San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Northern Pacific Steady; Slow Elsewhere

We’re getting a steady s a i l f i s h bite, dorado, tuna an occasional wahoo and some marlin along the northern Pacific coast, but action has been pretty slow between there and Golfito in the south.

Fishing out of Tamarindo, Gamefisher II skipper Richard Chellemi Monday reported beautiful weather and sea conditions. On Sunday he said they raised 20 sails and released seven on Saturday and battled a marlin that would have gone 700 pounds.

He said they have been fishing close to home, straight out from Tamarindo, with a light Papagayo wind picking up on Monday.

No reports from anyone at Carrillo, and things were pretty slow farther south at Quepos, where J.P. Sportfishing had one boat out Friday and scored only three small tuna. Earlier last week they had a day with one sailfish, a dorado and two wahoo.

Down south in the Golfito region, Roy’s Zancudo Lodge reports a few sails, tuna, wahoo and all the roosterfish, grouper and other inshore species anglers can handle. I thought we had laid the ongoing saga of the “mystery fish” caught off Golfito several weeks ago to rest, but I received an e-mail and photo from Norman Wells, in the Bahamas, who said the fish is definitely a milk fish as speculated by other readers, and is common in the South Pacific.

“They can be caught on fly; in fact, I have caught several,” he said.

Dianne Graves is minding the store at Río Colorado Lodge, and she reported Monday that while the weather has been beautiful, it has been too rough for boats to get outside the river mouth. Although tarpon are jumping on the inside, they have not had any customers there or at nearby Casamar Lodge, and Silver King is closed for the time being.

I also had an e-mail from Jason Close, who was planning to be here this week and asked about shore fishing. We have plenty of good shore fishing on both coasts, but the Pacific side is best. I fish the points, river mouths and/or where there is some rocky structure and use a medium-action rod, six to seven feet, and a conventional reel spooled with 12- to 20-pound mono, but most of my friends use spinning outfits.

Bring some heavier line for a short leader and a selection of lead-head jigs with plastic trailers and crank baits such as the Rat-LTrap, Sonic, Rapala, etc. I like natural colors, but my friends do as well or better with bright colors.

You can also use natural baits – crabs and such that you can find in the tide pools or buy from the locals for chump change. In this case, bring some old spark plugs for weights and tie them to the end of the line with lightweight string or mono so you can break loose when you get hung up in the rocks. I tie two or three dropper loops above the weight and run a very short leader with the baited hooks above that.

Another reader writes asking if he can contact me for fishing information when he is in the country. I am glad to share information with anyone who contacts me while in Costa Rica at 282-6743, or by e-mail.


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