San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Southern Pacific Action Hot while North Slow

Top action on the Pacific continues on the southern coast, from Golfito up to Quepos, while according to reports it’s pretty slow north of there, out of Carrillo and Flamingo-Tamarindo.

In the Golfito area, CrocodileBay reports sails are still in solid, with 3,771 sails up and more than 30% of those caught and released Feb. 1 through Sunday, in addition to 31 marlin releases for 76 marlin raised, according to Todd Staley, fishing manager at Crocodile Bay.

Neighboring Parrot Bay Lodge said Monday that John Baumann, son Tom and John’s brother Bill fished three days, raising 19 sailfish and releasing six the first day. Their second day, they went for some inshore action and caught eight red snapper, a pompano, a barracuda, a pair of 40-pound amberjacks, and a jack crevalle.

On day three they also fished inshore, catching five snapper and 15 amberjacks, releasing a sailfish and fighting an estimated 500-pound marlin for four hours, only to have it bust off.

Scott Cockroft from Mississippi, along with friends Thomas, John and Jim, fished two days, releasing seven of 15 sailfish raised on day one. On day two, fishing inshore, they had two dorado, a sierra mackerel, four red snapper and a jack. They fished around a pod of more than 600 spotted porpoise and also saw a humpback whale breach.

At nearby Zancudo Lodge, Roy Ventura reports equally hot action, but in the past week the catch report dropped remarkably as the result of immense schools of bait.

“There’s more bait in the water than I have ever seen, spreading in every direction, and most of the fish just come up to take a look,” Ventura said Monday. “Everyone is still getting fish, but not like earlier in the month.”

He predicts fishing will continue hot on sails through May, with June and July the best months for marlin and snook.

On the central Pacific coast, out of Quepos, J.P. Sportfishing reports 123 sailfish released March 1-5, along with one marlin and 10 dorado. Only five roosterfish were reported, but very few anglers are opting to fish the reefs and inshore structure with blue-water action hot and heavy.

Kingfisher skipper Rick Ruhlow advised Monday that there has been a major tournament under way in that region, with more than 40 boats fishing out of Los Sueños Marina, scoring more than 700 sailfish releases as of Sunday. Nobody told us anything about it, so we can only guess they didn’t want it publicized.

Ruhlow is based in Playa Carrillo, on the Nicoya Peninsula, and he reported in by cellular about noon on Monday that the hot marlin action off nearby Cabo Blanco reported here last week didn’t last long, and they were seeing very few fish in that area.

No word from anyone farther north, in the Tamarindo-Flamingo area. That region most often comes into its own through the late spring and summer months.

There is no letup in the tarpon action on the northern Caribbean coast, where Río Colorado Lodge reported Monday that Virginia-based ManTech Corp. held a company fishing tournament late last week.

Richard Urban caught the biggest of the six snook, weighing in at 15 pounds, and Jeff Naum took the prize at the last minute with an estimated 202-pound tarpon.

Craig Smith, from the U.S. state of Wisconsin, who has been hooking more than six tarpon per day, boated five on Saturday, which was supposed to be his final day, until he extended his trip for another three days. On Sunday a 140-pounder spit his bait, and while reeling in he snagged an old line hanging from the fish’s mouth. He reeled the fish in still hooked to an old Rapala lure with all but one hook rusted out.

Daniel Greenson of Oakland, California, and his nephew Joel Greenson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, jumped 30 tarpon in three hours Sunday, but, Daniel said, “it was the greatest fishing day of my life and I caught nothing.” He is coming back in September to try again.

The TV show “Hunting and Fishing the Midwest” was filming at the lodge this week, and got spectacular footage of a 150-pound tarpon being boated after the custom rod broke in half at the end of the fight.


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