San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Anglers Descend on Barra Colorado

Barra Colorado, on the northern Caribbean coast, has seen perhaps the biggest crowd of anglers in its history over the past couple of weeks, with all three lodges in the area at full capacity and the local fishing club running a tournament.

“There were so many boats out that they were having to duck each other,” reported Río Colorado Lodge operator Dan Wise.

He said the unprecedented number of boats on the water, plus a tournament held by a local fishing club over the weekend, have been spooking the tarpon, scattering them over a wide area, but everyone was still catching fish.

The weather has been perfect, and as of noon Monday, Wise said Craig Anderson and H.J. Swank, on the first day of a three day trip, had five tarpon in the air, with two to the boat for release, but the heavy boat traffic has cut down on the catch ratio.

“We have great fishing right now both inside the river mouth and on ocean, but with so many customers at lodges, and temporary captains without a lot of experience, the fish have been spooked and scattered, so you have to hunt for them,” he said.

I had a call from Ron Saunders, who last week launched a new fishing service on LakeArenal, in north-central Costa Rica. He also offers nature tours and a moonlight volcano run. His telephone number is 339-3345.

Saunders fishes a 17-foot Boston Whaler, equipped with a 150 Yamaha four-stroke, Lowrance fish finder, GPS and top-quality tackle for conventional and flyfishing.

Originally from the U.S. state of Nevada, Saunders fished the lakes there and then moved to San Diego, where he also fished the lakes for 18 years, so he must know largemouth bass fishing. The same techniques are used for rainbow bass on LakeArenal.

On Monday of this week, he nailed one over six pounds and had four on Saturday that ran four to five pounds, with the bigger fish taken trolling deep.

Other Arenal guides and services I have fished with are Tercio Hidalgo (479-9310, 373-6107) and Dr. Alfredo López’s operation (382-3860), which also furnishes accommodations, meals and bar on the luxurious Rain Goddess houseboat, now based on the lake.


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