San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bonefish Seen in Guanacaste

Water is low on LakeArenal but, according to veteran guide Tercio Hidalgo, the fishing is great. He was out Monday with clients who took eight rainbow bass (guapote) topped by an eight-pounder.He said fishing on the lake should be hot from April to early summer.

On the Pacific coast, Todd Staley, fishing manager at CrocodileBay in the Golfito region, is back on the job following a heart bypass operation, and reports plenty of action on the southern coast, with rain at night and sunshine throughout the day of late.

He said a big run of yellowfin tuna is under way with anglers out of Crocodile Bay last week scoring two tuna over 200 pounds, along with a 500-pound blue marlin. “We had a client that surfed half a day and fished the other half while here, and he nailed four roosterfish that ran over 50 pounds each,” Staley reported (presumably while fishing, not surfing).

Up north, Kitty Cat skipper Rob Gordon said he went two for three on sails one day last week, the largest estimated at more than 140 pounds, which is big for a sailfish. He also loaded up on tuna with a few to more than 40 pounds, and on another day nailed a 60-pound dorado fishing inshore.

No answers to my call for reports from other northern-coast skippers, but I assume that region is still the hot spot for billfish, tuna and dorado.

Dave Shear reports that while walking down the beach at Playa Pinilla, a beach in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, he noted a vulture eating a perfectly intact bonefish, and then found four more, all in the two-pound range.

“I’m originally from south Florida, and I know a bonefish when I see one,” he said.

Over the past couple of years, we have heard of bonefish being seen in the Golfito region, and had a report of one caught a few years ago at Parismina, on the southern Caribbean coast, but this is the first I have heard of them on the northern coast.

Cory Craig, a skipper at ParrotBay resort near Golfito, confirms that bonefish are not all that unusual in the southern coastal area, and it is not uncommon to catch them on Sabikis in 40 to 100 feet of water.

“They are most definitely a bonefish, and even have the black marking on the nose (and) they make a great marlin pitch bait,” Craig wrote.

As to milkfish, the identity of which was the subject of an ongoing controversy a couple of months ago, Craig confirms that there are huge schools of them around Matapalo Rock, ranging in size up to more than 30 pounds. No reports from the Caribbean coast, but I understand there were heavy rains there through last week and nobody out. The weather finally broke on Monday, with blue skies and the sun shining, but there were no fishermen at the Río Colorado Lodge and no word from other lodges in the region.


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