San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Mystery Fish Revealed; Marlin Aplenty

The mystery fish we asked about last week was identified via e-mail as a milkfish by Todd Staley, the fishing manager at CrocodileBay, a fishing resort on the southern Pacific coast, who said it is very rare that they take a bait.

“We caught one that weighed about 20 pounds a couple years ago,” Staley said.

“Anglers go crazy casting lures at them because they school up like tarpon.”

If anyone has more information on the species, please call me at 282-6743 or e-mail

Staley didn’t comment on how fishing is going in his area at present, but Roy Ventura at nearby Zancudo Lodge reports more marlin than they have seen in many years off Golfito, with all of his boats releasing at least one every day.

“There aren’t as many sails as usual, but the marlin more than make up for it, and of course there’s plenty of dorado and exceptional roosterfish action,” Ventura said.

On the central Pacific, some of the Quepos boats running about 35 miles south to the Fortuna Bank are getting some incredible action, according to J.P. Sportfishing.

On Sunday the Magic Moon had 21 sailfish releases, the Sea Lady 13 and the Ojaran II got 18, while other boats raised only five or six in the same area. The Sea Lady scored a 500-pound marlin in the area Friday, and the Bigeye also nailed a big marlin and six sails the same day.

Farther north, my son, Kingfisher skipper Rick Ruhlow, reports more marlin than sailfish being caught off Carrillo.

“You have to work for them, but they’re out there,” he said.

He added that Richard Chellemi on the Gamefisher II has scored a marlin release almost every day in the past week, and skipper Sonny Kocsis on the Wetass went three for four on marlin Sunday.

Boats are not seeing many tuna, but there are a few dorado, with most running 15-30 miles to the south of Carrillo, and water conditions are good, at about 84 degrees.

On the Caribbean coast, Dan Wise reported Monday from Río Colorado Lodge that there are plenty of tarpon inside the breaker line at the river mouth, but they are hitting short and very hard to hook.He has Ty Fenn, a tarpon guide from Australia, fishing with him. On Sunday Fenn jumped nine tarpon, but only got one to the boat.Wise said he had six boats out Monday, and enough fishermen for four more boats on the water Tuesday.


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