin Solid on Entire Pacific Coast

If you want to experience the kind of bluewater fishing most of us only dream about, I suggest you fly, drive, ride a bicycle or walk to the Pacific coast right now, and it doesn’t much matter where on the coast.

Billfish are spread all the way from Golfito in the south to northern Guanacaste, and appear to be waiting in line for a bait to go by.

Some examples of reports we received Monday of this week: Phil Helms and three friends went home to Texas last Monday after three days of fishing with Capt. Randy Wilson on the Talking Fish out of Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast. They raised 20 marlin and caught and released nine blue marlin running 250-320 pounds each, as well as a 180-pound striped marlin.

They saw lots of jumping sailfish in the water, but they were targeting the marlin and caught only one sail.

I received a cell phone call Monday morning from my son, Kingfisher skipper Rick Ruhlow, who was on the water off Playa Carrillo, south of Tamarindo, where he is based. Rick said the marlin are solid in the area, and they are seeing five to a dozen a day.

In Quepos, on the central Pacific coast, J.P. Sportfishing reports more sails than marlin, but plenty of them as anglers do some exploring for the Harry Gray Memorial Fly-Fishing Tournament scheduled this week.

All of the boats pre-fishing the tournament were into sails, most of them on flies, and report seeing a lot of marlin. On Sunday, the Sea Lady raised two marlin and the Tenacity hooked one, but it broke the line.

Seventeen boats are scheduled to fish the tournament this week. All proceeds will be donated to the National Children’s Hospital for the fight against cystic fibrosis, in memory of the late Harry Gray, a fly-fishing legend who established the first marlin world record on a fly.

Off Golfito, on the southern Pacific coast, Roy’s Zancudo Lodge reports 22 marlin and 66 sails released for the week by anglers fishing the lodge’s 12 boats. Also plenty of small tuna and some dorado and roosterfish.

Reports from the Caribbean indicated heavy rains upriver brought high water to Barra Colorado and flooded the lagoons, resulting in good calba fishing, with one Río Colorado angler nailing 14 on Friday of last week, and some honeymooners from Texas collecting 30 of the small snook. Only one tarpon was reported by the Río Colorado Lodge, with no reports from the other lodges in the area.

Coming up is the 10th annual Billfish Foundation Presidential Challenge, April 21-23, based at the Hotel Guanamar in Playa Carrillo. For information, visit or write Joan Vernon 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 tocontact Jerry with fishing reports by Sunday of each week. Call or fax 282-6743 within Costa Rica, or write to the e-mail address above.


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