San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Action Still Solid on the Caribbean

Jim Vaughn took top honors in the Annual Presidential Challenge billfish tournament April 21, 22 and 23, based at the Guanamar Resort Hotel in Playa Carrillo.

Jim scored 12 releases for the three days, pacing Mick Childs, with 8 to the boat for second pace and James Cambridge, with seven.

Top boat was the Gamefisher II, with 26 releases, the Permit III with 17 and Wetass II, also with 17.

According to tournament organizer Joan Vernon, the total fish caught and released were 93 sails, five blue marlin and three striped marlin.

For more info on this annual event and other tournaments, contact Joan Vernon at Sporting Traditions at, or visit No reports from any boats, skippers, fishing operators or resorts from points south of Carrillo, which seems to indicate fishing has dropped off on the central and southern coastal area.

While on the subject of tournaments, following are excerpts from a message received from Kathy Nucci in response to a recent fishing column that referenced the Michigan Boys Tournament.

“In your recent article in The Tico Times you were very negative about the Michigan boys coming down there again this year and made innuendo’s about the guys’ fishing for more than marlin and sailfish. We are very upset about this.

“These men have been coming down there to fish and enjoy your country and have contributed several thousands of dollars to the economy of the areas they come to. For you to bring up an unsubstantiated item that was in the news two years ago (not one year ago, as you stated in your article) was very unprofessional on your part.

“If you were up to speed on the happenings of the bad press we got you would know that Steve Wilson has been exposed as a liar here and has been fired from the TV station he reported this story from, and in Costa Rica your very own Bruce Harris (whom Steve Wilson teamed up with for this story) has been on the run . . .

“We have always treated the people there with the utmost respect and have even brought them all sorts of household goods, clothing and other things to make their lives as comfortable as possible.

“Every time I come there the employees at the hotels and restaurants we visit love and respect us, as we do them, so for you to bring this all up again is unforgivable. Maybe we should [take]our tournament to another part of the world where we will be appreciated.” Kathy, if – as it appears from your comments

– your tournament has been maligned, you have my sympathy and personal apologies. To my knowledge, nobody has previously tried to set the record straight in the Costa Rica press.

Action is still solid on the northern Caribbean coast, with the weather hot, skies clear and mostly ocean and river mouth bite with action best in the afternoon.

Río Colorado Lodge reports that Otto and Chantale Sabo, from Ontario, Canada, last week boated 12 of the 30 tarpon they had in the air during five days fishing, several over 150 pounds. Also several big jacks.

John Freeley, from Miami, flew in for a one-day trip April 19 and jumped three tarpon, boating two in the morning and opting for a jungle cruise in the afternoon to hunt unsuccessfully for snook.

All the way from Osaka, Japan, Ryo Sugindi fished April 22 and 23, jumping 20 of the silver bullets and boating six for the two days. No reports from Arenal or other inland waters in a long time.


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