Veteran Costa Rica angler Joe Tedesco was in the country again last week. After going seven tarpon releases for 42 in the air Friday through Sunday at Río Colorado Lodge on the northern Caribbean coast, where he usually fishes, he elected to fish the Pacific coast for the first time.
It proved a good decision, although there was no letup on the Caribbean, where Florida fisherman Ryan Casey, on a trip by himself to celebrate his graduation from college, jumped five tarpon and released two on Friday.
On the west coast, Tedesco said he fished the Dorado V, and while the ocean was rough his first day out, he hung in and caught his first Pacific sailfish, one estimated at 60 pounds and another at 80 pounds, along with a nice dorado, by noon, when the skipper opted to head back in because of rough water.
The following day he said the seas were still rough, but the captain agreed to give it a shot around the Catalina Islands, which offered some protection from the high seas.
They soon raised another sail and caught a dorado, some small bonito and a 55-pound roosterfish.
“Then about 3 p.m., my 30-pound Penn International started screaming, line streamed off, a big black marlin headed into the stratosphere and the captain and crew went nuts, estimating it at over 500 pounds!” Tedesco said.
He battled the fish for 45 minutes until the leader came close enough to the boat for the mate to lay hands on it, officially qualifying the fish as “caught.”
The captain told Tedesco to tighten the drag so the monster could be released sooner, but as he did so the big black took off again and the rod tip snapped. An experienced angler, Tedesco did as the crew directed while the mate stripped another rod.
“I laid about 30 yards of loose line on the deck and cut it off the reel… mate Max and our skipper Villie tied the lines together and I continued fighting the fish with a new rod for another 40 minutes until it was leadered a second time,” Tedesco said.
“We all hugged and could not believe what we did, largely because the crew was excellent and very skilled,” Tedesco said, adding he will be back soon.
Tedesco had a right to be pleased. This may be the first time anyone has officially caught the same 500-pound fish twice in the same day!
Skippers, lodge operators and anglers are invited to contact Jerry with fishing reports by noon Monday of each week; call 282-6743 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.